Bassett Family Association - , Modern Founder (originally founded in 1897)

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Newsletter May 2006

(1) Welcome
(2) Bassett Family Reunion
(3) New Italian Bassett family identified
(4) Commodore William James Bassett of Canada
(5) Clarence Henry Bassett Jr. of Richmond, Virginia
(6) DNA findings on the #76B Oliver Bassett line of Pennsylvania
(7) New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
(8) DNA project update

Thanks to the following who made donations this month to the DNA project:

Barbara Bassett - $20

Section 1 - Welcome

This is a busy time of year for many including my family. My oldest son graduated from college last weekend and my oldest daughter graduates from high school later today. Congratulations to all of the Bassett graduates around the world!

Ancestry.com has now released the 1841 census and images of this census are now available online. If you need me to look up one of your Bassett ancestors in any of the 1841 through 1901 census of Great Britain, please drop me a line. I do lookups almost daily during my lunch hour.

We are in the early stages of planning/developing a new Bassett family website that will contain some/all of the following types of information: Bassett newsletters, DNA results, links to other Bassett sites, Bassett heraldry, early English Bassett family history, etc. Does anyone on the newsletter distribution list have a Bassett domain name (such as bassett.com. bassett.org, bassettfamily.org) that they have reserved but are not currently using that they would be willing to let us use for this new website?

We still have several DNA kits outstanding (five), three from Bassetts living in England. Please consider completing the process and return you test kit to the testing company.


Section 2 - Future Bassett Family Reunion

I have been getting several queries per month now on the topic of holding a Bassett family reunion. As some of you may know, a Bassett family reunion was first held in New England in the United States 1897 and held for several years after that. In 1997, we held a National Bassett family reunion in Salt Lake City to celebrate the 100th anniversary of that first reunion. If I remember correctly, we had more than 50 Bassetts from around the country and one from England. It is hard to believe that it has been almost 10 years since that last reunion.

I propose to have the next reunion on the first weekend of August, 2007 somewhere in the Boston, Massachusetts area. I can help coordinate/plan the reunion, but I would need someone from the Boston area willing to help line up a hotel and meeting room and help plan activities. At the last reunion in Salt Lake City, we gave different presentations in the morning followed by research at the LDS Family History Center library in the afternoon. A similar format is planned, but I am open for suggestions. One presentation that we can have is for me to present my Bassett Family DNA project presentation. I have now given this presentation 7 times to local genealogy societies around the state with two more planned later this year.

If you might be interested in attending, please let me know via e-mail. Also, if someone living in Boston can check the calendar to make sure that weekend is not in conflict with some major Boston event, that would appreciated.

If the reunion works out, it might be nice to follow it with a reunion (sometime in the next few years) in New Zealand, Australia, England or Wales. One location that would be appealing to me would be to hold it in or near St. Hilary, Wales, the ancestral home of the Bassetts of Wales or near one of the other seats of Bassett power from the Middle Ages such as Drayton in England.


Section 3 - Featured Bassett: Luigi Bassett of Rodi Garganico, Italy

We have a new member to the Bassett DNA project that came via his participation in the National Geographic Genographic project. He descends from Luigi (Louis) Bassett of Rodi Garganico. Italy.

The 12-marker result for this family can be seen in the chart below. We have ordered this test expanded to a 37 marker test to see how closely it might fit some of our English Bassett families.


Section 4 - Featured Bassett: Commodore William James Bassett of Canada

Commodore William James Bassett descends from the #232B Francis Bassett of Collinwood family as follows:

Francis Bassett (born 1816 in England) and wife Jane.
William James Bassett, born 1857 in Ontario.

COMMODORE W.J. BASSETT, The Globe, April 16, 1898

That Commodore W.J. Bassett of the steamer City of Collingwood comes from true maritime stock is a foregone conclusion when the statement is made that his grandfather was for twenty-one years in the navy yard in England, where Commodore Bassett's father also served his time. Coming to Canada the commodore's parents settled in Collingwood, and there he was born in March 1857. Securing a thorough education in the schools of Collingwood, when he was fifteen years old, in 1872, he began his lake career by shipping in the steamer Waubuno, which sailed from Collingwood. That vessel was lost with every sould on board about fifteen years ago, which sad fatality everybody can recall. After leaving the Waubuno, Captain Bassett sailed on Canadian and American sailing vessels until 1877, among which were the Jane McLeod, the Azore, the Nellie Gardner, the Chippewa, Maggie, and the C. G. Breed, the latter a brig.

From 1877 to 1883 he was second and then first mate on the following steamers: The Northern Queen, the Emerald, the Canada, the Northern Belle and the Atlantic.

On February 13, 1884, he passed his examination at Toronto for master, being the first one to be examined, and was granted the first certificate of competency issued.

In 1884 he took command of the steamer Northern Belle, belonging to the Great Northern Transit Company limited, and continued master of her until 1889, when he went as master of the steamer City of Midland, owned by the North Shore Navigation Company of Ontario, limited, in 1890, and continued in her through the seasons of 1891 and 1892. In 1893 he took charge of the new steamer City of Collingwood when she was built by the North Shore Navigation Company and he sailed her from Collingwood to Chicago during the World's Fair. He has been master of her ever since, running to Sault Ste. Marie and Mackinaw Island, and his employers have engaged him to sail her during the season of 1898 from Collingwood and Owen Sound to Soo, Port Arthur, Duluth and Mackinaw under the name of the Georgian Bay and Lake Superior Steamboat Line.

Among his other enterprises Captain Bassett was one of the promoters of the North Shore Navigation Company of Ontario, limited, in 1890, and he superintended the building of the steamers City of Midland and City of London. The commodre's fleet now consists of five steamers, four propellers and one side-wheeler, all of which are under his direct supervision and in his charge during the winter months.

It is a righteous boast of the commodore to say, "I have not lost a day from business since 1882." He has sailed every season since 1872 and has always lived in Collingwood. On December 30, 1873, the master of the City of Collingwood was married at Shelburne to Miss Mary Gray. Their family consists of one son and two daughters, Jennie Bassett, Reggie Bassett and Mary Bassett.


Section 5 - Featured Bassett: Clarence Henry Bassett Jr. of Richmond, Virginia

Clarence is a son of Clarence and Mary Bassett. Clarence Sr. was born in Bermuda. The family lived in Jamaica, Queens County, New York.

Album cover for Shep & the Limelites

Very little is currently known about the family of Clarence Henry Bassett Jr. Below is his family from the 1930 census of Queens, New York.

1930 Federal Census of Jamaica, Queens County, New York (8 Apr 1930)
Clarence Bassett N 45 M BM BM BM Head Messenger Jewelry Shop
Mary N 35 F VA VA VA Wife
Clarence Jr. N 12 M NY BM VA Son
Delores N 8 F NY BM VA Daughter
Helen N 5 F NY BM VA Daughter
Ida Grant N 6 F NY UN UN Boarding Child
Lillian N 5 F NY UN UN Boarding Child
(Living at 15206 Brinkerhoff Ave.) (BM = Bermuda)

Richmond Times-Dispatch, 27 Jan 2005
Clarence Henry Bassett Jr.

Clarence Henry Bassett Jr., 68, of the singing group "Shep & The Limelites", died on Tuesday, January 25, 2005. He was born in Jamaica, N.Y. His mother, Virgus Bassett; wife Brenda Louise Bassett; and father-in-law, Robert Phillip Graham, preceded him in death. He is survived by two children, Lisa E. Gordon and Marcus E. Bassett; son-in-law, Alfonzo P. Gordon Jr.; daughter-in-law, Natalie Camacho; two grandchildren, Kyonna Bassett and Chanice Cruz; father, Clarence H. Bassett Sr.; two brothers, Ronald Bassett and Reginald Bassett; two sisters, Hazel Brown and Elaine Stewart; mother-in-law, Rosa Graham; seven brothers-in-law, five sisters-in-law, a host of nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends. Remains rest at Mimms Funeral Home, 1827 Hull Street, where the family will receive friends Sunday (today), 4 to 6 p.m., and where funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Monday, January 31, Brother Earnest Wilkerson officiating. Interment Oakwood Cemetery.

(Brenda Bassett, born 4 Apr 1942 (SSDI), died 7 May 1998 (SSDI), death residence listed as Jamaica, Queens, New York)).

The Grim Reporter, By Phast Phreddie Patterson, February 2005

Rhythm & blues group vocalist Clarence Bassett (68) died of emphysema on January 25 at his home in Richmond, Virginia.

Clarence Henry Bassett, Jr. was born in Jamaica, Queens, a neighborhood in New York City. As a teen, he sang in church and on street corners with his friends, and at his mother's nightclub.

Around 1952, he was a member of The Five Sharps when they recorded "Stormy Weather". Although the song was not a hit, it has become the Holy Grail of doo-wop records - an original 78 can exchange hands for more than $10,000; a 45 for five times that amount (and there is some question whether the 45 even exists!).

Bassett went on to become a member of the Videos - he wrote their most memorable song "Trickle Trickley." However, by 1960, the Videos had broken up and Bassett was working a day job when he was asked by James Sheppard to join his new group. This group, Shep & the Limelites, included another ex-Video/ex-Five Sharp - Charles Baskerville - and is notable because it was one of the few trio vocal groups operating at the time. Its first release, "Daddy's Home" - an answer to Sheppard's old group The Heartbeats' biggest hit, "A Thousand Miles Away" - was a Number Two pop hit in 1961. A Grim Reporter favorite of this period is "The Monkey", a cheesy dance records written by the group members.

Shep & the Limelites broke up around 1966, and Bassett subsequently joined The Flamingos - quite possibly in time to record two more Grim Reporter faves, "Boogaloo Party" and "The Brooklyn Boogaloo," for the Philips label.

In 1970, after Sheppard's death, Bassett and Baskerville formed a new Limelites with Al Handfield and Bassett's brother, Ronald in order to work the nostalgia marker. Also during the seventies, Bassett was a member of Creative Funk.

Bassett kept some form of The Limelites together until 1996, and then reformed the group for a PBS doo-wop special in 2002.


Section 6 - Featured Bassett: Peter Dellameter Bassett

Peter D. Bassett is the son of Oliver Bassett. We just got the results back of DNA testing for a descendant of his which puts this family into the Bassetts of Wales group. Based on his Peter's father's name, where he came from and his DNA results, I am now placing Oliver Bassett (father of Peter D. Bassett) as a son of Oliver Bassett Sr. This is the #12B Bassett line.

You can read below that an Oliver Bassett is mentioned in Hunterdon County, New Jersey in 1787. Is Oliver possibly a brother or cousin to John Bassett of Hunterdon County, New Jersey? (Family #8B in my records).

Based on census records, this Oliver Bassett below still has two sons unaccounted for. One may be #25B George W. Bassett of Milford, LaGrange County, Indiana. The other one might possibly be #46B Isaac Bassett, father of Isaac Newton Bassett of Missouri.

This is another case of using our DNA results to help construct the family tree. Placing these families together just a few short years ago would have been virtually impossible without the DNA results of today.


12B. Oliver Bassett

Oliver Bassett is listed as the father of Elias Bassett in the sketch below. Oliver married Betsey. Very little is currently known about him. He is possibly the Alvord Bassett found in the 1800 census of Stephentown.

Given the location of this family in Rensselaer County, New York and the DNA exact match to the #19B family also living in this location, it is a very good possibility that Oliver somehow descends from #19B Michael Bassett.

There is mention of an Oliver Bassett in Hunterdon County, New Jersey in 1787. The #8B John Bassett of Hunterdon County, New Jersey also matches the DNA of this family line.

1800 Federal Census of Stephentown, Rensselaer County, New York (#12B?)
Alvord Bassett 30010-10010

1810 Federal Census of Berlin, Rensselaer County, New York
Oliver Bassett 21110-3101

1820 Federal Census of Middletown, Delaware County, New York
Oliver Bassett 110001-02001

12B1. Boy Bassett

12B2. Boy Bassett

12B3. Girl Bassett

+ 12B4. Elias Bassett - born 16 Feb 1800 in Stephentown, Rensselaer County,
New York, died 24 May 1869 in Ogden, Weber County, Utah. He married
Matilda Salter on 18 Jan 1821 in Navoo, Hancock County, Illinois.

12B5. Girl Bassett

+ 12B6. Lydia Bassett - born about 1805 in New York, married Peter Porter
Rose Dellamater.

+ 12B7. Oliver Bassett Jr. - born about 1806 in New York, married Elizabeth.

12B8. Daniel E. Bassett - born about 1814 in New York, possibly a son of
Oliver Bassett. He was living in Pike County, Pennsylvania near
Oliver Bassett Jr. for the 1850 census. See census below.

12B9. Girl Bassett

Peter Dellameter Bassett descends from Oliver Bassett as follows:

Oliver Bassett and wife Betsey
Oliver Bassett Jr. and wife Elizabeth
Peter Dellamater Bassett

Peter D. Bassett (Picture courtesy of Allen Parsons)

The following chart shows DNA results for all Bassetts fitting into the Bassett of Wales Group.

Note #76B Oliver Bassett of PA below will now be reclassified as #12B Oliver Bassett. #12B Elias Bassett will also be reclassified as #12B Oliver Bassett.


Section 7 - New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter

The following family lines have been combined/eliminated since the last newsletter.

76B. Oliver Bassett of Pennsylvania into the #12B Oliver Bassett of New York family
183B. William Bassett-Smith cominbed into the #196B Bassetts of Countesthorpe, Leicester
230B. John Bassett of Madron, Cornwall combined into the #149B William Bassett of Redruth
331B. Henry Bassett of Michigan combined into the #1B John Bassett of CT family

The following family lines have been added since the last newsletter.

183B. The Bassetts of Midland County, Michigan
230B. Joseph Bassett of Alaska (married Monte Powell)
331B. Paul Bassette of North Adams, Massachusetts
348B. John Bassett of Bay City, Michigan
349B. Edward Bassett of Holburn & Clerkenwell, London, England


Section 8 - DNA project update.

The following kits are still oustanding:

If you have changed your mind and are no longer going to participate, just let me know and I will remove your record from the Family Tree DNA database.

32974 Rusty Bassett 03/01/2005
48144 Allen Bassett 03/24/2005
50566 Gerald Bassett 01/11/2006
56512 Tony Bassett 03/02/2006
56561 Phil Bassett 03/02/2006

Donations of any amount can be made to the Bassett DNA project by clicking on the link below. Any funds donated will be used to fund select Bassett DNA tests that will further our project as a whole and benefit all Bassetts worldwide.


This is just a reminder that the DNA portion of the Bassett Family Association can be found at:


A current spreadsheet of results can be found at:


If you don't have Excel and can't open the spreadsheet above, you can now see the DNA test results at the following website.


Jeffrey Bassett
520 Salceda Drive
Mundelein, IL 60060 USA
email address link in header above