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Henry Bunch's Geni Profile

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Henry Bunch

Birthdate: (85)
Birthplace: Bertie Co., NC, Brit AM Colony
Death: between April 21, 1775 and August 1775 (81-89)
Chowan County, North Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of NN Bunch; Henry Bunch and NN Bunch
Husband of NN1 Bunch and NN Bunch
Father of Nancy Bunch; Henry Bunch, III; Jeremiah Bunch, I; Rachel Collins; Susannah Summerell and 2 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Henry Bunch

Note: Henry's parents and wife are UNKNOWN. DNA testing has confirmed the West African ancestry of the Bunch male line. Paul Bunch and Henry Bunch were both in Bertie County by the 1720s. Henry Bunch’s daughter Tamerson married Thomas Bass. His daughter Nancy married Isaac Bass. And his daughter Rachel married Joseph Collins.


Henry Bunch is not named in the will of Paul Bunch, although he was living in the same county at the time of Paul Bunch's death. It is highly unlikely that Paul and Henry are father and son. They are related, based on yDNA testing of male-line descendants. They may be uncle and nephew, cousins, or even brothers.

Bunch men of this line are yDNA Haplogroup E1b1a8a.

This is Henry's branch of the family as described by the study coordinators:

"The North Carolina Branch: Bunch males representing old North Carolina lineages, particularly male line descendants of Jeremiah Bunch (b. ca. 1650, arrived New Kent (later King William) Co., Virginia ca. 1668), Paul Bunch (b. ca.1675, prob. New Kent Co., Virginia, died 1727 in Chowan Co., North Carolina), and Henry Bunch (b. ca. 1690, lived in Chowan/Bertie counties, North Carolina, d. 1775)."

Paul Heinegg does not call these men father and son in his "Free African Americans..." See under "Bunch Family" here:


Henry Bunch, b. ca. 1690, living in Chowan Co., NC, when he acquired land in Bertie County. Described as a "Free Mulatto" in the 1763 Bertie tax list. d. 1775 leaving will naming children Jeremiah Sr.; Tamerson m Thomas Bass; Susannah m. Lazarus Summerlin; Rachel m Joseph Collins; Nancy m. Isaac Bass; Embrey (b. Ca 1730-35, m. Elizabeth, d. Bertie Co. 1789).

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This Henry Bunch was NOT married to Eleanor Baysson. That was his GRANDSON Henry, born c1743, who married her February 29, 1764.

Eleanor Bunch

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Henry's son Jeremiah and grandson Henry were described as Saponi:

"According to North Carolina records, the Saponi Indians had a settlement about 15 miles east of Hillsboro, county seat for Orange County, North Carolina … According to their settlement location, the Saponi would probably be near the Flat River. …

The following information is from a Saponi chronology compiled from an Eno-Occoneechee petition for recognition by the State of North Carolina-1750. The Saponi had a settlement near Hillsboro, North Carolina. Post Revolutionary Pleasant Grove region Saponi Indians Jeramiah Bunch, George Gibson, and Henry Bunch received land grants in 1785 along the Eno River just east of Hillsboro, North Carolina." pp. 84-85

excerpt from Jack Goins book, Melungeons: and Other Pioneer Families

PLEASE NOTE: this 1785 land grant does not prove that Henry Bunch c1690 or his other children were also Saponi, as it is not known how many wives or partners he had.


Possible son of a JEREMIAH BUNCH, born c1650, imported to King William County Virginia in 1671:

Jeremiah BUNCH

Birth: abt 1650 Immigration: bef Apr 1671 King William County, Virginia

Wife: Unknown Indian Children:

Paul Bunch b. c1675

William Bunch b. c1680

Henry Bunch b c1685

Jesse Bunch b c1687

Ephraim Bunch b c1690


The following is from "Descent of the Bunch Family in Virginia and the Carolinas" - on 15 Jul 2012)

HENRY BUNCH, born about 1685-90, purchased 200 acres at the mouth of Reedy Branch in what was Chowan Precinct (Bertie County Deed Book), North Carolina on 18 December 1727. He purchased three more tracts of land on Conaritstat Swamp (totaling 640 acres) on 30 May 1729 bordering his own land.

Henry Bunch served on a jury on 14 May 1734. Henry owed rent on 515 acres in Bertie Precinct on 12 June 1735. Henry Bunch had a patent of 200 acres in Bertie County on 14 February 1739/40. This joined his own land and a branch running out of Coneyruckey Swamp. Land Henry sold to Media White on 23 July 1740 was mentioned in 1759.

Henry Bunch died testate in Bertie County in 1775. His will was dated 21 April 1775 and proved August term 1775. His son Jeremiah was married about 1740, so born about 1715. Henry Bunch was therefore certainly born by 1694-99. The yDNA of his descendants matches the Bunch DNA of the descendants of John Bunch III. If Henry is not son of Paul, then he would fit well as Paul's nephew. This branch seems to be darker in complexion than the John Bunch II descendants who remained in Virginia because they were intermittently recognized as people of color.

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From Paul Heinegg's Free African Americans of Virginia and North Carolina:

4. Henry1 Bunch Sr., probably born about 1690, was a resident of Chowan County on 18 December 1727 when he purchased 200 acres in Bertie County on Reedy Branch. On 30 May 1729 he purchased 640 acres in Bertie on Conaritsat Swamp from Thomas Pollock [DB C:21, 266]. He was taxed on himself and 2 slaves in the 1750 Bertie County summary tax list and was a "Free Mulatto" taxable on 2 slaves in Bertie County from 1763 to 1766 [C.R. 10.702.1, Box 1]. Henry made a will in Bertie on 21 April 1775, proved in August 1775. He had already deeded 840 acres of land on Conaritsat and Mulberry to his grandson Jeremiah Bunch, Jr., in 1765, and in his will left most of the remainder of his land to his grandson Cader Bass [WB B:34-7]. He named as heirs the following children:

7 i. Jeremiah1, Sr., born say 1715.

ii. Tamerson, married Thomas Bass.

iii. Susannah, married Lazarus Summerlin.

iv. Rachel, married Joseph Collins.

v. Nancy, married Isaac Bass.

8 vi. Embrey, born say 1730/35.
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Henry Bunch was born in 1690. He lived in [Early Tax List], Bertie County, NC in 1757...[819]

He died in 1775 at the age of 85 in Bertie, North Carolina, USA. Henry died about 1775 at the age of 85 in North Carolina, USA.[820]

819., North Carolina, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1790-1890 (Name: Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 1999;).

820., North Carolina, Will Abstracts, 1760-1800 (Name: Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 1999;).


Free African American Taxables in Colonial Bertie County, North Carolina


Will of Henry Bunch obtained from NC State Archives (Will Book B pg 34)

In the name of God, Amen, I Henry Bunch of Bertie County of the province of North Carolina being weak in body but of sound memory and judgement and knowing it is appointed for all men to die, make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament and first I recommand my soul to God, and my body to be buried at the discretion of my Executor and as touching such worldly estate where with it has pleased God to bless me with I demise and dispose of in the following manner.

I give to my son Jeremiah Bunch one shilling sterling to be levied out of my estate for his part.

I give to my daughter Tomerson Bass one shilling sterling to be levied out of my estate for her part.

I give to my daughter Susanna Summerlin, wife of Lazarus Summerlin one shilling sterling to be levied out of my estate for her part.

I give to my daughter Rachel Collins, wife of Joseph Collins one shilling sterling to be levied out of my estate for her part

I give to my daughter Nanny Bass, wife of Issac Bass one shilling sterling to be levied out of my estate for her part.

I give and bequeath Ann Crumie now living with me one negro boy named Moses, one feather bed with English Tuck and all the furnirute thereafter belonging and one sow and pig, two cows and calves, such as she shall choose out of my stock, One mare called Dumplinn with my saddle and bridle and four barrels of cotton, five barrels of indian corn two hundred pounds of bacon, ten pounds of hog fat, one pewter dish of flour, four plates I mean a small dish, half of the turkeys and other poultry to her and her heirs and forever.

I give and bequeath to my son Embrey Bunch the negro named Ceasar, one feather bed and furniture, two cows and calves, six heads of hogs and six chairs to him and his heirs forever.

I give and bequeath to my grandson Zadock Bunch, son of Embrey Bunch one negro Wench named Cloe V and negro girl named Nancy with their increase to him and his heirs forever.

I give and bequeath to my grandson Cadar Bass, son of Issac Bass all my land and plantation where in I live bounded as followeth beginning at the Cypress in Cashie Swamp on Joseph Collins line then running up the Swamp including the Horse Island to a pine on Muddy Branch a corner tree and then along a line of marked trees by Summerlin far to the back line. Then along the line is a corner tree up the bound Piscon then down the line to the first station to him, and his heirs forever. I also give my grandson Cadar Bass one negro man named Titus, one horse called Balls, one young bay mare called Phonix, all the renaiming parts of my stock, cattle, hogs and sheep with all my household and kitchen furniture, all my plantation, utensils, and everything I may dispose ofnot before of ,me will I bequeath of what nature or kind it may be in either money or other estate whatsoever unto him and his heirs and ------forever.

It is further my will and desire that all the legacies by me given in this my will be paid by my Executor on demand. Lastly I constitute and appoint Pete Clifton sole executor for this my Last Will and Testament declaring all former wills by me made to be void, Confirming this to be my Last Will and Testament------------------------ ------------------------------------- my hand and seal this 21st April 1775.

Signed, sealed published declared Henry Bunch (seal)

by Henry Bunch to be his Last

Will and Testament in the presence of:

Jos. Collins

Josiah Collins

David Collins

The will was proven in Bertie County, NC August Court 1775.

Will dated 4-21-1775. Bertie Co., NC. Ann Crumie is believed [by some researchers] to be Henry's wife and mother of his children. No public marriage record or Cohabitation Bond has been found to date. However, we can safely assume that she was his wife because of his generosity to her in his will and the customs of the Quaker religion at that time. They considered a couple to be married if they made a public declaration of their wishes in their "Meetings". . Quaker records are some of our best records of family events, but since in Bertie Co. they held their "meetings" in the member's homes , apparently these records have been lost.

Another source for will that I will place here - Seems to be error in transcription of dates and/or source - (Barbara Bunch Meacham): Bertie County, NC Will book B page 46 HENRY BUNCH Will dated April 12, 1775-Proved August Court 1775.

See page 6 of this document (ignore the printed page numbers)

North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register - Volume 2

by James Robert Bent Hathaway

Pages 327-328

Bunch, Henry, Will filed April 21, 1775; Probated in August Court 1775. Son Jeremiah, daughters Thomazin Bass, Susanna Summerlin (wife of Lazarus), Rachel Collins (wife of Joseph Collins), and Mary Bass (wife of Isaac), Ann Crumie now living with me, son Embry, grandson Zadock Bunch (son of Embrey), grandson Cader Bass (son of Isaac). Peter Clifton Executor. Test. by Joseph Collins, Josiah Collins and David Collins.


The Bunch family of farmers and house carpenters (fl. 1780s-1860) lived and worked in the plantation communities of Bertie County for at least three generations. The family is notable for its continuity in the trade as well as for the combination of farming and a building trade--a common practice in a rural society. Although many farmers owned basic carpenter's tools, inventories for the Bunch family show quantities and specialized types of tools indicative of men who practiced a highly skilled trade. Prominent among them were men named Jeremiah and Nehemiah. Biblical first names recur throughout the family, making certain identification difficult.

Members of the Bunch family came to Bertie County from Chowan County by 1750. They may trace back to ancestors in Virginia. The first to practice carpentry in Bertie County was probably Embry Bunch (d. ca. 1789), a farmer who owned an unusually large number of tools, including specialty planes and a lathing hammer (to attach plaster lathe to the frame, thus implying that the houses were plastered, an indication of a well-finished house in the 18th century). Jeremiah Bunch II (d. 1809), son of Jeremiah Bunch I (d. 1797), also a prosperous farmer, owned similar tools, a workbench, and lumber; at Jeremiah II's death his tools were purchased by his brothers Micajah and Solomon, and his sons Nehemiah (d. 1844) and Jeremiah III (d. 1858).

Both Nehemiah Bunch and Jeremiah Bunch III continued in the trade. In 1811 Jeremiah apprenticed Dempsey Cooper, and in 1812 Nehemiah apprenticed Jesse Cooper. These Bunch brothers owned farmland plus a saw and grist mill and produced plank, flooring, lathes, and scantling (timbers measured in three dimensions as for joists, rafters, etc.). In 1840 they had fifty-one slaves engaged in agriculture and manufacturing. At Jeremiah III's death in 1858, he had still more tools, including a plumb and level, two ogee planes, a square and compass, gouges and planers, a jointing plane, a jack plane, and a tape measure. Among his thirty books was a "Builder's Assistant." Other family members with specialized carpenter's tools were Elijah (d. 1858), Solomon, William, and Jeremiah H. (d. 1863).

According to Paul Heinegg's research on free people of color, early members of this family were among the residents of the state who were of mixed race and were sometimes counted by tax assessors as white, and other times as mulatto or of color. Thus, for example, Heinegg notes that Jeremiah and Henry Bunch, Bertie County slave owners, were taxed in Jonathan Standley's 1764 Bertie County list as free male mulattoes, but as whites in his 1765 list, and again as free mulattoes in 1766 [Colonial Records, 10.702.1]. People of Indian as well as African and English background were typically identified as mulattoes. By the 1820 census, and in subsequent years, the family members in Bertie County were identified as white farmers. There were also other branches of the Bunch family in the northern Piedmont of North Carolina in Orange and Granville counties in the 18th century, many of whom moved westward.

Despite their long involvement in the trade, only six houses are attributed to the Bunch family--all based on similarities with the home of Jeremiah Bunch III, which he signed "J.B. 1806." They all feature handsome Federal woodwork with distinctive chair rails and elaborate mantels. Further research and fieldwork may reveal more about the family's work and accomplishments.

Author: J. Marshall Bullock. Updates: Catherine W. Bishir and Laura Blokker.

Published 2009

One More Mountain To Cross....

An historical account of a Collins family journey, and the footsteps of their descendants.

By Frankie Blackburn, with Brenda Collins Dillon, Joyce Lea Kollenberg, Cynthia Jane Steeley, & John Trulinger

(A history of the Collins family of Appalachia, including some information on this Bunch line.)

Just in case anyone is interested. This is from

Our Bertie Co. Bunchs were connected to the Nansemonds via marriage of John

Bunch to the Chief's daughter. > A family sermon book still in the Chief's

[Chief Barry Bass] possession records the 1638 marriage of John Bass, and a

Nansemond convert to Christianity named Elizabeth. Everyone in the modern

Nansemond tribe is descended from that marriage.

"Henry Bunch, b. ca. 1690, living in Chowan Co., NC, when he acquired land in

Bertie County. Described as a "Free Mulatto" in the 1763 Bertie tax list.

D. 1775 leaving will naming children Jeremiah Sr.; Tamerson m. Thomas Bass;

Susannah m. Lazarus Summerlin; Rachel m. Joseph Collins; Nancy m. Isaac Bass;

Embrey (b. ca. 1730-35, m. Elizabeth, d. Bertie Co. 1789). Jeremiah Bunch

left will in Bertie Co., NC 1797 naming children William (m.Mary Bunch 1785,

d. 1816); Henry (b. ca. 1743, m. Eleanor Baysson 1764) ; Jeremiah Jr. (b. ca.

1745, m. Judah Hill 1765, d. 1809); Nehemiah (d. 1815); Frederick (b. ca.

1745-8, d. 1810); Nancy m. Collins. Embrey Bunch's children were Micajah,

Sr., b. ca. 1760-65, m. Levinia Holder 1791, m (2d) Teletha Smith 1801, moved

to Christian Co., Ky. abt. 1803; Mary m. Williams; Zadock, b. bef. 1775, d.

1801 unmarried; Nanny m. Rigdon Pritchard 1792 Bertie County; Milley,

unmarried 1801.

The Indian connection is Isaac Bass (ca. 1738-1801) who married Nancy Bunch

was a son of John Bass (ca. 1700-1777), son of John Bass (1673-1732) and Love

Harris (m. 1696), son of William Bass (1654-1742) and Catherine Lanier,son of

John Bass (1616-1699) and Keziah Elizabeth Tucker, daughter of "Robin the

Elder of ye Nansimuns [Nansemond]kingdom". Thomas Bass who marriedTamerson

Bunch was Isaac's brother, b. ca. 1723, d. Bertie Co., NC d. 1764.This may

suggest that the Bunch family had Nansemond connections as well.The

information is from Heinegg's Free Arican Americans of North Carolina and

Virginia. Bertie County, NCWill book B page 46 HENRY BUNCH Will dated April

12, 1775 -Proved August Court 1775 SON: JEREMIAH BUNCH DAUGHTERS:TOMERSON





he leaves to each and also says some of his property abuts that of a JOSEPH


The Nansemonds are currently working with the City of Suffolk [which merged

with Nansemond Co. years ago] to acquire land on Chuckatuck Creek to

re-establish Mattanock, a Nansemond village appearing on map of John Smith's

in the early 1600's.

Anyone who has Bertie Co. Bunch blood in their veins just may be a Nansemond!

Jim Holder


Regarding Nansemond ancestry:

Please note: the Nansemond Tribe does not accept members based on descent from John Bass and Love Harris, the grandparents of Isaac Bass who married Nancy Bunch. They maintain that this Bass line has no Nansemond ancestry.

This line's yDNA Haplogroup does not match that of other descendants of John Basse and Elizabeth the Nansemond. In other words, they do not descend from John Basse in the male line, on the Y chromosome. It is not clear whether this is due to a non-paternal event (adoption, rape, or extramarital affair) or because researchers have confused two unrelated Bass lines. Research is ongoing.

John Bunch 1720 - Louisa, Hanover, Va - d. 1811 - Bedford, Va,<br/>
Error:  Wife:Eleanor (born Boyson) Bunch married grandson Jeremiah.<br/>

John Bunch d. Apr 21 1775 - Bertie, NC- Not John Henry Bunch Grandson's Wife: Ellenor Bunch (born Boyson)

Children: Henry Bunch III, Ann (Bunch)____ ,Jeremiah Bunch, Rachel Collins (born Bunch), Tamerson Bass (born Bunch), Embry Bunch, Nancy (Mary) Bass (born Bunch), Zachariah Bunch, Joseph Bunch, Richard Bunch, Winston Bunch, James Bunch, George L . Bunch, Calloway Bunch, Simeon Bunch, Susanah Summerall (born Bunch)

Siblings: Henry Bunch, Ann Blevins (born Bunch), Paul Bunch, William Bunch, William Bunch, Sarah Bunch, Lucrecia Meredith (born Bunch), Nancy Bunch, John Bunch, William Bunch, William Bunch, Henry Bunch, Samuel David Bunch, Henry Bunch, James Bunch, Lucretia Bunch, Rebecca Bunch, *william Bunch, Mary Bass (born Bunch)

There is no documented wife for him. Many trees show Paul Bunch as his father, but Paul doesn't name him in his will, and there are no land or court records to connect them. Based on YDNA, they are definitely related, but the relationship is unknown.

He did not marry Eleanor Baysson, she married his GRANDSON, son of Jeremiah, who was also named Henry. (Note the marriage record is Feb. 29,1764, so grandpa Henry would have been in his 70s.)

Here is Henry the grandson who married Eleanor:

Henry Bunch...

Henry 1690's daughter Nancy Bunch Bass is only ever named Nancy or Nanny in records; no idea where "Mary" came from!

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Henry Bunch's Timeline

Bertie Co., NC, Brit AM Colony
Age 25
Chowan County, North Carolina, United States
Age 35
Chowan County, North Carolina, United States
Age 40
Bertie County, North Carolina, United States
Age 45
Bertie County, North Carolina, United States
Age 48
Chowan Co., North Carolina, Brit AM Colony
April 21, 1775
Age 85
Chowan County, North Carolina, United States
Bertie County, North Carolina, United States