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Bass Family History
Family spelling variants include Base, Baiss, Bayes, Bays.
There are approximately 76,537 Bass family members around the world. In general you can double this figure to include those related to the Bass names to allow for those connected to the name through maiden name connections.
It is estimated that the largest group of Bass family members live USA with 65,916 (86.1%) members, England with 5,931 (7.7%), Australia with 1,294 (1.7%) members, South Africa with 1,333 (1.7%) , Canada with 1,268 (1.7%), Scotland with 217 (0.3%), Wales with 214 (0.3%), New Zealand with 189 (0.2%) and Ireland with 175 (0.2%) members.
An English relationship name from the Middle English personal name Bas(s)e. From Old French bas(se) ‘low’, ‘short’, a development of Latin bassus meaning ‘wide’ or ‘thickset’.
An English nickname for a short person or for one of low birth or behaviour, from Middle English bas(e), bass ‘low, of small height’ or ‘low-born, base’ (Old French bas).
In some instances, a English nickname from Middle English bace ‘bass’ (the fish), similarly Middle English bærs, bas ‘freshwater perch, bass or any of various related or similar fish, such as the sea bass’.
In Jewish (Ashkenazic), a metonymic occupational name for a maker or player of bass viols, originating from Polish, Ukrainian, and Yiddish bas ‘bass viol’.
Possibly an Old French form of Continental Germanic Baso, perhaps meaning ‘purple’.
In Scotland, it is a locational name for a place in Aberdeenshire. Bass of Inverurie is the remains of a motte and bailey castle, dating from the 12th Century. The bass is a natural mound which was converted to a motte by the scarping of its sides and the excavation of a ditch around it which is now infilled. The bailey lies to the East, known as the Little Bass.
Early bearers of the surname include: Willelmus Basse, 1379 in Poll Tax (Mattishall, Norfolk); Johannes Bayse, 1379 in Poll Tax (Wendling, Norfolk); Willelmus Basse, 1381 in Poll Tax (Gestingthorpe, Essex); Joanna Basse, 1539 in IGI (Croxton, Cambs); Johanis. Basse, 1542 in IGI (South Weald, Essex); Cicely Bayes, 1560 in IGI (Norwich, Norfolk); Nicholas Base, 1565 in IGI (Rendham, Suffolk); Joone Bayes, 1567 in IGI (Wisbech, Cambs); Clement Bayse, 1577 in IGI (Feering, Essex); William Bayes, 1582 in IGI (Hadlow, Kent); Jn Bays, 1643 in IGI (Mortlake, Surrey).
In 1881, the surname was frequent in East Midlands and South East England, especially Essex, Bedfordshire, Huntingdon and Cambridgeshire. Essex with 456 occurrences.
In 1881, the most common Bass occupation in the UK was Agricultural Labourer, along with Labourer and Farmer reported as the top 3 occupations worked by the surname.
The noted, Alfie Bass (1916 – 1987) was an English actor born in Bethnal Green, London. He appeared in a variety of stage, film, television and radio productions throughout his career including Alfie, also starring Michael Caine.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Essex
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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