The Conant Connection and the Salem Dream
Have you ever felt connected to some place or a certain time period but couldn’t explain why? Have you ever had vivid dreams about that place, or could smell it? Have you ever felt you lived in a place or time period and were sure of it? Have you ever felt out of sync, out-of-time or knew you knew a place without ever having been there?
I will start with the dream. I have had the same reoccurring dream for many, many years now. I’m not sure when it began but it crops up often and is always the same. I am standing in an early saltbox home, although I never ‘see’ the outside of the house I just know that it is a light brown in parts and dark brown in other areas. It isn’t a big home but small and cozy. My reoccurring dream is the same no matter how much I try to move around. I am always rooted in front of a low table or wooden counter space. The only think I see is the stained glass window that features yellow, golds and some browns and the pattern seems to be a wheat stalk or flower of muted colors. It’s the only bright distinguishing feature. I can tell I am wearing a dress but I never see the actual dress. If I move away from the window I always loose the dream. The smell of the house is a mixture of bread dough, not yet baked and a hearth fire that isn’t quite ready. I’m not sure what I am doing with my hands but I know they are busy. And, as I said I am not sure what I am wearing but I also sense that my hair is strawberry red/blonde mixed and it’s pulled back and covered in a cap of sorts. I can see this dream, feel this dream and I can even smell this dream. Once in a while, if I am out and about in the here and now, and I smell that certain scent it’ll take me back to the spot… to that time period. It’s as if I am home for only a few brief moments. The only other concrete thing is that from the beginning of this dream I knew I lived in Essex County, Massachusetts and was not located within a village but we weren’t far from Danvers and Salem, Massachusetts. I also knew and could sense it was early in colonial history, as though we were still under the British crown. Far from the years of the Revolution, and in fact, far from the years of the Salem Witch Trials.
So when it came time for me to research my family history I was expecting to find Massachusetts relatives but what I was not expecting to find was my 11th great grandfather was Roger Conant. Governor Roger Conant, founder of Salem. I knew I was connected to him. I knew it as easily as I know my own address right now. It was like a lightbulb for me. A connection so deep that I held my breath with each of my Massachusetts relatives within his line. I felt so much a part of this family. I felt at home. Massachusetts is a place I know I lived once before. It’s why I am an ardent ancestral digger. I have always felt deeply connected to the past but where it concerns the Salem area, I know I KNOW I have lived there once in a past life and my brain has allowed, or was able to save just one tiny scrape of my previous life.
This line means a lot to me and I have researched many of these folks and they led incredible lives. They were immigrants, farmers, distinguished men and women, and were pioneers of the America we know and love today.
Governor Roger Conant was born in April of 1592 in East Budleigh, Devon, England. He was an immigrant, arriving in Massachusetts where he settled what is now Salem. He married Sarah Horton and together they had my 10th great grandfather Lot Conant.
|Statue of Roger Conant, founder of Salem, Massachusetts, photo taken in 2004. Image provided by: Wikipedia)|
Lot Conant (1624 – 1674) married Elizabeth Mansfield (1629 – 1650). Together they had:
Roger Conant, Jr. (1668 – 1745) who married Mary Raiment/Raymond (1684 – 1783). Together they had:
Mehitable Conant (1715 – 1814) and she married Josiah Piper, Sr. (1708 – 1758). Together they had:
Josiah Piper, Jr. (1708 – 1758) who married Mary (surname unknown); together they had:
Mary “Polly” Piper (1769 – 1846) who married Walsingham Bosworth (best name EVER) (1777 – 1821), together they had:
Olive Bosworth (1801 – 1875) who married Samuel Willis Cowden (1786 – 1873), together they had:
Elizabeth Betsy Cowden (1816 – 1866) who married Charles M Scates (1810 – 1891) and together they had:
Charles Luther Scates (1844 – 1899) who married the widow, Alice Elizabeth James (nee Lampson); who together had:
Luther Bertcell Scates (1868 – 1940) who married Emma Catherine Pitzer (1869 – 1947) and together they had my great grandpa Charles Edward, who married Velma and who together had my lovely little granny Evelyn Velma.
The first six family members after Gov. Roger Conant were all Massachusetts born and/or died. It’s simply amazing that I’m connected to my dream through my family and through relatives I didn’t know existed but could only feel in spirit. I’ve often prided myself on not being religious but being spiritual and this only strengthens my resolve.