My ancestry has, of course, many humble and hard-working folk, from farmers and tradespeople to ministers of the cloth. But it always seems more exciting to point to the historic notables, if they can be found.

Estey starts (so it seems) with the noble family of Este from Northern Italy, which ruled parts of Italy and Germany for a number of centuries. But, the branch which led to me, got into a fight with the Pope – an unwise thing to do at the best of times. For the sake of self-preservation, those Estes hoofed it to the safety of England, and ended up in some minor capacity at the court of the English monarch.

A more modern descendant of that branch had some sort of farming enterprise some distance from London. I have seen the occasional gravestone in country churchyards, taken there by a local historian. I stayed in very swank accommodations for a night, in an establishment that had been a Manor House for centuries. It is currently a grand hotel, visited by Royalty. I like to think that my ancestor/farmer sold produce to the place, following the same narrow road I took. It is now known as Hintlesham Hall.

It seems that some of the Estes at the English court (or, who knows, from the branch that farmed near  Hintlesham Hall), went to America. At any rate, Esteys were there in the very late 1600s, living in Salem Massachusetts. One of them, Mary Estey, got caught up in the infamous witch trials, and ended her days by being hanged on 22 September, 1692. This was the last execution of the Salem Witch Trials.

Nineteen years later, her husband received 20 pounds compensation for her death.

Some of their descendants moved (I think wisely) to Canada.