Splinters From The Tree April 2007
Thanks to all of the following who made donations this month:
4 individuals donating a total of $260
Section 1 - Welcome
With the beginning of the baseball season, I have included an article this month of Lloyd "Pepper" Bassett of the Negro League.
I continue to add about 1 new DNA project participant every 10 days. We are closing in on 200 Bassett participants. If you still have a kit outstanding, please return it as soon as possible.
For anyone living in the Los Angeles area, I will be attending a computer conference in Anaheim and would be available to meet for dinner April 30th or May 1st. If you are interested in meeting for dinner to discuss Bassett family history, let me know.
For information on the Bassett Family Reunion to be held in Boston, Massachusetts in August of 2007, please see our website.
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Section 2 - Featured Bassett: Lloyd "Pepper" Bassett
Lloyd Bassett descends from the #141B Wickliff Bassett family as follows:
Wickliff Bassett (b. 1857) and wife Maria
The following is reprinted with permission from Tony McClean and can be found at the Black Athletes Sports Network.
NEW HAVEN, Ct. -- When catcher Lloyd "Pepper" Bassett made his professional debut in 1934, he was touted by many as "the next Josh Gibson". Some 20 years and a dozen stops later, Bassett never did reach those lofty expectations.
However, the Baton Rouge native did carve out a very serviceable career in the Negro Leagues. Born on August 5, 1919, the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder made eight appearances in the East-West All-Star Classic.
Bassett, a righthanded slugger, was also part of two Negro American League pennant winning squads (1944 and 1948) while toiling for the Birmingham Black Barons.
After beginning his career with the New Orleans Crescent Stars of the Negro Southern League, Bassett was signed by the Pittsburgh Crawfords where ironically he served two seasons as Gibson's backup.
When he did get a chance to play, Bassett would sometimes perform a routine with his fellow pitchers. During certain barnstorming exhibitions and non-league games, Bassett would catch part of a game in a rocking chair behind home plate.
The "rocking chair" routine would become a permanent part of Bassett's playing career which saw him play with several teams including the Homestead Grays, Toledo Crawfords, Chicago American Giants, Ethiopian Clowns, Cincinnati Clowns, Philadelphia Stars, Memphis Red Sox, and Detroit Stars.
In 1937, Bassett got his first chance at serious playing time. With Gibson embroiled in a contract dispute with the Crawford that led to a trade, Bassett would respond.
Bassett hit a career-high.395 and was voted the starter for the East squad in the All-Star Classic. He added another solid year (.308) in 1938 but at season's end, the Pittsburgh franchise disbanded.
From 1939 to 1943, Bassett toiled for several teams while also spending his winters in the Mexican League. He would also make two more All-Star appearances (1939 and 1941) with the Chicago American Giants.
He also revived his "rocking chair" routine while playing the Cincinnati and Ethiopian Clowns. In his last season with the Clowns, he briefly caught a league game in his "rocking chair" character.
On July 5, 1943, Bassett caught the final inning of knuckleballer Eddie "Peanut" Davis' 7-0 shutout of the Homestead Grays. He caught Davis' fast pitches and slow pitches without shifting position.
The next season, Bassett joined the Birmingham Black Barons. Despite hitting a career-low .222, he helped lead the Barons to the American League pennant. Unfortunately before the World Series began, Bassett and four other teammates were injured in an car accident.
Neither players were able to participate in the Fall Classic which saw Birmingham fall to the Homestead Grays in five games.
It took a while for Bassett and the Barons to bounce back from that setback. However in 1948, Birmingham would find themselves back in contention.
The Barons (55-21) won the first half of the American League pennant that season and then swept the Kansas City Monarchs (45-25) in the playoffs to take another AL crown.
Bassett hit a hefty .350 for Birmingham, who were led by Artie Wilson's league-leading .402 mark. Despite falling to the Grays in the World Series again, the Barons were back among the Negro League's elite.
Bassett would play two more seasons in Birmingham before he retired from the game in 1954, ironically with the team he began his career with, the New Orleans Crescent Stars.
While Bassett will be remembered by some as the "rocking chair catcher", he also established himself as one of the most dependable and underrated catchers in Negro League history.
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Section 3 - Featured Bassett: Sharon Bassett of Birmingham, Connecticut
Sharon Bassett descends from #6B William Bassett of Connecticut as follows:
William Bassett of Connecticut and wife Hannah Dickerman
1850 Federal Census of Derby, New Haven County, Connecticut (21 Aug 1850)
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Section 4 - Featured Bassett: E.E. Bassett & Co. Printers of Hartford, Conn.
I bought the following postcard on ebay. I have not yet identified this family. If anyone knows who this E.E. Bassett is, please let me know.
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Section 5 - Featured Bassett: Dr. Frank Houston Bassett III of Duke University
Dr. Frank Houston Bassett III descends from #8B John Bassett of New Jersey as follows:
John Bassett of New Jersey
Christian County, Kentucky Biographies
Frank Houston Bassett was born in Stephensport, Ky., November 1, 1873, and came to Hopkinsville as a boy when his brother, E.B. Bassett, came to open a store. He comes of Welsh stock. His parents were James H. and Georgia (Houston) Bassett. His paternal grandparents were Jeremiah V. Bassett and Tryphenia Wellesley (Birch) Bassett. His maternal grandparents were Dr. Robert R. Houston and Mary (Frank) Houston. Subject began his business career as a merchant and on February 23, 1898, was married to Miss Mamie Elizabeth Thompson, only child of Charles T. Thompson, a prominent hardware merchant. Some years after his marriage he took up the study of medicine and following his graduation at once took a prominent position in his profession. While still a practicing physician, he was elected a city commissioner in 1916, and served until his election as mayor of Hopkinsville in 1918. After four years in that office, he was elected county court clerk of Christian County in 1922, as a Democrat, and re-elected in 1926 and 1930 for terms of four years. One of his ancestors afterwards, Rev. Thomas Erskine Birch, an Episcopal minister, was an ensign on the Bon Homme Richard in the famous sea fight with the Serapis. He is a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church. Dr. and Mrs. Bassett were the parents of three children. The oldest, Charles Thompson, died when a youth, Florence is the wife of John Jarrell, of Atlanta, Ga. and Frank H. Jr., who married Sara Bell McPherson, is in business in Hopkinsville.
Frank Houston Bassett, son of Dr. Frank Houston and Mamie Elizabeth (Thompson) Bassett, was born 15 Aug 1906 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He died Apr 1985 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He married Sara Belle McPherson, daughter of Herbert L. McPherson, on 2 Dec 1928 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. She was born 4 Jul 1906. He is buried in Riverside Cemetery.
Frank was an officer in Radford-Bassett Motor Co., and the Bassett Coal Co., and auditor and public accountant, Deputy Marshall District Court for Balboa, the Canal Zone. He was a graduate of Branham & Hughes Military Academy; a member of the Kentucky House or Representatives (1944-1946); served in the Kentucky State Senate (1958-1960); and was the Majority Leader of the Senate in 1958.
The News & Observer, 9 Mar 2007
Frank Houston Bassett, III, M.D., died Tuesday evening at home following an extended illness. He was born November 19, 1928 in Hopkinsville, KY to Frank H. and Sarah Belle (McPherson) Bassett, Jr. Dr. Bassett was a 1950 graduate of the University of Kentucky where he played football under legendary Coach "Bear" Bryant. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He received his medical degree in 1957 from the University of Louisville and completed his orthpaedic residency at Duke Hospital in 1963. Dr. Bassett became the Head Team Physician for Duke Athletics in 1966, serving in this capacity for 30 years. An international pioneer in the field of sports medicine, Dr. Bassett was a founding member of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and was inducted into the AOSSM Hall of Fame in 2003. He has been honored at Duke as the most outstanding teacher in orthopaedics on several occasions, and the faculty teaching award named in his honor is given annually since 1995. The Bassett Society, the Bassett Chair and the Bassett Endowment, all of which support athletics and research in sports medicine, stand as a living legacy to his contributions. Dr. Bassett achieved the great honor from the Duke Athletic Dept. with the naming of the main avenue into the sports complex as Frank Bassett Drive. In 2002, Dr. Bassett received the Volunteer of the Year award from the Nat'l Assn. of Athletic Development Directors for his work in co-chairing the Duke University Football Campaign. The effort raised over $20 million for the Yoh Football Center in 2002. In addition to his many professional affiliations, Dr. Bassett was a member of Yates Baptist Church, where he was on the Board of Deacons, served in several leadership capacities and was a member of the Osborne Daniels Sunday school class. Frank Bassett was a human dynamo, who mentored countless people and gave generously of himself to his profession, his community, his friends and family. Surviving are his wife Anne Wilkinson Bassett; his children, Marshall T. (Mary) Bassett of Haverford, PA, F. Houston Bassett, IV of Myrtle Beach, SC and Lucia B. (Steve) and Suzanne (Brian) Allen of Mebane, NC; his grandchildren, Charlotte Bassett; Nicholas and Alexis Steinhilber; Elizabeth and Erick Bassett; and Isabel anc Caroline Allen; and a sister, Bettie June (Wayne) Clark of Hopkinsville, KY. He was predeceased by a grandson, Clay Bassett. Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. from Duke University Chapel, with the Rev'd Dr. Don Y. Gordon officiating. A reception will follow in the Yoh Football Center. Burial will be 3:00 p.m. at Oakwood Cemetery in Mebane. Friends will be received 3:00-6:00 p.m. Sunday at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Contributions in Dr. Bassett's memory may be made to: The Building Fund of Yates Baptist Church, 2819 Chapel Hill Rd., Durham, NC 27707, the Bassett Society, c/o Ralph Mason, Box 102000, DUMC, Durham, NC 27710 or to the Salvation Army. For on-line memorials, www.hallwynne.com.
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Section 6 - New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
The following family lines have been combined/eliminated since the last newsletter.
174B. Bassetts of Lewisham, Kent into the #184B Bassetts of Chiddingston & Edenbridge,
386B. The Bassetts of Brighton, Sussex, England
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Section 7 - DNA project update. The Bassetts of Kent & Surrey
Results are back from the lab for Kit #56512 showing that this family of Bassetts shares a common ancestor with the Bassetts of Surrey & Kent. Also, a SNP test was performed on this family group showing that this group of Bassetts belongs to Haplogroup I1b.
Based on the results of the tests below and from some new information that has been uncovered, family #174B has been combined into the #184B Bassetts of Edenbridge. The new line for family #174B is:
Lineage for Kit #69052:
A writeup for the haplogroup I1b from Family Tree DNA is included below.
I1b The Balkan countries likely harbored this subgroup of I during the Last Glacial Maximum. Today, this branch is found distributed in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, and extends further east with Slavic-speaking populations.
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.
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