In Part I, I discussed what is clearly known about Deborah from primary source records. I have also previously discussed the history of the identification of Deborah as a Doty, which is completely unfounded. Who was she really?
Deborah named a boy Benajah, which is a rare name. Using the Great Migration Project [immigrants 1620-1633 and 1634-35, surnames A-S], there are only four families that use that name in New England. The Titcombs in Ipswich, Mass.; the Holcombes in Windsor, Conn., and the Dunhams and Pratts in Plymouth, Mass. To put that in perspective, about 40% of the 20,000 immigrants of the Great Migration arrived in or before 1635, or about 8,000 people. Of those we find the use of Benajah but four times. I actually emailed Robert C. Anderson and he said that there about 2,200 sketches done so far, of which but four use that name, and he called Benajah a unique and diagnostic name.
The Dunhams and the Pratts were related by marriage. Benajah Pratt married Persis Dunham at Plymouth on 29 November 1655 [MD 8:17], she the sister of Benajah Dunham. Benajah Pratt was the son of Joshua and Bathsheba (---) Pratt. The double use of Joshua and Benajah as names for her eldest and next sons, seems to indicate that Deborah was also a daughter of Joshua and Bathsheba Pratt.
There are no birth records for the children of Joshua Pratt. He died between 29 June 1652 and 5 October 1656 when administration on his estate was granted. He left no will. His four known children are identified by their marriage records in conjuncture with the process of elimination that they weren't children of Phineas Pratt (whose eight children are gleaned by court records showing his heirs [MD 4:138]). They are (with estimated birth dates): Benajah b. 1630; Hannah b. 1632; Jonathan b. 1637; and Bathsheba b. 1639 [Joshua and Phineas are well profiled in The Great Migration 1620-1633 III:1510-1518]. Since there is no complete listing of his children, there remains a good possibility there were others. Deborah's estimated birth of ca. 1642 fits well into this list.
The widow Bathsheba (---) Pratt married secondly at Plymouth, John Doggett on 29 August 1667 [MD 8:31]. She moved with him to Martha's Vineyard, where she was still living on 4 June 1673 after his death. Bathsheba remained a widow from 1656 to 1667. Why? She was raising her remaining children. Her two last children to marry would have been Jonathan on 2 November 1664 and presumably Deborah who married about the same time. No probate papers are extant for Bathsheba (--) (Pratt) Doggett.
Not only is using the name Benajah rare, but its timing is indicative of a relationship. Benajah Barrows died at Attleborough on 5 January 1754 "in his 71st yr." [Attleborough VRs, p. 632]. That means he was born ca. 1682. Benajah Pratt died 17 March 1682. [Plymouth Church Records, p. 249] The inventory for his estate is dated 6 May 1682 [Plymouth Colony Wills 4:2:12-13]. It seems that Benajah Barrows was named in his honor.
Jonathan Pratt removed to Taunton before 1689/90 and Hannah (Pratt) Spooner removed to Dartmouth, both in Bristol County where Deborah would move with her second husband. Lastly, Robert Barrows, the eldest son of John Barrows by his first unknown wife, married as his second wife, Lydia Dunham ca. 1684. She was the niece of Persis (Dunham) Pratt.
Based on the preponderance of this evidence, I find it most compelling to identify Deborah as the daughter of Joshua Pratt. Perhaps this theory together with the new facts that she died a Buckland will push other researchers to explore this route.