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Gertrud Stuell (Latsch)

Birthplace: Alchen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Death: 1590 (43-45)
Hilchenbach, Arnsberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Immediate Family:

Wife of Hans Stuell, Sr.
Mother of Hans Stuell, Jr.

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Gertrud Stuell


Gertrud Stuell was born in 1534 (uncertain) in Alchen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.

Gertrud married Hans Stuell, Sr. in 1569 in Westfalen, Germany.

Together they had Hans Stuell, Jr..

Per Elke Hall, Hans Stuell "asked for relief on 20 Jan. 1591, so Gertrud must have died between Oct. 13, 1590 and Jan. 20 1591 while still in prison in Siegen".

  • In 1586, Gertrud, wife of Hans Stuell, was accused of bewitching her neighbors' livestock.
  • She was tried as a witch.
  • Court proceedings began in October 1588 in Germany, and lasted two years.
  • Over 200 pages of testimony were accumulated.
  • Based on historic court documents, Trud was accused of burning and burying her neighbors’ farm animals.
  • The court case featured five witnesses testifying against Trud and two other accused women.
  • It is said that Trud was burned at the stake in 1590 but she may actually have died in prison in Siegen due to the torture or starvation.
  • Court records suggest "the cattle had foam on their necks. One cow lost her hooves and the pigs had breathed like a bellows."

Gertrud was a featured ancestor on the PBS series "Finding Your Roots" in 2016

"Today, what we call hoof and mouth disease is commonly recognized as a highly contagious disease that infects animals like cattle and pigs, but when Neil’s 12th great grandmother stood trial in the 16th century, illnesses like it wiped out livestock for reasons that no one understood. For all we know, Gertrud may have been killing sick animals to prevent an epidemic from spreading — only to be blamed for practicing witchcraft," Gates explained.


According to an online article by Gwynn Guilford, "By the mid-1590s, the territory {the tiny settlement of St Maximin, in present-day Germany,} had burned 500 people as witches..." and "Between 1400 to 1782, when Switzerland tried and executed Europe’s last supposed witch, between 40,000 and 60,000 people were put to death for witchcraft, according to historical consensus. The epicenter of the witch hunts was Europe’s German-speaking heartland, an area that makes up Germany, Switzerland, and northeastern France."


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Gertrud Stuell's Timeline

Alchen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Klafeld, Westfalen, Germany
Age 45
Hilchenbach, Arnsberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany