Family histories?

StaceySue2U

Do a lot of you have very strong psychic/spiritual family histories? I have a feeling many of us must. If so I would LOVE to hear about everybody's family histories. I know times are changing and those of us who are older have had a lot different experiences, memories and stories than the younger ones might have. It would be nice to preserve this.

I've known for a long time that, on my dad's side, I'm directly descended from the original owner of the famous haunted Billups house. Our genealogical research confirms it. My uncle told me a few days ago that it was our ancestor that actually murdered the woman who haunts it. My uncle says he worked for the king's navy and he caught her spying. My uncle is slightly "crazy" but I've learned to never discount anything the "crazy" relatives say :)

My grandmother on the Billups side is psychic and did lots of readings and healings and things for people until she married my step grandfather. She won't do it now because of his religion.

My mother's family were backwoods Arkansas Ozark hillbillies and were very much into all of the "superstitions" that everybody likes to make fun of. My "grandmother" (who I think was actually my great grandmother. She raised my mother as her daughter but I suspect my mother was her granddaughter) was an herb doctor. She gave birth to all of her children in a dirt floor shack and they did not have access to medical care. They raised or hunted most of their own food. She was one of the ladies people went to for herbal/home remedies. She was extremely religious and so against anything "witchy" that she would get violently angry if anybody did anything like that around her. Funny thing is - her name was Veve. When people used to ask her mother why she named her "Veve," she would giggle and say "oooooh - it's French." A Veve is a voodoo/hoodoo floor design for working magic. The aunts and uncles - both my mother's "siblings" and their spouses - did such things as table readings (when you put your hands on a solid wood table and ask it questions and the feet knock on the floor to answer you). My mother got to be a part of it only when my grandmother wasn't around. She says the scariest thing she ever experienced in her entire life was when she came back from a visit with the table-reading relatives and she was telling another family member how they did it. She was just a little girl and she was making fun of them while telling the story and put her hands on the table mimicking them and shouting "knock, table. Knock, table! (or was it "lift, table?" or maybe "speak table?"), anyway she swears all four legs of the table actually lifted off of the floor. She became so afraid of the table that she never would go near it again and her relatives had to take it out of their dining room and keep it in the pantry.

Edited to Add: my grandmother's mother (the one who named her "Veve") was so afraid of cats that, even when she was a half blind old lady in a rocking chair, she would run screaming from a cat if she saw one. She said a cat killed one of her babies. Hillbillies have a lot of cat superstitions.

I remember all the warnings I used to get when I was a little girl and I would say certain things. My mother would warn me "Stacey, that sounds witchy. You can't say things like that around other people. People who could see/do/know these things in the past were accused of witchcraft and killed or run off. History repeats itself. It happened then and it will happen again." Then she started bringing us to a Baptist church that was very much against everything - we couldn't listen to Rock & Roll or buy Proctor and Gamble products (because Proctor and Gamble had a deal with the devil, they said), or wear v-neck shirts. Even if it was a very shallow V, it pointed downward so it wasn't allowed. My parents finally stopped going there when they were forbidden from listening to John Denver, because of his song "Rocky Mountain High."

My hillbilly grandmother is long gone now and I can't ask her any questions. I've been researching things to the best of my ability and I know that the people who lived in that region during that time were outcasts. Many were triracial. My grandmother said we had "a touch of black" in us and she was so adamantly against blacks and whites marrying because "the children suffer." They were the victims of terrible racial prejudice during those times, I'm sure, and I imagine that was why they were so poor. They also had some Indian in them which didn't help either. I know a lot of the hillbillies were descendants of slave owners and slaves who escaped to the area during the civil war and my genealogy verifies that my ancestors who moved there were slave owners from Virginia. The census shows they did have some blacks living with them in Arkansas. I imagine once they escaped together they lived in poverty together and intermarried, and they had both black and Indian slaves. I'm just wondering where the Ozark "witchcraft" and "superstitions" came from. The fear of being "burned at the stake" must have also come from somewhere. It makes me wonder if that was one of the areas people who being persecuted escaped to during the witch hunts.

If anybody has any family history stories it would be wonderful to share them while we still have the information. These stories get lost so easily.

Oh - just wanted to add that my hillbilly grandfather was the highest degree of mason that there is and my dad is also a very high level mason.

I also would like to encourage people to thoroughly research your histories if you are at all inclined. A lot of these things are just not mentioned and so many of us have histories we don't even know about. I really had no clue how much of this was in our past until I started talking to a lot of my older relatives and doing my genealogy.
 

StaceySue2U

I also want to say that a lot of the things that we take offense to are very important parts of our history and they must be embraced and investigated.

People get quite upset about the stereotypical "witch" and will defend against it, but there is some truth to all myths and stereotypes and when we throw them away in defense, we're throwing away our history. We should not throw the baby out with the bath water. The only reason these things are considered offensive is because closed-minded men who were afraid made them offensive. I do not believe in doing what closed-minded fearful men tell me to do.

There is a difference between the modern definition of "witch" (which, now often means "Wiccan") and the old definition of "witch". These old definitions came about long before the Wiccan religion ever came about in the early 20th century. The questions I have are about the stereotypical "witches," not about Wiccans.

There are so many questions that I would love to see answered. Why did all the witches in the children's stories have long black hair and big noses? Why were witches said to live in the woods?

If you go back and read the black and indian slave narratives and oral histories from the civil war there are some clues. Indian women who did not go to reservation,s but chose to stay in the area where they came from, lived in the woods. In the histories/narratives they are often referred to as "Old Indian Witches." Jewish women were very often referred to as witches. These women came from cultures that had deep spiritual roots and people from puritanical religions were/are deathly afraid of anything spiritual and label/ed those things witchcraft.

I am aware of many of the theories about the Salem witches, including the ergot theory etc. etc. My theory is that many women before the witch hunts were much more open about their spirituality and walked with the Holy Spirit. They read the cards and practiced other methods of divination (divine nation) and did spiritual healing and were powerful forces in their communities. They were far from evil. They walked with God. Organized religion and medicine persecuted them. Evil men did not like the power they had and were so afraid of them that they drove them away and killed them.

It is a fact and not a theory that after the witch hunts families hid any proof that they had any ancestors who had any powers/abilities. All of these things were then disdained and made fun of in every possible way. Everything was thrown out and it is so hard to get the information back but I think our grandmothers passed information down to us anyway, in subtle ways. We just have to really toggle our memories to remember things they said.
 

The Universe Knows

Your tapestry is very interesting. Thank you for sharing this.

I suspect you are correct--that most folks have some gift(s)--at least of varying levels. In our "enlightened" age, we squash them or they can't get through the modern static. And yet...science continues to try and either prove or disprove its existence, and the military, at one known time, tried to corral and use mental energy as a weapon.

The gift I have was first witnessed by my (adoptive) grandmother who very calmly said, "You have a gift." I didn't know what that meant. I was little. But something said I needed to keep it to myself. So, for years I did. And for the most part, still do.

I've recently opened up to my (adoptive) niece about this part of my life. She confided she thinks she has a "touch" of something but it isn't very strong. She suspects her teen daughter has a "touch" of something, too. We're waiting to see how that unfolds.

I don't have the richness of your family history--I think a lot people don't recognize "it" for what it is, or flat-out are leery to discuss it and even explore it.

Good thread. Can't wait to read how families either embraced it or ignored it.
 

StaceySue2U

Your tapestry is very interesting. Thank you for sharing this.

I suspect you are correct--that most folks have some gift(s)--at least of varying levels. In our "enlightened" age, we squash them or they can't get through the modern static. And yet...science continues to try and either prove or disprove its existence, and the military, at one known time, tried to corral and use mental energy as a weapon.

The gift I have I first witnessed by my (adoptive) grandmother who very calmly said, "You have a gift." I didn't know what that meant. I was little. But something said I needed to keep it to myself. So, for years I did. And for the most part, still do.

I've recently opened up to my (adoptive) niece about this part of my life. She confided she thinks she has a "touch" of something but it isn't very strong. She suspects her teen daughter has a "touch" of something, too. We're waiting to see how that unfolds.

I don't have the richness of your family history--I think a lot people don't recognize "it" for what it is, or flat-out are leery to discuss it and even explore it.

Good thread. Can't wait to read how families either embraced it or ignored it.

Is your adoptive grandmother still alive? Is there any way for you to find out what she knows of gifts and where she got her knowledge? I believe spiritual gifts are passed on to adopted children, as well. In fact I know a whole lot of adopted children who grew up to look exactly like their adoptive parents. We become one when we enter families together.
 

The Universe Knows

No, my adoptive grandmother is dead. We never spoke of it, or gifts, again, and I never had the feeling she had a gift nor did I see signs of it. She wouldn't have talked about it, anyway, I don't think, if she believed she had one. Still, it was strange what she said to me and that I'd remember it as young as I was.

I walked down a hallway once to hear a family member say, "She's not like the rest of us...." They had no idea how much I wasn't. lol
 

StaceySue2U

No, my adoptive grandmother is dead. We never spoke of it, or gifts, again, and I never had the feeling she had a gift nor did I see signs of it. She wouldn't have talked about it, anyway, I don't think, if she believed she had one. Still, it was strange what she said to me and that I'd remember it as young as I was.

I walked down a hallway once to hear a family member say, "She's not like the rest of us...." They had no idea how much I wasn't. lol

I'd like to hear more about how your childhood gifts unfolded :)
 

celticnoodle

Interesting thread, StaceySue2U. I've enjoyed reading the posts. I also came from a family with generations of psychic abilities. That said, they also hid it from the community at large, in fear of being prosecuted--not only by law but also by their Church. However, my mother, aunts and grandmother did practice their skills and my siblings and cousins and I were all exposed to it to some degree, as we grew up.

My husband's side of the family is much more interesting then my own, IMO. :D His paternal 2nd great grandmother was a Cherokee Indian, who was a healer and apparently from family lore, the healing ran in her line of ancestors. This grandmother was a young child when forced to march with her family in the Cherokee Trail to a reservation, but she escaped with others into the woods and never ended up on the reservation. However, some of the family did of course.

The above grandmother did marry a white man and its interesting in the subsequent census records that she is listed as "Indian", "Native American", "Melungeon" and finally in the later census', simply as "White".

My hubby has another paternal ancestor who was reported as a witch during the Salem Witch Trial days. However, she was quite wealthy, and so rather then be put to death, she bought the judges off and she only had to spend some time in jail--and then was released. Most interestingly of all, this woman's son married the daughter of the woman who first accused her and reported her as a witch, and it is from this pair that my husband descends from. :D There was a book written on this, and yes, when I found out about the book, I did buy a copy of it--but I can't recall the name of the book now and I have it packed away with the genealogy records I have.

His own mother, maternal grandmother and great grandmother and his sister, all have some abilities--but his mother never developed hers nor accepted it. Was terrified of it and wouldn't even talk about anything to do with it. His maternal gm dreamed of the death of her brother in exact detail, when she was a small child--and it came to be. It distressed her so much that she stopped after that and did her best to not pay any attention to anything she received intuitively. Her mother was well known in their area as a psychic for many, many years and gave readings to all who came asking for them.

My husbands mother knew of my and my families psychic abilities since before we married. She accepted us, but just didn't want to hear the stories and would warn me about getting involved in it. However, now that she deceased, she comes to me often and she encourages me! :laugh: Her daughter and I always have a good laugh over that. In fact, she will come to me and ask me why I don't have the psychic-medium groups that I use to be involved in anymore, and how come I don't start it up again. :) Maybe, one day I will--it is a dream of mine to do so.

In my own family, as far as I know, it only runs on my maternal side. My father was a very staunch Catholic raised in a very strict Catholic and Protestant atmosphere. His dad was from a long line of Protestants who agreed to let his children be raised as Catholics when he married my Catholic grandmother, who was an orphan in her early teens. But granddad always kept his Protestant ways about him, I think. My dad refused to "allow" my mother to continue on with it when they first married, (though as he was in the Navy & gone a lot--she did while he was away, anyway). That was the 1940s and 50s, when women allowed their husbands to have control over what they did. :rolleyes:

My husband was much like his mother and doesn't quite believe in all this "hocus pocus stuff" (as he calls it). He is an engineer and he thinks and lives like an engineer. So, to just not have to listen to all the crap from him in the beginning, I never kept my cards or anything out in plain sight and practiced and developed my abilities quietly. He knew I had friends who did this and he liked them, just didn't understand where we were coming from with our beliefs and sort of chuckled about us doing this sort of stuff. However, finally after being together for so long, he's finally starting to come around and he's not anywhere near as judgemental as he was in the start. He still doesn't quite believe, but he's at the point to where he keeps a bunch of my business cards with him, and when he hears people at work or where ever talking about their interest in this--he'll share with them that "my wife...." and give them a business card of mine. So, incredible strides in the acceptance department there! :D

When I began to do the family genealogy, I was tracing my maternal gf side back in Ireland, and found a census listing an ancestor's occupation as "the one with the sight". :laugh: I copied it of course and kept it and even made extra copies for the family members. Some who laughed and really appreciated it and some who didn't think it was funny or anything we should advertise at all! So, still many closed minded people in my family group.

However, some of my favorite times as a child and even as an adult is when we could get my mother and her sisters to reminisce about the times when they or a close family member predicted things and it came to be--and other things that were shared about their divination practices. I have many of these stories in my genealogy notes, in hopes my granddaughters will enjoy them and pass them along to future generations, because this IS our family history. Its as much to be proud of as it is that our ancestor fought in the American Revolution right beside George Washington! Or that another great grandfather was at the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War, and of course the "witch in the family during the Salem Witch Trials" and the other gm who marched in the Cherokee Trail. So, the stories are all written down, not to be forgotten--unless they choose to ignore it and/or destroy that part of the history. Our daughter and her husband like to hear my story of where I was when Martin Luther King was killed and also our memories of the First Man on the Moon memories. The 'witches' in the family are just as important and in my opinion even more so--so why not listen to them and pass them on?

My daughter is very gifted as well--probably more so then I am, and my oldest granddaughter began to also show signs of strong psychic-medium abilities as a toddler. My son in laws maternal side is also a long line of psychic mediums and he, himself is one, but is terrified of it all and refuses to allow it in "HIS HOUSE". No talking about it-though every now and again, he shares experiences with me and of course our daughter. Sometimes to ask my opinion and for my help. So, maybe one day, he will be more open to it and perhaps their children will be encouraged to do so too.
 

rachelcat

Wonderful, wonderful stories! It’s amazing that the stories have come down to you at all, though. My story is very brief in comparison, but I thought it might add to the list of so many much that’s not passed down because of fear or prejudice.

When I was a kid, I heard the story a few times that my father “had his warts witched.” He worked for his brother, the owner of a lumber company, and often carried cinder blocks without gloves, thereby banging up his knuckles, which then got warts and really bled a lot when they got banged up in turn. All I heard was the witch rubbed a raw chicken wing on his knuckles and then buried it outside. As the chicken wing decomposed, the warts did too, and they really went away and he never had warts again.

Two years ago (about 50 years after I heard the story), my aunt, wife of the employer brother, passed away at 105 years old. As various remembrances and stories were told by my mother, I found out that Aunt Helen was the witch! I never would have guessed in a million years! They (aunt and uncle) were very devout Presbyterians, very active in their church, and I’m sure they never wanted ANYONE to know that she ever “witched” anything! No-one in Aunt Helen’s family would ever have breathed a word of it, I’m sure, no matter how much reminiscing they did!

So I have a lot of questions about all of this, but my mom doesn’t know. Did Aunt Helen do other witchy things for other people, or was this just a lark, or a desperate measure? But if so, why was it SHE who did it? We assume that she was working in the Pennsylvania German hex tradition, but how did she know it? Was it passed down to her, or did she read it in a book? I saw similar remedies, but not the exact one, in Long Lost Friend, a book of healing spells translated from German and published in the US in 1820. http://www.sacred-texts.com/ame/pow/pow000.htm

But I would never ask my cousins any of these questions. I’m afraid they would be terribly offended that anyone knows about their mother’s/ grandmother’s secret. Or they might not know anything about it at all . . . I just think it’s interesting to see how easily history and tradition can fade away if people simply want it to.
 

SunsetKay

We're an odd blend. On my mother's side, the history that I've been told is that we came originally from somewhere in the Middle East. The last name that we pass down bears this much out. It's connected to a religious group that I was able to find. Supposedly, we ran/were chased from there because we worshiped creation, but especially the sun/fire (hence my real first name which means "first beam of light", and my ggma's which means "blood of fire"). But this is the part that I don't believe because a cursory examination of the religion indicated it's monotheistic. The next step in the journey is unclear. I was told that from there, the group headed to India, but I can't verify this. Then next we somehow wound up in indentured servitude in the Caribbean. Enter the African/Haitian, German and French into the bloodline. I have been told that the female ancestor that did the mingling was a bit scandalous. She was shunned for "defiling" herself with someone outside the community. As a kick in the teeth to them, she gave her children the "group" name as a last name. Whoever she was, I really like her. :) I have my suspicions from the research that I've managed to do.

Next stop on the map - Louisiana, first by way of New Orleans and then northern Louisiana. We added new blood there - more black, more French, but Acadian this time, and Native American. In northern Louisiana, we were a bunch of backwoods, bayou people. Pretty stereotypical. Our women were the ones you saw if you were sick, or your husband was stepping out on you, or your crops were struggling. We earned extra money that way. A great aunt also ran out of town ahead of a lynch mob because her dawn devotions were witnessed and misconstrued by the local Baptists... Or at least that's one version of the story. Another version says she was run out of town because she was witnessed performing a fertility ritual during daylight hours that might have been better performed at night. Lol. That's the version that I believe.

Those that worked went north to my current spot on the map, Pennsylvania, and mingled with others. I think maybe like really does call to like. We got more new blood and a stronger reputation for being "weird". My great grandmother (not the one I always talk about) was Pennsylvania Dutch, black and native and her thing was "seeing" spirits. Growing up, she terrified me because what she did was taboo to "us". She'd be talking to you just as normal as the day is long and then she'd turn around and talk to someone that only she and her children could see. I never doubted their sanity because things moved in that house. That's a whole other story. Lol. She had a thousand and one uses for eggs. I wish I knew even half of them, but again, she scared me. Lol.

That's our history in a nutshell. Stories are another matter and some of them are a hoot. :)
 

SunsetKay

I just realized how completely and utterly identifiable that post makes me. Lol.