The year 1692 is an annus horribilis on the American timeline which has been engraved on the hearts of men, inscribed in the annals of history, is remembered with sadness, and continues to admonish humanity about the ease with which those deemed as “other” can be persecuted and made to suffer. Rebecka Nurse, née Towne (known to many as Rebecca Nurse from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and the author’s 11th maternal great grandmother) could claim Charlemagne, the Anglo-Saxon kings of England, and the noble family de Ferrers among her ancestors, but nothing could save her from the gallows which had been made of the Witches’ Tree in the ancient Wampanoag settlement called Naumkeag, now Salem. Her own second cousin, Roger Conant, had founded Salem after leaving Plymouth (Plimoth), which all at her trial knew. He, in turn, had fought with Myles Standish (a relative of both his and Rebecka’s) the governor of Plymouth and the author’s 9th maternal great grandfather. This turmoil, envy, and perhaps even boredom, intertwine like the gnarled branches of the ancient tree which gives this story its title.