The Witches of Pendle

After researching the Hartley family, i was interested in the Witches of Pendle. The Hartley's, lived on a farm in Barley and came from the same area as the Pendle Witches, although at different times .I have not made a connection with any of the Hartley's and the Witch's but you, reader may be looking for some information for your own research.

The Witches of Pendle lived during the reigns of Elizabeth 1st and James 1st between 1558 and 1625. It was a time of fear and superstition among all classes of society.
Wells, ponds and groups of stones were thought to be a sign of fairies ,elves and goblins. Evil spirits were thought to lurk around the countryside waiting to cause injuries. Charms such as horse shoes were thought to be effective in keeping away bad spirits.

The only true account of what led the 'Witches' to be hanged at Lancaster is a book titled 'The Wonderful Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster'. It was written by Thomas Potts who was Clerk to the Judges of Lancaster .He wrote the book three months after their execution.

The witches came from two rival peasant families who lived on the slopes of Pendle Hill. They were led by two old women in their 80's called Elizabeth Southern nicknamed 'Demdike' and Anne Whittle nicknamed 'Chattox' Making a living by begging, they were feared by the local folks who thought they had special powers.

Nine 'Witches' are hanged in Lancaster on the 20th August 1612


  1. Hello there. I think I may be related to the Pendle Witches. My grandfather told me in 2004 that his great, great, great, great grandmother was one. His surname was Hartley-Smith. He was born in Yorkshire in 1923. I would really appreciate if you know anything that could tell me about this as I am very interested in learning more about my ancestry. If you need more information, I will see what I can tell you and hopefully we can both learn more about the Pendle Witches ^_^

  2. Hi Charlene,

    Thanks for your comments,you could well be related to the Pendle Witches.In fact we could be related as my Great Grandfather was a Hartley. You need to start by tracing your Grandfathers line starting with your Grandfather.

  3. Thankyou so much for getting back to me. I didn't think I would get a reply! I have no idea how to trace my grandfather's ancestry. Sadly he died a few years ago and he has no living relatives that could tell me anything. If you could point me in the right direction and/or recommend some sites that could help me that would be so wonderful ^_^

  4. You start your family tree with your self ,then either your Father or your Mother, depending on who is the child of your Grandfather.
    I can look for records of your Grandfather.
    What do you know about your Grandfather? You said he was born in Yorkshire in 1923,do you know where? What was his full name, what was his wife called ,when did they get married? When and where did he die. What was his occupation .Send what you know and i will help you

  5. I started a tree but I didn't get very far with it! My grandfather was Terrence Hartley-Smith. I think he was born in 1923. Not sure where in Yorkshire, although Leeds may be a possibility. My grandmother, his wife, was Margaret Geary I think I recall her saying one time many years ago. And I think they got married in the '50s. My grandfather worked for Wormwood Scrubs in the 70's. After that I am not sure, as I think he retired early due to angina. He died in on April 24th 2009. That's all I know I am afraid. I hope this helps. Thankyou so, so much for your help ^_^

  6. This record is from England and Wales Marriage Index
    Terrence Hartley Smith Geary

    marriage September 1959

    Ealing Middlesex

  7. The next step would be to order a copy of this marriage record. This is the record September 1959

    Hartley Smith Terrance


    Ealing Volume 5c Page406

  8. Thankyou for what you have told me so far. The information so far seems correct. Is it necessary to have his marriage certificate in order to trace his ancestry? It seems irrelevant to me.

  9. No,you do not have to get the Marriage certificate but it would give you some information. The fathers of the bride and groom would be listed. At the moment it is hard to move forward without any other information. You need to know his place of birth. Talk to you relatives some one may know this

  10. I see. I will see what I can find out for you. Thankyou ^_^


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Free BMD Records Northern Ireland