The dustbunnies have had the run of the place far too long, so Two Bubbles is undergoing a long overdue makeover. Hence, the posts on the Gatchells' journey from Weymouth to Massachusetts and their lives there will sink from view into Older Posts, so if you've a mind to read them again, a synopsis with links to all of them is about halfway down the righthand column under "On the 8th day, God created Marblehead".
In carpentry, it means "not level or plumb"; applied to people, it means "not normal"... "off the wall"...even a little crazy. It only follows that a daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of carpenters would consider ancestors who braved an ocean to start life anew in a strange land, or left civilization to tame the wilderness, to be "a couple of bubbles off".
So you've been warned. This writer carries the genes of people who thought wayyyy outside the miter box and embarked on endeavors more timid souls would reject in favor of the familiar and conventional.
Sailing into the unknown...
On the 8th day, God created Marblehead
(Or so every tale about Marblehead is said to be prefaced...)
Fifteen years after the Mayflower landed and 140 years before the United States was even thought of, my earliest known ancestors, the GATCHELLs, settled on Marblehead Neck, a spit of land across from Marblehead proper.
Most history books gloss over (or ignore altogether) the next 50 or 60 years of American history, a time the Gatchells lived among Puritans on Marblehead and in Salem. In 1692 the Salem Witch Trials would touch two generations of this family.
The second time was when daughter-in-law Elizabeth "Gettchill" (my ancestress and wife of Jeremiah) attested to the good character of Mary Bradbury, accused but thankfully found innocent.
All this notoriety was apparently too much for Jeremiah, who left Elizabeth in Massachusetts and moved to Philadelphia. Their son Elisha followed his father to Pennsylvania, married a Quakeress, converted to Quakerism, and became rather notorious himself as a respected elected official.
Marblehead from the air
A claim disputed - click on graphic to read story, then use your browser's back button to return here.