Saturday, October 24, 2015

#1 Quirky Ancestor

I have written about Hannah Wakeman Hackleton Whittaker in the past, but she fits right at the top of the quirky list!

Hannanh married Francis Hackleton in Hartford, CT and bore him two children by 1661. Shortly thereafter she had an affair with a man named Henry Fraser or Frost and became pregnant. Hannah was abandoned by Fraser/Frost and ended up giving birth to the child on her own. The infant died not long after birth. Hannah was too weak to care for or feed the baby. She buried the child in the woods.

Hannah was brought up on charges of murder and adultery. Not one to hold her tongue, even in court, blasphemy charges were later added. The adultery and blasphemy charges stuck and Hannah was sentenced to death. That sentence was later commuted to gaol [jail], 30 lashes and an hour on the gallows with a rope around her neck.

Hannah would find her way to New York, where she would be brought up on charges  with Elizabeth Juwell of residing in the city without a license.  Both were given 8 days to leave town or face fine and corporal punishment.

Edward Whittaker, a foul-tempered, former English soldier, was Hannah's next encounter. Whittaker took in Hannah as a servant. His temper and her temperament made for a bad mix. Edward threatened to kick her out on more than one occasion. The Kingston court intervened when Whittaker got Hannah "with child." The incident was very close to the Hartford case, but with witnesses. The court officers ordered Whittaker to take care of his servant. As fate would have it, the couple married and had two children

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