The Greenslits

   The descendants of Witch Ann webpage

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Ann Pudeator

Ann Greenslit was a Salem Witch, hanged on September 22nd 1692. Thomas Greenslit was her first husband and they had five children. After Thomas' death, she married Jacob Pudeator and took his name. Jacob died in 1682, leaving Ann well off. Some have theorized that her likely occupation as a Nurse and Midwife along with her being a woman of property, made her vulnerable to charges of Witchcraft. We may never know though.

Some of you probably didn't know that there is place named after us. Greenslit Hill is in Morton, Minnesota. It got its name because John and Mary Greenslit's farm was at the foot of the hill. Here is a picture I took in 2005 looking up the hill. The hill is found by going to the park in Morton and heading North East of its Northern corner.   See the Map

Below is a picture taken from the top of Greenslit Hill in 1900. The Greenslit farm is in the foreground:

Once at the above site, click on the "TOUR" button.

Battle of Birch Coulee, September 2, 1862

I suppose it's normal for the Greenslits to try and place some ancestor aboard the Mayflower. As far as I know it hasn't happened yet. So we have the Battle of Birch Coulee occurring in 1862, and Stephen A. Greenslit not setting foot in Birch Coulee township until 1868. Perhaps that says something about the survival instincts of the Greenslits, with an exception made for Ann of course.

There is Manora Loomis, Stephen's wife. On, "Oct. 5, 1856, he was married to Manora E. Loomis, of Brookfield, Vermont, who had come to Reedsburg the year previous, to keep house for her brothers." - History of Renville County. This would seem to place Manora's parents not in the Sioux Uprising of 1862.

There is also Mary Ethel Morse. Her father, Lewis E. Morse was likely in Massachusetts and engaged in carpentry work during 1862. Though at the time of uprising he held land in Minnesota. His wife was Elizabeth Adams of Massachusetts. Again, it doesn't seem we have a direct ancestor involved.

I would appreciate any help you might give me on this subject.

"Walk a self-guided trail through recreated prairie and read about the battle from the perspectives of Joseph Anderson, a captain in the U.S. Army, and Wamditanka (Big Eagle), a Mdewakanton soldier. Sketches from soldier Albert Colgrave provide vivid battle details. Guide posts help pinpoint where the U.S. soldiers were camped and the positions the Dakota took while surrounding the U.S. soldiers."

Click here for a link on how to get to the Birch Coulee Battefield.

My Father and I volunteer at this park in Minnetrista, Minnesota. You might recoginize the similarties between this page and the park's webpage. The park has a memorial to my neice, Jamie Lee Greenslit. 


“Birch Cooley was located in Section 4 of Birch Cooley Township on the land of Louis La Croix heirs. The village was surveyed by David Watson in 1866. It was one of the first in the county, if not the first. It was named for its surroundings. Birch was for all the birch or canoe trees in the area. Couley of Coulee comes from the French, meaning “the bed of a stream even if dry, when deep and having inclined sides”. Birch Couley had several homes, a small store and a blacksmith shop. George H. Cullock was the first postmaster. There are very few recorded accounts of this village. Unfortunatly, this early village burned in 1871, who knows what would have become of this town.”

-From Old Villages of Renville County, published by the Renville County Historical Society.

My comments: Named for birch the tree or Birch the man? To the right, the claim is made that it was named for the man. My impression of area is that birches are out of place there now. I think the soil is incredibly rich on average, and it is hot in SouthWestern Minnesota. I think of birch trees growing up North where it is cooler and the soil less suited for farming. Still, softwoods do grow there. Cottonwood County is nearby, and though I think the settlers found grasslands, I am not sure about that, and Birch Coulee Township is partly in the Minnesota River Valley, which effects its climate. All this is speculation by me, and I would welcome your insights and knowledge. 

There's a lot on this web site about the Greenslits. But that only tells half the story. There are also those who were brave enough to marry a Greenslit.

This painting is one of my most prized possessions. It is Belle River Township in Douglas County, Minnesota. Some of this city boy's best childhood memories are from the 'farm'. Of Grandma reading to six grandchildren every night, the cats, going to an elevator or hardware store with Grandpa, playing Kings in the corner, the Farmall tractor, the Lake Le Homme Dieu beach, hauling oats to the grainery, the Douglas County Fair, and of course my three cousins.

Thanks Mom   Painting by Ellen Eilers

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Irv, Mont, John, Vern, Ken, Lloyd, Glenn, and Bert Greenslit

If you are using the Mozilla Firefox Browser and some of these pages seem jumbled, boot up Internet Explorer and use that to view It appears Mozilla and Go Daddy, my website provider, don't spend a lot of time making sure their products integrate with each other. I use both browsers, Firefox is faster, just a little rough around the edges.

I'm David Greenslit of Mound, Minnesota. I hope to make a page that will be of interest to the descendants of Witch Ann. I wonder if all Greenslits descend from Ann? Lee Greenslit as you can see on my page five, surmised that there was a name change in the late 1600s. If this is true, it's a rather rare situation, one unique name.

Have a look at The Greenslit Blog on page three. It is also found at: 

New to these pages is my: Flickr slideshow

This is one of the best things I have found on the web about Ann:

Sited in the article at the link is Carol Karlsen, author of, "The Devil in the Shape of a Woman."

If you have a Greenslit webpage, please send me an email directing me to your page. Include the icon you want me to use to link to your page.

John Greenslit (1767-1856) is my direct ancestor. When you click on the photo, you will see the Birch Coulee line goes back to Vermont and Connecticut. When at the page, remember the image expansion trick, wave the mouse in the lower right corner until the box appears. Much thanks is owed to the Wisconsin Society, Sons of the American Revolution for the link.

The marker reads: "Private John Greenslit is the only known Revolutionary War soldier buried in Sauk County. He enlisted in the Connecticut State Troop Sep 01, 1782 at the age of 15, serving one year under Captain Benjamin Durkee...." - more from Kathy Waddell

The above image is from:

Coulee - A deep gulch or ravine with sloping sides, often dry in summer. I don't know that I've seen a lot of Birches in Birch Coulee as it in South Western Minnesota, not that far from Walnut Grove.

How many different ways are there to spell Greenslit? Greenslitt, Greenslade, Greenslet, and Greenslett are some of the ones I have come across. Do you have any to add?

What does Greenslit mean? Some of us have asked ourselves that over the years. My favorite definition involves "Slade".  From Slade - A little dell or valley; a flat piece of low, moist ground. GreenSlade - Green Valley. Quite a pleasant name, don't you think?

Some of the pictures on these pages can be made larger by moving the mouse over the image and that will bring up this symbol which can be clicked to expand the image to full size.

A map from 1895. Expand it once it loads.

An aerial view of some of the Greenslit farmland in Birch Coulee. Use it with the old plat above, switching forth and back between the two.

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"Birch Coulee & Beaver Townships have been saved for the end of this article, because they were the first townships in the county, and many key things happened here. Birch Coulee Township was where the first settlers pitched their tents, and here the great work of taming the wilds, and opening untrodden paths began. It was named naturally by the name "Cooley." Like Tennyson's brook, "Men may come and go," but the Cooley goes on forever. It is true that the name "Birch" was attached to "Cooley" in honor of an early settler by that name, who lived close to the Cooley, and who had longer whiskers than any of his neighbors. In the beginning, no matter where you located in the area of what is now Renville County, you were considered a resident of Birch Coulee. It was organized April 2, 1867."

- From the Plat Book of Renville County. Circa 1943. Reprinted by: The Renville County Historical Society, Morton, MN

Have a look at a new project of mine: The Mound Westonka Blog on page 4.

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