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  • Pilgrim Village Families Sketch: John Barnes

    Robert Charles Anderson

    Birth:  John Barnes was born about 1608 based on his date of marriage.

    Death:  He died between March 6, 1667/8, when he wrote his will, and August 30, 1671, when his inventory was taken.

    Ship:  Unknown. He was in Plymouth prior to March 25, 1633.

    Life in England:  Nothing is known of his life in England.

    Life in New England:  John Barnes appeared frequently in the Plymouth Colony records. He bought and sold parcels of land in Plymouth, Puncateesett (near Rhode Island), Barnstable, Accushenah and Taunton. He also bought and sold the time of servants. He was occasionally in court on charges of slander or unfair trading practices. He served on a number of committees, including those to regulate wages, arrange accomodations for a new minister, repair the highway, construct a prison and survey meadows. He was a surveyor of highways for Plymouth on several years, surveyor of arms in 1643 and a selectman in 1650. He had problems with drinking, was fined by the court for drunkenness, and ultimately was disenfranchsed on October 6, 1659. He was killed by his bull, who “suddenly turned about upon him and gave him a great wound with his horn in his right thigh, about eight inches long, in which his flesh was torn both broad and deep.” He died 32 hours later.

    Family:  John Barnes married (1) Mary Plummer on September 12, 1633, and had five children. He married (2) before March 1, 1652/3, Joan _____. She was still living on March 8, 1682/3.

    Children of John and Mary Barnes:

    • Mary was born about 1640. She married Robert Marshall in Plymouth in 1660 and had two sons. She was not mentioned in her father’s will and may have died by then.
    • Jonathan was born about 1642. He married Elizabeth Hedge on January 4, 1665, in Plymouth and had nine children.
    • Hannah was born about 1644. She was still living on October 14, 1651, but there is no further information.
    • John was born about 1646 and died in Plymouth on December 25, 1651.
    • Lydia was born about 1646 and died before her father wrote his will on March 1667/8. There is no indication that she married or had children.
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