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]