Intriguing Ancestor Stories


Poor Mary Bliss. She blew herself up in the kitchen. It says she died from “shock & 2nd degree burns due to explosion of gas range oven”. I can’t imagine how this all went down, but mary blissit had to be pretty awful. This woman is my kids cousin. She comes down the Wardwell line, & is related to Scott Foley. I can say this about a living celebrity because he went on a TV show which revealed his connection to the Wardwells. He didn’t know about this cousin from the show though, I told him once I came across it. If this ever happened to me, I would not be offended if it particularly caught my descendants eye & led to some dialogue. It is a terrible way to go, but life was rough in the early 1900s, kitchen work was dangerous with the intro of gas ranges.


Samuel Wardwell – Hung in the Salem Witch Trials, along with his dog. Simple google search can tell you what led to the accusation in the first place. The part that intrigued me was that he was initially claiming to be innocent, but upon finding out his wife had tried to cast a hex on a woman, he took the rap & offered himself up so that she could live. He said that he believed it was his fault that drove his wife to such a thing. His wife was Sarah Hooper and you can find her full confession on Find A Grave, but my favorite part is right here (phrasing credited to the Judge Higginson):

She afflicted none butt Martha Sprauge last night — being asked how She did it Said that Marthr Spraue was ameans of taking up her husband & because he was gone from home & she much Vext at it & thereupon Suddenly Catcht up her child in her armes & wished Sprauge might be afflicted a little…”

Apparently, Sarah feared that Marthr (probably Martha) had a hankerin towards her husband. And she only wanted to afflict her a little, as a warning. And it cost her husband his life. And the life of their dog. Somehow the dog was accused of being part of the witchcraft that Samuel was initially accused of.


My 6th Great Grandfather, John Miller was a big war hero. He was with George Washington at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorkstown, an event that closed the Revolution. They have a big ol monument in Kentucky where they ultimately settled in. Several of his sons were also Revolutionary War heroes which is why they have a monument.  Interestingly enough, at the same time, just across the river in Gloucester, some of my British Empire Loyalists ancestors resided. Apparently after Grandpa Miller was done with them they had nowhere to go but freezing cold Canada. And so they went. Little did they know they’d all be part of my existence. Cornwallis’s sword was handed over to the Americans as the British and Hessian troops marched out to surrender, while the British band played the song “The World Turned Upside Down.”


Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean Baker)

She is my 6th cousin, well verified through DNA of living relatives. What is there to say about Marilyn? Is there anything NOT interesting? She ended up with her own page here.