According to Ancestry.com, English records show Watson’s distant relative was Joan Playle of Essex County, England, a 16th-century English woman convicted of witchcraft in 1592.
Details are sketchy — naturally — and Playle’s conviction remain a mystery. She was unmarried, which often led to witchcraft accusations. During the Elizabethan era, poor, homely, old, widowed single women were often declared to be witches.
But Playle was not executed and was instead excommunicated from the Church of England. She was one of only 270 known individuals accused of and tried for witchcraft in all of England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
Research also revealed Playle was convicted in the parish of Great Waltham in Essex County, a town approximately 50 miles northeast of London and about 100 miles from Oxfordshire, where Watson grew up.
Life is so strange sometimes, isn't it?
Keep reading to find out more ancestry.com scoop for Harry, Ron Belatrix and JK Rowling herself.
]]>Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) – Although Radcliffe isn’t related to princes or wizards, his family does hail from Ireland, which is magic enough in its own right. He descends from bakers and plumbers and grocers, respectable occupations the Dursleys would likely be proud to have in their family. Rupert Grint (Ronald Weasley) – Grint’s family was employed in a truly “Muggle” brand of “defense against the dark arts,” with two of his 2nd great-grandfathers and one of his 3rd great-grandfathers working in the Royal Small Arms Factory in London as a “barrel turner,” “sight filer” and “gun smith” respectively. Helena Bonham Carter (Belatrix Lestrange) – Bonham Carter is the cast’s true “half-blooded prince”, as she descends from a long line of nobility. Her great-grandfather Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith, served as Liberal Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 through 1916, and her 3rd great-grandfather Sir John Carter III received the honor of knighthood from His Majesty King George III. JK Rowling – Interestingly, the author’s own family tree lacks the charms and enchantments of her books. Her 2nd great-grandfather Henry John Holland worked for several years as a “car man.” And in 1841, her 4th great-grandfather John Robson was a “tea dealer.” Want to find out if you have any witches, wizards or nefarious folks lurking in your ancestry?
Go to ancestry.com