m. 7 Apr 1629 Windsor, Berkshire, England
Facts and Events
Who Was Bridget?
William Varney’s wife’s name was Bridget, as indicated in the Probate Record for his estate. Three identities for Bridget have been suggested:
The identification of Bridget as the widow of James Parsons has been disproven. Her identification as the daughter of Walter Knight has been challenged and lacks any credible support or documentation. Her identification as Bridge Deverell, while a possibility, should be treated with some caution.
Bridget as Bridget Knight - Not Credible
Bridget’s identification as Bridget Knight was provided by Tingley in a family history published in 1935.  Tingley claimed that Bridget was born about 1611, the daughter of Walter Knight, and that she and William Varney married 4 May 1629 in Salem, Massachusetts. Tingley cited no sources nor provided any evidence for his identification or other statements.
Tingley’s identification of Bridget was questioned by Torrey but not refuted. More recently, it has been challenged by Barber and Delory. They argue that Bridget, based on her statements of her age, was too old to be the daughter of Walter Knight, based on his statements of his age. Further, that Bridget’s own statement of her age is consistent with the range of her childbearing years; and that her known childbearing years are not consistent with the birth date given by Tingley. Similarly, The Great Migration Project has been unable to identify the name of Walter Knight's wife, nor any evidence that he even had children.
Another problem is where and when Bridget and William Varney met and married. Walter Knight was living in Massachusetts before Bridget married and, if Bridget was his daughter, it is likely that Bridget was also living in Massachusetts before her marriage. However, there is no record of William Varney in Massachusetts or elsewhere in New England prior to 1649.
Without documentation, then, the identification of Bridget as Bridget Knight is inconsistent with documentation that is available for Walter Knight, William Varney, and Bridget wife of William Varney. In fact, it is questionable that any such person as Bridget Knight even existed.
Bridget as Bridget Parsons - Disproven
Torrey identifies Bridget as Bridget Parsons, a possible widow, with undertain birth dates. Bridget’s identification as Bridget Parsons is presumably based on her will, which mentions, along with her children by William Varney, her “son” Jeffrey Parsons.
Many Varney family histories have also followed that assumption to state that William and Bridget were married in Barbados, where Jeffrey Parsons stated that he moved at an early age. This would resolve the problem of how and where Bridget and William Varney met and married. However, the assumption that Bridget is the mother of Jeffrey Parsons or directly connected to him has been disproven by Willis Parsons. There is no documentation or other evidence, then, to support the identification of Bridget as Bridget Parsons. (See Bridget Deverell for further discussion of her will.)
Without Bridget’s connection to Jeffrey Parsons, there is also no reason to suppose that William and Bridget were married in Barbados. Nor are there any records in Barbados to suggest that either William or Bridget were ever there, although early records for Barbados are patchy. (All available early baptisms and marriages for Barbados have been extracted for the International Genealogical Index where they can be searched.)
Bridget as Bridget Deverell -Tentative
Barber and Delorey have suggested that Bridget “is probably” the Bridget Deverell who married a William Varney on 7 April 1629 in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, Berkshire, England. They were able to find a baptismal record for Bridget that is consistent with her age as reported by herself and as estimated from her child bearing years. And the marriage date is surprisingly close to that initially suggested by Tingley.
Allthough further documentation would be desirable, the identification of Bridget as Bridget Deverell presently seems the most plausible identification for the wife of William Varney.