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Bridget Varney (Knight)

Birthplace: of, Staplegrove, Somerset, England
Death: Died in Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Walter Knight, of Salem and Elizabeth Knight
Wife of Jeffery Parsons and William Varney
Mother of Elizabeth Parsons; James Parsons; Geoffrey Parsons; Margaret Parsons; Thomas Varney and 5 others
Sister of Francis Knight; Elizabeth Palfrey; Mary Osborne; Francis Knight; William Knight and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Bridget Varney

Bridget Knight was born 1611 in Somersetshire, England, and died October 26, 1672 in Gloucester, Essex, MA.

Parents: Walter Knight (b. 1585/1587, of, Staplegrove, Somerset, England, d. 19 Apr 1634, Prob. Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts) and Elizabeth ?? (b. 1589, of, Salem, Essex, MA d. 19 Apr 1634, Salem, Essex, MA.)

Marriage 1: possibly to Jeffrey Parsons (see notes)

Marriage 2: to WILLIAM1 VARNEY (born 1608 in Claydon, Buckinghamshire, England, and died March 01, 1653/54 in Ipswich, Essex, MA.) on May 04, 1629 in Barbadoes, West Indies


1. THOMAS2 VARNEY, b. 1630, Barbadoes, West Indies; d. December 04, 1692, Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts.

2. RACHEL VARNEY, b. 1632, Barbadoes, West Indies; d. February 15, 1707/08, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts.

3. WILLIAM VARNEY, b. September 11, 1632, Barbadoes, West Indies; d. June 20, 1645, Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts.

4. WALTER VARNEY, b. July 20, 1635, Barbadoes, West Indies; d. December 09, 1650, Ipswich, Essex Co., Massachusetts.

5. SARAH VARNEY, b. 1636; m. JEFFREY PARSONS, November 11, 1657.

6. HUMPHREY VARNEY, b. 1642, Barbadoes, West Indies; d. 1713, Dover, New Hampshire.


Notes for Bridget Knight:

Unlike her husband William Varney, Bridget left a detailed will behind, proved 27 November 1672 at Essex Probate Court. In it, she mentions her son Humphrey, son Jeffrey Parsons, daughter Rachel (wife of William Vinson) and son Thomas Varney. Torrey suggests that Bridget's maiden name may have been Knight.

In her will, Bridget mentions a son Jeffrey Parsons, and this has been the source of much controversy surrounding the origins of Jeffrey Parsons, first of that name to settle in Cape Ann. According to Parsons family records, Jeffrey left England for Barbados with an uncle and then on to New England, leaving a brother James who died there in 1708. Willis Parsons, in a 1988 article in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register writes that Parsons family is from Loddiswell in Devonshire. However, there is no genealogical evidence for a connection between these Parsons and either the Varney or Knight family in England. It is possible but unlikely that Bridget married a Parsons previous to her marriage to William Varney; not possible that she married a Parsons after William's death, since she was called Bridget Varney when she died.

Will of Bridget Varney:

In 1669 Bridget her house and land to Bartholomew Foster. She moved to Glouster where she died on October 25, 1672. Her will reads;

"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.

Bridget (her B mark) Verney (SEAL)

Witness: John Emerson, William Ellery, William (his + mark) Winson, Joh

(his mark) Row.

Proved in Salem court 27:9:1672 by William Ellery and John Row."

The inventory was her estate was taken on November 21, 1672 by Thomas Millett sr., and John Collins sr. It consisted of;

"Tow Cowes and two hefer Calves, £8; nine sheepe, £3 10s; Twp swine, 16s; Three akers of marsh in Chebacco, £4; beding, £1 5s; Paire of sheets, 15s; wearing Clothes, £3 14s; Linen Clothes, £2; box and two Loks, 6s; woole and yearne, £1; old timber vesels, 3s; debts oweing her, £4 2s; total £66 11s."

Attested in Salem court 27:9:1672 by William Vinson, executor.


5. Parsons, Willis S., "Jeffrey Parsons of Loddiswell, Devonshire and Gloucester, Massachusetts," Nehgr V142 (1988) pp245-249.

6. Essex County Massachusetts, Essex County Massachusetts Probate Court, V2, pp312-313.

First husband, John Parsons. One son fronthsi marriage. Daughter of Walter Knight.

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Bridget Varney's Timeline

Staplegrove, Somerset, England
December 1622
Age 11
Ashprington, Devonshire, England
Age 13
Ashprington, Devonshire, England
Age 16
Kemerton Parish, Ashprington, Devonshire, England
Age 16
Essex, Massachusetts, USA
Age 16
Essex Co., MA
May 4, 1629
Age 18
Barbados, West Indies
Age 19
September 11, 1632
Age 21
Barbados, West Indies
Age 21
Barbados, West Indies