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

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Splinters From The Tree February 2007

(1) Welcome
(2) The Bassetts of Kfeir, Lebanon
(3) The Tobey Furniture Company of Chicago
(4) Updates on the #68B Alfred Bassett family of Iowa
(5) New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
(6) DNA project update

In next month's Issue:
The Bassetts of Llanelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Eligah Bassett of Whitchurch, Ontario, Canada

Thanks to everyone who made a donation to the project this month:

12 individuals donating a total of $755.

Section 1 - Welcome

Thank you very much for the many donations sent in during the past month. It was enough to fund four new tests including a test for the #243B Eligah Bassett line from Whitchurch, Ontario, Canada and two Bassett lines from Ireland. In addtion, several other tests were upgraded to 37 markers in an effort to help link up several other Bassett lines.

Welcome to the several dozen Bassetts from England that I have made contact with through Genes Reunited over the past month. You join more than 1,500 Bassetts worldwide who are now receiving this monthly newsletter.

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Section 2 - Featured Bassett: The Bassetts from Kfeir, Lebanon

There is a large group of Bassetts living in the United States with roots in Kfeir, Lebanon. They settled primarily in southern Michigan, West Virginia, and the Toledo, Ohio area between 1890 and 1920. This is the first group of Bassetts belonging to the Haplogroup J2 based on DNA testing.

We are still sorting out the relationships between all of these Bassetts.

Here are two of the businesses run by descendants of this family.

Bassett's Market, an independent grocer serving Northwest Ohio.

To read more about Bassett's Market, click on the link below.

The Bassett Nut Company of Toledo, Ohio

To read more about the Bassett Nut Company, click on the link below.

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Section 3 - Featured Bassett: Frank Bassett Tobey

Frank Bassett Tobey descends from #1A William Bassett of Plymouth as follows:

William Bassett and his wife Elizabeth
William Bassett (b. 1624) and wife Mary Raynesford
William Bassett (b. 1656) and wife Rachel Williston
William Bassett (b. 1681 and wife Abigail Bourne
Elisha Bassett (b. 1714) and wife Ruhamma Jennings
Samuel Bassett (b. 1747) and wife Rachel Fish
Rachel Bassett (b. 1807) and husband Jonathan Howes Tobey
Frank Bassett Tobey

Dresser made by Tobey Furniture
Clock made by Tobey Furniture

Prominent Men of the Great West
Frank Bassett Tobey, Chicago, Illinois

Frank Bassett Tobey, president of the Tobey Furniture Company of Chicago, was born at Dennis, Cape Cod, Mass., September 15, 1833. It has been remarked that many of Chicago's prominent business men came from Cape Cod. Besides the Tobey brothers, Charles and Frank, the Nickersons, the Swifts, the Underwoods, the Ryders, the Lombards, the Crosbys, the Matthews, and a host of others, claim this sandy peninsula as their birthplace. The father of Frank Tobey owned and occupied the farm that had been in the possession of the Tobey family for more than two hundred years. Tradition says that his land was deeded to Captain Thomas Tobey, about the year 1674, for services rendered in organizing a company and assisting Plymouth Colony in King Phillip's war. Frank's mother was Rachel Bassett, whose ancestors came to American in the next ship following the Mayflower.

Young Tobey worked on the farm summers and attended school winters until he was eighteen. For the next five years he held a position as clerk in the village store and post-office. The proprietor, Howes Chapman, was a man of superior intelligence, and was singularly upright in character and motives, and had great influence in molding the character of his young assistant, to whom he gave up largely the management of the business.

At an early age Frank took great interest in philosophical and political subjects, always reasoning from the humanitarian stand-point. When only twelve years old, he took issue with his father on the question of the Mexican War, claiming that its object was the extension of slave territory and therefore unjust. He soon became identified with the anti-slavery movement. He wrote the call and served as secretary for the first Republican convention ever held in his native town. At that time the Republicans were represented by a small minority, but nine years later every vote in the town was cast for Abraham Lincoln. When barely twenty-one, he was nominated as delegate to the first Republican State convention but declined the honor because he could not afford the expense.

In 1857 he came to Chicago, where a year before his brother Charles had started a furniture business on State street, south of Van Buren, in a small store, twenty by sixty feet. The first year Frank worked on a salary. The next year the co-partnership of Charles Tobey & Brother was formed, and their room doubled by the addition of the adjoining store. At this time the young men died all their work, and by close attention made the business prosperous. Their conservative and economical methods enabled them to weather the panic of 1857 to 1860, when so many older concerns went down. The large increase of business in 1859 required larger accomodations, which they found at 72 State street. They afterward removed to Lake street, and in 1866 to a new building erected specially for them at 77-79 State street, being business pioneers on that thoroughfare. In 1870, the Tobey Brothers, in connection with F. Porter Thayer, organized the Thayer & Tobey Furniture Company. The great fire of 1871 destroyed their building and stock, and in common with most Chicago firms, they suffered severe loss. With characteristic energy they improvised a salesroom at their West Side factory, which had escaped, and before the fire had ceased it ravages, they had taken an order to furnish the Sherman House, now the Gault, which order was completed in seven days. In 1873 they occupied the Clark building, corner State and Adams streets. In 1875, the Tobey Brothers bought out Mr. Thayer's interest, and the name of the company was changed to the Tobey Furniture Company, Charles being president, and Frank vice-president and manager. In March, 1888, the company occupied the Drake building, corner Wabash avenue and Washington street. The same year they started a factory for the manufacture of high-class furniture for their own trade. This feature of the business has grown beyond anticipation, the quality of the goods produced being equal to anything in the world. In September, 1886, Chas. Tobey died, and Frank became president. In 1890, they doubled the capacity of their warerooms, by renting the adjoining building known as "My Block". Mr. Tobey has thus seen the firm, beginning in a little store of 1,220 square feet in 1957, grow to the present proportions of the Tobey Furniture Company, requiring for its business more than four acres of floor space, its trade extending to every State and Territory in the Union, with occasional foreign shipments. In fact, it is without doubt the largest and most widely known retail furniture house in the country, if not in the world.

Outside his business, Mr. Tobey has taken lively interest in and has contributed liberally to philanthropic and charitable movements. In religion he might be called a disciple of Theodore Parker, believing in the deed, rather than the creed. He helped organize the Society for Ethical Culture in Chicago, and has generously devoted time and money to its support.

His politics may perhaps be best described by quoting his own remark that, "Statesmanship found its highest ideal in Charles Sumner, who labored always for righteousness and absolute justice."

He has been an active promoter of the economic conferences in Chicago, which brought the laborer and capitalist together and led to a better understanding between them. The distinguishing qualities in Mr. Tobey's character, and with which his name is always associated, are integrity, charitableness and a high sense of justice.

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Section 4 - Featured Bassett: Alfred Bassett of Iowa

Two descendants of Alfred Bassett (born 1834) of Iowa were early particpants in the DNA project, but for more than 3 years, have not matched any other Bassetts in the study.

This month, they matched exactly on 37/37 markers to a descendant of #53B Jean Jacques Luis Basset through his son James Bassett of Sussex, England. A son James Bassett Jr. settled in Brooklyn, New York and several other sons settled in Cahaba, Alabama.

Using the site www.castlegarden.org, a free database with access to information on 10 million immigrants from 1830 through 1892, the year Ellis Island opened, we believe we have now found the link for Alfred's family.

The following family was found using this search engine.

This James Basset is the father of Walter Sanborn Bassett who later settled in Minnesota. We believe the Alfred Basset listed above to be #68B Alfred Bassett of Iowa.

Results from DNA testing for this family are as follows:

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Section 5 - New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter

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

  68B. Alfred Bassett of Iowa into the #53B Jean Jacques Luis Bassett
163B. William Bassett of Lanreath, Cornwall and the #52B Bassetts of Lanreath/Mevagissey, Cornwall
176B. Thomas Bassett of Manitoba, Canada into the #52B Bassetts of Lanreath, Cornwall
206B. Walter Bassett of Waterfall, Staffordshire into the #16B Bassetts of Alstonfield, Staffordshire
288B. Samuel Bassett of Eldon, Canada into the #254B Bassetts of Timsbury, England

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

  68B. Charles Bassett of Grand Junction, Iowa (b. 1824 in Massachusetts)
163B. Thomas Bassett of Marlborough, Wiltshire, England (married 1720's)
176B. Isaac Bassett of West Ham, Essex, England (born 1825)
206B. Charles Bassett of High Halden, Kent, England (born 1789)
252B. John Bassett of South Tawtno, Devonshire, England (b. 1810)
377B. William Bassett of Modbury, Devonshire, England (married 1776)
378B. John Bassett of Wimbish, Essex, England (married 1799)
379B. Daniel Harvey Bassett (born 1835 in New York)
380B. Bassetts of Bodiam, Sussex, England & Madison County, New York
381B. John Bassett of Whitchurch, Devonshire, England (born 1788)

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Section 5 - DNA project update.

Kits from Bassetts from the following families were received by the lab this month for processing. Reports will be reported in future newsletters.

    #1B. John Bassett of Connecticut
    #1B. John Bassett of Connecticut
#202B. Bassetts of Llanelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales
#243B. Eligah Bassett of Whitchurch, York County, Ontario, Canada
#330B. Bassetts of Shoreditch & Bethnal Green, London, England

Results from a second descendant of William Bassett of Lynn, Massachusetts are back (kit #79856) and as expected, match the others already in the group for William Bassett of Lynn. This participant has ordered a further test to determine which haplogroup this family belongs to.

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