The Pritchards of South Mills

According to oral history, my Bass ancestors (tri-racial, free people of color) were related to the Pritchards of South Mills (white). I have researched both families across a number of generations to solve this mystery and, despite not having the “whole story” yet, I have discovered an incredible amount of contextual information through my search. […]

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The Lives of Lydia Bass & Phineas Sanborn Conner

I have often noted the importance of oral history. No matter how vague a story may be, it can be an invaluable genealogical clue. Recently, this fact was reaffirmed when I was contacted by a cousin with oral history about my third great grandparents (William and Lydia Bass) that led to an explosion of new […]

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A Case Study in Problem Solving: The Basses & The Pritchards

When I first fell in love with genealogy, I seemed to discover something new every day. My family history was full of hidden treasures and that motivated me to keep searching because rewards were so frequent. Over time, big discoveries decreased and eventually even a small discovery was a surprise. This is a discouraging yet normal […]

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The Lake Road Legacy

When your ancestors were common people from a small, rural area, you learn to set modest record expectations. I have few wills, few church records, few family bibles, and few family graveyards to walk through. Record scarcity can be discouraging but it is a normal part of genealogy and it encourages creativity and relationship building with other […]

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Nansemond Indian Pow Wow Photo Gallery

This is my photo collection from the Nansemond Indian Pow Wow held at Mattanock Town (1001 Pembroke Lane, Suffolk, VA 23434) on August 20, 2016. The day before the event we visited Norfolk and Camden counties and, by traveling across U.S. Route 158 and up North Carolina Highway 32 (through Gates county), we were able to see […]

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Pasquotank, Camden, and Currituck Photo Gallery

This is my photo collection from our driving tour of Pasquotank, Camden, and Currituck counties on August 19, 2016. Some of the sites we visited were for research purposes while others were for familial significance. Our tour was led by A. Burgess Jennings, author of Camden County (Images of America) and Currituck County (Images of […]

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Hidden Influences on Migration: The Hall & Nickens Families

On my first research trip to North Carolina, I went to the Camden County Register of Deeds and searched for one surname—Bass. I am a Bass and I had a list of verified Bass ancestors so it was the natural thing for a new genealogist to do. As I processed the information from the deeds I found […]

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Pioneer Life: Migration from North Carolina to Free States

Dismal Swamp Canal

Paul Heinegg’s website is frequently used as a genealogical reference but it also contains a collection of invaluable narrative history. Recently I stumbled upon the autobiography of Thomas P. Weaver, born in Guilford County, NC in 1841. The awe-inspiring account of his life as a pioneer from North Carolina to Indiana covers more than eighty […]

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Thomas Bass (b. 1785-1790)

Bass Lake Road

In the 1800 Federal Census, William Bass was listed with a household of seven—one male over 45 (born before 1755), one female 26-44 (born between 1756 and 1774), one male 10-15 (born between 1785-1790), and four females under 10 (born between 1790-1800). The current collection of evidence suggests that Thomas Bass was the the young […]

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Joel Newsom—Senior & Junior

In my early research, the life of Joel Newsom was on the periphery. As the suspected brother of my third great grandfather, Henry Newsom, he was always a person of interest but never the focal point. After collecting a wide variety of records and slowly integrating decades of information, I came to see the life of Joel […]

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