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Friday, October 28, 2005

Hallo-weenealogy

Halloween is a time to think of family—especially those family members classified (rightly or wrongly) as wicked, bloodthirsty, or inhuman.

Witch descendants are a dime a dozen here in New England. Two of my own ancestors—Mary Easty and Sarah Wilds—were tried and executed in Salem. See The Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive for transcribed and digitized documents from the trials. Witch Trial Ancestors & Families features genealogical data on the Salem witches, and on victims of other witchhunts.

Playwright David Drake claims descent from Dracula himself. See also Vlad the Impaler: A Brief History (which claims that the Dracula male lines were snuffed out long ago). The Bassaraba family is proud to call Vlad a cousin.

Those bearing the surname "Frankenstein" (according to Gene Wilder, "it's pronounced 'Fronkensteen'") carry a lot of extra baggage, thanks to Mary Shelley. Boothillcemetery.com has a Frankenstein family tree that includes several individuals who met untimely ends at the hands of the Creature. Family members commiserate at the Frankstein GenForum.

Finally, I must mention the unfortunate juxtaposition of surnames at the Fredericks/Krueger Family Web Site. Anyone who has seen A Nightmare on Elm Street will understand.

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