I would imagine the rector greeting the pair at the church door, probably looking at Rebekha with a thoroughly uncomfortable, disparaging look and a hundred thousand vicious tuts. She would enter the church, trying not to pay attention to the scandal spread liberally by the local gossips. This day, she prayed for naught but the silence of her tiny daughter. Drawing her shawl, tightly around herself and the baby, she listened to the rector’s sermon, probably one that mentioned the sin of fallen women, Hell and damnation. At the end of the service, after liberally anointing the baby’s head, just to make sure, he’d write an entry into the parish records.

Rebekha made no sense of the words that Rector Grant scribed with his long quill pen. Had she been able to read, his words would indeed, have cut her to the core.


Bastard of William Griffith and Rebekha Esmond.

Rector Moses Grant. June 6th 1790.

Sadly, I’ll probably never find out who William Griffith was. Was he simply a feckless youth, one who kissed the girls and made them cry, one who took the easy way out and became lost in the sands of time. Or was there another reason for him being absent on the day of his daughter’s baptism? Lost at sea? Had he taken the King’s shilling and was now serving in scarlet? Taken before his time by an incurable illness or a Yankee musket ball. We’ll probably never know.

Baby Ann would be my great great great grandmother. She would marry a collier and spend the rest of her life in Nolton Haven.