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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English-Alt, English, German

Where did the English Bass family come from? What is the English Bass family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bass family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bass family history?

The name Bass was most likely taken on by someone who was a person of small stature having derived from the Old English word bas, meaning short.


Huguenot surnames were only slightly Anglicized, and they remain to this day a distinct group of surnames in England. Nevertheless, Huguenot surnames have been subject to numerous spelling alterations since the names emerged in France. French surnames have a variety of spelling variations because the French language has changed drastically over the centuries. French was developed from the vernacular Latin of the Roman Empire. It is divided into three historic and linguistic periods: Old French, which developed before the 14th century; Middle French, which was used between the 14th and 16th centuries; and Modern French, which was used after the 16th century and continues to be in use today. In all of these periods, the French language was heavily influenced by other languages. For example, Old French was infused with Germanic words and sounds when the barbarian tribes invaded and settled in France after the fall of the Roman Empire. Middle French also borrowed heaviliy from the Italian language during the Renaissance. Huguenot names have numerous variations. The name may be spelled Bass, Bassin, Bassen and others.

First found in Haddingtonshire, where they held a family seat from about the 13th century.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bass research. Another 73 words(5 lines of text) covering the years 1583, 1653, 1725, 1698, 1699, 1851 and 1878 are included under the topic Early Bass History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 111 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bass Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Early records show that people bearing the name Bass arrived in North America quite early:

Bass Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Samuel Bass, who landed in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1634
  • John Bass who settled in Virginia in 1637
  • John Bass, who landed in Virginia in 1637
  • William Bass, who landed in Massachusetts in 1638
  • Mr Bass, who arrived in Virginia in 1638

Bass Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Hannah Bass, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Susan Bass, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Eliz Bass, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Wm Bass, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Thos Bass, who landed in Virginia in 1714

Bass Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Juan Bass, who landed in New Spain in 1836
  • Dettmar Bass, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1841
  • Adriana Bass, aged 25, arrived in New York, NY in 1847
  • Abraham Bass, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Helene Bass, who arrived in America in 1851

Bass Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Hiram Bass, who landed in Canada in 1841

Bass Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Henry Bass, English convict from Buckinghamshire, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Samuel Bass, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia

Bass Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Bass, aged 28, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • Harriet Bass, aged 28, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • Sarah Bass, aged 4, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • James Bass, aged 21, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waipa" in 1876


  • Ronald "Ron" Bass (b. 1942), American Academy Award winning screenwriter for Rain Man (1988)
  • Jules Bass (b. 1935), American director, producer, composer, and author
  • Perkins Bass (1912-2011), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Hampshire's 2nd district (1955-1963)
  • Hyman Bass (b. 1932), American mathematician awarded the Cole Prize for Algebra in 1975
  • Harry Brinkley "Brink" Bass (1916-1944), United States Navy pilot, twice awarded the Navy Cross for his deeds in WWII
  • Lance Bass (b. 1979), American singer and actor
  • Charles Foster "Charlie" Bass (b. 1952), American politician, member of the United States House of Representatives
  • Ensign Horace Ancel Bass Jr. (1915-1942), United States Navy officer and pilot who received the Navy Cross for his actions at the Battle of Midway
  • Saul Bass (1920-1996), American graphic designer and Academy Award-winning filmmaker who designed the AT&T "bell" logo, the Continental Airlines 1968 "jetstream" logo and many others
  • George Fletcher Bass (b. 1932), American archaeologist recognized as the father of underwater archaeology



  • Ancestors of Moses Belcher Bass, Born in Boston July 1735, Died January 31,1817 by Susan Augusta Smith.
  • A Backwards Glance by Jane Parker McManus.


  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Bass Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bass Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 29 June 2015 at 16:04.

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