What can I say about Austin Bearse that I haven't already said in a slew of postings at Genforum on the Bearse Family Forum. My favorites are this and this. I also posted about Austin in 2008. Of course, the kicker is that I may not even descend from him.
Jacobus contended that the wife of John Hall, was Priscilla Bearse. Luckily we do have her gravestone which clearly says: "Here Lyes ye Body of Prisilla Hall wife to Deacon John Hall aged 68 years died March ye 30 1712." If accurate that would put her birth between March 31, 1643 and March 30, 1644. Austin Bearse had a daughter Priscilla born 10 March 1643/44 [Shurtleff's Records of Plymouth Colony, p.41] However, that is the only evidence of this relationship. There are no deeds to confirm this relationship and Austin left no will (or indeed any probate). It seems there is a family tradition that was included in the 1871 Bearse genealogy and has been followed ever since in print. John and Priscilla do not name a child either Austin or Bearse.
I always considered her to be a Bearse until the Great Migration Begins was published with the John Hall sketch. Anderson doesn't disprove this, but notes that there is no proof of a relationship and the only evidence is what I've already written.
Austin arrived in Massachusetts in 1638 on the ship Confidence. He seems to have married here, a woman whose name escapes the records, but about whom there has been over 100 years of constant debate. They had eleven children all born at Barnstable.
- The American Genealogist 15 (1938-9):111-18.
- A Contribution to the Genealogy of the Bearse or Bearss Family in America 1618-1871 by John Bearse Newcomb (Elgin, IL, 1871).
- Genealogical Records of Austin Bearse, Barnstable, Cape Cod, Massachusetts 1638-1933 by Fanny Louisa Meadows and Jennie M. Ames (Cleveland, OH, 1933, typescript at NEHGS).
- The Ancestry of Thomas Chalmers Brainerd by Thomas C. Brainerd; edited by Donald Lines Jacobus (Montreal, 1948).
- Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins; Immigrants to New England 1620-1633 (NEHGS, Boston, 1995), II:842.