The Ancestry of Overmire Tifft Richardson Bradford Reed

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  • ID: I14235
  • _UID: DDA6A839B6A94689B7A3DD3B86F091040F87
  • Sex: F 1
  • Birth: ABT 1623 in Barnstable, Barnstable, (Cummaquid) MA
  • Death: 1660 in Barnstable, Barnstable Co., MA
  • Burial: Old Cemetery, Barnstable, MA
  • Note:



    WARNING: Mary's identity and parentage are in dispute. She may not have been Native American at all. Keep in mind that Native American genealogies are based on oral traditions. Some show Mary's Indian name as "Little Dove," apparently a fabricated name with no historical basis in fact. Mary's supposed brother John Hyano has been confused with her father in many sources.

    Presidents George H. W. and George W. Bush, as well as writer Ambrose Bierce are descendants.



    According to tradition, Mary was a beautiful, light skinned woman with flaming red hair. She was said to be a member of the Cummaquid or Mattachee sub-group of the Wampanoag Tribe. Her father died the same year she was born, so she and her brother were sent to live with her grandfather.

    "The evidence as to the identify of the wife of Austin Bearse is found in an unpublished manuscript, entitled: 'Who Our Forefathers Really Were.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 Ancestor,' by Franklin Ele-wa-tum 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 identify of Austin Bearse's wife upon statements in the original diary of 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 Ihyannough 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 emigrated 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. Her people had an ancient tradition that a long time before white men had landed on their shores and intermarried with them. This probably indicates a Viking descent, and why the Indians were called Wampannoags (White Indians). Mary's ancestry is given as: 1. Ihyannough, Sachem of the Mattachees 2. John Hyanno, Maryland No-pee, dau. of No-took-saet 3. Mary Hyanno, Maryland Austin Bearse." --Bruce Cox

    Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 15:33:01 -0700
    Subject: [Barss/Bearse/ie/ce] Iyannough
    Dear Friends:
    I have been asked to post what I believe to be the line of the Sachim Iyannough based on what I have been taught by oral tradition and family genealogies. This information may not be entirely correct but should be viewed as oral history and open to your judgments. I do not propose to be the best authority, but please bare with me as I explain what I believe to be true. The Wampanoag people were a confederation of southern New England tribal groups, separate from each other, but with a common language and cultural base. At the time of the first English in the early 1600's there were over 60 different tribal groups within the confederation. Mary Hyanno was Mattachee also sometimes called Cummaquids, Chawmun or Shaumes. The word Mattachee translates to "place of worn planting fields." The area around Barnstable was called Mattachee/Mattachiest, with the Yarmouth area known as Mattakeeset. The Mattachee were under authority of a local leader (Iyannough) but also pledged themselves to Ousamequin, the Massasoyt at Pokenoket who was in power over much of the area. The Mattachee were closely related to the Nauset people who were located further up the Cape and who often did not join in the Wampanoag confederation. My oral tradition:
    1. Highyannough: Old Cape Sachim, father of Iyannough, said to have married daughter of Canonicus, Narragansett Sachim.
    2. Iyannough: Young Sagamore at Cummaquid, father of John Hyanno and Mary Hyanno. Said to have married Mary, aka Mary Nopee who was daughter of Martha's Vineyard Sachim. He was accused of being a conspirator with Massachusett people to overthrow the English. He went into hiding in swamps on the Cape and died of sickness the year of his daughters birth, along with the Sagamores Coneconam of Manamet and Aspinet of Nauset.
    3. John Hyanno: Brother of Mary Hyanno and Sachim at Cummaquid and also on Martha's Vineyard, (mother's connection).
    4. Mary Hyanno, daughter of Iyannough, granddaughter of Highyannough, brother of John Hyanno.
    My belief is:
    Highyannough 1554 to 1641 died at 87 yrs.
    Iyannough 1595 to 1623 died at 28 yrs.
    John Hyanno 1620 to 1680 died at 60 yrs.
    Highyannough, Iyannough, and John Hyanno are sometimes confused and combined with each other. Iyannough died in the swamps at a very young age of 28 or so, the same year of his daughters birth. Mary was raised by her grandfather and later her brother until taken in marriage by Austin Bearce in 1639 at about 15 or 16 years of age. In the early days of the English 1621 to his death in 1623 Iyannough would have not been given the Christian name of John as some say, as there was no missionary contact on the Cape in those early times. His son and daughter were most likely given Christian names of John and Mary after his death when the English became more established on the Cape. The grandfather who died in his late 80's is the most likely source of the land given to Austin. The grandson, John Hyanno with other variations of his name, became the leader in the area and also is shown on deeds of land on the Cape as well as on Martha's Vineyard where he died in 1680. Historical birth and death dates do not indicate that the three men could have been one in the same. Thank you for your kindness, "Nunocksuk Matannash" (There are many stars) iootash [:ITAL] --courtesy of Alice Raven

    Native American genealogical researcher Mary Hilliard notes that the Franklin Bearse information is regarded as accurate and trustworthy, whereas Jacobus's work is highly suspect.

    "[Mary Hyanno's] Indian name is unknown and no records record it. At some point, her name is given as Nopee. This most lokely was not her name but old maps
    show that the island where she lived was Nopee Island. Knowing Indian naming customs and Sachemship laws is vitally important to research. Nopee Island was known by that name prior to the landing of the Mayflower therefore, it would have taken it's name from a Sachem or Squaw Sachem prior to Highyannough. Once that person died, (since Algonquains considered it a great insult to speak the name of a dead ancestor of reknown), it would have changed it's name to the new Sachem or Squaw Sachem. Since Mary Hyanno didn't marry anyone of equal station, she forfeited the right to name the island after herself. Therefore, the right to do so would have gone to the Chief Sachem which was, at the time the pilgrims landed, Massasoit. Since he had a sister-in-law who had marrried one of his 2 brothers (we don't know which one although mane people have made guesses), the pilgrims themselves might have named the island after her, Margaret. My guess is that the island took it's name from Mary's mother or mother-in-law since history doesn't record prior to the landing of the Mayflower. So, the Indian name of Mary Hyanno is unknown. At some point, researchers and story tellers have assighed her other names or interpertations. These are fiction. Also, so are the names now showing up on the internet that have been assigned to the parents of Massasoit. His fathers name was never spoken by the Indians and so is inrecorded. Proof of this is with the history of Hobomock who spoke ill of the father of Massasoit and so a warrent for his death was issued by Massasoit and the pilgrims had to intervene to save his life because they needed him. So Massasoit spared him." --Mary Hilliard

    "That brings me to Jacobus. There are 2, father and son. They were not researchers, but compilers. They simply collected the information a town provided and published it. They did several towns a year. Only those who could afford an artist to do their picture and their own genealogy were entered into the town's book often refering to them as the "prominent men" of the town... no one required proof or evidence of any kind. So his sources at best are almost worthless. People at that time were hiding the true identity of their mixed blood children because they could be sold as slaves, the mother sold because of the children, and the father either sold or imprisoned. They could not hold land, inherit, get an education, etc. etc. etc. So it was a very common practice to hide the true indetity of your wives and children and others to assist you in doing so. As a result you see that often baptismal and christening records don't agree with the town records and it's common to show a woman with duplicate children with sluightly different dates because some actually belonged to the Indian wife or slave." --Mary Hilliard

    In the 1933, Franklyn Ele-watum Bearce filed with the Library of Congress a manuscript entitled "From Out of the Past--Who Our Forefathers Really Were, a True Narrative of our White and Indian Ancestors." This Bearce claimed he was a Schaghticoke and Eastern Indian attempting to obtain benefits as an Indian from the State of Connecticut. Part of his genealogy was then published in an article, about Jacob Hamblin, claiming that Austin Bearse was of gypsy heritage, a criminal shipped off to Barnstable, and that he had married "Indian Princess" Mary "Little Dove" Hyanno.[1]
    The first three generations of Mr. Bearce's claims were analyzed in a 1938 article by Donald Lines Jacobus, a renowned professional genealogist, and founder of the prestigious journal The American Genealogist.[2] See Lee Murrah's rebuttal to Donald Lines Jacobus' rebuttal to F.E. Bearce, and an analysis of his rebuttal. See the profile page for Mary Hyanno for a detailed review of the controversy. The end result is that modern genealogist consider the work of Franklyn Bearse to be a fraud. There is no evidence that May wife of Augustine Bearse was Native American at all. Recommenced sources: Drake's Founders 59; Mayflower Descendants 2:213; NEHGR 9:280; Otis' Banstable Families 52-59; The American Genealogist 15:111-18, The American Genealogist 83:122-30; Brainerd Ancestry 32

    Notes on this website are authored by Laurence Overmire, unless noted otherwise. Permission of the author is required to reproduce elsewhere.

    1) Bruce Cox Database, Rootsweb, 2003
    2) 'Who Our Forefathers Really Were. A True Narrative of Our White and Indian Ancestor,' by Franklin Ele-wa-tum Bearse
    3) Alice Raven Database, Rootsweb, 14 May 2001 &db=raviac&id=I10303
    4) Inman/Goodwin Genealogical Database
    5) Narragansett Indians' Teepee
    6) The Pioneers of Massachusetts, by Charles Henry Pope, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1981 [originally published in 1900]
    7) Bearce, Colvin, Harring, Marston, Capiferri and Capaccioli Genealogy
    8) Cape Cod Genealogy, by Edward A. Cooper, 2000.
    9) Little Dove
    10) Lee Murrah's Hyano Family Page
    11) Bearse / Barss Family Page, by Lee Murrah
    12) "Saints and Strangers" by George F. Williams (page 408; Time Inc. edition, 1964)
    Discusses Rev. Lothop's Church.
    13) Rosemary West Database, Pedigree of Dorothy Walker &db=rkwest&id=I5686
    14) Jacobus, Donald L., "Austin Bearse and His Alleged Indian Connectionis", The American Genealogist, published abt. 1936.
    15) Descendants of Augustine Bearse
    16) Bearse/Bearce
    17) Jim Baker Database, Pedigree of Ambrose Bierce &db=wesslingbaker1&id=I3155
    18) E-mail from researcher and Native American genealogical expert Mary Hilliard, or, 5 Dec 2004
    19) Mary Hilliard Database, 11 Nov 2004 &db=maryhilliard&id=I1102
    20) Posting by Roland Baker to Mary Hyanno's Ancestry on, Nov. 2017
  • Change Date: 12 NOV 2017

    Father: IYANNOUGH * SACHEM OF THE WAMPANOAG TRIBE b: 1595 in Mattachee Village, (Barnstable) MA
    Mother: "Mary" Noepe * Princess of the Wampanoag Tribe b: ABT 1597 in Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard, Dukes, MA

    Marriage 1 Augustine (Immigrant, 1638 "Confidence") * Bearse b: 1618 in Longstock, Hampshire, England
    • Married: Summer 1639 in Mattachee Village, (Barnstable) MA
    • Change Date: 10 JUL 2008
    • Note: 17:25
    1. Has Children Priscilla * !!! Bearse b: BEF 10 MAR 1644 in Barnstable, Barnstable Co., MA
    2. Has Children Sarah (President Bush Ancestor) Bearse b: 28 MAR 1646 in Barnstable, Barnstable Co., MA
    3. Has Children James (Ambrose Bierce Ancestor) Bearse b: 31 JUL 1660 in Barnstable, Barnstable Co., MA
    4. Has Children Joseph Bearse b: 25 JAN 1651 in Barnstable, Barnstable Co., MA

    Marriage 2 Sgt. William (Immigrant) Cornwall b: 25 MAY 1609 in Terling, Essex England
    • Married: by 1639
    • Change Date: 24 JUN 2005
    • Note: 20:51

    1. Media: Website
      Title: The Ancestry of Overmire, Tifft, Richardson, Bradford, Reed
      Author: Larry Overmire
      Publication: RootsWeb World Connect Project, 2000-2010
      Date: 26 Jan 2010
      Date: 26 JAN 2010

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