google-site-verification: googlecfaaf308aaa534f1.html
top of page
  • Writer's pictureMj Pettengill

Paying Homage

For many years, my work has focused on cultural narrative and traditions, ancestral healing, intergenerational trauma integration, and social welfare development. All of this has come about through my work experience in living history events, research, writing, and personal genealogical exploration. These practices have offered much insight into who we are and who we are not as individuals and in society.

I cannot go into it all here and now in what I hope to be a simple post, but I plan to release many works in addition to the "Etched in Granite Historical Fiction Series." I have completed years of studies and writing both on my own and during my time at Vermont College. It is ongoing.

Topics will include my exploration into my family's past and how it is vital to be aware of our ancestors, not only to pay homage but to release any traces of trauma and profoundly adverse events passed through the generations.

I have researched and written about mother/daughter healing; trauma in the womb; and my 12th Great Grandmother's transatlantic voyage from England to Salem, MA in 1621; and my comprehensive academic study of my direct ancestors who were persecutors in the Salem Witch Trials.

Until we know about our past, we cannot take action to clear what came before us that we may be unwittingly acting from and passing along to our descendants.


When I discovered the 298, the resistance was profound. It was that response that illuminated the need for my work to continue.

It is vital to emphasize that uncovering and exploring our history is never about judgment. It is always about acknowledgment. THIS IS WHY THE MONUMENT IS SO IMPORTANT. When I saw this site for the first time, I had no idea who these people were. From now on, that will not be a question.

I was acutely aware of fear and shame surrounding the subject of the paupers buried in anonymous graves. The first burials took place almost 150 years ago. The narrative begins in 1872. It is impossible and unethical to hold people accountable for what we can only imagine from the fragments pieced together. We weren't there. It's not about that.

However, we can take the time to examine what we do know, have discovered, and continue to unearth. We can look at how and what worked and any negative impacts that affected our people (yes, our people) and make necessary adjustments in our time.

No matter which side of the fence we are on, it is possible to make the conscious decision to hold a space for those who came before us, whether victim or perpetrator, to comprehend what we need to know to correct and heal. Otherwise, we continue to operate from badly-tended, ignored, or forgotten wounds and perpetuate roles of victims and perpetrators because we are afraid to look back.

Mj Pettengill, Author

Etched in Granite

Historical Fiction Series: Book One

The Angels' Lament: Book Two

Book Three Coming Soon

You can find me here: … ……/show/37755694-the-angels-lament … ……/show/14205058.M_J_Pettengill … (Image: MaxPixel)


bottom of page