I found this tragic story in the Van Bunschoten book, which starts out sounding like an episode of Law and Order, but then goes medieval.
On April 20, 1682, Arendt Isaacs' wife died suddenly and not without suspicions of foul play. Her body was examined by the magistrates, constable and two doctors, and in conclusion — "Arendt Isaax, her husband, was ordered to place his hand upon his breast and call upon God Almighty to give a sign if he were guilty of his wife's death; which he did. But no change was visible."
I’m glad investigation techniques have improved since then.
The reason this was in the book was that Arendt and my 7th great grandfather later signed the following agreement:
Appeared before me Wm. Montagne, secretary at Kingston, Arendt Isaax who declares to have hired out his daughter named Gerritjie for the period of two current years from April next. During said time the aforesaid daughter is to properly and faithfully serve her master and mistress. Theunis Elesen is to provide her with proper board and clothing and at the expiration of the period furnish her with a presentable Sunday gown, four chimeses, two blue aprons, two white aprons, and one silver head-ornament, and is to send her to evening school during one winter. In testimony of the truth we have subscribed hereto this September 1, 1682, at Kingston.
These fragments do make one wonder what really happened and what the effect was on this small isolated town. I’m sure an author of historical fiction could turn this into an interesting story, but don’t forget about me when it becomes a bestseller!