Judith Varleth is our 8th Great Aunt (sister to our 8th Great Grandmother, Jannetje Varleth, and an interesting story.
Judith Varlet (Varleth) was accused and evidently convicted of
witchcraft in Hartford CT about 30 years before the beginning of the
Salem Witch Trials. She had a powerful friend at court(who, despite his many contentions and intrigues, commanded the attention of the Connecticut authorities), in the person of her brother-in-law Peter Stuyvesant, then bearing the title and office of "Captain General and Commander-in-Chief of Amsterdam In New Netherland,now called New York, and the Dutch West India Islands." It was doubtless due to his intercession in a letter of October 13, 1662, that she was released. Judith later married nephew to Peter Stuyvesant, Nicholas Bayard.
letter in Documents Relative to the History of New York, vol. 14, p.
518 (on CDROM); also Cotton Mather, "An Essay For the Recording of
Illustrious Providences" in which he writes:
"And then the Discourse passed into a Dutch-tone (a Dutch Family then
lived in the Town) and therein an account was given of some afflictions
that had befallen divers; amongst others, what had befallen a Woman that
lived next Neighbour to the Dutch Family, whose Arms had been strangely
pinched in the night, declaring by whom and for what cause that course
had been taken with her. The Reverend Mr. Stone (then Teacher of the
Church in Hartford) being by, when the Discourse hapned, declared, that
he thought it impossible for one not familiarly acquainted with the
Dutch (which Ann Cole had not in the least been) should so exactly
imitate the Dutch-tone in the pronunciation of English."
But what the Reverend Mr. Stone had not understood was the
extraordinary facility that young children have for acquiring languages.
Consciously or not, the girl had been mimicking the sound of her
neighbors' voices. See also: Drake, Frederick C. "Witchcraft in the
American Colonies, 1647-62" American Quarterly Vol. 20 (1968):694-725;
Levermore, Charles H. "Witchcraft in Connecticut" New Englander 44