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]
Thanks for connecting me with this addenda. Your reasoning mirrors my own conclusions using the same sources that you cite with the original article. However, perhaps you can help with one point. With regard to the death of Elizabeth’s father, I concur that he likely died before July 1631 (date of Robert Bent’s death) since there is no mention of him in Robert’s will. You also mention that Jane (Bent) Plympton also died in 1631. She was alive at the time of her father Robert Bent’s death, so her death would be after July 1631. What is the source of your assertion that she died in 1631? I have yet to find any mention of her death. By the way, I’m one of those who loves nerdy research details! 🙂
Oops! I misread something in the addenda. At first reading I thought you stated that Jane (Bent) Plympton’s husband Robert died in 1631. But now I see that it says he died in 1637. Do you have a source for that? I have not found any death source for either Robert Plympton or Jane (Bent) Plympton
I’m taking a chance and believing the biographical notes on Find a Grave, UK and Ireland. Sometimes Find a Grave is not reliable, but this one reads as though it is researched and I know that there are church records extant from their church, although I have not looked for these particular ones. You can see what the bio says at https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=116559631&ref=acom
Thanks. I had already seen that Find A Grave post but was wary of it since not grave photo or transcript was included. Perhaps I will try contacting the manager of that particular profile to enquire about his/her sources.
I don’t have concrete proof for a year that Robert died. The assumption is that he died some time before Agnes and Agnes set sail for America with his two children. (The Ireland and UK Find a Grave bio asserts that Jane and Robert had 7 children, but presumably five died before the two Agneses left for America.
If Elizabeth was 17 years of age when she set sail, as your original post stated, then those other five unknown siblings may not necessarily have died before then. Perhaps they were older than Elizabeth and had married and set up their families in England. However, I do think that your suggestion that they probably died is more likely. Thanks for your responses. It’s always a pleasure to connect with a fellow researcher.
Very good idea. Let me know if you get an answer. By the way, have you searched for her in Family Search? I didn’t, as I recall, and they now seem to have more digitized documents than Ancestry has, so I get lucky from time to time.
Indeed–I treasure the contact–and besides, you’re a cousin. 9th, I believe, but still, a cousin.