Interesting things can be discovered when you have your DNA tested in order to find out who your ancestors were. Amanda Gilbert, from Southern California, got quite a surprise when she became a customer of the GeneTree website. It turned out that she is a descendant of not one, but two, of the important figures who were involved in the Salem Witch Trials.
GeneTree.com uses a special combination of top-quality genetic testing along with a genetic counseling service to provide information to it's customers about who their ancestors are. They are assisted by a parent company called Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, which is non-profit. Genetic testing has become a new way to discover your roots. Genealogists can use this kind of service to discover more about their family tree, as new relatives are revealed through the similarities in the DNA of the both the ancestor and the genealogist.
The Salem Witch Trials are among the darkest events in American history. Starting in 1692, a series of trials were held in the Massachusetts counties of Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex. The most well known trials took place in the town of Salem. Many people had been accused of practicing witchcraft, which was a felony at that time. Trials were held, and people who had been accused of this crime were tortured and killed. More information about the Salem Witch Trials can be easily found online. Today, we understand that these events occurred due to a combination of superstition, jealousy, and potentially a bizarre form of food poisoning that induced delusions.
Amanda Gilbert learned that she is a descendent of two of the people who were involved in the Salem Witch Trials. She is the tenth great granddaughter, (through Amanda's mother's line), of an ancestor named Rebecca Nurse. Rebecca was 71 years old when she was convicted of the crime of witchcraft, and was among four people who were hung at Gallows Hill outside of Salem. Amanda Gilbert is also the eight great granddaughter of John Hale, (through Amanda's father's line). John Hale was a reverend who initially was in favor of the witch hunts, but who later strongly denounced these tragic events.