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

Home >

Splinters From The Tree June 2007

(1) Welcome
(2) Family Reunion Updates
(3) Report of First Reunion of the Bassett Family Association, West Haven, 9 Sep 1897
(4) Bassett's Ski-Hi Fruit Farm of Baraboo, Wisconsin
(5) The Bassett House of Buffalo, New York
(6) New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
(7) DNA project update

No donations were made this month to the Bassett DNA project.

Section 1 - Welcome

With people making plans for the upcoming Bassett reunion, I decided this month would be a good time to publish some of the material from the First Bassett Family Reunion held in 1897. It includes several pages out of the 40 page booklet handed out at the 1st reunion.

Planning continues for the Bassett family reunion to be held in Boston in August of 2007. See the next section for more details.

Several new DNA results were posted this month. One interesting result is the SNP test from the #2B Thomas Bassett of Virginia family. Results indicate this family originated in the Balkans in Eastern Europe. See DNA section below for more on this.

I have two more DNA talks scheduled for the next year. Watch future newsletters to see dates and locations.

* * * * *

Section 2 - Family Reunion Updates

Several more Bassetts will be presenting material on their families at the reunion in August. The schedule has not yet been finalized, but most of these talks will take place on Saturday, August 4th, 2007.

Some from the group are planning a trip to Plimouth Plantation on Sunday afternoon, a recreation of Plymouth, Massachusetts from 1627. This might be especially interesting for those descendants of William Bassett of Plymouth since his family lived in Plymouth in 1627. They have offered a special tour for our group if people are interested. A link for more information on this site is listed below.


Several other suggestions have been made for activities as well and we will have information on some of these activities in next month's newsletter.

* * * * *

Section 3- Featured Bassett: Report of First Reunion of the Bassett Family Association

Some of you that attended our National Bassett family reunion in 1997 in Salt Lake City to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First Reunion of the Bassett Family Association, may have seen a copy of the following document. A short excerpt from that original document is included below.

This report, to the members of the Bassett family of America, of the proceedings of the meeting held at the United Church Chapel, 302 Temple Street, New Haven, Conn., June 17th, 1897, and also of the reunion which was held at West Haven, Conn., September 9th, 1897, is, I trust, merely a preface to what will be in the future. The reunion was a grand success, there being present Bassetts from Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut. And all those that were present echo the same sentiment, that the occasion was one that will be remembered through life, as the meeting for the first time of so many members of this great family.
        There were descendants present from the following immigrants:

        William, who came on the ship Fortune, 1621
        Thomas, who came on the ship Christian, 1634
        William who came on the ship Abigail, 1635
        John, who came to New Haven, Conn., 1642-3

About six years ago I undertook the arduous task of searching for my ancestry, and at the end of the first year I found I had accomplished but very little. I wrote to different members of the family, but received very few responses to my letters, and I thought, What does this mean? Have the Bassetts of today lost all pride in their name and family, or have they so degenerated that they are ashamed to let themselves be known? This I could not believe. I attributed their seeming neglect to the fact that they knew very little about their ancestry, and that sentiment which should inhabit the human mind must be slumbering, and that something must be done to awaken it to the realizing duty that it owed to the present generation, as well as generations to come, by placing upon record the history of the members of this great family before the facts are obliterated by time and neglect, for many of the old records of our New England towns are in very bad condition, and if something is not done before long to preserve them, they will be forever lost. Now, let us gather together while there is yet time, those fragments of facts, and with them erect a monument more lasting than stone, a record of just and upright lives.....

Frank G. Bassett

190 members of the Bassett family signed the roll of attendance.

Journal and Courier, of New Haven, Conn., Sept. 10, 1897
First Reunion in America

Bassetts from many states gather at Savin Rock - A happy, memorial occasion - banquet and post-prandial speeches
All Descendants of William Bassett, Name more than 1,000 years old, conspicuous among the Pilgrims - Those Present

        About two hundred and twenty-five representatives of the fifty-four thousand descendants of William Bassett met in reunion yesterday after noon at Hills' Homestead, Savin Rock. They came from as far away as Michigan, and delegations were present from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York. The greater part of them, however, were from Connecticut.
        They were an eminently intelligent and prosperous looking company of men and women. There were doctors, clergymen, judges, lawyers, bankers and many prominent business men and leading citizens among them. The ages ranged from little children all the way to the patriarch of the reunion Jr. John W. Bassett, of Seymour, who has passed his ninetieth birthday.
        It was the first reunion of the family in America - or as Newcomb M. Bassett expressed it - "the first reunion in 600 years." The prime mover in the affair was the secretary and historian, Frank G. Bassett, of Seymour. He has been untiring in his efforts to make the first gathering of the family a success, and yesterday his hopes were more than realized. He was ably seconded in his efforts by the Reunion Committee, which consisted of Messrs. W.S. Downs, of Derby; Newcomb M. Bassett and George Bassett, of New Haven.
        The dinner was served outdoors on the lawn and verandas under a canvas covering. It was an ideal dining place for so large a company on such a genial and pleasant day as yesterday. There was a big overflow, which the caterer took care of nicely on the verandas.
        The short informal social meeting just before dinner was a happy chance to get acquainted, and the cousins improved the opportunity. Most of them had not seen most everybody else before, but the family affinity was taken for granted and mutual introductions on all sides soon put everyone perfectly at ease. On arrival each person registered and secured a dinner ticket, which was in turn exchanged for  a badge bearing on it the coat of arms and seal of the Bassetts. The dinner was excellent and the open air and salt breezes whetted the appetite, making the repast all the more delectable. Music was furnished unexpectedly by the appearance on the scene of an itinerant piano on wheels, which for some time filled the air with the popular airs of a year ago. A photograph of the entire gathering seated at the tables was taken, and the proof which was shown afterward was very good one.
        After the banquet a welcoming speech was made by Chairman Downs fo the Reunion Committee. Historian Frank G. Bassett then read an interesting history of the family. He was repeatedly applauded as he eulogized the sterling qualities of the early Bassetts and recounted their deeds of valor and worthy achievements. And the family has in very truth an enviable history. The name is over 1,000 years old and is glorious with Pilgrim associations. William Bassett, armorer and blacksmith, was a member of the colony of persecuted Englishmen who fled to Leyden in Holland for conscience sake. After the refugees had remained there half a dozen years the Mayflower sailed for America with 102 souls. Some of those who remained in Holland determined to follow in 1621, and secured the good ship Fortune, a vessel of only 55 tons. They came unannounced and caused great excitement among the Plymouth settlers when they hove in sight. In fact an Indian runner of the Nauset tribe came running into the Plymouth settlement on the 19th of November, 1621, with the startling ridings that a ship was trying for a landing along the coast. The settlers were greatly alarmed, fearing the visitor might be a French man-of-war, as England and France were then at war. They, therefore, made immediate and hurried preparations for defense, calling out all the men and posting the boys behind to aid as far as they might be able in loading and priming guns. They mounted the cannon and watched the black hull as it approached. Doughty Captain Miles Standish was in command, and Governor Carver mounted to a place of vantage with bated breath. The Indian's surmise proved correct. The vessel was indeed making for Plymouth harbor. As a signal and to test the new-comers' intentions the big cannon was fired, and when the sound of its booming reached the ship the flag of old England was flung to the breeze. The colonists greeted it with lusty cheers and their fears were changed to joy, for they were sure that the Fortune carried supplies for them and friends to join them in the far away land.

* * * * *

Section 4 - Featured Bassett: Bassett's Ski-Hi Fruit Farm of Baraboo, Wisconsin 

I was sad to read about the death of Olga Marie Bassett this month. I met her about 10 years ago while on a trip to the Wisconsin Dells near Baraboo, Wisconsin. This branch of the Bassett family descends from #6B William Bassett of Connecticut as follows:

William Bassett and wife Hannah Dickerman
John Bassett and wife Mercy Todd
Joseph Bassett and wife Miriam Bradley
Joseph Bassett and wife Chloe Sanford
Zophar Bassett and wife Thankful Bartholomew
Patrick Ashley Bassett and wife Mary Catherine Powell
William Powell Bassett and wife Lucy Turner
Arthur Kamp Bassett and wife Emma Martin
Arthur Kamp Bassett Jr. and wife Olga Marie 

Picture of Ski Hi Fruit Farm provided by Betty Thiessen

College of Agricultural & Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Ski Hi Fruit Farm / Bassett Family Honorary Recognition 1998

The Bassetts: A family tree full of good apples

The Bassett family tree is full of good apples. Since 1907, the Bassett family of Ski-Hi Fruit Farm has been growing more than 60 cultivars of apples while contributing time and resources to research, education and their community.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will present an Honorary Recognition award to Olga Bassett, 91, in recognition of her efforts and those of her children, Philip A. Bassett and Betty Marie Bassett Thiessen; and the past work of her husband, Art Bassett Jr., and his parents, A.K. and Emma Bassett.

Ski-Hi Fruit Farm near Baraboo has been on the cutting edge of production management throughout the years because of the Bassett's ingenuity, perseverance, and willingness to adopt new techniques and try new varieties in their pursuit of quality fruit. "Whether one looks at production, marketing, or overall management, the Bassetts have not only been innovative, they have excelled," said Tom Kriegl, former Sauk County Extension agent.
The Bassetts have worked extensively with researchers and resources at CALS. "They have always been willing to try a new approach to a problem or just to improve a practice," said extension horticulturist Teryl Roper.

Ski-Hi Fruit Farm tested up to 112 cultivars of apples at once and was one of the first orchards to use sunlight, orchard floor, pest, and weather data management techniques. The Bassetts were among the first growers to keep thorough yield records on the 15,000 bushels of apples they produce in a typical year.

The Bassetts are knowledge-givers as well as knowledge-seekers. Since 1932, they have opened their orchard to the UW-Madison horticulture department for field research, demonstrations, and teaching. The UW Baraboo-Sauk County Center campus has always used Ski-Hi Fruit Farm as an outdoor classroom, and local high school and vocational agriculture classes also learn at Ski-Hi. Olga Bassett has started a fund at the UW-Madison horticulture department in memory of her husband.

The Bassetts have always been involved in industry organizations. At least one member has belonged to the Wisconsin Horticulture Society (now the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association) since 1909, and they have participated in the Sauk County Farmers Union Co-op, Baraboo Garden Club, and Wisconsin Apple and Horticulture Council.

The Bassetts have eagerly collaborated with environmental groups for community environmental benefits. They have belonged to several environmentally-oriented organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, Baraboo Hills Hiking Club, Quartzite Club, and the Wisconsin Ornithology Society.

Olga Bassett has been a member of the Wisconsin Horticulture Society since 1935, and was a board member for 15 years and president of the Ladies Auxiliary from 1963 to 1969. She is a member of the University of Wisconsin Bascom Hill Society and an honorary member of UW-Madison Short Course.

The Ski-Hi story wouldn't be complete without pies. The farm now has a larger salesroom and bakery and participates weekly in the Madison Farmers Market. Homemade pies are the single most popular item on the farm, and sales have grown steadily, with more than 11,000 sold in 1997.

"Today when you visit Ski-Hi Fruit Farm, you can sit down to a piece of pie and ice cream and a glass of apple cider. You can choose among 60 to 70 varieties of apples. You can purchase locally produced honey, maple syrup, pumpkins, asparagus and other items, depending on season. While doing this you can watch pies being made or can gaze outside at the scenery of the Baraboo Bluffs," said Kriegl. "Ski-Hi Fruit Farm is one of the most outstanding agricultural show places in Sauk County."

* * * * *

Section 5 - Featured Bassett: The Bassett House of Buffalo, New York

Charles Kingman Bassett descends from William Bassett of Plymouth as follows:
William Bassett and wife Elizabeth
William Bassett (b. 1624) and wife Mary Rainsford
William Bassett (b. 1656) and wife Rachel Willison
William Bassett (b. 1681) and wife Abigail Bourne
Elisha Bassett (b. 1714) and wife Ruhamah Jennings
Lot Bassett (b. 1755) and wife Deborah Howes
Francis Bassett (b. 1796) and wife Mehitable Ford
Charles Ralph Bassett (b. 1826) and wife Elvira Rogers
George Barclay Bassett (b.1861) and wife Anna Kingman
Charles Kingman Bassett (b. 1891)

The Bassett House of Buffalo, New York
Images used with permission from Chuck LaChiusa.

The following is a small portion of the above pamphlet. To read the entire article, click on the following link.

Bassett House - A History
Decorators' Show House '85
Sponsored by The Junior League of Buffalo, Inc.
In Cooperation with the Buffalo News

        The Bassett home; the Decorators' Show House for 1985, is located at 278 Depew Avenue in the City of Buffalo area which is designated Central Park. Mr. Lewis Jackson Bennett, the President of the Buffalo Cement Company Limited, developed the land and also built and sold many of the homes which line its streets and avenues.
        Mr. Petrie received a business transfer and sold his home in 1927 to Charles Kingman Bassett and his wife Jean. Mr. Bassett, the Secretary and later Vice-President of the Buffalo Meter Company, resided in Show House '85 for fifty-seven years. He died in May 1984 at the age of 92. His wife had passed away in December 1968.
        The Buffalo Meter Company was founded in 1892 by Charles' father, George Barclay Bassett. He established the business to manufacture, under his own patents, water, oil and gasoline meters.
        George Bassett, following engineering studies, moved to Buffalo in 1886 from Watertown, New York. He formed Bassett Brothers, a partnership with his brother Edward. This engineering and contracting firm designed and built over fifty municipal water works in New York State. Edward Bassett left the partnership in 1891 to practice law in New York City. Since he originated that city's first zoning plan, he has been referred to as the "Father of Zoning in the United States". He later became a representative to Congress.
        Buffalo Meter's first product, a water meter, was manufactured on Washington Street. In 1917, George Bassett purchased a nine acre site on Main near Hertel where he built a factory and offices. Here the business prospered under his guidance and that of his two sons. Mr. George Bassett passed away in 1955 at the age of 93. His son Robert succeeded him as President and his son Charles became Vice-President.
        In 1958, the Buffalo Meter Company was sold to the American Meter Company, moved out of state and later resold to the Singer Sewing Machine Company. This property is presently owned by the State University of New York and houses the SUNY AB Studio Art program.
        Mrs. Charles Bassett was an eighth generation descendant of Pilgrim ancestors who came to America in 1621 on the ship Fortune. He was born in Buffalo, and following high school, attended Cornell University on a scholarship. Mr. Bassett graduated with a mechanical engineering degree in 1914 and then joined his father's company. He served in World War I and later saw service in the United States Department of Commerce during the Eisenhower Administration.
        Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bassett resided in Show House '85 with their seven children, four girls and three boys. Additions were made to the original home as their family increased in size. The house now has twelve bedrooms and six bathrooms. Mr. and Mrs. Bassett entertained frequently. They particularly enjoyed their annual New Year's Day reception.
        The Bassett had many interests and hobbies. Charles began to ride horses in his late twenties and hunted at Geneseo. He was a founder of the Saddle and Bridle Club in 1921 and served as its President for many years. He raised and bred riding and race horses, as well as Welsh ponies, at Longmeadow, his farm in Canada.
        Mr. Bassett was a collector of Tiffany, Steuben and other types of art glass shades. He gave his sizeable collection, which was unique in the United States, to the Corning Museum of Glass and to the Rockwell-Corning Museum.
        Among his other hobbies, Mr. Bassett also assembled a noteworthy collection of arrowhead fishing points, hybridized iris on his lot at Main and Huntington, and collected curly maple wood from which he designed his own furniture.
        In the forties, Mr. Bassett purchased .."beautiful rolling land, ideal for horseback riding". Two decades later, when the need for a community hospital was made known to him, he gave this property in Amherst for the construction of Millard Fillmore's Suburban Hospital. It was his gift of 18.5 acres in 1965 and 13 acres in 1968 which made possible this first New York State Satellite Hospital Unit.
        Mr. Bassett gave the Town of Amherst land for a right-of-way in 1968. The Town also received 37.6 acres in 1971 to be used expressly for a park. This is known today as Bassett Park.
        During his lifetime he made numerous charitable gifts. Mr. Bassett gave the library at the Elmwood Franklin School, the lecture hall at the SUNYAB Engineering School, and several bells for the Carillon at Cornell University.
        In 1973, the State University of New York at Buffalo honored him with the Walter P. Cooke Award for his contributions as a non-alumnus. He also was inducted as an honorary member into the University of Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 1983 for his fifty year support of their athletic programs.
        On May 4, 278 Depew will officially open as the Decorators' Show House '85. It will be completely refurbished by thirty-three of Western New York's outstanding decorators and interior designers. Sponsored by the Junior League of Buffalo and the Buffalo news, this 91 year old home will be reborn with fresh new ideas, colors and designed - a wonderful head start for its second century.

* * * * *

Section 6 - New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter

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

380B.   Bassetts of Bodiam, Sussex, England have been combined with the #23B Bassetts of Albion, IL.

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

380B. William Bassett of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England (b. 1836)
389B. George Bassett of Liverpool, Lancashire, England (b.1796)
390B. Houston A.P. Bassett of Grimes County, Texas        

Section 7 - DNA project update.

The results for both the #54B and #318B lines are below.

I will include these results in an upcoming newsletter explaining the results to everyone.

Three mutations (in yellow) are rather high, so the common ancestor is certainly back 300 years or more ago, but  we know #54B Edward Bassett was from England and #318B Edward Bassett was from Ireland, 

I would like to get a few more Bassetts from Ireland to take part in the project. So far we only have a handful with roots in Ireland. It would be interesting to see how things might match up if I can find a few more participants. 

 * * * * * 

Family Tree DNA has ordered SNP tests for the #2B Thomas Bassett of Virginia family and the results are back. 

This family is determined to be in haplogroup I1b. From the Family Tree DNA website:

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.


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