Sunday, April 2, 2017

Brick Wall Ancestor | #2 Margaret "Peggy" Roberts Bass

We all have them! Those stubborn ancestors that refuse to come out of hiding. No matter how much coaxing we do! Well, I think it's time to bring them out of the shadows - put their redacted story out there - another piece of the puzzle could be lurking just around the (cyber) corner, in someone's basement, or closet, or sitting in a box on a book shelf ...... You never, ever know where that loose chink will manifest, the one that allows you to push out one brick, then the next. Food for thought. So without further ado....

Brick Wall Ancestor #2 Margaret "Peggy" Roberts Bass

Margaret "Peggy" Roberts was born April 1st 1803 in Kentucky. Somewhere. To unknown parents. According to her headstone she died November 2nd 1883. She was 80y 7m 1d old. Back calculation of this gives us the April 1st 1803 birth date. There are no actual records of her birth that have been found to date.

Margaret married William Bass, son of Nathan Bass and his wife Ruhama, in 1823. There is a record of a Peggy Roberts marrying a Wm L Bass on July 3rd 1823 in Boone County, Kentucky. This record is only a transcript, the original record being rather elusive, I know of no researcher who has discovered it yet. (Because that would give us all the information we need, right!)

Nathan Bass, William's father, is found on the 1820 census in Barren County, Kentucky. Looking at that county for Roberts, there are four households listed: Ardemas, Isaac, Drury and Thomas. Looking at Boone County there are five Roberts households: Billingsly, Daniel, Phillip, Wesley and William.

How would a girl from Boone county end up with a boy from Barren county? The counties are 200 miles apart. However, looking at William's father Nathan again, it is found that he is buried in Boone County at the Old Salem Baptist Cemetery. Which is part of the Old Salem Predestinarian Baptist Church. Were William and Margaret members? Did they meet and get married there? I have yet to uncover records from this church.

So, Boone county or Barren county, Margaret and William were married sometime before May 1827 when their first child was born. In Kentucky. Or maybe Indiana. By 1830 the couple was living in Bartholomew, Indiana and stayed there for the next 15 or so years. They are listed on the 1830 and 1840 US censuses. Sometime around 1843 the family removed to Iowa, where their youngest child was born  in April of 1844.

I have not been successful at finding the family on the 1850 US census. They are listed on the 1856 Iowa State census, and the 1860/1870/1880 US censuses. That 1850 census would really be helpful at identifying the children!

Margaret and William had at least ten children. There may have been more. If they were the couple that married in 1823 I would suspect there was a child or two born before their oldest known child was born in 1827.

The children:

  • Robert b. 1827 Kentucky or Indiana 
  • Nathan J b. 1829 Kentucky or Indiana
  • Elizabeth J b. 1831 Indiana
  • Wm Marion b. 1833 Indiana
  • Eliza Ann b. 1836 Indiana
  • Thomas b. 1838 Indiana
  • Male UNK b. 1838/9 Indiana *counted on the 1840 census, not seen again
  • Ruhama F b. 1840 Indiana
  • Andrew Jackson b. 1842 Indiana
  • Woodford M b. 1844 Iowa

William's obituary speaks of eight children. Not named. Perhaps two died in infancy? "Obituary published in The Gospel Messenger, April 14, 1885, page 239  BASS.—In Middle Creek church, Iowa, Mar. 18, of old age, Bro. Wm. L. Bass, aged 83 years, 2 months and 10 days. Bro. Bass was born in Barren Co., Kentucky, moved to Iowa in 1843, lived in Mahaska county ever since. He was a consistent member of the Brethren church for many years. He leaves eight children, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren to mourn his departure. His companion preceded him about sixteen months. He had been very feeble for years and longed to die, being tired of life. Services by Bro. S. P. Miller assisted by J. Gable, from Heb. 4:9. Jestina Pfoutz." 

Margaret Roberts Bass and her husband William L Bass are buried in the Wymore Cemetery in Mahaska county, Iowa. There are several children and grandchildren buried there as well.

.......... to be continued ..........

©Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

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