Sarah Barnes

Birth and Death
Birth 1649
Death AFT 18 NOV 1700 probably Haddam, CT
Marriage 29 MAR 1666 Farmington CT
Spouse John Scovell ABT 1635 England ABT 18 NOV 1700 CT
Children Benjamin Scovell ABT 1677 CT 13 AUG 1729 CT
Mehitabel Scovell 1667
John Scovill ABT 1669 26 JAN 1726 CT
Eleazer Scovell 1670
William Scovill ABT 1671 10 NOV 1712
Edward Scovell ABT 1675 CT 21 APR 1703 CT
Notes [JScovell descendants Helen Edwards.FTW]
Reference: "A Survey of the Scovils or Scovills in England and America; Seven Hundred Years of History and Genealogy," by Homer Worthington Brainard, 1915, pg 133.
Reference: "Thomas Barnes of Hartford, Connecticut & 1,766 Descendants 1615-1994", by Frederic Wayne Barnes and Edna Cleo (Bauer) Barnes, p 13.


  • [JScovell descendants Helen Edwards.FTW]
    Reference: "Thomas Barnes of Hartford, Connecticut + 1,766 Descendants, 1615-1994", by Frederic Wayne Barnes and Edna Cleo (Bauer) Barnes, p 13.
    "Sarah & John moved to Waterbury, New Haven, CT in 1678; it is believed they moved to Branford, New Haven, Ct, thence to Haddam, Middlesex, CT."
    Reference: "A Survey of the Scovils or Scovills in England and America; Seven Hundred Years of History and Genealogy," by Homer Worthington Brainard, 1915, p 133.
    Reference: e-mail from Nancy Legerski to Roger Scovil May 10 2008 concerning Mary Barnes, the mother of Sarah Barnes:
    Mary Barnes
    Descents of the early settlers of Freeborn, the Scoville family, can claim ancestry to one of our early colonial witches, Mary Barnes. As we know, many men and women of the American colonies were falsely accused of witchcraft and either imprisoned or put to death. The zeal for hunting out witches was carried out mainly in the Puritan congregations that settled in either the colonies of Connecticut or Massachusetts.
    The following excerpt is taken from the Griswold Family Bulletin, sent to me by a Scoville ancestor, the late Joy Miner and a member of the Daughters of American Revolution.
    January 6, 1662/3 Mary Barnes, of Farmington, Connecticut, wife of Thomas Barnes and mother of daughter, Sarah, and two sons, Benjamin and Joseph, was indicted and put on trial in the Particular Court. Although she pleaded not guilty the jury returned a verdict of guilty, and she too, along with Rebecca and Nathaniel Greensmith of the same village, were imprisoned to wait trial. No bill of particulars appears in connection with the case against Mary Barnes, but the charge of witchcraft alone was enough to frighten most people out of their sense, and since even the accused frequently believed in the existence of witches, they sometimes would confess to things that we find most implausible.
    The Particular Court did not reconvene for three weeks and the record does not show what disposition was made of the prisoners. However, on March 5 states:
    Dan Garet is allowed for keeping Goodwife Barnes three weeks 21 shillings, besides his fees, with Goodman Barnes is to see discharged.
    It is certain that Mary Barnes died shortly after her trial either by execution or illness brought on by the arrest and strain of the ordeal. Due to the charges made for keeping her the three weeks, however, as stated by the Court record, it is most likely she was executed. The usual place for the gallows was near an extension of the northwesterly road our of Hartford, now known as Albany Avenue, and a mile from the center of town, alongside the Cow Pasture. This setting afforded an excellent view of the execution to a large crowd on the meadow to the west, a hanging then being a popular spectacle and entertainment.
    Several theories are possible for the accusation. Excerpts from the book, Thomas Barnes by Frederick Barnes, suggests that in 1654 a group of eight whose reputations were no good were out on the grounds of the State Capitol, with a bottle in the sack, and dancing around a tree. This provoked a scandal. Soon several young girls were possessed by the power of Satan, and of course, these culprits were the ones afflicting the girls. Luckily, all eight left the colony.
    But fear of widespread witchcraft swept like wildfire through the parishes. Several years later, Anne, daughter of John Cole, began to have ecstatic experiences. She named Andrew Sanford, Rebecca and her husband Nathaniel Greensmith, along with Mary Barnes as being possessed by Satan. So far in the Connecticut Colony the witchcraft delusion had visited itself upon victims who had not belonged to established and prominent families; but now it demanded a victim from one of the long established ones, the Barnes Family. Marys indictment reads; Yf any man or woman be a witch (that is) hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit, that one shall be put to death.
    Orville Gilmore, my uncle, writes that he brought a book on legal executions in New England from a book sale. The author mentions our own relative, Mary Barnes. Orv writes; The author isnt interested at all in the fact that Sarah, Marys daughter, married John Scoville ten generations before my time or that our grandchildren are only twelve removed from a certified witch. He continues on watching a Public TV program called A Burning Question that ascribed the witch persecutions in Europe in the middle ages, to among other things, professional jealously among medical professions. Many of those accused and burned were Wise Women, Midwives, Healers, the program said, who understood herbs and natural cures better than the Doctors.
    Did Mary have nervous spells, hysteria, epilepsy, and/or other ailments that were proof that she sold herself to the Devil or was she a Healer trying helping the sick. We will never know.
    And to all the ancestors of Mary Barnes, because of your heritage, you can now become an official member of the Associated Daughters of American Colonial Witches, established to preserve the names of all those falsely accused of witchcraft in the Colonies.
    Nancy Legerski,
    Daughter of Abbie Gilmore Stoddart
    Granddaughter of Otis and Gertrude (Miller) Gilmore
    And great granddaughter of a Abbie Louisa Scoville Miller