Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

Follow Friday – HSP’s Hidden Histories

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Hidden Histories blog is an entertaining blog authored by Daniel N. Rolph, PhD.

Highlighting the depth and scope of our varied and diverse collections that contain an abundance of undiscovered individuals and events of the past.

He writes about unusual, humorous and sometimes macabre historical customs, events and people that he has discovered and uncovered. Here is an excerpt from one of his recent posts, A Quaint Colonial Custom: “Ears Cut Off & Nailed To The Pillory”:

During the ‘Starving Time’ in the early Virginia Colony, a large needle or ‘bodkin’ was inserted through one’s tongue for the stealing of food, while ‘taking God’s name in vain,’ or the failure to attend Church, could literally lead to one’s death if repeated, and were considered to be ‘capital crimes’ worthy of the death sentence. One such antiquated custom for ‘petty crimes’ included the use of the pillory.

HSP’s Hidden Histories is an interesting blog that is worth checking out.

Ancestral Notes by Earline Hines Bradt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

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Filed under: Follow Friday, HSP's Hidden Histories

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