Facts and Events
||25 Feb 1598/9
||Hurley, Berkshire, England
||7 Apr 1629
||Windsor, Berkshire, Englandto William Varney
||28 Mar 1654
||Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, United Statesgranted administration of husband's estate
||Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
||Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
||10 Nov 1671
||Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts, United StatesWill written
||25 Oct 1672
||Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
||27 Nov 1672
||Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts, United StatesWill proved
Birth and Parents
Bridget’s maiden name of KNIGHT seems to have originated with Tingley,S2 who gives no sources for his statements. Barber and DeloreyS1 have challenged Tingley's identification and have suggested that Bridget's maiden name was DEVERELL. (See William Varney and Bridget Deverell for an extended discussion of Bridget's maiden name.)
Marriages and Will
In her will, Bridget names both Humphrey Varney and Jeffrey Parsons as her sons, along with her daughter Rachel Vinson, wife of William Vinson (whom she calls son-in-law), and her son Thomas Varney. A reasonable assumption, made by many, is that she had been married to the father of Jeffrey Parsons before her marriage to William Varney. (See, for example Collacott, Ancestors and Descendants of Zephaniah and Silence Alden Hathaway, Torrey’s Marriage Index.) The problem is that Bridget was not the mother of Jeffrey Parsons, nor the widow of his father, as adequately demonstrated by Willis Parsons.
If Bridget was not the mother of Jeffrey Parsons why did she refer to him as “son” in her will? A number of suggestions have been made, including the possibility that the money Jeffrey was to pay to Humphrey Varney was money owed to Bridget herself.S1 The most likely explanation, however, probably lies in the complicated relationships of the people involved, and the differing use of kinship terms at that time.
As the husband of Bridget’s daughter, William Vinson was her son-in-law, as Bridget states in her will. Jeffrey Parsons was the son-in-law of William Vinson. Using today’s kinship terminology, that would make Jeffrey a step grandson-in-law to Bridget (as one possible statement of their relationship). But in the 1600s people more often used the term “in-law” to include what we call “step” relationships, and the term “grandson-in-law-in-law” is more than a little awkward. Most likely Bridget reverted to the simpler term "son", particularly given that Jeffrey was of an age to be her son rather than her grandson. Or as Willis Parsons noted, “Faced with the dilemma of what to call a step-grandson-in-law for whom she probably felt affection, Bridget evidently settled for 'son.'" That such reversions occurred in the face of complicated relationships is supported by William Vinson’s will, in which he referred to a step-grandson as “grandson”.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Barber, Kathleen Canney, and Janet Ireland Delorey. William Varney of Ipswich and Gloucester, Massachusetts. The American Genealogist. (Jul 2006), Secondary quality.
Bridget Deverell was baptized at Hurley, Berkshire, England, 25 Feb. 1598/9. "This is consistent with the deposition of Bridet Varney in November 1671 when she was described as the 'widow Varnie aged about seventy one yeares'."
Barber and Delorey Source for Bridget's birth: Hurley General Register, D/P 72/11, Berkshire Record Office
(The same information may be available in the Parish Registers of Hurley (Berkshire), 1560-1969 FHL Film #0088293)
- Tingley, Raymon Meyers. Some ancestral lines: being a record of some of the ancestors of Guilford Solon Tingley and his wife Martha Pamelia Meyers. (Rutland, Vermont: Tuttle Publishing Co., 1935), p. 189, Questionable quality.
Bridget Knight, dau. of Walter Knight and Elizabeth ___, b. 1611, Eng.
Tingley does not give sources
- ↑ Essex, Massachusetts, United States. Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Secondary quality.
Ipswich, 28 Mar 1654
Administration on the estate of William Varney, who died intestate, was granted to his widow, Bridgett Varney. He left three sons and one daughter.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Babson, John J. History of the town of Gloucester, Cape Ann: including the town of Rockport. (Gloucester Mass.: Procter Bros., 1860), p. 173, Secondary quality.
p. 173 - Bridget Varney was of Ipswich in 1663. In 1669, then a widow, she sold house and land, with the harbor and neck of land on the south-east, to Bartholomew Foster. This property was situated near the present Mill Street.
Bridget Varney died Oct. 25, 1672. Her will mentions sons Humphrey and Thomas, son Jeffrey Parsons, daughter Rachel Vincion, and son-in-law William Vincion.
- ↑ Mariana [Ruggles]. Bridget Varney Will.
I Bridget Verney of Glocester in ye County of Essex in New England being by Gods Providence Cast upon my Bed of Sickness & weaknesse & not knowing how neare the time of my death & departure out of this world may be at hand yet knowing that all men are borne to dye & depart out of this world doe therefore declare & make knowne this my last will & Testmanet in manner & forme following. And first I commit & commend my Soule into the hands of God the Father of Spirits & my Body to the Grave to be decently buryed by my Suruining Freinds. And for my Goods and Estate I give & bequeath in the first place unto my Sonne Humfrey Verney the Summe of twenty Pounds to be payd by my sonne Jeffrey Parsons of this Towne in foure yeares. five pounds per Annum during the space of foure yeares after my decease. Item I give & bequeath unto my Daughter Rachel Vinson (the wife of William Vinson) twenty Pounds to be payd out of my estate according as hee the sayd william vinson my sonne in Law Can best order it for Her And this to be for my sayd Daughter after my decease Item I give and bequeath unto my sonne Thomas Verney Seaven Sheepe after my decease. And for the rest of my goodes or estate besides what is above mentioned & bequeathed I leave in the hands of my Sonne in Law william vinson as he shall see meet And to the end this my Last will & Testament may be duely & truely performed in manner and forme abovesayd I doe hereby appoynt constitute & ordayne my sayd Sonne in Law william vinson to be sole Executor.
In wittnesse whereof I the sayd Bridget have hereunto Set my Hand & Seale the tenth day of this instant November Anno Dom. one thousand Six hundred & Seaventy one.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Massachusetts (Colony). Quarterly Courts (Essex County). Records and files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts. (Salem, Massachusetts: The Essex Institute, 1911-1925, 1975), Vol. 5, p. 119.
- ↑ Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts, United States. Vital Records of Gloucester, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849. (Salem, Massachusetts.: Essex Institute, 1917), Secondary quality.
VARNEY, Bridgett, Oct. 25, 1672. [Oct. 26. CTR]
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Willis S. Parsons. “Jeffery Parsons of Loddiswell, Devonshire and Gloucester, Massachusetts”. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 142:(July 1988)