Published by Dr. Jeff Martin, a specialist in family practice, a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Maine Academy of Family Physicians, a Diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners, and a Diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice. He has been licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the state of Maine since 1984. After leaving New England, he attended Wake Forest University where he received a BA in biology and chemistry before obtaining his MD degree from East Caroline
b.c.1618, Longstock, Hampshire
Married MARY _______
d. after 1686 Barnstable, MA.
Augustine supposedly was deported from England at age 20 aboard the "Confidence" which sailed from Southampton and arrived in Plymouth 24 Apr. 1638 because he was a Gypsy of the tribe of Herne or Heron. The story goes that no Puritan in Plymouth would marry a gypsy because of religious and racial prejudices so Augustine courted and married an Indian Princess in a traditional ceremony at her village. They were given the best land in Barnstable by her grandfather and it was held by the family for three generations without a deed. He and his wife joined the church of Rev. John Lothrop in 1643 which had moved to Barnstable and he was made a freeman in 1652. Austin was surveyor of highways in 1674.
Unfortunately, this story of Augustine being a gypsy and marrying an Indian princess came out of the imagination of Franklyn BeArce. This is first disputed by the eminent genealogist Donald Lines Jacobus in an article in
The American Genealogist", Vol. XV (1938-9):
AUSTIN BEARSE AND HIS ALLEGED INDIAN CONNECTIONS
By Donald Lines Jacobus, M.A., of New Haven, Conn. A strange story was given circulation in the Utah Genealogical Magazine, July 1935 (vol. 26, pp. 99-100), concerning the wife of Austin Bearse, as follows: The evidence as to the identity of the wife of Austin Bearse is found in an unpublished manuscript, entitled: “Who Our Forefathers Really Were. A True Narrative of Our White and Indian Ancestors," by Franklin Ele-watum Bearse (a Scaticoke and Eastern Indian).
This manuscript is a certified copy of an original sworn statement now on file in the office of the Litchfield County District Court, in Connecticut, and accepted by the State Commissioner in Charge of Indian Rights and Claims as an authentic and legal declaration of lineage. It bases its claim as to the identity of Austin Bearse's wife upon statements in the original diary of Ms. Zerviah Newcomb, who married Josiah Bearse, a grandson of Austin, and who wrote from personal knowledge of the facts.
Her diary is called, "A True Chronicle of the Bearse Family."It is said that the above manuscript is deposited in the Congressional Library, and states that Austin Bearse married by Indian rites at the Mattachee Indian village Mary, daughter of John Hyanno, a Mattachee Sagamore, and son of the Sachem lhyannough who befriended the Pilgrims on their first arrival.
In Zerviah Newcomb's diary Austin Bearse was said to be of the Romany or Gypsy race, and the name was originally Be Arce. He belonged to a family of Continental gypsies who had immigrated to England. There was great persecution; for some minor infraction of the English law Austin was deported to the colonies. On arriving at Plymouth, Austin was the only prisoner allotted to Barnstable. No Puritan girl at that time would marry a gypsy, as there were eligible Puritans to select from. It was therefore natural that he should marry an Indian Princess. Further it is said that Mary Hyanno was a lovely flaming-haired Mattachee princess.
This story within itself such improbabilities that a genealogist familiar with the place and period would hardly give it serious consideration, were it not for the two facts that it has been published in a reputable periodical, and that the claim of documentary evidence is made. The present writer therefore made an attempt to locate this evidence. The Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Litchfield County, Conn., had no knowledge of it; neither had the State Librarian, Hartford, Conn.
A letter directed to the State Commissioner in charge of Indian Rights and Claims, Hartford, Conn. was referred. to the State Park and Forest Commission, which is authorized to act as overseer of all tribes of Indians residing in the state. An official of this agency has replied: Mr. Franklyn Bearse (Ele-wa-tum) has filed with us a copy of "Who Our Forefathers Really Were" which he claims is a true history of his ancestors. During the past two years I have spent some time in looking up the genealogies of families now living on the three Indian Reservations in the state and in a very few instances have found connections with the persons mentioned in Mr. Bearse's paper. In every case, as I recall, there has been no conflict and although we have no proof that his statements are all correct we have no reason to doubt them.
Mr. David C. Means, Acting Superintendent of the Reading Rooms, Library of Congress, prepared a careful memorandum, which states: We find no record of a diary of Zerviah Newcomb Bearse in our collections. We do have in the Rare Book Room two manuscripts, both by F. E. Bearse. One is entitled "Who Our Forefathers Really Were," 1933 (CS71.B42 1933) and the other "From Out of the Past," 1935 (CS71.B42 1935). Both of these works say that Austin Bearse married Mary Hyanno, a daughter of John Hyanno, a full blood Wampanoag Indian. The Library of Congress has no means of checking the authenticity of the statements contained in these books.”
The memorandum further states that the 1933 manuscript contains an affidavit on the first page signed by Franklin Elewatum Bearce and gives additional particulars. The manuscript not bearing claim of copyright, it was possible to obtain photo copies of two pages, which we shall discuss shortly.
It will be noted that none of the agencies addressed had knowledge of the alleged original Zerviah (Newcomb) Bearse diary, nor possessed either the original or a photo or certified copy of it. Until the diary can be examined and its exact statements considered, it can hardly be cited as evidence for the statements made in Mr. F. E. Bearce's manuscript account.
The present writer must state emphatically that he has no knowledge of and is not concerned with Mr. Bearce's immediate ancestry, which is presumed to be correct as stated. Our sole concern is with the alleged Indian ancestry of the wives of Austin' Bearse, of his son Joseph 2, and of his grandson Josiah 3.
Austin was born over 300 years ago, and his grandson Josiah died in 1753, nearly 200 years ago. Any statement as to their wives cannot therefore be based on personal knowledge, and any tradition passing by word of mouth through several generations requires verification from contemporary record sources before it can safely be accepted.
The second page of Mr. F. E. Bearce's 1933 manuscript contains the following statement: The following historical and genealogical notes and facts is a true record of our correct line of descent and is based on correct information handed down from generation to generation by my ancestors and imparted to me by word of mouth by my grandfather William Henery Bearce [etc.] and the written Narrative Codgial [sic] of Zerviah Newcomb's dairy written by the hand of Zerviah herself after the death of her husband by law Josiah Bearce lst at New Fairfield Conn.
On the fifth page the pedigree of the first three generations of the Bearse family is set forth. According to this, Austin Bearce married in Summer of 1639 Mary Hyanno, born 1625, daughter of John Hyanno, Mattachee Sagamore (and wife Mary), son of lhyannough, Mattachee Sachem (and wife, a princess of the Narragansetts).This is a great deal of detail to be handed down by word of mouth for three centuries. What is actually known about Austin Bearse? He is named as Augustine Bearce, aged 20, in the shipping list of the Confidence of London, which sailed from Southampton the last of April, 1638. Most of the passengers on this ship came in family groups, and a large number of these families settled in Essex County, Mass. The name Augustine (of which Austin is a corruption) is be it noted, a Christian name, in good usage in England. There is no evidence whatever that any of the passengers on this ship were deported criminals.
There is no evidence whatever that Austin was sent to Barnstable as a prisoner. On the contrary, he came to Barnstable with the first company in 1639; he became a member of Mr. Lothrop's church, 29 Apr. 164, 3, and he is the first person named on the present record of those who joined the church after its removal to Barnstable, He was proposed to be admitted a freeman, 3 June 1652, and was admitted 3 May following. He was called Goodman in the records, bespeaking his good standing. He was a grand juror in 1653 and 1662, and a surveyor of highways in 1674. To quote "Barnstable Families" (1888) by Amos Otis (vol., 1, pp. 52, 53), "He appears to have been very exact in the performance of his religious duties, causing his children to be baptized on the Sabbath nextfollowing the day of their birth. He was one of the very few against whom no complaint was ever made; a fact which speaks well for his character as a man and a citizen."
The wife of "Brother Berce"joined the church, 7 Aug. 1650 [New Eng. Hist. and Gen. Register, vol. 9, p. 281]. To suppose that a Gypsy, a deported criminal, and the husband of an Indian, would have enjoyed such standing in a Puritan community is absurd. In explanation of his marriage to an Indian, the story is told that he was a Gypsy and hence the Puritan girls would not consider him in marriage; yet his children married into the best families of Barnstable and Yarmouth. But would the children of the girls who allegedly stuck up their noses at a Gypsy, have married the half-breed children of that Gypsy and an Indian? Obviously, although the actual evidence is strongly in favor of the conclusion that Austin Bearse was an Englishman and a strict Puritan, and that his wife was one of his own people, it is not possible, until his wife is identified by record proof, to make the negative declaration that she was not an Indian. Unfortunately, any person can claim that the unknown wife of any early colonist was Chinese or Hottentot or Malay, and improbable or impossible as such an assertion might seem, it cannot be absolutelydisproved until the real identity is established by records.
The burden of proof, therefore, must fall on the person who makes any positive assertion to sustain it by evidence. No such evidence has been presented for the claim that the wife of Austin Bearse was an Indian, and until it is presented, it is the part of discretion to pronounce it unproved and extremely unlikely.
The F. E. Bearce manuscript makes statements also relative to the wives of Joseph 2 and Josiah Bearse, the son and grandson of Austin, and these statements will be examined as a test of the reliability of the manuscript account. It states that Joseph 2 Bearse. born 1652, married 1676 Martha Tayler [sic], born at Yarmouth 1659, daughter of Richard Tayler of Yarmouth by his wife, Ruth Wheldon, daughter of Gaberiel [sic] Wheldon who came in 1628 and his wife Margaret, a full blood Indian princess, daughter of a Wampanoag Sagamore, a younger brother of Massasoit.
There are two errors of date in this statement. The birth of Martha Taylor on a precise date in 1650 has appeared in print, presumably from the Yarmouth records; and she died 27 Jan. 1727/8 aged 77 [Barnstable records in New Eng. Hist. and Gen. Register, vol. 2, p. 316], which also places her birth in1650, not 1659. Her parents married on or shortly after 27 Oct. 1646, at which date Gabriel "Whelding" gave (consent to his daughter Ruth's marriage to Richard Taylor [Plymouth Colony Records, vol. 2, p.110].
According to "Early Wheldens of Yarmouth," by J. W. Hawes (Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy, No. 43], Gabriel Whelden, born in England, first appears in Plymouth Colony in 1638, hence he could hardly have come in 1628 as claimed, for the very full records of that region and period did not ignore a settler's presence for a decade. To quote from Mr. Hawe's account: "His children were no doubt born in England and were probably by a first wife. When he died in 1654 his wife was Margaret, who, it seems clear, was his second wife and not the mother of his children. He apparently came to Yarmouthabout 1639 with a family of grown children. He left Yarmouth about 1648."
Another account is found in "The History of Malden" (1899), by D. P. Corey, p. 158: "Gabriel Wheldon, or Welding, who appears to have been a personal friend of Mr. Matthews, was with that minister at Yarmouth, and took the oath of fidelity with him. He came here [i.e., to Malden] with Mr. Matthews, and in his Will calls himself 'of the 'Towne and church of Mauldon.' With his youngest son, John, he sold . . . four parcels of land in Arnold, county Nottingham, Essex Deeds, i. 24. This forbids the conclusion that he was a fellow countryman of Mr. Matthews; but from the apparently close connection of the parties, I am inclined to believe that his wife, Margaret, was from Wales, and perhaps owned a relationship with the pastor." Further, as to Gabriel: "He died in Malden in January, 1653/4. . . With the exception of a legacy of ten shillings to the Malden church, his estate, valued at £40,11,8, was left to his wife; but the claims of his elder children caused a contention. The widow, who may have been a second wife, returned to England. “She went back in 1655 with Mr. Matthews.
Now since Gabriel Wheldon first appears in New England in 1638, and his daughter Ruth was married to Richard Taylor eight years later, it is almost certain that Ruth was born in England. Yet according to the Bearse manuscript, the mother of Ruth Wheldon was Margaret, an Indian princess. (Strange, how every Indian ancestress was a princess!) Did Gabriel Wheldon, one wonders, find the Indian girl straying about the British Isles? And why should the widow Margaret, if born an Indian, return to England with her pastor? It is also to be noted that two independent students reached the conclusion, from the record sources examined, that Margaret was mostprobably a second wife, and hence not the mother of Ruth. No conscientious investigator, with any knowledge of conditions in colonial New England, could accept the statement of the Bearse manuscript, totally undocumented, that the wife of Gabriel Wheldon was an Indian.
Finally, we come to the account of Josiah Bearse, son of Joseph 2 and Martha (Taylor) Bearse. The Bearce manuscript states that be married first, Nov. 1716, Zerviah Newcomb, "By Whom He Had No Children"; and that he married second, 1718 at Mashpee, Mary Sissell, mother of all his eleven children. She is described as a full blood Indian princess (another princess), daughter of Isaac Sissell, a Momenet Sagamore, by his wife Mary Tuspuquin, daughter of Watuspuquin-Black William, Sachem at Nahant, by his wife Amie, full blood Indian princess, daughter of Massasoit. Now it is true that Otis in "Barnstable Families," vol. 1, pp. 55, 59, states that Josiah Bearse married first, 2 Nov. 1716, Zerviah Newcomb of Edgartown, and second, Mary --, and that he had no children by his first wife.
Whether or not this was one of the numerous errors of Otis, the Newcomb Genealogy (1874) by John Bearse Newcomb gives a different account which is repeated in the revised edition of this work (1923), p.21 in both volumes. According to this account, Zerviah Newcomb, daughter of Lieut. Andrew and Anna (Bayes) Newcomb, married 2 Nov. 1716, Josiah Bearse. He resided at East Barnstable but was dismissed from the church there 29 Dec. 1734 to the church at Greenwich, Conn., to which place he soon after moved. In 1738 they removed to New Fairfield, Conn., where he died 31 Aug. 1753. The inscription on his wife's gravestone reads: In Memory of Zerviah Bearss died Sept. 5th in the 91st year of her age 1789."
The eleven children are then given, born between 1719 and 1741. No mention is made of an alleged second wife, Mary, and the children are all attributed to Zerviah. It will be noted that Zerviah was married in 1716, survived her husband, who died in 1753, and died herself in 1789. Josiah could not therefore have had a second legal wife.
Mr. F. E. Bearce admits this in his reference to Zerviah "after the death of her husband by law." The story therefore is that Josiah Bears either committed a bigamous marriage, or kept a concubine, and that in spite of this his legal wife accompanied him on his removal to Connecticut. Such a story cannot be accepted, and is seemingly based on an error, either in the book by Otis, or in an original record at Barnstable. Both offenses were serious in the eyes of the law, and although committed occasionally, resulted in legal action against the sinner and usually also in divorce. Yet here we find that the church, after the birth of many of Josiah's children, gave him an honorable dismissal to the church in his now home. This proves that he remained in good standing with his church, as had his grandfather before him. If the story were true, he would have been cast out of the church.
The vital and land records of New Fairfield were unfortunately destroyed. However, the Danbury Probate records (vol. 2, pp. 43, 45 and files at the State Library) afford quite conclusive evidence: 1 Oct. 1753 "Josiah Bearss & Zurviah Bearss are appointed Administrators on the Estate of Josiah Bears slate of New Fairfield in sd District Deceised." 3 Dec. 1753. Joseph Bearss son to Josiah Bearss Late of New Fairfield in sd District Decesd Being ofLawfull, age to Chouse his Gardian and having maid Choise of his mother Zurviah Bearss to be his Gardian the Court Doth allow and approve thereof. Distribution of the estate was not made until 1 July 1791, in other words after the death of the widow (Zerviah Newcomb).
This distribution of "the Estate of Josiah Barss late of New Fairfield decest"; was made to "the heirs of Josiah Decst who was the eldest son of the Decest"; "Thomas Barss the second son of the Decst"; "Martha"; "Anna late wife of Benjamin Stevens her heirs"; "Mary the wife of Gideon Beardsley";"Josep the third son of the Decst"; and "Benjamin Bars the fourth son of the Decest."
So! Are we to believe that the legal wife and widow served as co-administrator on Josiah's estate with his eldest son by a concubine? Are we to believe that one of the younger sons by the concubine chose the legal wife for his guardian, calling her "his mother," and that Zerviah and the court accepted the choice? And are we to believe that distributors, appointed by the Court, distributed Josiah's estate after his lawful widow's death to his illegitimate children? Such preposterous conclusions are forced upon us if we accept the statements made in Mr. Bearse's manuscript, "Who Our Forefathers Really Were."
The children of Josiah and Zerviah (Newcomb) Bearse honored their mother by names which were bestowed on the next generation; "Zerush Bearse" and "Newcomb Bearss" both, married at Danbury in1778 [Danbury Vital Records, 1-442, 406). It is not our province to inquire why a later descendant prefers to disown Zerviah Newcomb in favor of an alleged Indian concubine, and to besmirch the character ofJosiah Bearse by making bastards of all his children. Not an atom of evidence has been adduced to show that Josiahever had an Indian concubine or secondary wife; and the records quoted above prove conclusively that Zerviah Newcomb was his only wife and the mother of his children.
When in three successive generations, such claims of Indian marriage are made, in several details at variance with primary record sources, and involving an entire sequence of improbabilities, we are justified in concluding that this account, whatever its source, traditional or otherwise, cannot be accepted as authentic.
Since the alleged claims of Indian marriage and descent in the second and third generations have been exposed as false and unacceptable, we have a legitimate basis for the deduction that the statement about Austin Bearse, the first settler, is of the same unsubstantial texture.
In conclusion, a few general observations may be apropos.
First: very few white immigrants to New England in colonial days married Indians; differences of race, language and culture were too great, and for much of the colonial period, relations between the European settlers and the Native Americans were unfriendly if not actively hostile.
Second: many traditions of Indian ancestry have been encountered, but such traditions have rarely been proved, and usually they can be disproved or their improbability clearly demonstrated.
Third: some people do not wish to have Indian ancestry proved, while others like the “romance" of a remote Indian "princess" in the ancestral tree. The present writer has no bias in the matter, one way or the other, and desires only to ascertain the historic fact when investigating such a tradition or claim. Every person has a right to examine the historical basis for genealogical statements that have been published either in printed form (as this was in the Utah magazine above cited) or by the gift of manuscript data to libraries (such as the Library of Congress) where they may be consulted by the general public; and every person has the right to publish his own conclusions, based on such an examination.
The present writer, in availing himself of this privilege, wishes it clearly understood that the bona fide nature of statements herein criticized is not questioned, merely their historical accuracy.
There is also a discussion concerning this Indian ancestry and Mr. BeArce's credibility in an excellent article by John Doer: NOTES ON THE MANUSCRIPT "FROM OUT OF THE PAST." Several years ago, researching the Bearss family, from which I am descended, I became aware of the manuscript of Franklyn Elewatum BeArce, printed in Utah Genealogical Magazine, and a later response to it from the noted genealogist Donald Lines Jacobus. Although the claims made by Mr. BeArce seem somewhat outlandish, a number of Bearss descendants have given them credence, and continue to support them, particularly in the on-line genealogical community. Therefore I decided to investigate the matter myself, to see what might be learned using information readily available to me at the depositories to which I have access, including the Yale University Library, the NEGHS library, and the library of the NYGBS.
The undertaking then, is a brief analysis of the document, "From Out of the Past", by Franklyn Elewatum Swimming Eel BeArce, to see what light can be shed on the claims made within it. My sources are cited at the end of the document. Who was Franklyn BeArce? Franklin Bearce was a steamfitter who lived in Mount Vernon, NY. He married a Swedish immigrant named Marie (as her second husband) and they had a single child that did not survive them. Born in 1878, in Allegan, Michigan, he was the son of a butcher, Noble Bearce, and his wife, Mary Ellen Blaine. In his 50's he became acquainted with several families living on the nearby Schaghticoke reservation in Kent, Connecticut, and began to insert himself into their affairs.
In 1933 he applied to the Connecticut State Park and Forest Commission to be certified as a Schaghticoke Indian, but after an investigation, he was denied. His interest in the Schaghticoke was undiminished, however, and in 1939, and again in 1940, Mr. BeArce organized "Pow-Wows" near the reservations, which were attended by several thousand tourists. The 1940 event was promoted by Mr.
Bearce as "American Indian Day" and he advertised himself in handbills as “Chief Medicine Man" and "Chief Medicine Sagamore".
In 1939, Mr. BeArce called a meeting of the Schaghticoke community and convinced the attendees to allow him to initiate a land claim before the Indian Claims Commission on their behalf, claiming the Bronx, Manhattan, and a large part of Connecticut and New York. BeArce volunteered to do all the work entailed by the filing and he was thereupon unanimously elected "Chairman of the Schaghticoke Indian Claims Commission" by all 17 of those in attendance. The claim worked its way through the federal bureaucracy and in 1954 was challenged on the grounds thatBeArce had no standing as a non-Schaghticoke. He therefore called another meeting, and asked that he be accepted as a member of the tribe in order that he might continue the claim. In another unanimous vote, he was rejected. The suit does not appear to have been renewed.
Since the advent of Indian gaming in Connecticut, and the success of the Pequot casino at Foxwood, similar suits on behalf of the Schaghticoke have now been filed, seeking the right to erect and operate a casino on their land, but this time with some of the wealthiest names in the "hospitality" business taking the part of Mr. BeArce. So far, none have been settled. Of course, none of this either adds to or detracts from the document "From Out of the Past", and is not intended as an ad hominum argument for or against. It simply provides some color to the picture we have of the author. He sounds like a colorful character indeed.
Proceeding to the manuscript he left, then, and following the suggestion of my esteemed friend Mr. A.Whitney Brown, of Greenwich, CT, I thought it fruitful to begin by examining those portions which are most easily compared to the historical record. These involve historical persons well documented already.
According to Mr. BeArce: "My grandfather James G. Blaine was a son of John Blaine and his second cousin Elizabeth Ann Blaine. My grandfather James G. Blaine, was a first cousin of Games G. Blaine, American diplomat, and Sec of State and one time candidate for President of this commonwealth; There Their (?) fathers were brothers, and they were both named after their grandfather, James Gillispe Blaine."
"From Out of the Past" by Franklyn BeArce (unpublished) the historical record: Bearce's great grandfather John Blain was a half-brother to Ephraim Lyon Blain, (the father of James Gillespie Blain). Since it was Ephraim Blain whom Maria Gillespie, neither the grandfather, the great grandfather, nor the great great grandfather (James Blain) of Franklin BeArce would have carried the name Gillespie. Franklin BeArce was related to the politician and statesman James Gillespe Blaine as a half-second cousin 3 times removed.
According to Mr. BeArce: My grandfather Blain was a studious man and a scholar; he was a slave owner at Preston, N. Carolina, and built wagons and gun carriages for the Confederate Govt, during the Civil War. He was pauperized by the collapse of the Southern Confederacy, and come north, first to Whitly Co Indiana, where with severalNegroes ex-slaves he bought land, and from there to Allegan Co. Mich , where he lived for some years and lies sleeping. He married Nandachine Hoover at the Quaker settlement of West Milton, Miami Co Ohio. Hewas North Irish stock,--
"From Out of the Past" by Franklyn BeArce (unpublished)The historical record: Bearce's grandfather James Blain was the son of John Blain, who came from Cumberland, PA and was an early settler in Noble County, Indiana. He never made wagons or cannons, either for the Union or the Confederacy, never owned slaves, was never rich enough to become impoverished, was not married in West Milton, Miami, OH, and in fact, never lived in North Carolina. His quiet life in Noble County near his family is as well accounted for as can be expected. The only time he “come north" was when he moved the 100 miles or so to Allegan, Michigan, where he lived near the residence of his daughter Mary and her husband Noble Bearce.
His background: James Blain was from childhood a resident in Noble County, by trade a blacksmith, and at age 24, on May 22, 1855, married, in Whitley County, Indiana, Nancy J. Hoover. (In 1860 several dozen residents of Noble County, the Blains among them, petitioned for the township they lived in to be transferred to Whitley County. They were successful in this petition, and the county boundaries were moved.) He lived near his parents and brothers, and at the outbreak of the Civil War, the 1860 census shows him there, a blacksmith, his wife a "domestic" with a one year old daughter. There are no slaves or Negroes in the enumeration district, and it's doubtful he could have afforded one, even with his wife working. His estate is 200 dollars.
This is pretty damning for the credibility of BeArce. For a person claiming to know the intimate details offamily history to be so wrong about the life of his own grandfather is astonishing, particularly when the grandfather was a neighbor.
According to Mr. Bearce: "The ancestral history of my grandmother Nandachine Hoover, and her sister Aunt Millie, were handed down to me by word of mouth of both these women when I was a young man, and verified on the back."
"Nandachine Hoover was a daughter of Jesse Hoover and Rebecca Yaunts, who were both in the oldHillsborough district North Carolina; Rebecca Yaunts was a dau of John Yaunts, Jr. son of Yaunt-ka-ha and Jesse was a son of John Hoover. The following is a true historical and genealogical record of my grandmother Nancy Hoover’s Indian strains, and the people involved, and is to the best of my knoweledge correct."
"From Out of the Past" by Franklyn BeArce (unpublished). The historical record: Quite a bit is known about Rebecca Yount and Jesse Hoover; they were the great grandparents ofPresident Herbert Hoover, and both the Yount and Hoover families have a proud and careful tradition of keeping family history through the generations. Jesse and Rebecca had nine children before he died in 1856, a short time after the family migrated to Cedar County, Iowa. Rebecca lived another 40 years, well into her 90's, and never remarried, but reportedly adopted another 19 children over the years. She was a true family matriarch.
The problem is that she never had a child named Nandachine, Nancy, or even any variation such as Agnes. In addition, all of her children and their marriages are accounted for, and none married a James Blain. Neither she nor any of her children ever lived in Whitley County, Indiana. This is not just a case of anunlisted child. Rebecca Yount lived to the age of 96, and counted her children, grand children, greatgrandchildren, and great, great, grandchildren as closely as a hen counts her chicks. She had nearly 300 descendants when she died and one of her passions was genealogy. She was part of a very close Quaker community, and the suggestion that one of her children is unaccounted for is not to be credited.
Who then was Nancy J. Hoover, the grandmother of Franklin BeArce? A look at the Federal census of 1850 provides some clues. September 24, 1850, Whitley County, Indiana, No township listed p.4 547/565 Jesse Hand 37 NJ Farmer $600 Rebecca 36 NCDavid 13 OHJohn 8 OH Samuel 6 INRebecca 3 INNancy J. Hoover 10 IN Sarah E. " 6 INAmelia M. " 6 INDavid " 3 IN.
This is certainly the family of Bearce's grandmother, Nancy J. Hoover, complete with her sister Amelia,"Aunt Millie", who later married Moses Daisy. They are but a short distance from the family of James Blain. It presents a complicated situation. Apparently we see the union of two recently made single parents, each with 4 children by former spouses. A marriage record provides assistance: Whitley County Marriages: HAND, Jesse to Rebecca HOOVER on May 6, 1849 - Book 1:36 .
Jesse Hand is probably the son of Cornelius Hand of Kosciusko County, Indiana, but since we don't know the maiden name of Rebecca, her identity remains a mystery, as does that of her first spouse, Mr. Hoover. She is unlikely to have left us a written record, as both she and Mr. Hand were among the few adults over 25 years of age listed on the page who could neither read nor write. But we can be absolutely sure that she is not Rebecca Yount. Her identity is a project most appropriately left to her descendants, should any wish to honor her name. I can only add that she died at the Whitley County Poor Farm sometime after 1880, forgotten, it seems, even by her own grandchildren.
Conclusion: Mr. Bearce goes on with a lengthy and ridiculous tale of the Yount family history, and its Indian origins, similar to the Bearse tale, and to relate it here would serve no purpose other than to amuse the very competent family historians of the Yount clan at the expense of the Bearss' descendants. Since Mr. Bearce emphatically states that he received this "true and historical genealogical record" from his grandmother and aunt, then we are faced with an unpleasant judgement. We can only conclude, bluntly, that someone is lying, either Bearce, or his grandmother and aunt. And this is no casual lie. The account he gives is elaborate, lengthy, and follows enough of the vague outline of historical fact to show familiarity with it. The liar would have to have had some knowledge of the Hoover and Yount families. Common sense would suggest that it was indeed, Mr. BeArce who was the liar. In compiling the manuscript he shows a familiarity with the basics of genealogical research, remarking that there is no Passenger Record for the Yount immigrant ancestor, (not true by the way.) Had he been deceived, even the barest research would have alerted him to that fact.
There can be little doubt that he was the perpetrator of this hoax. As to his motives, we can only guess. Perhaps he hoped to profit as a result of a land claim. If so, he was deluded. Even real Indians have almost no hope in that regard. Perhaps he was inspired by "Grey Owl", the Englishman who posed an Indian in the early 20th century, and toured the world pontificating upon the "The Way of the Great Spirit".
In any case, since genealogical conclusions can never be ascertained with absolute surety, the whole endeavor depends on diligence and relies on trust. Genealogists have a difficult enough time correcting unintentional errors, and the study would be made infinitely more difficult were the element of deliberate deception to creep in. Therefore we must dismiss the entire BeArce manuscript with extreme prejudice. To repeat it as a "possible alternative" there is no doubt, is to join in Bearce's perverse fraud.
Let us therefore list the "information" contained in this manuscript, and only in this manuscript, unsupported elsewhere, so that we can, without controversy, dismiss it once and for all:
1. The spelling of the name BeArce - this appears nowhere else.
2. The claim that Augustine Bearss was a Gypsy - again, nowhere else.
3. The claim that the children of Josiah Bearss and his wife Zerviah Newcomb were actually the bastards of a relationship Josiah Bearss carried on with an Indian woman.
4. The claim that Rebecca Baldwin, wife of Josiah Bearss, was an Indian.We can add to these additional claims Bearce makes earlier in his own genealogy, such as that Sampson May, the father of Anna May, wife of Elijah Rowe, was an Indian through her father, Sampson May, "a full blood Schaghticoke sagamore" according to Bearce. This Sampson May is listed in the 1820 census of Beekman, Dutchess County, NY, as "Free Black Male".
Although Indians often passed for white, for varied reasons, it would be very difficult to mistake an African American for anything but that. These claims, and others contained in the manuscript of Franklin Bearce, the steamfitter from Mt. Vernon, deserve to be dismissed from controversy, removed from notation, and in general ignored.
Further, it is incumbent upon those who propagate these claims to cite their source, i.e. the unsubstantiated word of amalicious liar. There are those who continue to pursue historical evidence to support these claims, for whatever reasons of their own, and they are entitled to waste their time in such an endeavor. I would only advise that as in all wild goose chases, whatever they come up with is subject to this basic rule of logic; proof that something might have happened is not proof that it did. I can prove a dozen ways that it was possible for me to have run the Boston marathon this year. After all, it was held in my region, others with the name John participated, my presence cannot be accounted for that day in my home town, not every participant was named on the rolls, I have a pair of running shoes, etc. Without some positive evidence that I actually did participate, these claims are meaningless.
I hope this paper is useful to the Bearss descendants, who currently run the risk of being deemed the most gullible of genealogic researchers. This is not the legacy Austin Bearss would have wished for his descendants.
John Quinn Doer"
Ah... so much for an Indian Princess as an ancestor... guess we'll just have to keep looking in other places!
Mary Ann- b. 16 Aug. 1640 Barnstable, m. Andrew Hallet Jr., d. 6 Apr. 1694 Barnstable
Martha- b. 6 May 1642
Priscilla- b. 10 Mar. 1643/4 Barnstable, m. 1660 John Hall Jr., d. 30 Mar. 1712 Yarmouth, MA
- b. 28 Mar. 1646 Barnstable, m. Aug. 1667 Barnstable
Abigail- b. 18 Dec. 1647 Barnstable, m. 12 Apr. 1670 Allen Nichols
Hannah- b. 16 Nov. 1649 Barnstable
Joseph- b. 25 Jan. 1651/2 Barnstable, m. 3 Dec. 1676 Barnstable, Martha Taylor, d. 27 Jan. 1727/8Barnstable
Hester- b. 2 Oct. 1653 Barnstable
Lydia- b. 30 Sept. 1655 Barnstable
Rebecca- b. 26 Sept. 1657 Barnstable, m. 17 Feb. 1669/0 William Hunter
James- b. 31 July 1660 Barnstable, m. 1684 Barnstable, Experience Howland, d. 7 Oct. 1728Plympton, MA
1930 Federal Census Mount Vernon, Westchester County, New York Schaghticoke Tribal Nation v. KentSchool Corporation, 3:98CV-0113 COMMENTS OF THE STATE OFCONNECTICUT, THE CONNECTICUT LIGHT & POWER COMPANY, KENT SCHOOLCORPORATION, AND TOWN OF KENT REGARDING THE PETITION FOR FEDERAL TRIBALACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE SCHAGHTICOKE TRIBAL NATION PETITIONER GROUP APRIL16, 2002STN Pet.: STN Federal Acknowledgment Petition submitted in 1994.STN AR: Anthropological Report Supplementing the STN Petition, dated April 1997, by Lucianne Lavin,Ph.D.STN HR: Historical Report Supplementing the STN Petition, dated April 1997, by Michael Lawson, Ph.D.STN TCA: Twentieth Century Addendum to the April 1997Supplement, dated March 20, 1998.STN TL: STN Tribal Leadership Report dated February 15, 2002.CT Ex.: Initial Submission of Exhibits by the State of Connecticut,December 2001.Town Ex.: Initial Submission of Exhibits by the Town of Kent,December 2001.May 23, 2002 2002-R-0517 SCHAGHTICOKE LAND CLAIMS AND PETITION FOR FEDERALRECOGNITION By: Christopher Reinhart, Associate AttorneyBiography of James G. Blaine (Norwich, Conn., 1895) by Mary Abigail Dodge"American Statesmen Series," James G. Blaine (Boston, 1905) by CE Stanwood BLAIN, James to NancyJane HOOVER on May 22, 1855 - Book 1:211Whitley County Indiana Marriages 1838-1910History of Whitley County, Indiana "John Blain and his wife, Elizabeth Blain, are the oldest persons in thetownship. John Blain was born n Pennsylvania, February 29, 1792, and his wife was born January 29,1791; they were married in Ohio, near Chillicothe 1816, and have lived together as husband and wifenearly sixty-six (66) years - two generations - on the farm where they settled with their little children in1836 - forty-six years ago. They are truly old pioneers."Federal Census of 1850, Whitley County, IndianaFederal Census of 1850, Noble County, IndianaFederal Census of 1850, Kosciusko County, Indiana"From Out of the Past" by Franklyn BeArce (unpublished)Federal Census of 1860, Noble County IndianaFederal Census of 1880, Allegan County, MichiganMcLean, Hulda Hoover, The Genealogy of the Herbert Hoover Family, Revised and Expanded EditionYount Family History: John Andrew Yount and Elizabeth Little, Pauline Moser Shook c1990.The Yount Family of Europe & America, Edith Warren Huggins, 1986."A Brief Sketch of the Origin of the Yount Family in America", by W. C. Yount, Alliance OH and Wm. M.Yount, Warren OH, 1936.Mark and Mariah’s Family Tree-