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Genealogy of a Vortex
Dec 23, 2009 at 04:18 AM

"We have depicted the six stars of the Bull, called the Pleiades (I say 'six' since the seventh almost never appears), contained within very narrow limits in the heavens."
-- Galileo, Sidereus Nuncius, 1610.

images/stories/1425297_s.jpgOn this page:

Basye genealogies
Basye -- its pronunciation and meaning in French
Genealogy of a vortex
Basye -- a daughter of pharaoh in the Old Testament


Basye as a Family Name -- a Bit of French History

Basye, VA (generally pronounced to rhyme with "Casey") derived its name from the Basyes who settled, in the 19th C.. if not earlier, in what is today the Basye-Bryce Mountain region. 

The indispensable source for genealogical information on the Basyes in America is a now out-of-print (but available in digital CD-ROM) book, The Basye Family in the United States by Otto Basye. An introductory section of more than 100 pages explores historical, cultural and linguistic matters, such as the Basyes in England, going back to around the 12th C. Published in 1950 (Kansas City, Missouri), work on the book was started in 1880, by the father of Otto Basye, Isaac Walter Basye. [image: courtesy of the National Human Genome Institute.] Via genealogical records, private correspondence and other information, painstakingly gathered from libraries, town halls and individuals, the authors were able to connect every Basye in America, stepping back through the generations, to a single patriarch, Edmond Basye, who first appeared in public records in 1669 in Virginia. Not chronologically the first Basye on record in America (there were at least three others before him on record †), Edmond had nine children and he is "A.1" -- paternal source of the lineage of the subsequent Basyes in the United States.

† There is another genealogy of the Basyes, by Augustus Davis Cloyd, a physician in Omaha, Nebraska -- published in 1912. Oddly, although this work is mentioned by Otto Basye in relation to its author, whose family and the Basyes became related, there is no other acknowledgment of the contents of the work, which has some interesting information (see reference to Genealogy of the Cloyd, Basye and Tapp Families in America, in what follows), some of which is not wholly in agreement with The Basye Family in America.

Basye -- Its Pronunciation and Meaning

[Warning: pedantic zone.] 

As noted, the name of the resort village of Basye, VA, is pronounced to rhyme with "Casey" and, generally speaking, so is the Basye family name in the United States. However, that is where clarity ends. 


Some Facts About the Word

1. Contrary to what Otto Basye suggests, the French did not pronounce the name "Bas-SAY." There are alternative pronunciations, traditional or idiosyncratic, and the confusion stems from the YE on the end, which is not common in French any more than it is in English.

2. As a French proper name, Basye was most likely spelled with an acute accent over the final letter: "Basyé," which would be said "bah-zee-AY." Without it, the word would be said "bah-zee."

3. Basye comes from a French word meaning "threshold." The word is not found in standard dictionaries, but it is listed in Atlas Linguistique de la France (Linguistic Atlas of France, 1912), which maps the geographical distribution of less common usages. (Click to view the relevant page of the Atlas -- "Basyé" is on page 45.) Basyé is a synonym of seuil, meaning threshold, door-sill, or portal. 

4. Let it be noted that "threshold" coincides with the symbolical meaning of energy vortexes in general. They are taken to be thresholds, points of access. Call it a coincidence.


Related Names & Meaning

The fact that there were many alternate spellings of "Basye" does confuse matters. So we have the English Basset, Basey, Bass, and the French Bayse or Baise. There is a French proper name, Baise*, but it is actually spelled Baïse and pronounced, not "bays" or "bay-see," but  "ba-EEZ."

The Basye Family in the United States (by Otto Basye, 1950), the key resource for genealogical lineage of the Basyes in the New World, gets all this wrong. It traces the name Basye to its Latin root, meaning "low" or "foundation." Here is what Otto writes:

The name "Basye" means "of short stature." It is a diminutive form of the French word bas, meaning low. It is equivalent to the modern nick¬name "Shorty." [...]The French word is derived from the Latin word "basis," which now is a good English word meaning foundation or supporting structure." [Otto Basye, BFUS, p. 29]

On the pronunciation, Otto Basye writes:

The name Basye is pronounced in the United States as if it spelled Bay-see, accenting the first syllable. Some Centuries ago in France the name was doubtless pronounced Bas-say, accenting the last syllable. There are some persons of recent French descent whom the compiler has met in the United States who persist even now in giving the name Basye this old French pronunciation. [Otto Basye, BFUS, P. 38]

The "Bas-say" conclusion is in error but it is easy to see how the Otto Basye would have been led into thinking along those lines. He would not have been aware of the word "basyé," because it is not in the regular dictionary; nor did he have Google to speed reseach along. He no doubt asked authorities, who apparently did not know the source either. Looking for a source, Otto Basye found the Latin basis and the French word bas as the template. Sounds feasible. But diminutives generally are forms of nouns, not of adjectives, and the "ye" still does not make sense. Plus, no one who speaks French would look at the name Basye and pronounce it "bas-say." It doesn't make sense. True, the emphasis would be on the last syllable as O.B. says, but the single "s" in the middle of the word would normally take on a "z" sound, not a soft double-s; and you have the "y" to deal with -- it would have to be pronounced separately, not elided into the e, so it would become Bah-ZEE.

A French name that is pronounced "bas-SAY" would be written out "bassé," "bassay" or perhaps "basset." If "Bassé" were the name, then Otto Basye's notion of the meaning would be correct. The word "baisse" (the French pronunciation is subtle -- it rhymes with "case" or "bess") does mean "low," "down" or "going down" (as in le marché était en baisse, the market was down), and the question is really whether that spelling as a family name represents part of the same family. From "baisse" you can perhaps get to "basse" (low, adj. modifying feminine noun, final e silent).

In that regard, there is another ancestral possibility, more or less rejected by Otto Basye because of genealogy, not etymology, and that is the link to one Nathaniel Basse' (note the accent), of whom there is a record in Virginia dating back to 1620. That apostrophy after the "e" is, often, how you indicate the French sharp accent, é, if the accented letter is not part of your character set. Basse' -- or Bassé -- would be said the way Otto Basye thinks Basye was pronounced in French. The French meaning of "bassé" could indeed be "lowered" or "low-born." Nathaniel Bassé is now actively part of a project at Family Tree DNA, as an ancestor of the Bass, Basse, Basset, Bessette families. But Otto Basye hedges here, by writing:

It should be noted that this Captain Nathaniel Basse was probably not a closely-related member of the Basye family in America told of in this book notwithstanding the common origin of the names. [The Basye Family in America, 1950, page 57 - digital edition. Our italics.]

Consideration of these matters are not out of place because there are ramifications to meaning and pronunciation that can lead research into specific directions. What it means and how it is said can also guide us in where we might look for antecedents as we seek to "beard," as Isaac Walter Basye said, the Basye clan in times far past. 


From Genes to Memes 

Nucleotide sequencing and haplogrouping are new, but these scientific methods are revolutionizing in astounding ways what families know about their own lineage. We are taking note of these new tools, while striving understand the Basye vortex energies in their historical and cultural dimension. There is the genealogy of people on the one hand, and the genealogy of their ideas or ways of thinking on the other. We are approaching the time when we can seriously correlate location, genetics, and thoughts. The notion of "geneaology" related entities / areas in the psychic, mental realms, the realm of nous or mind, has been around for a long time. Nietzsche wrote a work called The Genealogy of Morals. Alina Clej wrote "A Genealogy of the Modern Self" about Thomas de Quincey. Neither of those works pretend to anything resembling physical genetic sequencing -- they instead use the analogy of phylogenetics and the accretion of powerful ideas and patterns of thinking ("memes") as a way of understanding immediate experience. 

So we are talking about the genealogy of ideas, of perceptions, although we believe that science will end up showing that our thoughts and our genes are not as distinct as it might appear -- i.e., heredity influences thoughts, thoughts effect things, environment becomes heredity, or at least contributes to it, and so on. There is a relationship -- it is exactly that which makes evolution possible. And today, there is increasing evidence that mental and environmental factors get coded into genes, even heritable genes, much faster than anyone thought was possible. But mostly, this is about "memes," in their now-traditional definition as a units of cultural energy, of mind-stuff, and pretty much as defined by Richard Dawkins, who coined the term. 

From Wikipedia's article on "meme":

The British scientist Richard Dawkins introduced the word "meme" in The Selfish Gene (1976) as a basis for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. Examples of memes given in the book included melodies, catch-phrases, beliefs (notably religious beliefs), clothing fashion, and the technology of building arches.

In the case of Basye, VA, those energies involve native American, German, French and many other components -- and hence, in addition to the Basye family cultural history, we should also be interested in the Barbs, the Funkhousers and the Dellingers -- and the Shawnee, and the Shendo ... all families or groups which are likely to have left their imprint on what is the vortex area today. (But only the Basyes gave their name to the village.)

The deeper question of origins. As a surname of relatively recent history (in this frame of reference, anything post-16th C. is recent), Basyes -- at least the Basyes in America -- are generally believed to be of Huguenot (i.e., French Protestant or French Calvinist) origin. Their immediate port of departure for America might have been England, Holland or other European country, but their ancestry is Norman French.  images/stories/120px-Normandy_flag_large.pngIn the Bryce area the Basye family roots go back at least to the early 19th C., as a small cemetery near Basye attests (for photos of the gravestones, see Terry Basye's website); their ancestors were in the U.S., as Otto Basye's work documents, in the 17th C. [image: the flag of French Normandy, from the Wikimedia Commons, public domain.]

For our purposes of great interest would be to follow, to the extent possible, a subject that also fascinated Isaac and Otto Basye: the genealogical-cultural thread of the family in the centuries preceding the emigration of Basyes from France -- in other words, the French Basyes, the English Basyes, and those of the lineage who came before -- the other groups whose movements in Europe and in the very distant past, into Europe, remain largely unknown. 

Isaac Walter Basye wrote:

It may not be my privilege to push the genealogical investigation further than to the vessel that brought him—a Huguenot—from France, but I'd enjoy bearding him in his original home beyond old ocean's waves. [from a letter to The Boston Evening Transcript, 1903, on the author's ambitions to trace back the Basye lineage as far as possible.]

In other words, the American Basyes are Norman French in origin -- but Isaac Walter Basye wants to know more. What was the family genealogy and history in France? And before that... how did they get there? For instance there is a suggestion that the Basyes came to France during the early Renaissance period or late Middle Ages not from the North (Norman = "North men"), but from Spain. Otto Basye does not refute this directly, by the way, but he sidesteps the question, probably because other than one or two references in written materials, he does not have evidence of it. If he prefers a Northern version of migration to France for the Basyes, it is because his oldest data points for the Basye family name in public records take us to England in the 11th C., the time of William the Norman. 

In defense of the Spanish connection, there is another, briefer account of the Basye family, in Genealogy of the Cloyd, Basye and Tapp families in America (Omaha, Nebraska, 1912), written by Augustus Davis Cloyd. In it the author states:

Basye is French. It has been claimed that the family came to France in about the 13th century from that part of northern Spain inhabited by the Basques near the Bay of Biscay and that Edward de Basye was a personal friend of Henry of Navarre. People by the name still reside in Alsace-Lorraine.

The book also relates the rather exotic story of one "Alejandro Basye," a Frenchman (with a hispanic first name, it appears), who sailed to the Philippines to the island of Samar, there to marry a princess and to found a town called Basye "or Basia," a spelling which echoes the Biblical form of the name (see below). 


Is there substance to a Spanish theory of origins of the Basyes? Depends on what you mean by "Spanish." The map below is interesting.

[image below: courtesy of Fordham University. Adapted from Muir's Historical Atlas, 1911. Other maps to follow the progression through the centuries, can be found here.]


Questions of whether the ancestors of the Basyes are related to Basques, or whether they were part of the cultural and intellectual ferment of Spain in the mid- to late Middle Ages (8th to 14th C.) remain open. The map above, depicting the 5th C., shows the Roman Empire on the north, where Paris is, and the Visigothic Kingdom comprising most of what became Spain and France. [Please note: the Genographic Project being carried out by National Geographic can answer many of these questions -- for instance the northern vs. southern sources. Where the paper trail runs out, genealogical genetics steps in.]

Medieval Spain, the Iberian Peninsula, was a mixing bowl for cultural andimages/stories/croixhuguenote.png genetic inflows from the Middle East. Would it be totally useless to look for traces of Basye genealogy in such places? We don't think so... but it would involve a major research project, best started with scholarly background studies. (Ref. The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain, by Rosa Maria Menocal. Or Chris Lowney, A Vanished World: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 352 pp.) The Huguenots had spiritual if not genealogical anchors in the Holy Land. Let's not forget that the Cross of the Huguenots combined the French royal fleur-de-lis with the cross of the Knights of Malta. The latter were established in Jerusalem in 1085 CE. [image: drawing demonstrating the elements of the Huguenot Cross, based on the Cross of Malta, the French fleur-de-lis and a descending dove. Design dates to 1688. Image provided by Syryatsu, to the Wikimedia Commons.  It can be used under the terms of version 1.2 or later, of the GNU Free Documentation License. "Vous avez la permission de copier, distribuer et/ou modifier ce document selon les termes de la Licence de documentation libre GNU, version 1.2 ou plus récente publiée par la Fondation pour le logiciel libre sans sections inaltérables, sans texte de première page de couverture et sans texte de dernière page de couverture."]

The Huguenots, Basyes among them no doubt, were persecuted by the Roman Catholic monarchy of France and fled abroad in steady numbers ("like the passing of sands through an hour glass," writes O.B.) in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, all the way up to the French Revolution.  The French-language Wikipedia website says that 300,000 Huguenots left France after the "dragonnades" (Louis the XIV's repressive attacks against protestants, which started in 1681) and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. The latter had been enacted in 1598 by King Henry IV, a quasi-protestant whose law had somewhat protected protestants for almost a century. Huguenots referred to the period between the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and the start of the French Revolution, as "the Desert." When Huguenots came to America, it was often the second stage of emigration, by way of England, or from Holland. 

The origin of the term "Huguenot" has been the subject images/stories/ToursCathedral1922NatGeo.jpgof scholarly dispute, but the most plausible explanation seems to be that it is derived from the Dutch phrase huis genooten, literally "housemates," referring to secret Bible study groups conducted among the Protestants late at night. The French have resisted this interpretation partly because, quelle témérité, it would account for a French noun by way of a foreign language. But in either case such nocturnal Bible study groups were real. It was believed by the Roman Catholic rulers that heretical (i.e., Calvinist) interpretations of scripture were entertained at these meetings, and the graver concern was that some of these devoutly reformist students of the Bible were planning subversive acts against the crown of France. Those who are today frustrated by lack of clarity and agreement on the exact provenance of Huguenot, however, will be relieved to hear that there was equal disagreement about it back in the sixteenth century. To show how creative these speculations got, there is for instance the view given by Louis Régnier de la Planche in a 1560 work (Histoire de l'estat de France***) -- this one involving the wicked ghost of Hugon, Count of Tours. The relevant quote is in the Etymology section of this Wikipedia article -- but the story is also recounted by Charles Buck in his A Theological Dictionary (1818), which Otto Basye used as a reference as well. [image: Cathedral of Tours. From Wikimedia Commons, in the public domain.]

Genealogy of a Vortex

The origins of the name Basye, the debate over the origins of the term "huguenot," and the dynamics of the struggle between the French Roman Catholics and Protestants are relevant to the Basye vortex because, first of all, they underline that in addition to German influences in the Shenandoah Valley and in the Basye area, which deserve study in themselves, there is a French component to the very beginnings of the Basye community -- a vitally important one. More than that, these things say something quite specific and not fully understood about that French component. They support the perception that a relationship between Basye's psychic energy and certain French sources in Île de France (i.e., Paris) and elsewhere, is not merely fanciful construction by New Age intellectuals and "pop mystics," but that it has a solid basis in history and even genealogy. By "pop mystics" we should specifically include fans of the controversial The Da Vinci Code, whose intellectual content, it needs be said -- clever as the construction of a fictional plot was around it -- was largely plagiarized from Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Baigent and Leigh (London, 1982). 

Princess Basye in the Old Testament. All apart from the foregoing, there is yet another derivation or version of the name Basye: it is from Hebrew and the Old Testament -- a long mental leap if one is looking for the name in Normandy, or for genealogy that originated in the North. But in our opinion it deserves at least to be mentioned.

The role of water in the vortices or Basye and Orkney Springs, which we allude to at length on this website, is central, and not just because of Lake Laura. There are also the springs of Orkney Springs, and the connection between the two places. Water has been the source of the mystical, healing energies of the area since the beginning. We find this fascinating, images/stories/long_batya_detail.jpgespecially in view of the association of the name Basye with the Hebrew root, "bas-," or "bat-," or "bath-," meaning "daughter" (such as in, "bas mitzvah" or "bat mitzvah" - the initiation ceremony of Jewish girls to mark age 12). The endings "-ye" or "-ya" are interchangeable, and mean "God". Therefore "Bas-ye," "Bas-ya," "Bat-ya," "Bath-ya," and for that matter "Bitya," "Bith-iah" (see below) are all variants of the same name and all have the same meaning -- daughter of God. Basye is one of the less common forms of this word, but it is a cognate of Batya and is so recognized. The spelling can be misleading. If you type "Batya" into the Wikipedia search box, it returns the article on "Bithiah," which also defines the name as meaning "daughter of God." They are further all related to BasShevah ("Bathsheba"), which is also similarly defined. 

But what does Batya/Basya/Basye/Bithiah have to do with water? The symbolism -- actually it suggests a divine gift received from or plucked out of water -- with which this name is associated, is from a very old source: the Bible (or the Tanakh, in Hebrew). The Hebrew version of the name of the daughter of Pharaoh who found Moses, named in two places in the Bible and also in the Book of Jasher is Batya, Bithiah, or Bathia, i.e., Basye. (Written Hebrew, like Arabic, is based heavily on consonants, and the rendering of vowels can sometimes seem arbitrary. Thus in the Wikipedia article on "Bithiah", there is an illustration -- a late 19th C. painting by Edwin Long, titled "Batya Finding Moses" -- shown below. Again it's the same name.)

Please note, we are not saying that the Norman-French family name Basye has Hebrew origins. We are pointing out that there is an identical Hebrew name in the Old Testament, and we find that interesting and significant because we see the relationship between the two. Taking on the whole question of linguistic origins and variations in spelling of any name can be daunting, in any case. Otto Basye lists 62 "in-use" variants of "Basye" in his book; and where the line is drawn on what to consider a variant of Basye versus a form of some other name whose variants are similar to Basye's, can be very tricky. In other words, the list could have been longer. It is the same in the case of the Hebrew forms of the name. Examples can be found in many places -- for instance on a Jewish personal family website (www.flora-and-sam.com), offering the following associations for the first name "Bessie":

"Legal/Hebrew: Basya / Bisya ?    Gender: F     Legal Origin<1 Chronicles 4:18
Yiddish: Basa / Base / BASHA / Bashe / Basya / Basye / Bisya / Batya
Yiddish Origin: BasShevah<"G-d's daughter"



[Edwin Long, 1886, Batya Finding Moses. The work of art depicted in this image and the reproduction thereof are in the public domain worldwide. The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project. The compilation copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.**  See footnote at bottom of this page.]

17 And Bathia, the daughter of Pharaoh, went also to bathe in the river, owing to the consuming heat, and her maidens walked at the river side, and all the women of Egypt as well. 18 And Bathia lifted up her eyes to the river, and she saw the ark upon the water, and sent her maid to fetch it. 19 And she opened it and saw the child, and behold the babe wept, and she had compassion on him, and she said, This is one of the Hebrew children.
[Book of Jasher, 68:17-19]

Since the Sefer haYashar, one of the "lost books of the Old Testament," is disputed (see the NOTE just below), it should be pointed out that the princess Batya is also named in 1 Chronicles 4:18, and in a Midrash (Jewish Biblical commentary), where she is identified as the same one who spotted Moses drifting down the Nile.


The Jewish Encyclopedia: "The name is explained as follows: God said to her, "You have called Moses your son, although he was not your son, therefore I will call you my daughter ["Bithiah" = "bat," daughter; "Yah," God], although you are not my daughter" (Lev. R. i. 3; Meg. 13a; and elsewhere)." 

(NOTE: "The lost books of the Old Testament" are books to which there is a reference made in the Bible, but of which we do not have the actual texts. While the Sefer haYashar texts we do have, are considered to be pseudoepigrapha -- falsely attributed to be the lost book -- the other references also support the name Bathia or Batya).

The name "Moshe" (Hebrew version of Moses) is, in one common derivation, from mashah, "to draw out" -- i.e., Moshe was that which was drawn out of the water ("and she called his name Moses, for she said, Because I drew him out of the water." -- Book of Jasher 68:24). 


*NOTE: the major stream feeding Lake Laura is also known as "Stoney" Creek -- depending on which map you look at. We have no preference and the spelling on this web site may be inconsistent, as is the spelling of "vortices" vs. "vortexes." 

** The editors of the Basye Vortex site and Studios Saint-Sulpice support GNU and the Free Software Foundation (FSF). 

***Histoire de l'estat de France, tant de la republique que de la religion, sous le regne de François II.


For further reading:

Sharon Begley, Wall St. Journal Science columnist, "How Thinking Can Change the Brain." It is an article on neuroplasticity or the ability of the brain to change physically in response to mental states or thought. 



"Possibly one day, some day, one or more of the lineage shall rise in the firmament of thought and action to be a star of the first magnitude, and then there will be a hustling to analyze the genealogical blood. It will not then be asked, "Is not this the carpenter's son," but whose son is he?"

[Isaac Walter Basye, writing in a letter toThe Boston Evening Transcript, April 27, 1903. As quoted in The Basye Family in the United States, by Otto Basye, Kansas City, MO 1950. Our italics.]

***Please note that "the Basye genome," as it appears on this web page, is used as a metaphor. We are concerned  with understanding a certain type of consciousness or "presence" composed by history and location. By talking about the "Basye genome" or "vortex genealogy" we are talking about Basye Vortex energy as a subtle energy medium in which various cultural and symbolical traits and qualities can be found, traceable to historical, spiritual, communal and other factors. We are not referring to the Basye family genetic code. 

That having been noted, the Basye Vortex website supports the The Genographic Project, which is a joint research effort between the National Geographic, IBM and the Waitt Family Foundation. For $99.95 plus the mailing cost of a home administered kit (it's a cheek swab thingie), you can add your genealogical data to the database and change family chat over the kitchen table, about days of yore, forever. Also the Family Tree DNA company (link in the right hand column) provides a broader array of genetic genealogy information with a similar home-kit.

In view of the advances in genetic science, the Isaac Walter Basye statement quoted at the top of this page may make someone wonder: what exactly did he have in mind? And what about the religious allusion? Is invoking "the carpenter's son" in that paragraph just rhetoric and hyperbole -- or was there something else in the back of the writer's mind? 


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