Mary Barnes Bronson (Andrews)

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Mary Barnes Bronson (Andrews)

Also Known As: "Mary (Andrews) Barnes Bronson", "NOT the witch"
Birthplace: Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut
Death: Died in Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Andrews, of Farmington and Mary Andrews, of Farmington
Wife of Thomas Barnes, of Farmington and Jacob Bronson
Mother of Thomas Barnes, Jr.; Ebenezer Barnes; Roger Brownson; Samuel Bronson; Rebecca Dickinson and 5 others
Sister of John Andrews, Jr., of Farmington; Hannah Richards; Abraham Andrews; Daniel Andrews; Joseph Andrews, of Newington and 3 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mary Barnes Bronson (Andrews)

Ben M. Angel notes: Parents are John Andrews (d. 1681 Farmington) and Mary (b. 1626 England), not John Andrews (1609-1668) and Grace Melburn (1617-1700).


A Mary Barnes [first wife of Thomas Barnes, not the person whose page you are reading] was convicted and executed of Witchcraft in January-1662/1663 in Connecticut . . . The records at a Particular Court of Connecticut held 6 Jan 1662/63 indicted "Mary Barns of Farmingtown, CT" for witchcraft. A jury found her guilty and she was executed. She was one of the last people to be executed as a witch in Connecticut. Thomas Barnes had to pay the costs of keeping his wife in jail prior to her witchcraft trial..."and at the quarter court held in Hartford March 5th 1662/3 following allowance was made to Daniel Garret, the jail keeper, for keeping goodwife Barns three weeks, twenty-one shillings, besides her fees, which goodman Barns is to see discharged."

Sources for the above are:

  1. The Ancestry of Fanny Barnes and her Husband Thomas Knight, Prestige Printers, 1989, p 26.
  2. Farmington in Connecticut, 1652-1697, pg 63.
  3. Witchcraft Trials of CT by R.G. Tomlinson, p 39.

Mary Andrus / Andrews, dau. of John & Mary Andrews of Farmington, married Thomas Barnes after his first wife was hanged as a witch. After Thomas' death, Mary Elizabeth Barnes (Andrews) remarried in 1682, to [Jacob] Bronson [see Genealogical History of John and Mary Andrews of Farmington, CT / 1640s]

Thomas Barnes' prenuptial agreement with his 2nd wife, Mary Andrus/Andrews, had provided for a comfortable maintenance for her and any children they might have, at his death.

There was a second version of how Thomas Barnes came to marry the neighbor's daughter. Thomas made a pact with her father. The pact was if her father allowed Mary to marry him, he would get rid of two of his children.

Thomas and Mary Andrews were married March 23,1663. Thomas and his second wife had two sons named Ebenezer and Thomas.

After Thomas' first wife's death, he married the second Mary within months. No matter how many times I have read through all this information, it boggles my mind how he could let one wife die to marry another of the same name. It also astounds me how he could have sent two of his children away for the hand of another woman


From the history of "Thomas Barnes of Hartford and Farmington Connecticut," written by Frederick R. Thomas ..."When Mary Barnes was hauled into court at Hartford, three frightened children, a girl about 13 and two boys still younger, were requiring a father's care then more than ever. That, and his outside affairs as farm work then went, together with constant thought of the tragic plight of the one for whom he must have been racking his mind to find a way to relieve her-- all these were obviously more than the tragically perplexed man could manage single-handed. So it is likely that some of the good women of the church became a volunteer committee to look after things for a few days at Thomas' house. But it is easy also to imagine that the Constable of 1661, John Andrews, was still that officer when Mary was arrested, and that he, a good man, would readily be touched with a feeling of her infirmities, especially while on the way with her to the authorities in Hartford; as it was, he could not fail to feel the agony of her soul and appreciate the distress of her bereft family. Such an arrest and transfer to court would impel John to offer to have his oldest daughter, Mary, go daily and take care of the Barnes house, pending a time when the other Mary would be coming home again, or her fate sealed otherwise. But when any hope of the absent mother's return was forever lost, January passed into February and that into March, spring's work came on and temporary arrangements simply had given way to permanent ones. Probably young Mary proved to be a steady, strong and willing young worker, such as was invaluable in Widower Barnes' practical arrangements. At all events, before March was over Thomas was thinking seriously of Mary as his second wife. And to her the idea, at least in its aspect of being queen of his house, must have had its appeal. So, notwithstanding that he was more than twice as old as she, Thomas interviewed her father. People in 1663, it seems, did not look askance upon such a marriage, for they had little labor-saving farm machinery and both widows and widowers, if they had obligations connected with farm work and also little children, were almost forced to re-marry if they would keep up their homes. So a business-like understanding between Thomas Barnes and John Andrews followed.

  1. Will of Jacob Bronson, dated 1708, Farmington, CT.
  2. 'Bronson Families, Col. H.B. Enderton, 1969.
  3. Family Group Sheet, M. Mahon.
  4. Genealogy Record, E. McInnes, 1996.
  5. Barnes and Related Families, Past and Present, R.C. Barnes, 1966
  6. IGI, MF 0450472.
  7. LDS, AFN, (H1G9-FH).


1. Farmmgton. Mary, eldest daughter of John and Mary the settlers, baptized the 16th h of May, 1658; was then fourteen years old. She married Thomas'? Barnes, and was his second wife. He died, when 2d she married about 1682, Bronson; she was mentioned in her father's will, dated 1681, as his daughter Mary Barnes, and received a portion of his estate, but her mother, 1683, two years later, calls her Mary Bronson, and gave her by that name several articles of bedding and clothing.

source: Genealogical history of John and Mary Andrews, who settled in Farmington. By Alfred Andrews page 56.


Mary Andrews was not the wife of Thomas Barnes, of Hartford & Middletown


Mary Andrews born 15 Apr 1643, daug of John and Mary (nee ---) Andrews of Farmington, was baptized May 16, 1658, a week after her father joined the church[1]

After 23 Mar 1662/3, not yet twenty years old, Mary married 1st to Thomas Barnes "of Hartford and then Farmington", who was well over 40 years old by contract, a prenuptial agreement dated 23 Mar 1662/3 between her father, John Andrews (Androos or Androus) and her intended.[2]

After Thomas Barnes died [before Feb 1689/90 when his 'will' was proved], Mary married 2nd, to Jacob Bronson as his 2nd wife.[3] [4] Date of second marriage is uncertain

Mary is named in her father's will dated 9 Nov 1681 and proved 2 Mar 1681/2 as "Marie Barns" [5]

Her mother names her as Mary Brunson in deed of gift dated 18 Nov 1683[6] BUT the discussion is that perhaps the date on the deed of gift is not correct because Mary Andrews husband Thomas Barnes was still living in 1683. Death

June 10, 1708[citation needed] Sources

   ↑ "The Andrews Families of Western Connecticut" by Donald Lines Jacobus, TAG, vol 35, 1958, pg 83-91
   ↑ "McArthur-Barnes Ancestral Lines" by Selim Walker McARTHUR, publ 1964, p 57
   ↑ Genealogical History of John and Mary Andrews, Who Settled in Farmington, Conn. 1640: Embracing Their Descendants to 1872, by Alfred Andrews (A. H. Andrews & Co, Chicago, Illinois, 1872), p 58
   ↑ New England Marriages Prior to 1700, by Clarence Almon Torrey (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011) Vol. I, - p. 92. BARNES, Thomas & 2/wf Mary ANDREWS (1643-), m/2 Jacob BRONSON by 1679?; m cont 23 Mar 1662/3; Farmington, CT. - p. 211. BRONSON, Jacob (1640/1-1708/9) & 2/wf? Mary (ANDREWS) [BARNES] (1643-), w. Thomas; by 1679, by 1689; Farmington, CT
   ↑ "A Digest of the early Connecticut probate records" compiled by Charles William Manwaring, vol 1 1635-1700, publ 1904 pg 269-70
   ↑ Genealogical History of John and Mary Andrews, who Settled in Farmington, Conn., 1640 ... by Alfred Andrews, publ 1872

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Mary Barnes Bronson (Andrews)'s Timeline

April 15, 1643
Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut
May 16, 1658
Age 15
Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut
May 16, 1658
Age 15
Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
May 16, 1658
Age 15
Farmington, Hartford, Connecticutt
May 16, 1658
Age 15
May 16, 1658
Age 15
Farmington, Hartford, Connecticutt
January 6, 1665
Age 21
Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Age 31
Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, USA