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.

Bent Brothers Building the Old West

Bent’s Fort tells the story of brothers William and Charles Bent, two kety figures in the buiding of the American West in the early 19th century.  They carry on the dramatic and tragic story of the Bents in Colorado and New Mexico.

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3 thoughts on “The Bent Family From England to America

  1. Sheryl Anstead

    I just finished reading your writings on the Bent Family. I truly appreciate the information you have shared. How Im related – Im Sheryl Anstead daughter of Francis Conrath-son of Edith Irvine-daughter of Lorena Coyle-daughter of Alice Bent-daughter of Charles Henry Wheelwright Bent-son of Ebenezer Bent-son of Ensign Experience Bent-son of John Bent-son of Joseph Bent-son of Experience Bent-son of Joseph Bent-son of John Bent who was the son of Robert and Agnes Bent. My eleventh great grand-parents!!. I have seven children and to date four grandchildren. I cant wait to share this information with them. But i must tell you that my father was very close to his grandmother Lorena and her mother Alice Bent (known as MA)!! He is 84 yrs old and will love hearing these stories about his family. Both Lorena and her mother Alice died on the now 6th generation family peach nectarine cherries plums apples prunes and kiwi farm. My son remodeled and now lives in the 104 yr. old- two story ranch house; which is located in Gridley, Butte County California. Thank you again. Sincerely Sheryl Anstead

    1. Vera Marie BadertscherVera Marie Badertscher Post author

      This is very exciting. I’m sending you an email to explain more, but I am thrilled that the information I found on the fascinating Bent family has reached some descendants of that family.

      Your poor great-grandfather Joseph Bent (1641), shot by his brother, was father to your next great-grandfather, Experience, who I also mention because of a bequest from the wealthy father of Joseph’s wife.

      So John Bent (1596) is our most recent common ancestor. That John Bent is my 8th great-grandfather. I think that makes us 9th cousins 2x removed. Not enough to show up on DNA results, but fun to know, anyhow. I added your line to my tree, and always welcome opportunities to bring these old lines into the present.

  2. Wendy Ashworth

    Hello, I have been researching the Bent family for about 20 years. Joseph Bent, as noted in your comments, dying at an early age, was my 8th great grandfather. I have the Bent Family History book as well as Planters and Pioneers of Nova Scotia.
    My Bent line backwards to Joseph is:
    William Andrew Bent – my father 1930-1999
    Francis Bent – gramma 1910-1983
    Archibald Bent – ggrandpa 1881-1959
    Sylvester – 2x great grandpa 1855-1939
    Abraham – 3x 1824-1903
    Ebenezer – 4x 1783-1845
    Samuel – 5x 1739-1821
    Ebenezer – 6x 1712-1786
    Joseph – 7x 1667-1728
    Joseph – 8x 1641-1675

    I visited Nova Scotia cemeteries last summer and have been able to photograph a lot of the Bent, Wade, Gesner and many others
    ? I would love to know if anyone visiting your site, or yourself has done their DNA to make further connections.


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