Mary Bass

Father*William Bass
Mother*Martha Clay b. 10 Aug 1713, d. 1 Mar 1745
     Mary Bass was the daughter of William Bass and Martha Clay. Mary and John Clay, son of Henry Clay and Mary Mitchell, were married circa 1759. Mary and Thomas Wooldridge were married 5 September 1771 Chesterfield County, Virginia.
     As of circa 1759, her married name was Clay (Bass). As of 5 September 1771, her married name was Wooldridge (Bass).

Notes for MARY BASS:

Peggy Carswell Peacock published this on the Bass/Clay family in The Virginia Genealogist. The article is called MARTHA (CLAY) BASS AND HER DAUGHTER MARY (BASS) CLAY OF HENRICO AND CHESTERFIELD COS., VA.

Peggy Peacock was a Bass descendant who became interested in the Clays. She was well known for her adherence to primary documents. While her interpretation of the facts below could be wrong, I am inclined to believe her.

Bottomline: Mary Bass was not born a Watkins, but a Bass. She was the daughter of Martha Clay and William Bass. She had a son out of wedlock by her uncle, John Clay, who later married her. This son was Jeremiah Bass.

John and Mary also had a daughter named Frances, called Fanny.

Here are the records Peggy cites:

1. William Bass married Martha, daughter of Henry and Mary Clay on 5/6/1731. (Bass Family Bible 1682-1856, Chesterfield county, photocopy of title page and family entries, Virginia State Library, Archives Division, accession # 26372)

2. Martha was born on 8/10/1713 (Bass Family Prayer Book, typescript copy, DAR Library, Washington, DC)

3. Martha died 3/1/1745-46 (Bass Bible), three years before her father John's will was written.

4. Martha and William Bass had seven children, including Mary Bass (Bass Family Bible).

5. William's will, dated 8/17/1769 (Chesterfield Co, VA, Will Book, 2 p 221) names his daughter Mary CLAY as one of his heirs. She is bequeathed, "a negro wench Phillis and her increase that my daughter now have in her possession."

This was clearly the same Mary mentioned in her husband John's will "Mary Bass, being now my wife" who was the mother of Jeremiah Bass.

A 1773 lawsuit (Clay vs. Wooldridge) contains depositions confirming that Mary Bass, daughter of William Bass married John Clay, the father of the Rev. John Clay.

Note that Mary was still unmarried Mary Bass when John Clay gifted her son Jeremiah Bass with two slaves and 200 acres of land (Chesterfield Co, VA, Deed Book 3 p 345.) "John was providing... for an illegitimate son who otherwise would be at risk of receiving nothing," as Peggy put it.

Later, of course, John DID marry Mary, as he noted in his will. As an adult, Jeremiah sometimes used Bass as his surname. Other times he used CLAY.

Children of Mary and John

Family of Mary and Thomas

Last Edited=24 Feb 2014