It seems like everyone has at least one family member looking for information about their family’s history these days. Most people hope to find something interesting, like a famous person, villains, royalty, etc. It's really incredible what some people dig out when they trace back their ancestors, some have even discovered that they were related to witches!
The more you research your family tree, the more people you will find coming out of the woodwork, increasing the chances of you being related to a witch. It is not uncommon as you might think because between the 8th century and the 18th century, there were many people accused of witchcraft throughout America and Europe. In Europe alone, experts have estimated that there were approximately 50,000 “witches” executed between the 15th to the 18th century. Some of these women were left in prison to die, while others were beheaded or hanged during the witch hunt. Most of those who were accused of being a witch went into hiding for the rest of their lives, and the ones that were caught and survived were tortured on a regular basis.
You must also keep in mind that people’s first names and surnames change over time. For example, when the Irish emigrated to America during the Great Famine, very few of them could spell. So on arrival, many of them were asked to spell their names and were unable to do so, so the person at the border control had to guess how it was spelt. Common Irish names like Seán were spelled Shaun. Also, when a witches family moved from the area they lived in, they would often change their name on purpose so others wouldn’t associate their family with witches. This makes finding witch ancestors a bit more challenging.
Before you start building your family tree, speak with family members and see if they, or any of their extended family have made a family tree in the past. If someone has already started digging, it will make your job a lot easier. Also, find out if anyone wants to join you. Creating a family tree can take a lot of time and effort, so having a second or a third person helping you out will make a big difference.
If you don’t want to spend money on an online ancestry database, you can create a family tree the old-fashioned way. Although this might take a lot of time, it can be fun discovering new information and talking with relatives, some you might have never met before. You might be pleasantly surprised by what information you come across, plus, you might meet some interesting people along the way too! You might also find yourself spending a lot of time in libraries because well stocked libraries have lots of historical files and books.
Patience is key when finding out members of your family, and you will have to go back as far as you can possibly go to see if you have any witch ancestors in your family. It's unlikely that you will find information that there was a witch in your family by just looking at files in a library and by speaking with relatives, but you might get lucky!
Due to modern technology, we have easy access to a wealth of information about witches at our fingertips. First, create a file on a spreadsheet on your computer and write down all the names of the people in your family. To make it easy to locate each name, make sure they are in alphabetical order. On a spreadsheet, you can create a name for each column, so consider having one column on each family member's date of birth, one that shows the date they died, and the other that displays what country they are born in.
There are plenty of free online databases that allow you to find people throughout history. Websites like Wikipedia publish lots of information about those involved in the Salem Witch Trials. The website allows users to input information onto their pages, so new information is constantly being published, so don’t forget to go back to the websites down the line in case there is any new information.
Lots of people who enjoy finding out information about their ancestors have been taking DNA tests in recent years. This is a great way of finding out where your family came from, going back hundreds of years. The results of these DNA tests could help you save a lot of time, and the findings could be key when finding out if you are related to a witch!
These methods are not going to be everyone's cup of tea. A lot of people only want hard evidence, but then again, there is no harm in giving it a go. If your neighbor sees you and accuses you of being a witch, you won’t get a lifetime in prison.
Plenty of people use creative visualization to go on a spiritual journey to help explore the history of their ancestors. Imagine yourself in the 18th century in Europe, in one of the countries you have found your ancestors have come from, speak to the local people and your ancestors to see what they have to say.
Although many people find this method amusing, many feel it is an extremely powerful tool that should not be underestimated.
There are a lot of folks out there that claim they can speak with the dead, many of whom specialize in witchcraft. You might even be lucky enough to find a psychic or a craft expert living near you. They often advertise their service online, on social media platforms, and streaming services, so keep an eye out for a well known psychic that can help you. Most psychics claim that the best time to contact witches is during the winter months. Some of the techniques that these people use are:
Automatic writing: This is when the dead person takes control of the psychic’s hand and writes down messages that they are trying to tell the people in the room.
Scrying: This is when the psychic uses a reflective object or a crystal ball to communicate with the dead.
Dreamwork: This is when the psychic changes unconscious thoughts in consciousness.
Tarot cards: The psychic will use special cards known as tarot cards to speak with the dead.
Ouija board: Similar to automatic writing, the dead are supposed to take control of this widely controversial game.
A lot of people attempt to make contact with the dead themselves instead of hiring a professional. Before you start, make sure you understand the ins and the outs of the technique. Also, don’t forget to cleanse the area you used to speak to the dead after you have finished, in case any spirits have not left the room.