Monday, October 30, 2006

CVGS Program today on Salem Witch Trials

We had our monthly Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting this morning at the CV Library. The highlights:

1) We thanked all of those who made the "Discover Your Family History" workshop on 14 October a success.

2) I was nominated to be President of CVGS for 2007-8. The elections are next month - so far, nobody else has been nominated.

3) The program was our own Bernice Heiter (a former President and current Librarian) with a narrative about the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. She described the conditions leading up to the trials, the trials themselves and the aftermath of the trials, including the finding that ergot fungus on rye may have caused the hallucinations and fits. Bernice had John Finch, our current President, play the part of John Hathorne, a judge at some of the trials. The trial transcripts for Rebecca Nurse (played by Wilma P) and George Jacobs Jr. (played by myself) were read, with Bernice making comments about the testimony of the other people in the trial, including the accusers.

You can find the transcripts for the trials at

All in all, this was a fun meeting, since it had a bit of drama. I got to meet my 9th great-grandmother, Rebecca Nurse, who was hanged in Salem in 1692 after she was found guilty.

Have you tried dramatic readings in your local society meetings? With a little preparation, they can be very effective.

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