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

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Splinters From The Tree September 2011

(1) Welcome
(2) Bassett picture album purchased in Georgia
(3) Drowning of Thomas Bassett of Manlius, Onondaga County, New York
(4) Death of Thomas Geer Bassett of Syracuse, New York
(5) George Robert Bassett of Illinois & Indiana
(6) Henry Willis Bassett, Naval Surgeon
(7) Bassetts of Bonvilston, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales
(8) New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
(9) DNA project update

Section 1 - Welcome

I have featured this month several photos and articles written by others about the Bassett family including a photo album found at a flea market about 20 years in Georgia. The album appears to have been from a family located in Massachusetts.

Several years ago I was in contact with a Bassett that ran some type of a cycling touring business in France, but I can't remember who that was. If this is you, can you contact me?

The newsletter should return to its normal 3rd Sunday of  the month beginning next month.

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Section 2 - Featured Bassett: Bassett photo album purchased in Georgia

The following are scans from a photo album purchased at a flea market in Georgia 20 years ago by Charmagne Landrum. We are now trying to identify the people included in the album. Most of the pictures were taken in and around Holyoke, Massachusetts.

funeral card for Mrs. Frank
This funeral card for Mrs. Frank Bassett is one of the clues we have to who is included in this album. There are also members of the Lee family.

We have identified her as the wife of Frank H. Bassett of Enfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts. Frank H. Bassett is a son of Ralph Harmon and Mary Ann (Blodgett) Bassett. If you recognize any of the following pictures, please let me know.

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Section 3 - Featured Bassett: Drowning of Thomas Bassett of Manlius, Onondaga County, New York

I have not yet identified the Thomas Bassett from the article below, but I believe him to be the father of #49B Thomas  Orzo Bassett, born 1821 of Manlius, New York.

Spectator, New York, November 23, 1821
Spectator, New York, November 23, 1821

        Mr. Thomas Bassett, a respectable citizen of Manlius, in this state, was drowned on Saturday week, in attempting to cross Lime-stone creek, in a waggon. From heavy rains, the creek was unusually high, and the horses feet become entangled in some floating lumber. Finding he could not release them, he called for assistance. He was found standing in his waggon, in water to his breast. A pole was reached him for the purpose of drawing him ashore, which he declined taking in consequence of his inability to swim, and still thinking the horses would recover and clear themselves. His situation, however, soon became more perilous, he mounted one of the horsed, which soon strangled and sunk. He is supposed to have been carried several rods by the current, when he sunk and rose no more. The body was found on Monday, thirty or forty rods from the waggon, in about 12 feet water. The horses were both drowned. Mr. B. had left a family to bewail his loss.

Thomas is listed in the 1820 census of Manlius, Onondaga County, New York with 7 females of different ages.

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Section 4 - Featured Bassett: Thomas Geer Bassett of Syracuse, New York

Tom was one of my original Bassett family contacts when I began doing Bassett research many years ago and was an early participant of the Bassett DNA project. He descends from #1A William Bassett of Plymouth as follows:

William Bassett of Plymouth and wife Elizabeth
Joseph Bassett (b. 1635) and wife Martha Lapham
William Bassett (b. 1667) and wife Sarah
William Bassett (b. 1694) and wife Mary Crossman
William Bsasett (b. 1726) and wife Lydia Fisher
Nathan Bassett (b. 1769) and wife Mehitable Buell
Ira Bassett (b. 1799) and wife Narcena Hunt
Leonard Bassett (b. 1840) and wife Amanda M. Fish
Laverne Bassett  (b. 1865) and wife Arda Marian Clark
Clark Lodge Bassett (b. 1895)
Thomas Geer Bassett

Syracuse Post Standard, August 21, 2011
Thomas Geer “Tom” Bassett
Thomas Geer “Tom” Bassett

Thomas Geer Bassett August 18, 2011 Thomas Geer Bassett, 82, of Syracuse, passed away Thursday at home. One of four sons of Clark Lodge and Gertrude Geer Bassett, he was born in Detroit, MI, on March 18, 1929. Tom's wife, Patricia Sibbert Bassett, predeceased him in 2006, after 55 years of marriage. Tom graduated from the University of Michigan with both a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a master's degree in nuclear engineering. He was a registered professional engineer in both New York and Michigan. He was a 55-year member of the American Nuclear Society, having become a charter officer of the University of Michigan's student branch in the mid-50s while in college. Tom took occasional evening post-graduate courses at Southern Methodist University while employed at Convair in Fort Worth, TX. Early in his career, he was included in Who's Who in Atoms? He was employed in Michigan at the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Station and later at Big Rock Point Nuclear Station, where he assisted in nuclear-reactor operator training. Tom retired from Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. in 1990 after more than 25 years service in the licensing, design and construction of Nine Mile Point Units #1 and #2 near Oswego. Tom was a parishioner of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Camillus, where he was also a lay Eucharistic minister, reader, choir member, warden, vestryman, diocesan convention representative and property committee chairman. Due to an unfortunate incident in a restaurant in about 1970, Pat and Tom resolved to learn some first aid. They decided to become emergency medical technicians. Both succeeded, with Tom joining the Taunton Volunteer Fire Department and both becoming charter members of Western Area Volunteer Emergency Services. They participated in the training of the first group of WAVES EMTs in the early '70s. Tom volunteered over 25 years with WAVES, serving at various times as president and assistant director of operations and more than 30 years with Taunton. Tom received two Firefighter of the Year Awards with Taunton for certain selfless actions. Onondaga County awarded him an Emergency Medical Services Lifetime Achievement Award. He also served Taunton at various times as president, vice-president, foreman and treasurer. Surviving are his daughter, Elizabeth B. (Thomas) Finneran of Sumner, WA; sons, Raymond C. (Patricia) Bassett of Webster and Kenneth M. (Penny) Bassett of Camillus; brother, Richard H. (Diane) Bassett of Yakima, WA; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, August 27, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 5402 W. Genesee St., Camillus. Subsequent to donation of his body to SUNY Health Science Center, Anatomy Department, Tom and Pat's cremains will be interred simultaneously near Tom's parents and paternal grandparents in Forest Hill Cemetery, Ann Arbor, MI. Arrangements are by Buranich Funeral Home, Camillus. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Luke's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 91, Camillus, NY 13031 or to your favorite charity. Buranich Please share condolences at www.BuranichFuneralHome.com

Taunton New York Fire Department with a tribute to Thomas G. Bassett
Taunton New York Fire Department with a tribute to Thomas G. Bassett
Picture provided by Richard H. Bassett, brother of Thomas G. Bassett

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Section 5 - Featured Bassett: George Robert Bassett of Illinois & Indiana

George Robert Bassett is a son of Hyle/Hia/Hiell Bassett, born 1815 in Connecticut. Hyle married (1) Fanny Degrushe. Hyle married (2) Eliza A., daughter of Thomas and Mary (Watson) Hope, on 12 Jul 1870 in Kane County, Illinois. Hyle is possibly the son or grandson of John and Susanna (Bristol) Bassett. Susanna is the daughter of Hiel Bristol.

Pictures for this article were provided by great-grandson Jay Bassett Capouch.

George Robert Bassett, Master Mason taken in the 1860's, probably in Woodstock, Illinois
George Robert Bassett, Master Mason taken in the 1860's, probably in Woodstock, Illinois

Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana F.A. Battey & Co. (1882)
Page 668 Biographical Sketches, Hobert Township

GEORGE R. BASSETT, M.D., was born August 8, 1839, in Danbury, Conn.; he is the eldest of seven children born to Hial and Fanny (Degrushe) Bassett, the former a native of Connecticut and the latter of France. The elder Bassett was by trade a comb-maker. When about eleven years old, George R. Bassett left home and was employed in New York City as clerk in law offices, etc. About three or four years later, he went to Buffalo and clerked in a land office. After clerkship of a few months in Janesville, Wis. he went to Chicago, and engaged in painting for a few years, when he went to Woodstock, Ill. In 1862 he enlisted in the Ninety-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served over three years as Clerk in the Quartermaster’s Department, at brigade headquarters throughout the West. In 1875, he entered Bennett Medical College of Chicago. He graduated in 1877, practicing meanwhile in Chicago for about two years, when (in 1877) he came to Hobart; he immediately started out with a good practice, which has steadily increased; he soon opened his drug store, in which he keeps everything in the apothecary line; he is a member of the F.& A.M. fraternity; he was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1881, and elected in the spring of 1882 by all the votes in the township except thirteen; he is also agent for the Phoenix and Hartford Insurance Companies; he is a strong Republican; but liberal in local matters. He was married, in 1857, to Susan A. McMeekan, a native of Buffalo, but a resident of Chicago. She is now about to graduate at Bennett Medical College, and is also practicing in her specialty. They have two children – George H. and Jennie S. DeCoursy.

George Robert Bassett
Susan A. (McMeekan) Bassett
George Robert Bassett
Susan A. (McMeekan) Bassett

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Section 6 - Featured Bassett: Henry Willis Bassett, Naval Surgeon

Henry Willis Bassett descends from #8B John Bassett of New Jersey as follows:

John Bassett (died 1776)
Isaac Bassett (b. 1763) and wife Daniela Davidson
Henry Willis Bassett (d. 1830)

Below is the will and obituary for Isaac Bassett, father of Henry Willis Bassett.

WILL OF ISSAC BASSETT , Will Book 8 Fol. 452. New 422.

In the name of God Amen, I Isaac Bassett of Baltimore Co in the state of Maryland, being sick and weak on body and of sound and disposing mind, memory & understanding, considering the certainty of death & the uncertainty of the time thereof, and being desirous to settle my worldly affairs and thereby be better prepared to leave this world when it shall please God to call me hence, do therefore make & publish this, my last Will & Testament in a manner & form as follows that is to say First & principally I commit my Soul unto the hands of Almighty God & my Body to the Earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my Executrix here in after named and after my debts & Funeral charges are paid, signed, sealed, published & declared by the above named testator as and for his Last Will & Testament in presence of us who at his request in his presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnessed there to.
(Signed) Jacob Rogers, Richard Bensen.

Baltimore Co. Md. in the nineteenth day of July 1809 came Jacob Rogers & Richard Bensen subscribing evidences to the forgoing last will & testament of Isaac Bassett late of said county deceased and made oath that they did see the testater sign & seal this will that they hear him publish once and declare the same to be his last will & testament, that at the time of his so doing he was to the best of the apprehension of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding, that they subscribed their names as witnesses to this will in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other. Sworn to that court

I devise and bequeath as follows. I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Naniela Bassett all my estate real & personal to her for her disposal. And lastly I do hereby constitute & appoint my dearly beloved wife Naniela Bassett to be the sole Executrix of this my last Will & Testament revoking & annuling all former wills by me heretofore, ratifying this to none other to be my last will & testament. In testimony there of i have hereunto set my hand & affix my seal this 14th day of June in the year of our Lord 1809. The full name of Daniela Davidson Bassett was here inserted between the 17th & 18th line of this instrument before the same was signed.
                  (Signed) Isaac Bassett, Sr.

Federal Gazette, Friday July 1809

        Died Yesterday morning in the 46th year of his age, Mr. Isaac Bassett for many years a respectable citizen of Baltimore. He has left a widow and seven children to deplore his irreparable loss.





American and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Maryland, July 30, 1818

American Beacon, October 30, 1820
American and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Maryland, July 30, 1818
American Beacon, October 30, 1820

The following article reprinted with permission from Andre Sobocinski.

Surgeon Duelist, U.S.N

Among the most unusual stories in the annals of Navy medicine is the case of Henry Willis Bassett, the dueling surgeon. In 1830, Dr. Bassett was assigned to USS Vandalia which made port in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Other officers aboard this cruise included future Rear Admirals Lieutenant Joshua Sands, Midshipmen Benjamin Franklin Sands (no relation to Joshua), and David Glasgow Farragut. By all accounts, Surgeon Bassett proved to be an officious character who was anything but a friend to his fellow wardroom officer. While in Brazil, Surgeon Bassett provoked an altercation with Joshua Sands that proved to be fatal. The following is an account of this incident that appeared in the 1899 posthumous memoir of Benjamin F.Sands entitled From Reefer to Rear-Admiral: Reminiscences and Journal Jottings of Nearly Half a Century of Naval Life.

On the 26th of July the American brig “Virginia” arrived with a number of officers for the squadron, and again there a changing about between the vessels. On the 17th, Surgeon Henry Willis Bassett left the ship to return to the United States, and on the 22d, Lieutenant Joshua R. Sands and Surgeon William Johnston left the ship to return to the United States, in the American brig “Thule.”

All these latter changes were in consequence of an unfortunate affair, originating in a misunderstanding amongst the wardroom officers. For some time there had been hot blood shown between Dr. Bassett and Lieutenant Sands. It appeared that Mr. Francis Markoe, a young lawyer from Philadelphia, at that time staying in Montevideo, had made agreeable acquaintances amongst the wardroom officers. They, thinking to make him more comfortable than he was on shore, and at the same time themselves enjoy his pleasant society, invited him, with the consent of the captain, to live aboard the“Vandalia” as their guest, Dr. Bassett alone objecting to the invitation, of which objection Mr. Markoe was ignorant when he accepted the invitation.

Bassett never lost an opportunity for the utterance of spiteful and annoying remarks, disturbing the comfort of the mess-table, and at different times giving rise to disagreeable scenes and embarrassing situations in the wardroom. So marked and so often repeated were they, that we of the steerage plainly saw that there was serious trouble brewing.

It grew, at last, so apparent, that Dr. Bassett was bent upon creating a difficulty, that to preserve the discipline of the ship, he was ordered to his room by the first lieutenant, Sands; and thus things went on until matters approached their climax, and the surgeon sent Mr. Sands an invitation to a hostile meeting, which he could not accept, because of his position, without great breach of duty and discipline. “Charges” were then mutually preferred, upon which courts-martial were convened, and both of them being put on trial, Sands was acquitted, whilst Dr. Bassett was found guilty, and sentenced to suspension from duty for six months, and to be dismissed from the squadron.

The sentence was approved, and apparently with the intention of obeying his orders home, the surgeon took up his quarters on shore, whence he at once addressed a challenge to Lieutenant Sands, declaring that now he was detached from the ship, there could be no question of discipline, and no reasonable excuse to present as an obstacle to a meeting as before proposed, and Sands felt that he was compelled to accept it.

The meeting took place at sunrise the next morning upon the beach at Praya Grande, abreast our anchorage. When on the ground Lieutenant Sands asked if the matter could not be settled amicably, saying, “You, Dr. Bassett, have a wife and children at home; I have no one to care for me. I will do any thing in my power, consistent with my honor, to prevent this going any further.” But the surgeon protested, and insisted on the duel proceeding, and thereupon the seconds placed them in position, and at the word they exchanged shots. The lieutenant stood unhurt, the doctor missing him and receiving the ball of his adversary just above the heart. He fell and soon expired.

Both were expert marksmen, and both had been engaged in other such affairs, and had often for amusement practised [sic] at a mark on board ship, the surgeon always excelling the lieutenant until this  last sad occasion. We subsequently heard that upon his arrival home Sands had reported to the Secretary of the Navy and to the President (General [Andrew] Jackson), and that the latter told him he was determined to stop dueling between officers and citizens, having just dismissed Lieutenants Hunter, Westcoat and Burns for affairs with a young Philadelphia doctor; but he remarked that he would not interfere between officers whose profession was fighting, and who were trained to arms! So Sands and Dr. Johnston, his second, were restored to duty, the former afterwards becoming a rear-admiral, and the latter reaching the grade of medical director.

Originally published in The Grog Ration, A Journal of Navy Medical History and Culture, September-October 2007

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Section 7 - Featured Bassett: Bassetts of Bonvilston, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales

The following pictures and inscriptions were provided by Paul Fisher who is currently in the process of compiling a history of the village of Bonvilston in the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales.

These Bassetts are related to the Welsh line of Bassetts from Beaupre Castle.


Near this place lie interred the remains of Christopher Bassett Esq, Captain in the Royal Navy who departed this life the 28th day of September 1764 in the forty second Year of his Age.

Also the Reverend John Bassett, Prebendary at Llandaff Brother to the above Christopher Bassett, who departed this life the 31st day of January 1779 in the 63rd Year of his Age.

Likewise Catherine the wife of the aforesaid John Bassett, She departed this life the 12th day of September 1767 Aged 48 Years.

GWELL ANGEU  ( na chywilydd) missing
translated means ‘Better death than dishonour’


Near this monument are Deposited the Remains of Margaret third Daughter of the late Reverend John Bassett, Prebendary of Llandaff, by Catherine, his Wife who departed this life the 27th of February 1809, Aged 58 Years.

Also of Catherine their eldest Daughter who died the 28th of May 1810 Aged 65 Years.

Also of Lydia, their fourth Daughter, who died the 1st of July 1812, Aged 60 Years.

Also of Elizabeth their second Daughter, who departed this life on the 1st day of April 1829, aged 79 Years.

Also of Ann their youngest Daughter who departed this life on the 23rd day of April 1855, Aged 76 Years.


Sacred to the memory of John Bassett Esq of Bonvilstone only Son of the Reverend John Bassett who died December 11th 1827 Aged 82 Years

And of Anne his wife who died July 31st 1822 Aged 78 Years.

Also of their two Daughters Charlotte Matilda who died May 24th 1786 Aged 6 months.

And Mary Anne who died March 22nd 1837 Aged 53 Years.

And of their two Sons John James Bassett who died September 12th 1838 Aged 59.

And Thomas Morgan Bassett who died November 5th 1840 Aged 59.

Also in memory of John Morgan Bassett Eldest Son of the above Thomas Bassett who died January 23rd 1841 Aged 23.

Also in memory of Anne wife of the said Thomas Morgan Bassett who died the 31st day of October 1871 Aged 78 Years.

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Section 8 - New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter

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

 464B.   Henry Bassett of New Haven, Connecticut (b. 1869)
 465B.   William Bassett of Wordsley, Staffordshire, England (b. 1871)
 466B.   John Baptist Bassett of King County, Washington (b. 1821)
 467B.   Samuel Besett of Sussex County, New Jersey (b. 1825)    

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Section 9 - DNA project update:

We had no new DNA participants this month and had no new DNA results posted.

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