John Basse "The Immigrant"

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John Basse

Birthdate:
Birthplace: London, Middlesex Parish, England
Death: Died in Norfolk, Nansemond Co., Virginia
Place of Burial: Nansemond Indian Village
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. Nathaniel Basse and Mary Basse
Husband of Jane Basse and Keziah Elizabeth Basse
Father of Nathaniel Basse; Keziah Basse; Elizabeth Basse; Jordan Basse; Samuel Basse and 3 others
Brother of Samuel Basse (twin), (twin); Humphrey Basse (twin), (twin); William M Bass (Basse), Sr.; Anthony Basse; Edward Bass (Basse) and 6 others
Half brother of Richard Basse; George Basse, (twin); Gregory Basse, (twin) and Unfant Basse

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Basse "The Immigrant"

John (b. 7 Sep 1616, in London, Middlesex, England – m. 14 Aug 1638 (Keziah) Elizabeth, dau. of Great Petter, King of the Nansemond Indians–ch. Nathaniel, Keziah, Elizabeth, Jordan, Samuel, William, Richard, John–d. 2 Apr. 1699, Norfolk-Nansemond Co., VA.). John was rescued by friendly Nansemond Indians during the 1622 Indian Massacre.

http://www.geocities.com/knighthistory/VirginiaKnights.htm -------------------- I have a copy of this Bible Record

Chowan County, NC - John Basse Bible Re

                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book of John Basse-Norfolk County Virginia

NC Archives - Bibles

Call No. 400.1.1.418

Nathaniell Basse and Mary Jourdan was marrid ye 21 day of May in ye

yeare of our blessed Lord and Savior 1613

Humphrey Basse sonne of Nath'll and Mary Basse his wife was borned

ye 15 day of ye month of July in ye year of our blessed Lord 1615,

dyed in 1622

John Basse was borned ye 7 day of viiber in ye year of our Lord 1616, ye sonne of Nathaniell and Mary Basse his wife

William Basse sonne of Nathaniell and Mary Basse was borned on ye xxv

day of Xber in ye year of our blessed Lord God 1618

Anthony Basse sonne of Nathaniell Basse and Mary his wife was borned

on ye xiii day of March in Gods yeare of 1620

Edward Basse ye sonne of Nathaniell Basse and Mary his wife was borned

ye 8th day of Maye in ye yeare of God 1622

Anne Basse the daughter of Nath'll and Mary his wife was born in ye

yr of X't 1624, ye 9 day of Sber

Geneveve Basse ye daughter of Nathaniell Basse and Mary his wife was

borned on ye 9 day of Sber in ye year of our blessed Lord God 1624,

about ten minutes after Anne was borned

Blessed be God for His tender Mercies. Amen

Humphrey Basse sonne of Nath'll and Mary dyed ye 22nd day of March in

ye yeare of our Lord 1622

John Basse married ye dafter of ye King of ye Nansemund Nation, by name Elizabeth in Holy Baptism and in Holy Matrimonie ye 14 day of August in ye yeare of our blessed Lord 1638

William Basse sonne of Nath'll and Mary Basse was married to Sarah Batten

ye 20th day of September in ye yeare of our Lord 1641 A.D.

Edward Basse sonne of Nath'll & Mary Basse yt unregenerated by the Spirit

of God took in marriage one virtuous Indian mayd'n by the Christian name

of Mary Tucker and went to live amongst the Shownanocs in Carolina in

1644 A.D. - He went to Carolina in later years in persute of trade and

not in 1644

This the Book of John Basse - Steal it not...

John Basse borned in 1616 - John Basse dyed in 1699 A.D.

Norfolk County

Virg'a

This doth certify that William Bass, son of John Bass and grandson of

William Bass, is of English and Indian descent and is not a Negroe nor

y't a Mulattoe as by some lately and malitiously stated. His late Mother

Sarah Ann Bass was a virtuous woman of Indian descent, a daughter of

Symon Lorina and Joan Tucker lawfully begotten. Sd Joan Tucker was a

sister of Robin Tucker a Christian Indian of ye Nansemund nation.

Ye sd William Bass, ye elder, was a son of Mary Bass and William Bass,

Senr. Mary Bass was a daughter of Great Peter, King of ye Nansemunds.

These are of common knowledge.

All of the Basses of this County descend from Capt'n Nathaniell Basse,

as satisfactorally proved by the records preserved

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

John was rescued by friendly Nansemond Indians during the 1622 Indian Massacre.

May ye 17, 1797 Test: Wm Portlock

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Humphrey and Mary had a son, Nathaniel Basse, who was born in London in 1589. He was married to Mary Jourdan who was born circa 1595. They had a son, John Basse, who was born in 1616 in London. He is the one who came to America and settled in the Virginia Colony. There he met and married Keziah Elizabeth Tucker (1620-1676), the daughter of Elder Robin Tucker, Chief of the Nansemond Tribe.

John and Keziah resided in the Virginia Colony and reared their family there. He died in 1699 and she, in 1676. Among their children was a son, John Edward Bass, Sr., who was born in 1673 and died in 1732 in North Carolina. (Note the first generation to use the Bass spelling.) He was married to Mary Love Harris who was born circa 1675 in Virginia and died in 1748 in North Carolina. Their son, John Edward Bass, Jr., was born circa 1700 and died in 1777. He was married to Elizabeth Winborne (ca 1706-ca1777).

-------------------- http://www.coastalcarolinaindians.com/bass-bible-record-nansemondchowanoc/ -------------------- The Native American Bass Family


Why John Bass (died. 1732 in Bertie, Carolina) and his brother Edward were of Nansemond Descent

By Lars C. Adams, ©2012

The following text is the sole possession of Lars C. Adams. It may not be reproduced, in part or in whole, without the written consent of Lars Adams. Information contained within may be used as source material and properly cited to Lars Adams and this website.

The following is an adaptation from the appendix of my current research and writing project, a history on the Nansemond people. The following deals with the ancestry of John and Edward Bass, who lived on Urahaw Swamp (the upper waters of the Potecasi) in present day Northampton County, Virginia.

Introduction

    John Bass was born about 1674 near the Great Dismal Swamp along the border of Carolina and Virginia. He was born and raised as a swamper, getting his living from the upper waters of the Potecasi Creek at a place called Urahaw Swamp by about 1722. His plantation was remote, but not far from several Indian communities as well as other Virginian and Carolinian settlers. He was, interestingly, from both worlds. John Bass (b1674) was a multi-ethnic Indian man, born from an Indian family. He was the first multi-racial person recorded along the Potecasi watershed, and in his wake came many others that would eventually form what is today termed the Winton Triangle, a multi-ethnic community of landowners that persisted throughout the colonial times, antebellum south, the reconstruction, and remains vibrant today.
    That John and Edward Bass were not white is well known to their descendants. They were European and American Indian, and several lines of their descendants also had African ancestry. Traditionally, the descendants of these men have regarded them as Nansemond Indians, based on the research of Albert Bell in his book, Bass Families of the South. This was regarded as true and accurate until the 1990s, when today’s Nansemond Tribal Association conducted their own research and found them not to have been of Nansemond Descent, but rather most probably Chowanoke due to the mixing up of several lines by the mistake of Bell. They have come forward with their own manuscript entitled, Edward Bass and Mary Tucker, Another Native American Family, in which they set forward their position. A third source by prominent researcher Paul Heinegg offers confirmatory information to Bell’s research.
     With these conflicting manuscripts, not to mention the often bitter debate amongst descendants and often the anger against the Nansemond Tribal Association for denying membership to those descended from John and Edward, an essay to explain the positions of each side has been long overdue. The manuscripts set forth are generally genealogical in nature and organized collections of documents and references. Bell’s manuscript does not contain all the deeds contained by Dowd and Sylvestri’s manuscript, who also did not include documents contained in either manuscript. Heinegg’s manuscript also does not contain several deeds listed by other manuscripts. Seeing that each manuscript has only included evidence to support its own thesis, this essay will contain all documents and evidence in their totality, and instead of a dry genealogical manuscript, shall weave all these documents into a historical narrative and explain how they relate to one another.
    The author of this manuscript is indeed a descendant of John Bass. When I first discovered this I attempted to apply to membership with the Nansemond Tribal Asssociation, which was denied. Following this, I had lengthy discourse with the tribal genealogist, Fred Bright, who graciously and eloquently explained the Nansemond’s position. With the evidence they presented, I was convinced of their accuracy and claimed Chowanoke descent for well over a year. I even went to the point of becoming very active on the internet and defended the Nansemond’s position and convinced others as well. Still, others came to me with evidence I had not previously considered and, troubled, I contacted both Fred Bright again and Paul Heinegg, author of the other Bass information. I came away from both conversations more confused as to where I stood. I determined to completely clear my head of all preconceived notions and emotional attachment and simply go wherever the evidence would lead me. Therefore, this paper is presented in an objective manner in a format that is (hopefully) easy  to understand.
    I did not write this to bash the research of Lea Dowd and Patti Sylvestri. Their research holds to their own view, which I disagree with, but their research is not without value. A previous manuscript of theirs offers extremely valuable and erudite information on Nathaniel Bass, John and Edward’s forebear, and their research on John and Edward offers illuminating information on a previously unknown Chowanoke line to any descendants who should happen to trace themselves there, but this Chowanoke line simply is not the line John and Edward are from. There were Nansemond, of this there can be no doubt, nor room for debate. It is not speculation or an attempt to cling to wishful thinking, but a simple matter of record. I have endeavored to retrace the routes taken by previous researchers, and did not intend to reinvent the wheel in areas of research where all manuscripts agree with each other. In the critical portions of divergence, I zeroed in with original research to obtain the documents in question from the North Carolina State Archives and offer them here in facsimile so that it can be plainly seen to settle the matter.
    Finally, as an entreaty to other descendants of John  and Edward Bass, I ask that you take the information from this article and apply the information with pride to your family history, but do not be angry with the Nansemond Tribal Association. I believe that they have published what they believe is true and have not lied intentionally. Furthermore, as Indian people recognized by the State of Virginia, they have the right to establish their own membership criteria as a matter of sovereignty. This is very important. It must be remembered that our ancestors have not been a part of that community for several hundred years. In most other Indian nations across the country, you need to have ties to the community in order to receive membership, and it is a similar situation here. Remember, though, that not the Nansemond Tribal Association, the United States government, nobody can tell you who you are. Only you can do that, whether part of an Indian community or not.

The Albert Bell “Problem”

    Albert Bell presented the first large scale research effort on the Bass Family. Not a descendant himself, he visited the Nansemond Community in Norfolk, Virginia. There he met the aging and hospitalized Jesse Bass, the Chief since the tribe reorganized in the 1920s. He became well acquainted with the Bass family there, who offered him access to their most precious family documents that they reverently preserved through the ages. He transcribed the most important of these records, though he stated that there existed others as well. He went throughout the south following this, extracting from state and county records any census, deeds, wills, etc, pertaining to the Bass family, so that the family researcher can utilize his work as a sourcebook. Within this research, he clearly links John Bass to the Nansemond part of the Bass family. Heinegg’s work confirms this. Dowd and Sylvestri, however, point out a critical error on the part of Bell, which is that he mistranscribed the family prayer book record on which critical information on the early family comes. Because of this, Dowd and Sylvestri have built a case against Bell that his work cannot be trusted. Fred Bright, tribal genealogist, has also stated the same, adding that Bell sought to establish a Huguenot connection to a family member who was paying him. For this reason he purposefully altered the records and crossed the lines to make them fit for his employer. Bright also noted that Bell stated in a letter that all Virginian Indians were “just a bunch of coons.”[1]
    Indeed, Dowd and Sylvestri are correct when they note Bell’s error in the prayer book record. The entire transcription is alternately worded than the original. However, Bell offers no information that is critical to establishing a Nansemond line for John and Edward Bass. His wording was

John Basse marrid Keziah Elizabeth Tucker dafter of Robin ye Elder of ye Nansemuns kingdom, a baptized Xtian, in Holy Matrimonie accdg to ye Canons of ye Church of England, ye 14th day of August in the Yeare of our Blessed Lord 1638. (In darker ink, different handwriting, “Died 1699. AE 83.”)[2]


    The true and accurate transcription of the actual record taken from a facsimile of the original from the Library of Virginia states:

John Basse married ye dafter of ye King of ye Nansemond Nation by name Elizabeth in Holy Baptizm and in Holy Matrimonie ye 14th day of August in ye yeare of Our Blessed Lord 1638 Dyed 1699 A.D.[3]




    Admittedly, these records diverge; the Nansemond woman was named Elizabeth and not Keziah, and her father was not Robin the Elder, but the unnamed “King,” or weroance of the nation. In no place however, is the vital information different except for her name and her father. No birth  or genealogical lines were changed. From both transcriptions, it can be learned that John Basse married a Nansemond woman, the daughter of the chief August 14, 1638, and later died in 1699. How then, can it be reasonably inferred that Bell changed the record for malicious purposes? If his intent was to create a genealogical falsehood, then indeed, something substantial must be false.
    Why then would Bell make such an error? One can only speculate, but a potential scenario would be that if he didn’t have the chance to sit down with it and could only take notes on its contents, he would have had to reconstruct it later partially from memory. Whatever actually happened, had Bell intended to change the content of the record to suit his purposes, certainly the information within his transcription would have been more substantially altered. In any case, the facsimile image of the record is now available and is to be preferred by researchers.
    Today’s Nansemond go on to say that other documents transcribed by Bell either never existed or are no longer extant, and therefore the accuracy of his transcriptions cannot be verified, especially considering his previously mentioned transcription error. These documents that they claim cannot be located list John Bass as a direct descendant of Elizabeth, the daughter of the Nansemond chief. Dowd and Sylvestri therefore disregarded Bell to do their own research independent of his, and discovered some land transactions in Bertie county that supposedly link John and Edward to a brother of John Bass (b1616, who married Elizabeth, the Nansemond) also named Edward. Indeed, Edward is also named in the prayer book record and also took an Indian wife as his brother did:

Edward Basse Sonne of Nathll & Mary Basse yt unregenerated by ye Spirit of God, took in marriage one virtuos Indian maydn by the Christian name of Mary Tucker and went to live amongst the Showanocs in Carolina in 1644 A.D. He went to Carolina in later years in p_sute of trade and not in 1644, Dyed in 1696 A.D. [4]

    Bell’s faulty transcription of the prayer book entry for Edward is stated below, which certainly gives less information:

Edward Basse departed from This life amongst the Showanocks in Carolina in the Year of 1696. AE 74 years. – A Devout and Godly Man.[5]


    The land transactions that they present are valuable to those descended from Edward Bass I and his Indian wife Mary Tucker. Dowd and Sylvestri do indeed prove satisfactorily that Edward and Mary were first married in 1644, then had several children and moved to North Carolina sometime before 1696, when Edward died. His son, John moved to Deep Creek in Chowan, later Bertie county. This is known through their research because John names his sister Ann in these deeds which link him to his father from the will he left. The problem is that Dowd and Sylvestri attempt to link the John Bass who lived at Urahaw Swamp in Bertie County with the former John Bass who lived at Deep Creek, also in Bertie County. They do not explain their reasons for assuming the two John Basses are one in the same. Instead they list the totality of known land transactions from Urahaw Swamp, Deep Creek as well as in Perquimans County (they omit the transactions made at Horsepool Swamp), and make a single comment after listing them, saying “From all these records, we can now place the location of John Bass, son of Edward Bass. His property was located on Uraha Swamp.” Obviously, that is a very pat statement that does not explain why those records place the location of John Bass son of Edward Bass at Urahaw Swamp. [6]
    Herein it shall be shown that regardless of whether Albert Bell’s transcription is faulty or not, it does not matter. The Nansemond ancestry of John and Edward Bass of Urahaw Swamp can be established without them. His transcriptions are totally unnecessary to establish this link. By utilizing the standard methods of analyzing deeds, marriage records, wills, etc, the following pages will prove beyond any doubt who these men and their ancestors were. Bell’s work offers supplementary information to round out the research, but the core vital records to prove the link can be found in standard methods of genealogical and historical research.

Marriage Record

    John Bass (b1674) is on record in Perquimans County, North Carolina in a marriage record listing his marriage to Love Harris, the likely daughter of Richard Harris as shown be Paul Heinegg. This same record is utilized by Dowd and Sylvestri to show the marriage date and location, but they do not provide an actual transcription of this record. It is, however, no secret. This record was originally transcribed in full by Albert Bell, and another transcription was made decades later by Weynette Parks Haun, confirming his transcription. It has also been circulating the internet. Thus stated:

“John BAS and Love HARRIS was Married ye 8th day of Janewary 1696 both of Nanse Mum County and Nanse Mum Parresh by Mager Samuel SWANN Esqr.”[7]

    This is an important record. It clearly states that John Bass (b1674) and his wife Love were from Nansemond County, Virginia. It is also important because it demonstrates the Indian identity of John. In 1693, the very first law in English America was passed in Virginia that no Indian could marry a white woman and no white man could marry an Indian woman. Love Harris was white. It was illegal for John and Love to marry in the state of Virginia because of John’s ethnicity. Thus, John and Love skipped the border to Carolina to be wed where the laws were not yet as stringent. John was therefore regarded by his neighbors in Virginia as an Indian man, otherwise he would have been married there.
   Obviously this presents a problem if one is trying to prove descent from Mary Tucker, the Indian wife of Edward Bass the elder. When questioned pertaining to this record, Fred Bright stated that records similar to this are often quoted, but that when the original was attempted to be retrieved, it was not found in the archives, so they made it a rule that if they couldn’t find the original, they didn’t use it.[8] Of course, they did use it by referencing the marriage date and his wife Love, but refrained from presenting a transcription. This record was first fully transcribed by Albert Bell, and later Weynette Parks Haun transcribed this same record and the wording was unchanged from Bell. It was difficult to see how two separate researchers could transcribe the same record at different times with the same wording and there not be an original copy on file, so the State Archives was contacted and the original copy was easily retrieved as shown below. Obviously, the previous transcriptions are quite accurate. John Bass and his wife Love Harris truly were from Nansemond County.

[9]

Land Record Reference

Edward Bass, John Bass's (b1674) brother, is first recorded in North Carolina when he purchased land at Horsepool Swamp on the western edge of the Great Dismal Swamp adjacent to John Bass who purchased land there the same day.


[10]

    From the above record, there is confirmation that Edward Bass was from Norfolk County (Nansemond), same as John. John and Edward Bass later both bought land adjacent to each other around Urahaw Swamp in Bertie County. Now there is confirmation in two separate documents that both individuals were not Carolina natives and came from Nansemond County, Virginia.

John Bass’s Will

John died fairly young in 1732, but specifically stated in his will that Edward was indeed his brother when he gave to his son Moses “all my land that lyeth on the north side of Baire Swamp which is adjoining my brother Edward’s line.” [11]This record, the land transaction from Horsepool Swamp, the marriage record of John and his wife Love, and this statement in John’s will prove that John and Edward Bass were indeed brothers, both from Nansemond County, Virginia (later changed to Norfolk County).



Bringing them back to the Nansemond Nation

    One might say that this merely proves that they were perhaps from the community of Basses around the Elizabeth River in Nansemond County, but does that really prove they were Nansemond? Where is the final word? Indeed, these records are only good so long as one can further this line to documented proof of Nansemond heritage. The presumed father is either William Bass Sr. who married Catherine Lanier (Son of John Bass and Elizabeth, the Nansemond), or John  Bass (the son of Edward Bass who married the Indian Mary Tucker). Since John Bass was born and raised in Chowan precinct, North Carolina, it is unlikely that his sons would be listed as from Nansemond County, as John and Edward are. This leaves the only likely possibility to be William Bass Sr.
    Nevertheless, a more decisive preponderance is in order. William Bass Sr. left a will, but he did not mention John as one of his sons. This is no cause for distress; John (b1674) predeceased William so he wouldn’t be named in a will. However, Edward was indeed named in the will of William Bass Sr, which was proved  17 September, 1742,[12] and because John Bass recorded that Edward was his brother, there is a definitive link to prove that William Bass Sr. was indeed the father of John and Edward Bass.  
    William Bass’s Father was John Bass the Elder (b1616) who married Elizabeth, daughter of the Nansemond chief. This record is preserved in the Library of Virginia as a facsimile image of the original. Thus, it can plainly be seen that John and Edward Bass from Urahaw Swamp were brothers from Nansemond County, Virginia. The land transaction, marriage record and will reveal this beyond doubt. William Bass Sr. was their father, as his will shows, who in turn was the son of Elizabeth, the Nansemond woman, which is revealed by the prayer book record. There is no dearth of records or conflicting documents. A simple matter of record clearly shows this preponderance. This does not even take into account William Bass’s other children and grandchildren, cousins of John and Edward through the same line, who claimed Nansemond descent on various documents, nor does it take into account the records transcribed by Bell that are regarded as accurate by modern historians and anthropologists. For example, William Bass Sr. did not just claim Nansemond descent, but actually counted himself as part of the tribe, and convinced the court of his status and rights to his land under the 1677 Treaty of Middle Plantation:

Norfolk County, Virga.

An Inquest p’taining to possession & use of Cleared & Swamp lands in and adjoining ye Great Dismal by William Bass, Senr. & His kinsmen who claim Indn privileges, Sheweth by the testimony of White persons & sundry records of great age & known to be authentic, That sd. William Bass, Senr, his sons Wm. Bass, Thomas Bass and Joseph Bass, & spinster daughter Mary Bass, are persons of English & Nansemun Indian descent with no Admixture of negor, Ethipopic blood, & that they and all others in Kinship with Them are freeborn subjects of his Maiestie, living in Peace with His Maitie’s Government, entitled to possess & beare Arms, as pmitted by Treaties of Peace by & btw. Charles ye IInd of blessed memory, and ye cleared Lands & Swamps held and used by the sd William Bass, Senr & als hath been used by his and Their forebears since and before English governance in Virginnia, and the sd. William Bass, Senr & als are in Rightful & Lawful possession thereof, & are not to be further Molested by any pson or psons whomsoever under any Pretended authority, under Penalties, etc., etc., whilst ye sd. Bass & his kinsmen claim Indian privileges psuant to the afsd. Treaties of Peace &c.[13]

17v Day of March 1726/27

The Alternate Argument

    Despite the above evidence, Lea Dowd and Patti Sylvestri contend that a closer look at the land transactions establishes a link from John and Edward Bass at Urahaw Swamp to John Bass at Deep Creek, who was supposedly their father.  They argue that “for many years, there have been numerous publications on the Basse/Bass family and its lineage. Upon closer examination of original records, they just didn’t fit as written.” No explanation as to exactly why they didn’t fit is given. Later communications with Fred Bright states that while William and Catherine were raising their family in Norfolk, John and Edward were in Carolina, so it wasn’t logical that they were directly related. They continue, “By utilizing original records to confirm or disprove abstracts, the following tracking of land shows that it is possible to establish lineages without wills.” This is referencing John Bass at Deep Creek, son of Edward Bass and Mary Tucker, who left no will. “This work also shows the importance of reading originals as well as abstracts. We found that a couple of abstracts were in error. These errors led to the misplacing of many of the families.” [14]
    It must first be stated that Dowd and Sylvestri do not appear to be dishonest researchers, and in fact their work is quite valuable to those who might be descended from Edward Bass the Elder (b1616) and his Indian wife Mary Tucker. Other research of theirs regarding Nathaniel Bass, the English ancestor of all the Bass families mentioned in this book, is very erudite and enriching, and successfully dispelled previous assumptions about him.[15] In this case, however, attempting to force a link between John Bass at Deep Creek and John (b1674) and Edward Bass at Urahaw Swamp is simply an exercise in futility. Here’s why.
    They offer twelve land transactions associated with the name John Bass (sometimes as a witness or his borders referenced from a neighbor’s deed, not all transactions made by one named John Bass) from which they draw information claiming that all twelve were from the same John Bass. Truthfully, they do not explain the reasoning for believing they were all linked, but in a sweeping statement say “From all these records, we can now place the location of John Bass, son of Edward Bass. His property was located on Uraha Swamp.” [16]
    Four of these transactions occurred in reference to Deep Creek in Chowan Precinct (Later Bertie County). One of which was a purchase in 1713, a deed of sale in 1714, a reference in a 1718 deed and a reference in a 1724 deed. Four of these transactions were in Perquimans County; two were purchases made the same day in 1719, a sale made in 1728, and a much later reference in a 1771 deed (giving a previous history of land transactions at that property). Three transactions were listed at Urahaw Swamp; two purchases at different dates in 1722, and a later reference in 1745. There was additionally a 1708 deed in which John Bass was witness in Chowan precinct.[17]
    Firstly, they successfully establish beyond doubt that John Bass at Deep Creek was the son of his Indian mother, Mary Tucker. They prove this in the 19 July, 1714 deed at Deep Creek in which John Bass (spelled Bayes) deeded to Thomas and Ann Johnson 100 acres adjacent to his land, “For ye love and affection I bear unto my Brother and Sister.” Ann was his sister, and Thomas his brother-in-law. His father, Edward Bass, named them in his will: “To my son John Bayes and three daughters Elizabeth, Mary, and Ann Bayes, yearling heifers.” To prove descent from this John Bass at Deep Creek, and thereby establish descent from the Indian woman Mary Tucker using land records only, one would have to clearly establish location of his property at Urahaw Swamp, where such an argument would be much more believable.[18]
    This simply does not pan out, however. The land transactions they mention at Urahaw Swamp are indeed important to understand that the John Bass that lived there also had a son named John, and even goes so far as to link him with the transactions that occurred in Perquimans County. Inexplicably, they do not list the transaction by John Bass at Horsepool Swamp in 1720, but this can also be linked to the John Bass (b1674) at Urahaw Swamp by the fact that it was adjacent to Edward Bass, his brother, and that John Bass Jr., later sold it when he was living at Urahaw Swamp. Nothing however, links them to the transactions made at Deep Creek. None of the witnesses, adjacent properties, not anything shows any link whatsoever. With the mountain of previously presented evidence that John and Edward Bass were originally from Nansemond County, Virginia, the sons of William Bass, something substantial must be presented to make the researcher think otherwise.
    As stated, Dowd and Sylvestri show for the first time that John Bass at Deep Creek was descended from Edward Bass the Elder and his Indian wife Mary Tucker. John Bass did not leave a will and may not have had any children. It is also not yet known what happened to the daughters of Edward Bass other than Ann. It is known, however, is now known to have married Thomas Johnson, thanks to Dowd and Sylvestri’s research, so the descendants of Thomas Johnson may now have a better understanding of their ancestry. However, the land transactions at Urahaw Swamp, Perquimans County and Horsepool Swamp were clearly linked together, and were not associated in any way with the transactions made at Deep Creek. The traditionally held view that John and Edward Bass were Nansemond Indians from Nansemond County, Virginia stands.

Conclusion

   Thus, Albert Bell’s book is simply not necessary to establish the Nansemond descent of John and Edward Bass. Standard methods of genealogical research positively prove this link independently from his book. The argument that Bell maliciously altered the documentation to force a link that wouldn’t otherwise exist cannot stand up to the scrutiny of the written record that is shown through the deeds, wills and marriage bonds. These archival records, not Bell’s research, obviously prove their Nansemond heritage. Bass Families of the South really wasn’t really even a standard genealogical manuscript but merely a sourcebook for a large collection of records. He really makes few arguments within it. He made an error with the prayer book record, yes, but since the facsimile image of this is now available it is no matter. Further, anthropologist Helen Rountree had unique access to Bass family records and even had permission to make new copies of the original prayer book record. With her intimate relationship with the Bass family she was still quite comfortable using Bell’s book as a common source for transcriptions of Nansemond records for her book.[19] For these reasons Bell’s transcriptions, with the exception of the prayer book record, can be used as source material.


[1]Fred Bright email, November 27, 2009

[2] Bell, Albert, Bass Families of the South, (Rocky Mount, NC, 1961) Nansemond Indian Ancestry of Some Bass Families:12.

[3] Bass Family Prayer Book Record, photocopy from original, 8 leaves, call number 26371, Library of Virginia.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Bell, Albert, Bass Families of the South, (Rocky Mount, NC, 1961) Nansemond Indian Ancestry of Some Bass Families: 11.

[6] Dowd, Lea Lewis and Sylvestri, Patti, Descendants of Edward Basse and Mary Tucker: Another Native American Family, (Unpublished manuscript, 1999, copy in possession of the author) 2.

[7] Haun, Weynette Parks, Old Albemarle Co., N.C., Perquimans Precinct Birth, Marriages, Deaths and Flesh Marks; 1659-1820, (1980) 44.

[8] Fred Bright email, March 28, 2011.

[9] Perquimans Co. Births, Marriages, Deaths and Flesh Marks, 1659-1739, (NC State Archives, microfilm CR.077.605.1) 16.

[10] Chowan County DB C-1:113, Heinegg, Free African Americans, <www.freeafricanamericans.com>, Dowd and Sylvestri, Edward Basse and Mary Tucker, 14.

[11] Bertie County, N.C:4-5. Bertie County, N.C., Wills, Vol. II p. 48 1663-1789, NC Archives, Heinegg, Free African Americans, <www.freeafricanamericans.com>.

[12] Heinegg, Paul, Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, (Bass Family) <www.freeafricanamericans.com/bailey-berry.htm.>retrieved July 17, 2012.

[13] Bell, Albert, Bass Families of the South, Families (Rocky Mount, NC, 1961) Nansemond Indian Ancestry of Some Bass:16. This record was also cited by Helen Rountree, in Rountree, Pcahontas’s People, 161. She had unique access to Bass family records and felt comfortable with the accuracy of this record after her investigations.

[14] Dowd, Lea Lewis and Sylvestri, Patti, Descendants of Edward Basse and Mary Tucker: Another Native American Family, (Unpublished manuscript, 1999, copy in possession of the author) 2.

[15] Dowd, Lea Lewis and Sylvestri, Patti, Early Basses in Virginia, Including Captain Nathaniel Basse, (Southern Bass and the Nansemond Tribal Association, 1999).

[16] Dowd, Lea Lewis and Sylvestri, Patti, Descendants of Edward Basse and Mary Tucker: Another Native American Family, (Unpublished manuscript, 1999, copy in possession of the author) 11.

[17] Dowd, Lea Lewis and Sylvestri, Patti, Descendants of Edward Basse and Mary Tucker: Another Native American Family, (Unpublished manuscript, 1999, copy in possession of the author) 8-11.

[18] Dowd, Lea Lewis and Sylvestri, Patti, Descendants of Edward Basse and Mary Tucker: Another Native American Family, (Unpublished manuscript, 1999, copy in possession of the author) 8-9.

[19] Rountree, Helen, Pocahontas’s People: The Powhatan Indians of Virginia Through Four Centuries, (Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1990) 84.

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John Basse "The Immigrant"'s Timeline

1616
September 7, 1616
London, Middlesex Parish, England
1638
August 14, 1638
Age 21
Norfolk, VA
1640
May 29, 1640
Age 23
Isle of Wight, VA, USA
1643
September 4, 1643
Age 26
Virginia
1645
July 12, 1645
Age 28
Virginia
1648
June 27, 1648
Age 31
Virginia
1652
April 23, 1652
Age 35
Virginia
1654
March 29, 1654
Age 37
Nansemond Indian Nation, Virginia
1658
August 2, 1658
Age 41
Nansemond, Virginia, United States
1661
1661
Age 44
Norfolk, Virginia, United States