But the interesting thing about Sewall is that he issued a public apology a few years later. He wasn't the first to suggest that it had been a mistake and that innocent people were hanged (and squashed!), but he was the only one of those involved who took the blame for his role in the tragedy and didn't try to excuse himself by blaming others or circumstances. In fact, Francis portrays a sincere and honest man who - although he certainly had a fair-sized ego - tried to do what he thought was honest and just, both before man and God. And it's an interesting piece of history.
As for the possibility of finding one of my ancestors, it was about 1719 after Sewall's beloved Hannah had died. The Puritans didn't like loose ends and they expected widowers and widows to remarry. So, Sewall found himself courting the widow Winthrop when:
"... something odd happened. Into the room walked Obadiah Ayers, chaplain of Castle William... Ayers hung his hat upon the hook for all the world as if he lived there, while Swewall watched, 'a little startled.'" (pg 334)