ON Who do you think you are?, Sunday evening, Shazam! Star Zachary Levi was shocked to learn that his paternal great-grandmother, Elizabeth Clawson, was accused of being a witch in the year 1692, the same year as the Salem witch trials.
“This is the year of the Salem witch trials. There’s the outbreak in Salem. There’s just one more witchcraft outbreak, and it’s here. So this is a dangerous time for your family,” Ann said. Little, a history professor at Colorado State University.
While Clawson lived in Fairfield, Connecticut, not Salem, Massachusetts, Levi’s ancestor was still on trial, where she would potentially be executed if found guilty. At the time, during witch trials, women accused of witchcraft were dodged – hand and foot tied and put in water – to determine whether the suspect was a witch or not. It was believed that “a pure and kind-hearted Christian would sink,” so when she floated, they thought she was a witch.
“Finding out that my 10-time great-grandmother was essentially accused of being a witch is just mind-blowing and also, like, worrying, sad and surreal. It’s always hard to try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, but 1692, my 10-time great-grandmother she is thrown into this pond, with her hands and feet tied together. She knows the gravity of the situation. She understands what happens to someone who is accused and condemned to be a witch. I mean, this is death. she was scared, angry and confused. I can imagine being in this place, being surrounded by a group of people who you thought were your friends, “shared a heartbroken Levi, as she stood by the pond she slipped into inside.
However, after delving further into her story, Little and Levi uncovered a petition, written by Clawson’s husband, Stephen Clawson, and signed by 76 people defending Clawson from witchcraft allegations.
“The community, in supporting Elizabeth Clawson, was taking a risk out of fear of being guilty of association to defend an accused witch,” Little explained. “And Stephen certainly was taking a risk in soliciting his wife’s support. We have seen in both England and New England where husbands are accused of witchcraft when they try to defend their wives from witchcraft charges. So he did something that it’s very unusual and very brave. ” This was a relief to Levi, who, before knowing his paternal lineage, had learned that all the men on his maternal side had been violent and alcoholic. Fortunately, Levi got better news when he learned that Elizabeth Clawson was eventually found not guilty.
Eventually, Levi shared his journey: “You learn so much about who you are by learning about your family, your past, because that is you. You are a product of that long lineage. It is very uplifting to have an example of a man. of my lineage, my 10 times great grandfather, who had that kind of courage and love as his wife, and was, you know, essentially willing to die, if that’s what came. and I’m grateful to know that he lives inside of me in my DNA. And then to feel, in the end, that Elizabeth Clawson was not convicted and released, is very nice. “
Who do you think you are? airs on Sundays at 19:00 NBC.
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