Where I come from: Mary No-Pee

I have always been teased by one of my Uncles about being a descendant of an Indian "princess" names Mary No-Pee on my dad's side. I decided to find out more about her.

She was born sometime between 1597 and 1603. She was said to have had flaming red hair and was from one of the Wampanoags tribes living on Martha's Vineyard Island. Wampanoags means white Indian, and it is legend that the tribe is of viking heritage. Her husband John Hyanno made an extremely favorable impression on the pilgrims with hospitality, generosity, and his incredible good looks. "A young man in his twenties, he was personable, gentle, courteous, and fair-conditioned; indeed, not like a savage save for his attire. His entertainment was answerable to his parts, and his cheer plentiful and various." (New York: Time Incorporated, 1964)
In a Captain's journal provided by the London Maritime, (I don't know which captain or which vessel) reads "We have, this day, met the daughter of one of their chiefs, by name of Iaano, called by them Mary. She seems upwards of some 20 years of age, is most self possessed even able to speak coherently in our tongue. Most surprising, she has hair like the setting sun, with eyes of a clear sky."

I find it curious that her name was No-Pee and her father is recorded as either No Took Seat and/or No Took Salt. I wish I knew the story behind that one.

Their daughter Mary "Little Dove" Hyanno married  Augustine Bearse in1639 who was a full blooded gypsy deported by the British on The Confidence of England in 1638. They were married under Pagan Indian ceremonial rights and later joined the Puritan church in 1650 for the protection it provided. Their marriage is possibly the first European/Native marriage on the Continent.

How about that? I not only have Viking heritage on my mom's side, which I have always known, I also have it on my dad's side. Throw in a little bit of gypsy and we are on our way to figuring out where I come from. 


  1. Cool post! I just found out I too am related to Mary-no-pee. My great grandmother was Helen Hall who immigrated to Canada up from the states in the 1700's. That makes me an 8th generation descendant through the Hall lineage as I followed through ancestry.com. Weirdly enough I now work with aboriginal people and got my spirit name "Morning wolf". Keep me posted if you find anything else out.

    Pamela Vialoux (pvialoux@yahoo.com)

  2. I am also related to Mary No-Pee, through
    Levi Hancock who's wife is the daughter of John Reed who is a grandson of Mary No-Pee. Is Helen Hall related to James Hall b.1705 and married to Meredith Wood, or Ephraim Hall b.1732 in Connecticut (son of James Hall) married to Cloah Moss?

  3. She's my 7th great grandma. I had no idea about the Viking thing until today. I've known that I am descended from Vikings through another line, going back to Rollo Rognvaldsson, Harald Blue Tooth and Svein Forked Beard. I just keep getting more and more Viking. Had no idea I also had gypsy in me.