Robert Atkinson 1st


Robertís Decision
Updated 10-Sept-2017
Everyone makes decisions, some have long term results. The decision Iím about to tell you about has effected many lives.
Letís go back in time to approximately 1765, England, where a young man was born. Weíre going to call him Robert, since we donít know his proper name.
Robert became a carpenter as a young man. This may have been his fatherís trade also, as many sons carried on their fatherís trade.
He took a job as a shipís carpenter on a British Man-Of-War. We donít know how many ports he visited, but when I first heard about him, it was in North America. Robertís ship was escorting Loyalist or supply vessels to the new settlement, between the New England States and Nova Scotia.
His ship was anchored off of Nova Scotia at the location known as Shelburne Harbour. One night, while Robert was doing his shift, some crew men went over the side and swam to shore. They were captured and returned to the ship. Robert, who was captain of the main top, was ordered to carry out the flogging in the morning. Robert, not wanting to take the whip to some of his crew mates, had to make a decision.
He had to carry out the punishment in the morning, or he would join them and someone else would carry out the punishment.
So, Robert made a decision. That night, he gathered his tools and what belongings he had and slipped over the side of the ship in the middle of the night. He swam to shore and hid in the woods. He stayed hidden until he saw his ship sail away. He knew this makes him a deserter and he never could go back home. He also knew he had to move on and start a new life here in Nova Scotia.
He traveled at night, and avoided anyone he saw. He finally arrived at the town Barrington. Robert looked for work around Barrington using the tools of his trade. He ended up working for Gideon Nickerson, a fisherman on Cape Sable Island. This is how he met Gideonís daughter, Hannah. Hannah, the daughter of Sarah Bearse (descendant of Augustine Bearse & "Little Dove), was born 1765, Chatham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts.

Now the time for his big decision, what to call himself. He decided to use the name of Robert Atkinson. This is not likely his real name, as he didnít want the British to track him down and arrest him. How close to his family name this was, is not known. It may be someone he knew, a friend, a distant cousin, or something so far from his family name, no one will make the connection.

About Mary No-Pee, Indian Princess
Mary Hyanno, Wampanoag
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.
Wayne G. Manser