Hello, I'm Faelyn

female. married. green party. pagan. closet hippie. retail management. cancer. family oriented. mother of three kitties. web designer. college graduate. geocacher. 

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"We have a witch in the family..."

John Selee Cemetery where Thankful is burried

Of what she practiced, I am not sure, but... thanks to my mother who did all of the research... we found a connection to witchcraft in my family. Her name was Thankful (Selee) Buck and she lived in Easton, Bristol, Massachusetts. It also appears her brother Nathan Selee also had some connection to magic as well - due to the goings on at his Saw Mill.

William L. Chaffin, History of the Town of Easton Massachusetts (Cambridge: John Wilson & Son University Press 1886), 974.485/E1 H2c.: " Thankful (Selee) Buck was reputed a witch, though there is no tradition of her having done anything especially wicked. She is said to have performed her incantations at midnight with her daughters, one of whom inherited her name and reputation, by pouring water from one pan into another. Loads of hay were sometimes stopped in front of her house, and could not move until she gave the signal, when a black cat was seen to come out from under the hay and glide away. She once sent her husband to some distance to get a certain kind of wool she particularly desired. He failed to procure it, and on his return found it impossible to enter his own door; nor could he do so until he had returned and procured the desired wool. A neighbor was said to have caught a black cat doing some mischief, and to have given her a severe beating on the head; the next day it was observed that Thankful Buck had lost an eye. Why she did not use her magic power to save her eye is a question only a carping skeptic will ask."

Also found on the website of "History of the Town of Easton Massachusetts Online"

"Poquanticut seems to have been the favorite locality for the operation of the " black art." What is now called clairvoyance, and all that is akin to it, was at that time supposed to betoken the possession of familiar spirits from the nether regions. A century ago Nathan Selee, an able and worthy man, was supposed to possess something of this mysterious power, in which belief he himself devoutly shared. Allusion has already been made to the belief that Satan came at night to run his saw-mill. He was thought to be ambitious to delve in the dangerous mysteries of supernatural things. Mr. Selee was a clairvoyant, and many stories are current of what he saw and foretold. He was in Stimson Williams's house on one occasion, and knowing his gifts in that direction, one of Mr. Williams's daughters asked him to tell her fortune, but he declined ; and after leaving the house, he said to a man who came out with him that if she could see what the next week would bring her, she would not have asked to have her fortune told. She died the next week. The story is still believed also, that, having sought long for a certain book on magic which he thought would perfect him in the art, the door of his shop opened one day and a stranger handed him the book and vanished. Directly upon the departure of this strange visitant a wild storm began to rage ; the winds howled, the lightnings flashed, the thunders roared, and destruction seemed to impend. Mr. Selee took the book and all other books of the kind that he possessed, and threw them into the fire; and then going to the door and looking out he saw the sun shining, and everything beautiful and peaceful. This deter- mined him to have no more to do with the dangerous subject."

While these are second hand stories, I'd like to think there is some connection to the realm of magic in my family - and the stories are told and interpreted by those who chose to fear something they do not truly understand.