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The Bent Family From England to America

The Bent family of my 7th great-grandmother, Martha Bent (Howe) handed me a boxful of interesting stories.  I have been pursuing Martha’s family for a few weeks now. To help you read about Martha’s father John Bent (the pioneer) and his family and descendants, here is an index of those articles, starting with the oldest member of the Bent family–Martha’s grandmother Agnes Gosling Bent. Just click on a title to read

Great-great-great-great, etc.

Tragedy at Sea  talks  about the ill-fated voyage in 1639 of Agnes Gosling Bent (9th great- grandmother and her daughter Agnes Bent Barnes Blanchard (9th great-aunt). Other members of the extended Bent family mentioned are Richard Barnes, Elizabeth Plympton, Thomas Plympton, Robert Bent and Richard Barnes Sr.  (the latter two died before the trip) and Thomas Blanchard. Surprise sources were a footnote in a town history and the summary of a trial (that took place 13 years later) in a book of passenger lists.

John Bent Sr., Father of the Bent Family in America relates the story of this man born during the reign of Elizabeth in Penton-Grafton, Hampshire, England who founded the Bent family that spread across North America. One of the founders of Sudbury, John Bent, my 8th great-grandfather was a good friend of John Howe, another 8th great-grandfather and father-in-law of my 7th great-grandmother, Martha Howe Bent.

The 8th Great-Uncles

John Bent, Jr., Tithingman of Framingham, born in 1636, traveled with his family to America when he was only two-year-old. John Bent Jr. grew up to be a solid citizen and respected leader in Massachusetts. He was Martha’s older brother.

Peter Bent, Of Indian Attacks and Fatal Accidents. Peter Bent’s father named him for his friend Peter Noyes, who organized the group from Penton-Grafton to travel to America. Peter was an important pioneer in his own right, having arrived from England when he was eleven years old.  He seems to have been a successful business man, perhaps a trader, as he made more than one trip back to England. He joined other young men who left Sudbury and founded Marlborough. His family endured a violent Indian attack that injured a young son and killed an apprentice, he accidentally killed his younger brother Joe, and Peter died overseas.

The Short Life of Joseph Bent Poor Joseph Bent, the first of John and Martha Bent’s children to be born in Sudbury, Massachusetts, followed his older brother in the move to Marlborough and established his farm there. Joseph served as constable in Marlborough, but by 1672 , when his father died, he had moved back to Sudbury. He and his wife had five children, but he came to an untimely end at the age of 34.

I did not write about the oldest son Robert Bent, because his life was cut short at twenty-three years old, so there is very little information about him.  The second son, William Bent, leaves even fewer tracks. The Bent family history says he “probably died early.”

My 7X Great- Grandmother

Martha Bent, American Born was the youngest of John and Martha Bent’s children seven children. (Some sources claim they had ten children, but I have only been able to document seven.) She was born in Sudbury in 1643. In the small town of Sudbury, the marriage pool was limited. Martha married a member of one of the leading families, Samuel How(e) and they had seven children, including my ancestor David Howe the proprietor of the Howe Tavern which is known as Longfellow’s Wayside Inn.

Who Was Elizabeth?

This is an addenda to the story of the Two Agnes Bents that follows.  Skip this and go to the story if you are not into nerdy research details!

Many sources say that Agnes Bent (Barnes) Blanchard sailed for America in 1639 with TWO children, Richard Barnes and Elizabeth.  However I believe these reports are mistaken, and the Elizabeth in question is the daughter of Agnes’ deceased sister, Jane Bent Plympton.

Jane Bent Plympton had five children. She died in 1631 and left at least two living children: Elizabeth and Thomas. Her husband died in 1637.

I believe that it would be logical for the widow Agnes Bent Barnes to take in these two children when their father died, if not earlier.

Only one Elizabeth appears on passenger lists, and that is Elizabeth Plympton.  Although some assume that Agnes Bent Barnes had a child named Elizabeth who was married before sailing, that is impossible.

Agnes Bent married Richard Barnes in 1630 and it is probable he died within a year after the wedding.  Their son Richard was born in 1631.

Jane’s daughter Elizabeth and son Thomas are mentioned in her father’s will in 1631. Agnes Bent Barnes’ son Richard Barnes is mentioned, but no daughter Elizabeth. According to later testimony, the will of Agnes Gosling Bent, the elder Agnes left 5 pounds to Elizabeth Plympton, 20 pounds to Richard Barnes 5 pounds to Thomas Plympton, but no mention of another Elizabeth.

Court testimony refers to the girl on board the Jonathan as the “niece of Agnes Bent Barnes Blanchard.

Therefore, I conclude that Agnes Bent Barnes took in her sisters’ orphaned children, Thomas and Elizabeth Pynchon and after she married  her second husband,Thomas Blanchard, they took them with the rest of the family on the ship Jonathan, sailing for America.

[THE STORY OF TWO AGNES BENTs FOLLOWS]

 

 

4th Birthday

GROWING TREES

January, 2015, I published a chart of how many direct ancestors one can have–total 8,191 through 12 generations. Back then,  I had discovered 133 of my direct ancestors.

In April, 2017, a year and a quarter later, I have entered in my pedigree tree a total of –drum roll–206 direct ancestors in 12 generations.  In this chart, copied from my page at Ancestry.com, you can see the many ancestors in my first 5 generations for whom I do not have photos. I have dropped me (first generation) and my family off the left side, so you see my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great grandparents. The arrows on the right point to more information about earlier generations. A light gray box means no more information.

pedigree tree

Vera Marie Badertscher pedigree famly tree from Ancestry.com April 2017

How many of these people have I written about at Ancestors in Aprons?

I will admit that when you get past this chart,there are plenty of lines that I have not even begun to trace. Although I try to stay focused on direct ancestors, sometimes a grandmother or grandfather (however many x removed) has such interesting brothers and sisters that I simply must tell their stories.  The Bent family I have been talking about recently are a good example of good stories lying to either side of my direct ancestors.

However, the pedigree chart is a good tool to get me back on track. Many of those names to the right of this have the Ancestry “shaking leaves” which mean there’s some information to be had (maybe). So have no worries that I will be idle in the coming year(s).

I hate admitting lack of progress, but just like last year, my father’s paternal line (Kaser) still refuses to budge beyond his great-grandfather, and my mother’s father’s paternal line (Anderson) halts at HER great-grandfather. I have been able to trace the females of the Anderson lines farther than the males, but I surely would like to trace my own maiden name and my mother’s.

Posts

In our first 3 years, we published 347 posts and a total of 90 recipes.  In the last year, we have added 91 posts (a slightly slower pace) and 28 additional recipes or food articles.

Your Favorites

True to form, How to Make Perfect Pie Crust stands at the top of the Most Read posts this year once again. You had “corny tastes” in older recipes you liked–corn pone, polenta, hominy grits, Indian pudding. But let’s take a look at what posts between  April 2016 and this April (2017) were your favorites.

The new food articles and recipes that caught your eye:

Welsh Skillet Cakes

Oliebolen, the Dutch Donut Holes explained by Jane Eppinga

Colonial Election Cake (Did anyone actually MAKE that cake, or, like me, did you just marvel at the quanitities?)

Grandma Vera’s Lemon Sponge Pie

Buttermilk Biscuits

The ancestor stories you liked:

Jesse's letter form Palmyra

Jesse’s signature on letter August 1847

You discovered the story of my adventurous great-great grandfather, Jesse Morgan last year through his letters to his wife as he wandered the midwest selling horses.  Six of those stories made it into the top 50 posts of the year. Why Chautauqua?, Letter Home, Charles Morgan in the Civil War, Wooster, Doc Woods, a Character in Jesse’s Story and Horse TraderI encourage you to find the Jesse Morgan series through the search box, because if I put too many links here, the Google gods will get mad at me.

The very most popular ancestor story was the slide show story about Jedidiah Brink’s home.

Next came an “insider” article called Why Genealogical Resarch is Never Done.

Besides Jesse, you liked my heirloom articles about the Propelling Pencil , and the Oldest Heirloom and Christmas Gift Books.

I tried something new this year, called Slice of My Life. Stories from my own life. Good reactions encourage me to continue.  You particularly liked Special Christmas Gift about my visit to the White House at Christmas time, and Home Sewn about my hobby sewing.

Onward

I don’t anticipate any great changes in the way we do business around here in the next year, so hope to see you back many times between now and April 2018.  Meanwhile, thanks so much for reading, supporting me with your comments and tips and encouragement.

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3rd Year Birthday