Edward Bumpus, also seen as Edouad Bompasse and a bunch of other variations to the last name including Bump and Bumpas, was born about 1603. I’ve been hesitant to write about him as my Bumpus family is very much a work in progress, but I’d like to share what I have thus far. Edward is likely my 9th great-grandfather on my Grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.
Edward’s last name is of French origin. Jeremy D. Bangs writes that he was probably Walloon and the correct spelling of his name would have been Bonpas. He came to Plymouth as a young man in November 1621 on the ship Fortune.
According to George Willson’s Saints and Strangers, he was a “Saint” who was with the Pilgrims at Leiden, Holland, so must have shared their Separatist beliefs. Edward received one acre in the 1623 land division at Plymouth as he was a passenger on the Fortune. In 1627 he received a share of the cattle as part of Isaac Allerton’s company, indicating he was single. He wasn’t on the 1633 list of Freeman, which was unusual.
About 1630 Edward married Hannah, whose maiden name is unknown, and they had at least twelve children, first eight being recorded at Marshfield. This list is by no means set in stone!
1. Sarah born 9 March 1631
2. Elizabeth born 9 March 1633
3. John born 02 Jun 1636
4. Edward born 15 Apr 1638, died unmarried
5. Joseph born 15 Feb 1639(?/40)
6. Isaac born March 1642 who likely died young
7. Jacob born 25 March 1644
8. Hannah born 03 Apr 1646, died unmarried
9. Philip born abt. 1648
10. Thomas born about 1660
11. Mary born about 1652
12. Samuel b. about 1654, died unmarried, fighting in King Phillip’s War in 1675
Savage gives them a daughter Faith born ca 1631. Others say that Faith may have been a twin to Sarah and that she died at birth or shortly after. Others say there is no evidence of a daughter Faith.
For years I believed I descend from Thomas who married in 1679 Phebe Lovell, eldest daughter of John Lovell of Barnstable. From the Bumpus genealogy and other sources, I thought my line then went: Samuel who married Joanna Warren, Thomas who married Mercy Stewart, Jonathan who married Martha Chubbuck, Rowland who married Lucy Nye Pierce. Unfortunately it has been found that Jonathan, who was from Wareham, was not the son of Thomas and Mercy. So while I know they connect back to Edward Bumpus somehow, I’m not certain exactly how. I wrote about Jonathan and Martha here. and Rowland and Lucy here, here and here.
Edward sold his acre of Plymouth land in 1628 and was granted 20 acres of land on Duxbury Bay where he built a house. In March of 1634/35 he sold his Duxbury property to John Washburn and was allowed to "take up land in another place.” In March of 1644/45 when the boundaries of Marshfield were laid, his property was included. A map showing the 1637 location of settlers’ homes in Duxbury shows Edward and Hannah's home near the Marshfield line, by Duck Hill River, with no other homes nearby.
Sometime before September 1645 Edward sold his property to Solomon Lenner. On the 15 July 1653 Edmond Chandler of Duxbury exchanged his rights in lands in Satuckquett (Satucket=Brewster?) for Edward Bumpus's lands and rights in Cushenett and Coaksett (Westport and Dartmouth?). In 1655, with the consent of his wife Hannah, Edward Bumpus of Marshfield sold to Edmond “Chandeler” of Duxbury, the Duck Hill land lying between the lands of John Rouse (Rose?) and the lands of Edmond Chandeler.
Some researchers have him as one of the original proprietors of Middleborough, but I don’t think that is accurate. Or perhaps he had land there but did not settle there.
Edward wasn’t much for public service. He is included in the 1643 list of men able to bear arms at Marshfield. He was on the jury in 1654 and 1655 and took the oath of fidelity at Duxbury in 1657.
After 1656 he seems to have lost control of his properties and through lack of support in the family he and his wife Hannah were to some extent dependent upon the community for their well-being. In 1656 Edward was described as "one of the town's poor" and was loaned a cow. In 1663 there was a contribution for his relief with 12.5 bushels of corn collected from townspeople. Some people mentioned him in their wills, leaving him corn and wheat. Hannah was placed in the Winter and Hewitt families to be taken care of in her old age.
Although Edward and his sons as "first borne in the colony" were eligible for grants, they did not take advantage of their positions. However in the next generation several branches of the family prospered and left good estates. It is quite strange to me that Edward and Hannah had a large family yet none of them took care of their parents. It makes me wonder if they were difficult people who drove their kids away, but it doesn’t seem that way since townspeople were kind to them. That Edward started out as a landowner and ended up as a poor man indicates to me he either suffered from poor health or made bad decisions.
From Marshfield Town Meeting records: 14 August 1683 the inhabitants have voted that Christopher Winter shall demand & receive into his custody the goods of Edward Bumpus & his wife, which is at Joseph Rose's, their bedding & clothes and what is theirs only for the said persons to enjoy for their comfort & benefit during their lives and Edward & his wife shall have power at their death to dispose of what is left of it to their children or otherwise as they care.
There is one case in Plymouth records concerning the abuse of parents by their own child. This is the case of Edward Bumpas, who was brought to court on 4 July 1679 for "striking and abusing his parents" for which he was whipped at the post (PCR 6: 20). However, it states in the record that "hee was crasey brained, otherwise hee had bine put to death or otherwise sharply punished.” Abusing one's parents was a very serious crime in Plymouth Colony according to this statement.
Edward and Hannah had other hardships to endure with their children. 8 June 1651 John Bumpus, who would have been just 15 years old, was sentenced to be whipped for "idle and lacivius behavior."
On 10 June 1662 Thomas Bird was sentenced to be whipped twice for making adulterous attempts on Hannah Bumpus and she was sentenced to be publicly whipped for yielding to him and not making such resistance as she should. Bird was also to pay 10 pounds to her as part satisfaction for the wrong he had done her. I assume this was Hannah the daughter of Edward and Hannah and not the elder Hannah. She is also referred to as “distracted” in another record, so perhaps she had some issues as well as her brother Edward.
Marshfield records the deaths of Edward and Hannah: "Hannah, widow of old Edward Bumpuas, died 12 Feb 1693." Edward's death is unrecorded but he died before 5 Mar 1683/84 when Hannah is named as the Widow Bumpus in the will of Martha (Winter) Hewitt.
Sources Not Listed Above:
Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs, Strangers and Pilgrims, Travellers and Sojourners, Leiden and the Foundations of Plymouth Plantation, GSMD, 2009
Lynn Albert Bumpus, A Genealogy of the Descendants of Eduoad Bompasse of the Ship Fortune, 1986
Eugene Stratton, Plymouth Colony, Its People and History, 1986
Mrs. John E. Barclay The Bumpus Family of New England, TAG 43:65 (April 1967)
Carle Franklin Bumpus, Bompasse, Bumpas, Bump, Bumpus and Allied Families 1621-1981, rev. 1985
Jason Jordan, Domestic Violence in Plymouth Colony, Historical Ethnography, April 1998
Amos Otis, Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, being a reprint of the Amos Otis Papers, originally published in the Barnstable Patriot, Volume 1 and 2, 1888