Mary Hyanno, Wampanoag Princess?

NOTE: The purpose of this article is to summarize information about Mary Hyanno that circulates among genealogists. All information about Mary Hyanno--her life, ancestry and even existence--should be viewed as legend and not as proven fact. The information in this article comes from many informal sources and should not be attributed any researcher.

Mary Hyanno, known as "Litttle Dove", is said to have married early Plymouth settler Augustine Bearse. Mary was the daughter of John Hyanno, who was born in 1595 at the Mattachee Village at what is now Barnstable, Massachusetts, and Mary No-Pee, who was born at Gays Head on Martha's Vineyard and was the daughter of No-Took-Seet. John was the son of Iyannough, the sachem of the Mattachee village of Wampanoags of Cape Cod, and Princess Canonicus. He died after 1680 on Cape Cod. Princess Canonicus was the daughter of Canochet (Chief) Canonicus and Posh-Pw. Canochet Canonicus was the son of Wessonsuoum and Keshechoo. Wessonsuoum was the son of Chief Tashtassuck, who was born before 1520.

Mary Hyanno is said to have been of fair complexion and red hair. The Wampanoags were often referred to as "white Indians" due to their light skin and are thought by some to have descended from Viking explorers. This assertion is very controversial. There indeed was an Iyannough, and Hyannis, Massachusetts is named for him.

The Bearse/Hyanno marriage entered the written record via a document filed in the 1930's by Franklin Ele-watum Bearse, a Scaticoke and Eastern Indian, in an attempt to obtain benefits as an Indian from the State of Connecticut. Mr. Bearse's claims are analyzed in a article by Jacobus entitled "Austin Bearse and His Alleged Indian Connectionis" in THE AMERICAN GENEALOGIST published about 1936. Mr. Jacobus does not accept the Franklin Bearse story and endeavored to disprove it. However, family traditions of the Hyanno marriage exist to this day in other branches of the Bearse family. These traditions do not appear to have been derived from Franklin Bearse.

The Cornwall family also claims Mary Hyanno as an ancestor.

My Hyanno Line

  1. M. Lee Murrah
  2. Ina Gertrude Johnson m. Earvin Elroy Murrah
  3. Florence Ophelia Largent and Franklin John Johnson
  4. Malcom David Largent and Eliza Azalee Spears
  5. Thomas Wayne Largent and Talitha Maria Freeman
  6. David Barss Freeman and Talitha T. Thompson
  7. James Freeman and Hannah Barss
  8. David Barss m. Rebecca Gammon
  9. Benjamin Barss II m. Jane Collins
  10. Benjamin Bearse I m. Sarah Cobb
  11. Joseph Bearse m. Martha Taylor
  12. Augustin BeArce and Mary (Hyanno?)
  13. John Hyanno and mary No Pee
  14. Iyannouth and Princess Canonicus

Other Hyanno Internet Resources

Updates and Corrections

The above information is based on the best sources currently available to the author and is subject to correction. If you have information that is different or additional to that shown above, I would like to receive it. Please contact me by e-mail and mention this web page in your message. 

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