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 Bumpas, Bonpas, Bompus, Bumpasse, Bumpus

Bompasse, Bump

by Rev.Robah F. Bumpas

I traced the Bumpas name back to the land of its origin in Southern France, in Provence, the land of sunny vineyards, of music and song, of poetry and romance; the home of the troubadours.  Aix as its capital: sleepy old Aix, as it appeared on a warm mid-summer's day, with its uncommonly lovely fountain, set in a large grove of old trees in the very heart of the city; its fine old cathedral, holding the pure, white marble statutes of its heroes of by-gone days, looking so virile and lifelike.

Living years before the time of Martin Luther and John Huss, there were many believers in France, who did not accept the teaching of the Roman church and drew up articles of faith far more drastic and stringent than those subsequently formulated by the sixteenth century reformers.  There were two political parties in France, the Protestant and the Catholic.  Sometimes one party was in the ascendant and sometimes the other.  In those early wars our ancestors adhered to the Protestant cause, and fought on that side.  Frequently were they subjected to severe persecution, and when the Catholic party came into power, the more pronounced Protestants were forced by fire and sword to seek refuge in the Netherlands, whence they came to Wales, England, and America.

Tradition says that in January, 1240, in the wars of Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse, a youth was handed a very important dispatch to convey from one commander to another.  To deliver this, it became necessary that he pass thru the enemies' line.  It was a difficult and delicate errand, demanding not courage alone, but astuteness and tact.  When, at length, he dashed into camp and laid the dispatch at the feet of his commander, the General clapped his hands and shouted "Bon pas!" "Bon Pas!" (a brave pass).  His comrades caught up the expression, and shouted back "Bon pas!" "Bon pas!".  So on that day he received a new name, a title of honor, conferred for valiant services rendered.  The name clung to him until he came to be known as Bon Pas, and was father of the race Bon Pas.  In French the name is sometimes spelled as pronounced, Bon Par.  The name was Anglicized, the two words composing it run into one, and it became Bonpas, Bompas, Bumpas, Bumpus.  In New England records of Edward and his family, I find it written Bonpas, Bompas, Bompasse, Bompus, Bumpasse, Bumpus.

The name still occurs in its original orthography in lts.native land.  Some eight miles from Avignon, on the road to Aix, is a bridge spanning the river Durance, known as the Pont de Bon Pas, and near by a silk factory of the same name.  This was formerly a religious house built by the hermit, Silbert, In 1076.  In 1320 it became the home of the Knights Hospitaliers.  Here also is the magnificent church erected by Simon Langham, Archbishop of Canterbury.

There is a reference to this bridge in the "Historic Des Contes De Toulouse" by M. De Saint-You, Vol.  IV, page 344; (translation) "They stormed the Pont de Bonpas, and left a corps of troops sufficient to hold it and secure the passage of the river." This was January, 1240, wars of Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse.



Edward Bumpas and Some of His Descendants

From Book "The Story of the Bumpas Family"
Compiled by Mootie Clemmons Cherry
Could be written by or from research of Rev. Robah P. Bumpas

In the History of Duxbury, Winsor puts down Edward Bumpas as one of 27 heads of families who arrived at Plymouth on the "Good ship Fortune" 10 Nov. 1621, and became proprietors.  At the division of land in 1623, and of cattle in 1627, he was unmarried.  He sold land in Plymouth in 1628, and removed to Duxbury, bought land at Eagle's nest creek, upon which he built a house and "palisado." The palisado is described as a fortified cottage, having "One large room, a bedchamber and kitchen, on the lower floor, with two large and two small chambers above, and sometimes an attic above all." He sold this in 1634.  In 1640 he was of Marshfield and in 1684 was living in that town, at Duck Hill, near Gen.  Winslow.  He seems to have married about the time he moved to Duxbury.  The record is: "Hannah, widow of old Edward Bumpas, died 12th of Feb. 1693," and that Edward died nine days earlier.
Edward Bumpas, an alleged French Huguenot of about sixteen years of age (*inserted note: It is now believed he was born in England of prob. of French descent.) - sailed from London in "The Good Ship Fortune" first after the Mayflower, July 1st, and arrived in Plymouth, Nov. 10, 1621.  There is a possibility that Hannah, who became the wife of Edward, was the daughter of Anthony Annable who arrived in Plymouth on the "Annie" in 1623 (*inserted note:  This has since been disproven, Hannah's last name is not known.  Anthony Anable's daughter Hanah married Thomas Borman Mar 3,  1645.  See the Annable Family in Americam 1623-1967 also Pioneers of Massachusetts by Pope.  We have only the name Hannah for Edward Bumpas' wife.).  Edward Bumpas born in England about 1605, died in Marshfield, Mass., Feb. 3rd, 1693.  Having lived in New England 72 years, Hannah, his Wife died 12 days later.  In 1627 Edward bought land in, and moved to Duxbury.  He built a house and palisado at Eagles Nest Creek, near Miles Standish and Elder Brewster.  Later he purchased land in the Northern part of the town near Philip Delano and John Alden.  In 1640 his land became a part of the newly founded Town of Marshfield where he was a Freeman in 1643.  In that year it is indicated he was one of the twelve who contributed toward the maintenance of a public school, the first in the New England Colonies.  Edward and Hannah reared a large family.  Their first two children, Faith and Sarah, both born in 1631, are thought to be twins.
The Mayflower came to our shores shortly before Christmas-, 1620.  Just before Thanksgiving, the following year came "The Good Ship Fortune," bringing Edward Bumpas.  He settled amongst the Mayflower people, and his descendants and theirs intermarried, and soon the name appears in the list of Mayflower descendants.  Within the century we find his grandchildren and great-grandchildren domiciled in North Carolina and Virginia.  Their children moved out to the West and South, until today they are scattered over the face of the earth.
And who were the descendants of Edward Bumpas?
They were pioneers; they went before and opened the way.  They hewed down the primeval forests, built the rude palisado, and tilled the soil.  They were familiar with the plow, the hammer, the saw, the anvil and the forge.  They were a modest folk, content to toil in obscurity, shunning the glare of the footlights, nor seeking the plaudits of men.
They entered the school room and taught the young.  In college they occupied the professor's chair, and sat in the presidentís seat.  They edited journals, contributed to magazines, published books.  They were civil engineers, erecting factories, going into trade and commerce, developing the material resources of the country, adding to its wealth, and becoming captains of industry.
They entered the church; they preached beneath the spreading oak and in the crowded street, filled the rural chapel and occupied the city pulpit; visited regions no white man's foot had ever trod to plant the banner of the cross, and today are in far-away lands pointing the natives to Jesus.
They learned the healing art and became skilled surgeons and physicians.  They entered the courts, plead at the bar, and sat upon the bench.  They entered legislative halls, and assisted in framing the laws.
They were true patriots.  Scan the muster rolls of the Republic, and you will discover when our country called for men, they were found at the front.  They fell by the arrow of the red man, and felt the keen edge of his tommyhawk and scalping knife.  Scores of them were found in the Revolutionary army.  They followed the flag to Mexico and Cuba.  They fell upon the battlefields of Virginia.  Some of them tramped after McClelland and Grant, and some followed Jackson and Lee, as their forefathers had followed Washington and Lee.  Side by side they rest, life's last conflict ended.  They sleep beneath the lilies and poppies in France and Flanders.
In France there were many Christians who did not accept the teachings of the Roman Church, and declined to be absorbed by it.  Living years before John Huss and Martin Luther, they drew up articles of faith far more drastic and stringent than those subsequently formulated by the sixteenth century reformers.  Judge Savery says: "The name (Bumpas) is well and favorably known in the legal annals of the past and present generation in England." Documents reveal the fact that among the descendants of Edward, the name soon appeared in an abbreviated form as Bump, losing something of its euphony.
There are certain physical characteristics found in this family.  They are a long-lived race.  The Pilgrim was past ninety and numerous descendants of his, not content with the allotted three score and ten, persist in living on to eighty, ninety, nearly approaching the century line.  They produce super-men, attaining six feet in height, six two, four, six and above.  They are heavyweights, tipping the scales at two hundred, three hundred, three twenty and beyond.  While large, they have been alert, active, athletic, possessing powers of strength and endurance.  Many of the women have been noted for physical perfection and beauty.
There are strongly marked resemblanceís in personal appearance.  This is particularly noticeable in groups which have been long and widely separated.  The many pictures I have seen of the late venerable Bishop Bumpas present a man who would look decidedly at home, placed in a group of our Southern tribe.  The portraits of some members of the Virginia and North Carolina clans of a century ago are so much alike that they might almost be interchanged.
Their minds are cast in a similar mold.  They are persistent, I would not say stubborn, yet not to be lightly deflected from the course they have elected.

1. Edward Bumpas (Edourd Bonpasse) Pilgrim, was a French Huguenot.  Left France and went to England from whence he came to America.  He landed at Plymouth, Mass., Nov. 10th, 1621, from "the Good Ship Fortune" first after the "Mayflower".  He died Feb. 3rd, 1693.  Married Hannah, who died Feb. 12th, 1693, nine days later than Edward.
(Contrary to the statement above, it is now believed that he was born in England.)

1. Faith, born 1631, and
2. Sarah, born 1631, thought to be twins.
Sarah married "ye last of March" 1659, to Thomas Durham.
3. Elizabeth, born 9 Mar., 1633, married 5 June, 1654, to Joseph Rose, Mayflower descendant.
4. John, born June, 1636.
5. Edward, born 15 April, 1638.
6. Joseph, born 15 Feb., 1639.
7. Isaac, born last of March, 1642.
8. Jacob, born 25 March, 1644.
9. Philip, "who was alive in 1677", married Sarah Eton, daughter of Sam'l and Martha Eaton, Mayflower descendant.
10. Thomas, born 1660.  Probably another son of Edward; On Sun., 26 March, 1675-6, English and Allies met an overwhelming force near Pawtucket, and were nearly. all slain.  Among the slain was Samuel Bump.

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