Thursday, December 15, 2016

Favorite Ancestors: Hannah Wakeman

Joanna "Hannah" Wakeman Hackleton Whittaker is an absolute favorite and should probably be a candidate for a family black sheep. She was born about 1638 in Hartford, CT. Hannah married Francis Hackleton, by whom she had a son and daughter. Hackleton was away on business when Hannah had an affair with Henry Fraser or Frost. She became pregnant and lost the child, whom Hannah delivered by herself. Hannah was subsequently charged with adultery and murder. She made some rather uncomplimentary comments to the judge and was charged with blasphemy. Mrs. Hackleton was sentenced to death, but the penalty was reduced to a year in jail, 30 lashes and standing on the gallows for an hour with a rope around her neck.

Hannah left her son with her mother and step-father and took her daughter to New York, where she was banished from town for not having a residence permit. Other adventures involved witchcraft accusations.

She was hired by ex-British soldier, Edward Whittaker, to work at his tavern. Hannah's sharp tongue and Edward's temper were a bad mix. The were frequently in court, with Whittaker threatening to throw mother and daughter out into the cold.

Whittaker got Hannah pregnant and, once again the baby died. The court ordered Whittaker to take care of her or else. The couple married [legal or common law?] and had two sons.

Hannah had to be very charismatic, a real beauty or both to survive all of the trials and tribulations!

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