The Nansemond Indian Bass Family of Granville

The Bass family in Granville is one of the larger Native American families in the county. Just about all “core” surnames of the Native community in Granville have intermarried with the Basses. Thankfully, the Bass family has a very well documented tribal origin with the Nansemond tribe in Virginia. Additionally, there are Bass descendants found in several state recognized tribes in North Carolina including: Haliwa-Saponi, Meherrin, Occaneechi-Saponi, and Lumbee.


Nansemond Tribal Origin

Untitled presentation (2)
Family Tree of the first generations of Basses. John Bass(e), a colonist, married Elizabeth, daughter of the chief of the Nansemond tribe. This blog post focuses on their grandsons Edward Bass and John Bass who moved to North Carolina. © Kianga Lucas

Much of the source material for this blog entry comes from Lars Adams’ research on the Basses. Not only is he a researcher, but he is also a descendant of the Bass family and has invested a lot of time in correcting past genealogical mistakes. I also drew from Paul Heinegg’s research on the Bass family.

The Native American branch of the British Bass family begins with the marriage in 1638 of John Bass(e) an English colonist to Elizabeth, baptized daughter of the chief of the Nansemond tribe. They are my 10th great-grandparents. Their marriage was recorded in the Bass family bible that has survived to the present. There have been incorrect transcriptions of this marriage record that falsely state that Elizabeth’s name was “Keziah Elizabeth Tucker” and that her father was “Robin the elder”. However as you can clearly read from the actual original marriage record, her name is simply “Elizabeth” and her father’s name is not mentioned at all. So if you are a Bass descendant or researcher, please check your family tree to make sure you have the correct information. Below is an image of the marriage:

Bass Family Bible transcription:
Bass Family Bible transcription:
“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.”

The Nansemond tribe is an Algonquian speaking tribe of the Powhatan Confederacy from the tidewater Virginia area that is today the modern city of Suffolk. As coastal people they were impacted very early on by European colonization. Here is a map of sub-tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy:

Map of the Powhatan Confederacy. The Nansemond Tribe is circled in red. Source: Helen Rountree
Map of the Powhatan Confederacy. The Nansemond Tribe is circled in red.
Source: Helen Rountree

John Bass and Elizabeth had several children including a son named William Bass (1654-1741) who appears to be the most well documented. William Bass was married to a woman named Catherine Lanier and they continued living in the area that was then Norfolk County, VA and is today Chesapeake, VA. William Bass Sr and Catherine Lanier had the following children:

  • Edward Bass b. 19 Oct 1672
  • John Bass b. 4 Dec 1673
  • Keziah Bass b. 30 Oct 1675
  • William Bass b. 28 Oct 1676
  • Joseph Bass b. 21 Dec 1678
  • Mary Bass b. 15 Jun 1681
  • Thomas Bass b. 13 Nov 1687

Four of his sons: Edward, John, William, and Thomas are known to have had children and living descendants today. Sons William Bass Jr (1676 – 1761) and Thomas Bass (1687-?) and their descendants primarily remained in the Norfolk Co, VA area with some descendants moving a very short distance across the state line into Camden Co, NC and neighboring counties. Descendants of the Basses who remained in the Norfolk area make up the core membership of the state recognized Nansemond Tribe. These Basses commonly intermarried with other FPOC families such as: Hall, Perkins, Price, Archer, Newton, and Nickens.

On the other hand, sons Edward Bass (1672 – 1750) and John Bass (1673- 1732) relocated to North Carolina and their descendants I will document in the following sections. The descendants of both men can be found in many Native American communities throughout North Carolina, including Granville.

William Bass Sr in 1726/1727 received a certificate from the Norfolk Co, VA court stating that:

William Bass, Senr. & … his sons Wm. Bass, Thomas Bass and Joseph Bass, & spinster daughter Mary Bass are persons of English and Nansemun Indian descent with no Admixture of negor, Ethipopic blood

William’s sons Edward and John Bass are not included in this certificate because they had already relocated to North Carolina several years prior.

Later William’s son William Bass Jr (1676-1761) received a similar certificate in 1742 that read:

William Bass, the Bearer, tall, swarthy, dark eyes, weight abt. 13 stone, scar on back of left hand, is of English & Indian descent with no admixture of negro blood, numbered as a Nansemun by his own Choosing. The sd. Bass dwells in this County and hath a good name for his industry and honesty.

Clearly the Bass family early on was attempting to document and establish their Nansemond Indian identity and in the eyes of the colony, this meant also not having any “negro admixture”.

Augustus Bass sitting on the far left with other members of his family in Norfolk County, VA (modern Chesapeake). Augustus Bass is a descendant of William Bass Jr (167 ), whose family remained in Virginia.
Augustus Bass sitting on the far left with other members of his family in Norfolk County, VA (modern Chesapeake).
Augustus Bass is a descendant of William Bass Jr (1676-1761), whose family remained in Virginia.

William Bass Sr, wrote a will on 1 Oct 1740 which was proved on 17 Sep 1742 in Norfolk Co. In the will, William gives to his sons William, Edward and Thomas only one shilling each. He gave to his son Joseph Bass, his “waring cloaths” and left his land and anything else to his daughter Mary in the hopes that she salvage what is left. Clearly, William was not in good financial standing at the time of his death. Son John Bass (1673-1732) is not named in the will because he predeceased his father. This is also true for William’s daughter Keziah Bass who died in 1704.

William Bass will
This is the original handwritten will of William Bass (1654-1741). Source: Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983; Norfolk; Original Wills, 1693; page 427.

 

William Bass will abstract
Transcription of the will of William Bass dated 1 Oct 1740 and proved on 17 Sep 1742 in Norfolk Co, VA

Edward Bass and John Bass Move to North Carolina

From here our discussion focuses on the two brothers Edward Bass (1672-1750) and John Bass (1673-1732) who moved to North Carolina. Let’s first start with Edward Bass. Edward Bass was named in his father William Bass’ 1740 will in which he only inherited one shilling. Edward’s wife was Lovewell but her maiden name has not been confirmed and so more research is needed to properly identify exactly who she is. Edward is well documented as a land owner in Norfolk County, VA (modern Chesapeake, VA) and purchased land from John Fulcher in 1699. Fulcher’s will in 1712, freed the Anderson family that would both intermarry and move with the Basses into North Carolina. You can read more about John Fulcher and the Anderson family here. Edward Bass makes numerous appearances in the Norfolk Co court records up through 1715.

By 1720, Edward Bass owned land around the Horsepool Swamp in Chowan County (modern Gates County), North Carolina. In that land transaction, he is called “Edward Bass of Norfolk County, Virginia, Parish of Elizabeth”, so we know it is our same Edward Bass. A couple of years later in 1723 he started purchasing tracts of land along Urahaw Swamp in what was then Bertie County and what is today Northampton County, NC. Fortunately, Edward left a Northampton County will which named his children.

All of Edward Bass’ children moved to Granville County and so his descendants are well represented in the Granville community. And it is important to note that Edward Bass’ children and descendants intermarried quite frequently with the freed Anderson family, so much so, that it’s nearly impossible to separate the two families. Though all of Edward Bass’ children inherited a parcel of his Northampton Co. land, they all eventually sold off their shares when they moved to Granville Co. Edward’s son Benjamin Bass (1722-1802) still owned a parcel of his father’s Northampton Co land in 1784, when he and his wife Mary eventually sold it off. Once Edward Bass’ children arrived in Granville, they became neighbors and intermarried with the already established Chavis, Harris, Pettiford, Hawley, Goins, and Mitchell families and became apart of the community.

 

The descendants of Edward Bass’ brother John Bass (1673-1732) are also among the Granville Native Americans, but they are not as numerous as Edward’s. John Bass was first married to Love Harris. A record of their marriage still exists:

John Bass and Love Harris marriage recorded in Perquimans County, NC. “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.”
John Bass and Love Harris marriage recorded in Perquimans County, NC.
“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.”

As researcher Lars Adams point out, despite John Bass and Love Harris both being residents of Nansemond County, VA they married in North Carolina. John Bass was Indian and Love Harris was white and during this time, VA passed strict laws forbidding interracial marriages. So they likely married in North Carolina where the laws were more lenient.

John Bass purchased land that adjoined his brother Edward Bass’ land in Horsepool Swamp in Chowan Co (now Gates Co), NC in 1720/1721. This shows the two brothers moved together and remained close in North Carolina. And just like his brother Edward, John Bass accumulated a lot of land that adjoined his brother’s along Urahaw Swamp in what was then Bertie County, and now Northampton County starting in the early 1720s. John Bass died young in 1732. Fortunately he also left a Northampton County will which divided his Urahaw Swamp land among his children.

It should be noted that John Bass’ will makes mention of his widow Mary, and in it, John leaves his plantation to her as gift for “bringing up my small children”. Since we have an earlier marriage record for John Bass to Love Harris, this would mean that Love died sometime earlier, and John Bass remarried Mary. The will seems to indicate that Mary helped raise the children that John Bass had with his previous wife. The will also confirms that Edward Bass and John Bass were siblings because in it, John Bass refers to his own land as being adjacent to his brother Edward Bass.

Some of John Bass’ children remained in Northampton County and neighboring/nearby counties including Bertie, Edgecombe, Nash and Halifax. Other children moved to other parts of the state. For example, John Bass’ grandson Frederick Bass (b. 1750)  moved to Anson Co and some his descendants can be found among the Lumbee Tribe in Robeson Co.

Several of John Bass’ children did join Edward Bass’ children in their relocation to Granville Co. They were Sarah Bass b. 1704, William Bass b. 1712, and Lovey Bass b. 1720. Sarah Bass b. 1704 was the wife of Lewis Anderson (1713-1785), of the freed Anderson family of Norfolk Co, so that explains why she moved to Granville. Lovey Bass b. 1712 was not married but had a partner named George Anderson (1696-1771) who was also of the Anderson family. The wife of William Bass b. 1712  is unknown but I wonder if she was also an Anderson. Just like Edward Bass’ children, John Bass’ children who moved to Granville married into and became a part of the Native community.

****Mary Bass (1757-1844) and her husband  Benjamin Richardson (1750-1809) are my 5th great-grandparents and are the main progenitors of the state recognized Haliwa-Saponi tribe. It had been assumed that Mary Bass was the same Mary Bass who was the daughter of Thomas Bass and Thomasine Bunch of Bertie Co. Thomas Bass was a grandson of John Bass (1673-1732). However I no longer believe this to be true. A closer examination of the records as well as DNA cousin matches, shows Mary Bass to have a closer relationship with the Edward Bass (1672-1750) branch of the Bass family. Specifically, I’m looking into Mary Bass being the daughter of either Benjamin Bass (1722-1802) or perhaps Edward Bass Jr (1728-1800) of Granville Co. Both men were sons of Edward Bass (1672-1750). I will update this blog post when I can confirm my research. Please check back again later. ****

This map shows the movement of brothers Edward and John Bass from their Nansemond homeland in Virginia to North Carolina. All of Edward Bass' children and three of John Bass' children moved and settled in Granville County by the 1750s. © Kianga Lucas
This map shows the movement of brothers Edward Bass (1672-1750) and John Bass (1673-1732) from their Nansemond homeland in Virginia to North Carolina. This map shows that the brothers moved together from Norfolk, to Horspool Swamp, and then to Urahaw Swamp together. All of Edward Bass’ children and three of John Bass’ children moved and settled in Granville County by the 1750s.
© Kianga Lucas

 


A Closer Look at Urahaw Swamp and Neighboring Tribes

The fact that brothers Edward Bass and John Bass moved to North Carolina at the same time and bought adjoining land deserves further examination. The Urahaw Swamp land that was first purchased in 1722/1723 is of particular interest because Bartholomew Chavis (1685-1750) also owned land along Urahaw Swamp. Bartholomew was the father of original Granville County land owner William Chavis (1709-1777) whose large land tract provided the land base for the Native American community in Granville. The earliest records for Bartholomew are found in Henrico and Surry County, VA. By 1719/1720 he was living in North Carolina and started purchasing land along Urahaw Swamp just 2-3 years before the Bass brothers purchased land there.

Map of the southern portion of Northampton County, NC. I circled Urahaw Swamp which runs off of Potecasi Creek which I also circled. Potcesai Creek enters Northampton from the eastern border with Hertford. Urahaw Swamp breaks off from Potecasi and runs westward an ends on the northern side of the Roanake River along the Halifax County border. Source: http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/ncmaps/id/8072/rec/18
Map of the southern portion of Northampton County, NC. I circled Urahaw Swamp which runs off of Potecasi Creek which I also circled. Potecasi Creek enters Northampton from the eastern border with Hertford. Urahaw Swamp breaks off from Potecasi and runs westward and ends on the northern side of the Roanake River along the Halifax County border.
Source: http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/ncmaps/id/8072/rec/18

The Gibson family is another Native American family who are relevant to this discussion. William Chavis’ wife was Frances Gibson. Her brother John Gibson who lived nearby, was a witness to a 1728 land purchase along Urahaw Swamp by Edward Bass (1672-1750). Two of John Gibson’s sons – George Gibson and Charles Gibson moved to Granville in 1750 but this was the far southwestern part of the county that just two years later became Orange County. George and Charles Gibson did not stay in Orange County for along and moved around quite a bit with their descendants eventually leaving the state. William Chavis (1709-1777) also owned some land in Orange County and perhaps that is connected to George and Charles Gibson’s temporary residence there. Despite inheriting his father’s Northampton County land along the Roanake River in 1750, William Chavis (1709-1777) continued to live in Granville County. William even continued to have additional land transactions in Northampton County but Granville was his primary residence as indicated in tax records. So with William Chavis being the first from Urahaw Swamp to relocate to Granville, it appears the Bass/Anderson family followed him.

I find it interesting that a Nottoway Indian named George Skipper b. 1685 was documented through land transactions, living along Urahaw Swamp in the 1720s (See Heinegg here). This is the exact same time that the Chavis, Gibson, Bass, and Anderson families lived along Urahaw Swamp. And when we take a look at the Moseley map of 1733, we see both the Meherrin and the Nansemond Indians living in close proximity to Urahaw Swamp in Northampton Co. The Nottoway and Meherrin are part of the same Iroquois speaking confederacy. And some of the Nansemond lived with the Nottoway. This was an area where a number of tribes took refuge with one another, and this historical context is important for understanding Urahaw Swamp and the cluster of mixed race Native American families who resided there.

Mosely Map 1733
Zoomed in portion of the Moseley Map of 1733. Urahaw Swamp is shown west of the Nansemond and Meherrin tribes which are circled. Source: http://ncpedia.org/moseley-manuscript-map

 

So why did some Nansemond Indians leave VA and head into Iroquois/Tuscarora and Saponi territory and ultimately end up marrying into both tribes? The Basses belonged to the so-called “Christianized-Nansemond” as explained by scholar Helen Rountree, and they were never granted a reservation like other Powhatan tribes (Pamunkey, Mattaponi, Gingaskin, etc). The “traditional” Nansemond did live on a reservation in Southampton County and lived with the Nottoway Tribe. By 1792 they sold off their remaining reservation land.

Map showing the location of the
Map showing the location of the “Christianized Nansemond” that the Bass family belonged to.
Source: Helen Rountree

Without a bordered, recognized land base, it seems the Basses were pushed out of VA as a result of encroachment by European colonists. North Carolina at that time was still the “frontier” and that is where the Basses decided to make their home. The Basses were not the only family from a Powhatan tribe that made this journey. I suspect a number of Native American families from North Carolina that have tidewater Virginia roots were Powhatan tribal people who were pushed out and ended up marrying into other tribal communities.


The Basses from Granville County

So to summarize: all of the children of Edward Bass (1672-1750) and three of the children of John Bass (1673-1732) relocated to Granville County. Edward Bass and John Bass were brothers, and the grandsons of John Bass(e) an English colonist and his Nansemond Indian wife Elizabeth.

The Bass family continued living and thriving in Granville County as can be seen from census records. In 1800, there were 14 Bass heads of households, in 1810: 10 heads of household, in 1820: 7 heads of household, in 1830: 6 heads of household, and in 1840: 6 heads of household. In the 1850 census where every household member is named for the first time, there were approximately 24 Basses in Granville, and in 1860 there were approximately 25 Basses in Granville. By the 1940 census which is the last publicly available census, there were approximately 100 Basses in Granville. These numbers of course do not reflect female Basses whose names changed due to marriage, nor their descendants.

Untitled presentation (1)
Family Tree showing the immediate family of Benjamin Bass (1722-1802), great-grandson of John Bass(e) and Elizabeth the Nansemond. Because neither a will or estate records have been located for Benjamin Bass, there are unanswered questions as to how many children he had. In addition, numerous children were bound out to Benjamin Bass. © Kianga Lucas
Untitled presentation
Family Tree showing the immediate family of Edward Bass Jr (1728-1800), great-grandson of John Bass(e) and Elizabeth the Nansemond. Edward Bass left a will which named his children. In the Granville tax lists, he is consistently shown with his wife Tamer so I feel confident that she was the mother to all of his children. © Kianga Lucas

Two of Edward Bass’ sons: Benjamin Bass (b. 1722) and Edward Bass Jr (b. 1728) are primarily responsible for the large number of Basses in Granville Co as well as those who continued to head further west into Person, Orange, Caswell, Alamance, Chatham, and Guilford Counties, so you will find a high number of their living descendants today.

Alonzo Bass (1859-1941). Source: Ancestry, User: randymaultsby
Alonzo Bass (1859-1941). Son of William Bass and Sarah Evans. 
Source: Ancestry, User: randymaultsby
William Brammer Bass (1874-1962) Source: Ancestry, User: Derika73
William Brammer Bass (1874-1962). Son of William Bass and Sarah Evans
Source: Ancestry, User: Derika73
Garland Bryant Bass (1879-1935). Source: Ancestry, User: randymaultsby
Garland Bryant Bass (1879-1935). Son of William Bass and Sarah Evans
Source: Ancestry, User: randymaultsby

The Bass lineage of the three brothers pictured above:

William Bass; Cullen Bass; Prudence Bass; Edward Bass Jr; Edward Bass Sr; William Bass Sr; John Bass(e) the English colonist and Elizabeth daughter of the Nansemond chief.

Not only do the three Bass brothers descend from the Bass family, they are descendants of the Granville County Evans, Anderson, Day, and Mayo families. This particular branch of the Bass family moved around neighboring Granville, Person, and Orange counties.

Alonzo Bass’ grandson Joel Bass (1929-2012) was former chief of the Eno-Occaneechi Tribe (precursor to the state recognized Occaneechi-Saponi tribe). On Joel’s mother’s side he is descended from the Granville County Day, Stewart, Cousins and yes the Bass family again from the Edward Bass Sr line.

Joel Bass (1929-2012). Son of Buck Bass and Minnie Day. Source: Richard Haithcock
Joel Bass (1929-2012). Son of Buck Bass and Minnie Day and grandson of Alonzo Bass pictured above.
Source: Richard Haithcock
Joel Bass as a young man. Source: Ancestry, User: randymaultsby
Joel Bass as a young man.
Source: Ancestry, User: randymaultsby
Alford Pettiford born 1877 Resident of Fishing Creek, Granville County, NC. Son of James Pettiford and Frances Brandon. Source: Ancestry, Username: rdaye
Alford Pettiford born 1877
Resident of Fishing Creek, Granville County, NC.
His parents were James Pettiford and Frances Brandon.
Source: Ancestry, Username: rdaye

Alford Pettiford is another Bass descendant and in fact has multiple Bass lines that trace back to both brothers Edward Bass (1672-1750) and John Bass (1673-1732).  One of his Bass lineages is as follows:

Alford Pettiford; James Pettiford; William Pettiford; Dicey Bass; Nathan Bass; Lovey Bass; John Bass; William Bass; John Bass(e) the English colonist and Elizabeth daughter of the Nansemond chief.

Cappie Frances Anderson (1882-1947). Cappie was a resident of Fishing Creek, Granville County, North Carolina. Her parents were James Anderson and Emma Taborn. Source: Ancestry, Username: rdaye
Cappie Frances Anderson (1882-1947). Cappie was a resident of Fishing Creek, Granville County, North Carolina. Her parents were James Anderson and Emma Taborn.
Source: Ancestry, Username: rdaye

Cappie Frances Anderson also has multiple Bass lineages going back to both brothers Edward Bass (1672-1750) and John Bass (1673-1732). One of her Bass lineages is as follows:

Cappie Anderson; James Anderson; Winnie Anderson; Henry Anderson; Rhody Anderson; Winnie Bass; Benjamin Bass; Edward Bass; William Bass; John Bass(e) the English colonist and Elizabeth daughter of the Nansemond chief.

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44 thoughts on “The Nansemond Indian Bass Family of Granville

    • I really appreciate this story because we just did our family tree and I too am a descendant to the bass family once they first arrived in Roanoke and integrated with the native Americans.

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  1. I am trying to establish a relationship to Richard Basse (Bass), Sr., (1958-1722) son of John Basse (Bass) – (1616-1699)/Elizabeth Keziah Tucker Indian Princess (1620-1676). I am trying to establish that Richard Basse, Sr. was the father of Mary Basse(Bass) (1709 – Unknown) who was married to John Taylor, IV (1674-1722)
    Can you help?
    Thank you
    Karen Newman Goff

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    • Hi Karen. First please note that John Bass(e) the Englishman was married to Elizabeth, daughter of the Chief of the Nansemond tribe. Her name was NOT Elizabeth Keziah Tucker. Please refer to my discussion on this topic in my blog entry as well as Lars Adams’ research which I cited. I think you mistyped the birthdate for Richard Bass Sr. I have only researched John Bass(e) and Elizabeth’s son William Bass and his descendants, so I’m not much help here. You may want to reach out to Lars Adams as he may have CREDIBLE sources to help you trace the other children of John Bass(e) and Elizabeth. Best of luck! http://chowanoke.webs.com/bassegenealogy.htm

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      • Hi Karen,
        If my lineage is:

        1 Breena Evans BASS

        2
        Bryant Evans BASS (Father)
        b. 22 Apr 1928, Durham, NC
        3
        William Council BASS II (Grandfather)
        b. 19 Dec 1889, Nash County, NC
        m.
        d. 6 Aug 1952, Durham, NC
        Lutora Bryant BASS (1893- )
        Marjorie Maine ROGERS (Grandmother)
        b.
        d. 25 Jun 1962, Durham, NC
        4
        William Council BASS I (Great-Grandfather)
        b. 1850, Nash County, NC
        Harriett Lutorah BRYANT (Great-Grandmother)
        b. 1859, Mannings, Nash County, NC

        5
        Embry (Embro) BASS (2nd Great-Grandfather)
        b. 1804, Nash County, NC
        m. 23 Mar 1833
        d. Oct 1855, Nash County, NC
        Isley BATCHELOR (2nd Great-Grandmother)
        b. 1815, Nash County, NC
        .
        6
        Augustine BASS Sr. (3rd Great-Grandfather)
        b. 1767, Nash County, NC
        m. 1788
        d. 1816, Nash County, NC
        Mildred (Lydia) BASS (3rd Great-Grandmother)
        b. Nash County, NC
        d. Feb 1845, Nash County, NC
        7
        Isaac BASS (4th Great-Grandfather)
        b. 1736, Northhampton County, NC
        m. 25 Aug 1755, Northhampton County, NC
        d. 27 Dec 1800, Nash County, NC
        Mary Nancy BUNCH (4th Great-Grandmother)
        b. 1738, Chowan, NC
        d. 22 May 1811, Nash County, NC
        8
        John BASS (5th Great-Grandfather)
        b. 20 Feb 1715, Chowan, NC
        m. Northhampton County, NC
        d. 11 Mar 1777, Northhampton County, NC
        Elizabeth WINBORN (5th Great-Grandmother)
        b. 1713, Bertie, NC
        d. Bef 1777
        9
        John BASS (6th Great-Grandfather)
        b. 4 Dec 1673, Nansemond, VA
        m. 8 Jan 1696, Perquimans County, North Carolina
        d. 3 Feb 1731, Bertie, NC
        Love HARRIS (6th Great-Grandmother)
        b. 1677, Nansemond, VA
        d. 1732, Bertie County, North Carolina
        10
        William BASS (7th Great-Grandfather)
        b. 29 Mar 1654, Jamestown, Isle of Wight, VA
        m. 6 Nov 1671, Norfolk, Virginia
        d. 13 Aug 1742, Norfolk, VA
        Catherine Elizabeth (Lanyere) LANIER (7th Great-Grandmother)
        b. Abt 1655, Nansemond, Virginia
        d. 17 Feb 1690, Norfolk County, Virginia
        11
        John BASSE (8th Great-Grandfather)
        b. 7 Sep 1616, Middlesex, London, England
        m. 14 Aug 1638, Nansemond, VA
        d. 2 Apr 1699, Nansemond, VA
        Keziah Elizabeth TUCKER (8th Great-Grandmother)
        b. 1624, Nansemond, Virginia
        d. 4 Dec 1676, Nansemond, Virginia
        12
        Nathaniel BASSE (9th Great-Grandfather)
        b. 29 Dec 1589, London, England
        m. 21 May 1613, England
        d. 3 Jul 1654, Cripplegate, London, England

        Does this mean I am of Indian desent? Nansemond? Seems some
        questions if some Basse’s are or are not. Thanks for the reply
        Breena Bass

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      • Wow, this is so Amazing….My grandfather is a Bass….Those Basses are his ancestors..I have a book from a Bass family Reunion & all the people above are in there…Theyre my ancestors, My grandfathers name was Willie Lee Bass, lived in Granville & Person his whole life….Wow

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  2. I enjoyed this very much , I hope you can help me , I am looking for my line in the Bass Family .Lila B. Bass whos father was Norman Bass and mother was Betty Turner. They lived in Gaston, Northampton Nc. Lila Bass married Ira Peters they were my great grandparents , she had a sister Rosa, brothers Waylan, Haywood, Elijah and that’s all I remember . pictures would be awesome then I can see what they looked like , the history would be awesome then I would know how they lived . I thank you so much for your time

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  3. Thank you!! I descend from John Bass I and Love Harris Bass. This post answered a number of questions I had. My own fourth great grandmother Winifred Bass relocated from Granville to Muhlenberg, Kentucky in the early 19th century.

    Will be recommending your blog to others and posting a link to the “Bass Surname DNA Study” on Facebook (just use ‘search’ on FB to find us).

    Like

  4. I believe the common thread between Bass, Fulcher and Andersons is that they all come from or are connected to sea Captains and they all may had involvement with slavery.

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    • I forgot to mention that I am descended from both William’s sons Edward and John and from the Anderson freed in 1712.

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  5. Hello, very helpful! I believe through research I am related to Cap. Nathaniel Bass and his son John Bass.
    I’m just double checking everything I have found to make sure.
    Thanks

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  6. I am trying to research Needham Bass born in North Carolina 1790. There is another Needham that you have proven to have no connection to the Nansemond Tribe but I believe my Needham did. I would love to either prove or disprove this. Can you help?

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  7. Your info on Basses answers my doubts on the James and Willis Bass connection. I thought that I was a descendant of John 1616—William 1654—-William 1676—William 1733 and from there I had John 1760—James 1790—James 1818. Could I be wrong? I am a Bass born and bred and my family went from VA to NC to SC to TN if I am right. BUT thank you for your input on the Basses….the wrong info I had in my tree will be eliminated and hopefully I can somehow find the correct lineage for my Bass family.
    Louise Bass Demmons

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  8. Looking for information/connection with Bass lineage into Alabama. My information is John Edward Bass Jr., son of Mary Love Harris & John Edward Bass Sr.Edward Bass Jr., (1700-1777) married Elizabeth Winborne (1706-1777), their son Isaac Bass (1736-1800) married Nancy Ann Bunch (1738-1811). Isaac & Nancy’s son Augustine Bass Sr., (1770-1816) married Lydia Lnu and they had a son Wilson Bennett Bass born circa 1785 in Nash County, NC. Bennett and his wife (unknown) moved to Georgia for a while then finally settled in the Carolina community of Covington County during the early 1800s. From there I know my family. Curious if you are familiar with any of this information or can you help me. Thanks!

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    • Hi Diana,

      I do see family trees on Ancestry with similar information but I have not verified it on my own. I’m not too familiar with this branch of the Bass family. From what I have read, this is the branch that seems to have identified as white, intermarried with whites, and became wealthy slave owners. Many of them did move to the deeper south where they could purchase more land and expand their plantations.
      Isaac Bass’ (1736-1800) brother Thomas Bass (1723-1766) was my 6th great-grandfather. Thomas Bass (1723-1766) married my 6th great-grandmother Thomasine Bunch who was the sister of Nancy Ann Bunch (they were daughters of Henry Bunch). Thomas Bass and Thomasine Bunch’s daughter Mary Bass (my 5th great-grandmother) is the main progenitor of the Bass family of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe. Mary Bass first married Elijah Bass and second married Benjamin Richardson (my 5th great-grandfather).
      Kianga

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    • Hi Diana,

      Were you able to confirm this line? I find that Wilson Bennett Bass is where everything gets a little convoluted. If I can confirm that Wilson Bennett Bass is the son of Augustine, I believe that would solve solidify my Bass lineage. My family is from Covington County as well.

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  9. Thank you for this wonderful information. I will continue to try and unravel by Bass line. The paper trail dies and I am uncertain if my ancestor was illegitimate or what.

    Samuel Bass was born about 1774 in Halifax, NC according to family, died about 1870 perhaps in Texas. He had two wives: Gemima and Mary Ann Stockton. He moved to Iredell NC (1820), Pickens AL (1840), and Itawamba, MS (1850). His family spread all over but mostly MS, TX, OK. His youngest son claimed he was Cherokee and tried to get money through the Dawes Act. He could not give any information about his Indian ancestry and was denied. I have always thought that Samuel was white and his first wife, Gemima may have been of Native or African American descent, her descendants were dark and one descendant was refused burial in the white cemetery for her ancestry. But perhaps Samuel was of mixed ancestry or both. Second wife, Mary Ann, was from a NJ Quaker line, appears to be white.

    Any information is appreciated!

    Descendants with loose dates: Mount Hilliard 1807-1883 MS, Rebecca Moises 1801-1875 IL, Mary A 1810-, Susan Weston 1811-1861 MS, John W 1819-1856 AL, William Hayward 1822-1865 AL, Thomas Coke 1823-1878 TN, Marquis Lafayette 1825-1874 MS, Green Franklin 1827-1910 MS, Julius A 1828-1858 MS, Christopher Columbus Kit 1830-1865 MS, James Martin 1832-1910 OK, Martha Jane 1836-1900 TX.

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  10. Kianga,

    Do you have any information on William Bass of Caswell County, NC? His household was listed as FPOC in the 1830 census. His family lived next to Isaac and Pleasant Watkins. Also next door was Martha and Moses Bass, Lawrence Pettiford, Frederick Dyson, Mary Jones, a couple of Free colored Thompson households, Martha Richardson and Nancy Berry. I’ve also recently discovered two different Day family DNA matches. One has Basses in their paternal line and I’m trying to narrow down our connections back to NC or Va.

    Thanks,

    Patrick Watkins

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  11. Thank you for an excellent blog. You mention Mary Bass Richardson as granddaughter of John and Love Bass. Like you I have her parents as Thomas Bass and Thomasine Bunch. But evidently I have her father Thomas incorrect as I have his father as Edward, John’s brother. Could you share a little more? Who were the parents of the Thomas Bass who married Thomasine Bunch?

    BTW My 4g was Simon Bass who died 1825 Halifax NC. He left a will as did his son and grandson – all in Halifax, so I have a good paper trail forward to me. Simon married 1. Angelina Dupree in Greensville, Va 1803; 2. Margaret Pugh. The family has mostly stayed in Weldon Halifax area until today. I have no idea who Simon’s parents were.

    I have tested autosomal DNA at Anc. and 23 and no NA or any DNA other than European has shown for me on their tests. My g-grandmother was Nellie Bass (Keeter). Please keep Simon in mind as you continue your research.

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    • Hi Denise,

      Mary Bass’ parents were Thomas Bass and Thomasine Bunch. Thomas was the son of John Bass Jr. b. 1700. And he was the son of John Bass Sr b. 1673 and Love Harris.
      Mary Bass Richardson is the main female Bass progenitor of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe (she’s my 5th great grandmother).

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  12. I have found this site very interesting. My cousin sent me the link. I am a Bass and I can take my families line back to the 1700’s and that is where the trail ends.
    I am 6 generations down from John B Bass(1829-1865) there are no known siblings for him. He married Elizabeth who was born in 1823. During the Civil war he died he was in the 27th NC infantry Co. k His father was Uriah Bass (1790-1981) and his wife was Julia Ann (1790-1853). They are from Wayne County, NC. Uriah’s father was Joshua Bass (1763-1829) He was married to Priscilla Turner (1764-1850) They had 4 children including Uriah, Ferabe, Rebecca (1788-1862) and Isaac Bass (1793-1828).
    I’m looking to see if there is any connection with this line and if any other Bass family members from the Wayne County area could provide me with anymore information.

    Sheila Bass Squier

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  13. “I suspect a number of Native American families from North Carolina that have tidewater Virginia roots were Powhatan tribal people who were pushed out and ended up marrying into other tribal communities.”

    This is something I also suspect from researching genealogies of DNA matches along Saponi lines. On lines with oral history of Native American ancestry there are mixed surnames from 1600s VA whose ancestors are marrying into Siouan lines in 1700s VA/NC. I had no idea of this until doing DNA. From oral history and genealogy I knew our Siouan connections, but was surprised to see Rolfe’s and other names in cousins trees. We tested my mother’s MTDNA and a Rolfe and a Redfearn were among her twelve matches.

    There is a DNA discussion about these Bass lines on SaponiTown:
    http://saponitown.com/forum/showthread.php?4588-Possible-Bass-Basse-Nansemond-DNA-Connection

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I want too personally thank you. You have included my great great aunt Cappie Frances Anderson on this blog. Her niece Hattie Jane Anderson (who is 89 years old) was surprised to see this article.

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  15. Hello,
    does anyone know of Cynthia (Bass) Sills
    she married Washington Sills Prior to 1843
    three known children were mothered by Cynthia (Bass) Sills
    Berry Sills, born 1844
    Martha Sills, born 1847
    Cynthia Sills, born June 10th 1848
    In 1867 Wesley Whitaker married Cynthia Sills, the daughter of
    Washington Sills and Cynthia (Bass) Sills
    I ‘am the descendant of these
    any information will be greatly appreciated
    I “Thank You” in advance.

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  16. John Bass Born London England 1616 Died 4-2-1699 Nortfolk VA. Wife Elizabeth Tucker Born 1618 Died 12-4-1676 Was my 10 Great Grand Parents. Glad to See This Info.

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