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

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Splinters From The Tree February 2012

(1) Welcome
(2) Charles Kelly Bassett, ostrich farmer of North Dakota
(3) Albert Percy Bassett Family Bible
(4) The death record of Janet Gordon Bassett of Omagh, Ireland
(5) The Diaries of John Walter Bassett of Unadilla, Nebraska
(6) Death of William Bassett, Native of Cowbridge
(7) G.N. Bassett of Boise, Idaho, Bicycle Thief
(8) New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
(9) DNA project update

Section 1 - Welcome

I have a volunteer busy inputting data for the #3B Thomas Bassett of Connecticut family and another volunteer keying in the #6B William Bassett of Connecticut family.  I have uploaded the first 3 generations of this #6B William Bassett line. We hope to have both of these added within the next few months.

(Webmaster note: we need a volunteer to make corrections/additions to misc trees as I'm finding myself without time to do so. Contact Jeffrey and once he knows of your interest, I'll get involved with teaching you what to do. Probably involves an hour or two a month.)

There has been very little activity on the Bassett DNA project the past two months. We still have several outstanding kits and two kits currently at the lab. Next month I will feature an article about the Gregg family of Florida who share the #48B Francis Bassett of South Carolina DNA.

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Section 2 - Featured Bassett: Charles Kelly Bassett, Newspaper Editor and Ostrich Farmer

Charles Kelly Bassett descends from the #56B Jonathan Bassett line as follows:

Jonathan Bassett and wife Amy Finch
John Bassett (b. 1779) and wife Sabra Witter
George Bassett (b. 1808) and wife Nancy Wilson
Charles Kelly Bassett (b. 1859)

Bismarck Tribune, December 17, 1900
Bassett In The Ostrich Business

        Sheldon Progress Editor Bassett will establish an ostrich ranch at Valley City. The raising of these birds is another industry that has hitherto been much neglected in North Dakota and it is one that can be made very profitable. The meat is far superior to the best porterhouse steak and one egg will make an omelet sufficient for a large family. The rooster bird is very muscular and when hitched to a small treadpower can be utilized to saw wood, run a printing press and do chores around the house and barn. Under the saddle the ostrich has a smooth gait which contrasts favorably with the jolting motive of the native oroncho. The digestive powers of this bird are proverbial. It will thrive on a diet of oyster shells, old Monogram bottles, etc., where anything else will starve. At the head of his herd Mr. Bassett has a registered rooster from the Khedive’s stud at Cairo.

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Section 3 - Featured Bassett: Albert Percy Bassett Family Bible

Alfred Percy Bassett descends from the #181 Benjamin Bassett of East Malling, Kent, England family as follows:

Benjamin Bassett (b. 1792) and wife Elizabeth
William Francis Bassett (b. 1814) and wife Sarah
Francis Bassett (b. 1848) and wife Emily Middleton
Alfred Percy Bassett, born June 22, 1878

Pictures of this bible were provided by Jerry Jones

Bible2 Bible3

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Section 4 - Featured Bassett: Janet Gordon Bassett obituary, Tyrone, Ireland

Janet Gordon Bassett obituary, Tyrone, Ireland

Janet Gordon Bassett, was a daughter of #42B Edward Bassett of Dublin and later Omagh, County Tyrone, Ireland.

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Section 5 - Featured Bassett: The Diaries of John Walter Bassett of Unadilla, Nebraska

John Walter Bassett is a descendant of the #15B John Bassett of Ohio family as follows:

John Bassett (b. 1825) and wife Ann Beany
John Walter Bassett (b. 1847) and wife Martha Ann Silver.

Newspaper article provided by Barry Keen. If anyone knows of the whereabouts of the Diaries mentioned in this story, please contact me.

Daily Diary Since 1865 (Included Picture of J.W. Bassett)

The Nebraska Farmer, February 25, 1939
Daily Diary Since 1865 (Included Picture of J.W. Bassett)

        He has seen 19 summers come and go. Although his hair is white and his step is a bit unsteady, a person comes to realize that there is only one thing really old about the man. That is his diary.
        For more than 70 years, Unadilla’s John W. Bassett has been a chronicler of history. Daily he records the events which occur along the main stem of his home town as well as those of state, national and world importance.
        Starting his diary in 1865, Mr. Bassett used small leather-bound books, one each year. Later, it became apparent that one large book covering the writings of several years would be of greater utility. So about the turn of the century, Mr. Bassett started this system. He now writes in a 15-year diary which was started in 1926. Pile book on book, his personalized history stands considerably more than a foot in height.
        Opening a faded little book with the gold numbers “1865” impressed upon the front cover and turning to the entry of Friday, April 14, one  may read these words, “Abraham Lincoln, President of the Unites States, was shot in a theater at 10 o’clock p.m.”. Father down the page under the date Saturday, April 15, “Abraham Lincoln died from the effects of a wound from a revolver in the hands of J.W. Boothe.”
        At the time of Lincoln’s assassination there was no telephone or radio, and the dissemination of news was far behind the speed of today’s press. In those days, recalls Mr. Bassett, one gleaned all his news from newspapers and magazine. The front-page makeup was much different then. Screaming headlines and sensational make-up were unknown. News was of two types in 1865. It was classified either under current events or general news. The death of President Lincoln came under the former.
        Mr. Bassett was born near Cleveland, Ohio, in 1847. After spending his youth and early married life in Ohio, he emigrated with his family to Nebraska in 1882 and has lived near Unadilla for 57 years. After retiring from his farm 18 years ago, he moved to town and has made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Mary Ethel Saseen. He walks downtown daily for the mail.
        “I have never tasted tobacco for one thing,” declared Mr. Bassett when asked about his habits of living. “Hard work and I were always great friends. In those days I was a fairly hearty eater, but I didn’t overindulge. A man needs just enough fuel to keep him going.”
        Here are excerpts from various entries in the Bassett volumes:
        Jan. 3, 1865 – Literary (debate) tonight. Question – “Resolved that the Negro has more reason to complain than does the Indian.”
        Feb. 19, 1865 – Hired out to father for 8 months at $20 per month. Literary tonight. Question – “Resolved that married men enjoy life more than do single men.”
        Oct. 25, 1865 – made several purchases today; one vest, $3; one pair pants, $5; one coat, $2.50; once coat, $10; one hat, $4; two pair boots, $12.
        Nearly every Sunday throughout the diary, there is an entry of, “Went to Services twice today.” Very religious, Mr. Bassett is a Methodist. He was married and had five children. Two are living. He has 11 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

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Section 6 - Featured Bassett: Death of William Bassett, native of Cowbridge

William Bassett descends from the #117B Charles Bassett of Cowbridge family as follows:

Charles Bassett (b. 1702)
Thomas Bassett (d. 1786) and wife Jane Leyson
Richard Bassett (b. 1774) and wife Elizabeth Edmunds
John Bassett (b. 1805) and wife Elizabeth Griffith
William Bassett (b. 1858)

William Bassett obit in The Welsh-American1
William Bassett obit in The Welsh-American2
William Bassett obit in The Welsh-American3

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Section 7 - Featured Bassett: G.N. Bassett of Boise, Idaho, Bicycle Thief

The following G.N. Bassett has not yet been identified. If you have any idea of his identity, please contact me.

Idaho Statesman, October 29, 1907
Thief of Several More Bicycles Trace To G.N. Bassett
Alter Them So Owners Would Not Recognize Them
And Sold Wheels to Others – Hearing Today, Probably
Mrs. Bassett Chews Tobacco

        The work of City Detective Johnson and Officer Allison in cleaning up, after the arrest recently of G.N. Bassett of South Boise, on the job of finding the owners of a number of bicycles believed to have been stolen by Bassett, has revealed that Bassett was doing a very lucrative business in the theft and sale of bicycles.
        After his arrest Bassett confessed to the theft of several wheels and the loss of others has since been traced to him by the officers. Yesterday a bicycle stolen from Harry Hawley was recovered. Bassett took it, painted the red frame a black color and otherwise altered it that the owner would not recognize it. Young Hawley has sworn to a complaint charging Bassett with the theft and this will be served after the first case against Bassett, which will probably be heard in Justice Savidge’s court today, has been disposed of and the accused has served a sentence if found guilty. Bassett pleads not guilty and has retained Attorney Edwards to appear for him in court.
        The officers, since the arrest, have found the owners of four bicycles which they claimed had been stolen from then, and expect to connect the accused with numerous other thefts of wheels. There is now at the police station a lady’s bicycle, which the officers say was stolen by Bassett, but the owner of which can not be found. Whether or not this wheel has been changed is not known, but all of the others, the owners of which have been found, were altered in some way to prevent their being recognized if seen by the owners. This feature of Bassett’s business did not bring any extra cost. His method was to take the handle bars from one wheel and put them on another, change the front or hind wheel, or in some way make a change in the appearance of the wheel that would make it impossible for the owner to recognize it unless given the opportunity of making a thorough inspection of his property.
        The visit of the officers to the Bassett home, which is about one and a half miles beyond the end of the South Boise car line, reveals that Mrs. Bassett can chew tobacco and discharge the sweet juice from her mouth as artistically as the most chewers of the weed. Going into the yard from the house to see what the officers wanted, the woman, before speaking, cleared her mouth of about a quart of the juice, according to one of the officers.

Idaho Statesman, October 31, 1907
Bassett Convicted Of Stealing Bicycle
Justice Savidge to Pronounce Sentence This Morning an South Boise Man

        A jury in Justice Savidge’s court yesterday forenoon, which heard testimony for a couple of hours in the case against G.N. Bassett, the South Boise man charged with the wholesale theft of bicycles in Boise, reached a verdict of guilty and the court announced that sentence would be pronounced this afternoon.
        Yesterday’s case was based on the complaint of H.A. Larson that his wheel had been stolen by Bassett. The bicycle, after being sold several times, was found by officers at the Chris Mohler repair shop and this lead to the arrest of Bassett. After Bassett serves a sentence for the offense of which he has been found guilty, warrants will be served on other complaints and Bassett will stand trial for the alleged theft of several other bicycles.
        The defense in yesterday’s trial was that Bassett had traded a gun for the bicycle to a many by the name of Smith. James Emerson, a neighbor of Bassett, testified that Bassett had told him of the trade and that he had seen a man with a gun near the Bassett home at the time the trade was supposed to have been made.

Idaho Statesman, November 11, 1907
Escapes From Ada County Jail
Bassett, Bicycle Thief, Grows Weary of Imprisonment After Two Weeks.
Escapes from Corridor While Watch Was Fixing Fire
Pal Believed to Have Aided and Abetted in Escape Under Arrest

        G.N. Bassett, the bicycle thief who was sentenced to serve six months in the county jail by Justice Savidge at a hearing about two weeks ago, and has since been spending his time at the county bastille, made a get-away some time Saturday night or early Sunday morning, the exact hour being a matter of conjecture, although it is believed that he escape was about 9 o’clock Saturday night.
        Deputy Sheriff Robinson, the night watchman, was on duty. His theory is that Bassett at the time of the transferring of the prisoners from the day to night cells, stepped behind something in the corridor, hiding until the door to his cell had been securely locked. This gave him the liberty of the corridor and knowing that the night watch must go in t and out through hits corridor several times during the night to fix the fire that heats the cells Bassett watched for his change, and in this manner made hi escape. The escape was made from the corridor some time between the hours of 7 and 10 and is believed that it occurred about 9 o’clock, although the absence of the prisoner was not discovered until 8 o’clock yesterday morning, the breakfast hour.
        Saturday night a phone message was received at the sheriff’s office that J. C. Emerson, better known as Cal of South Boise, had hired a rig at the Camas Prairie livery stable that evening, stating that he would be gone but a short time, and that he had not returned, much to the concern of the proprietors. When Bassett failed to respond to the morning roll call the officers were not long in “putting two and two together” and at once started in search of Emmerson, hoping that by finding him they would have little trouble in locating Bassett.
        The circumstances in the case leading to such a conclusion were that Bassett and Emmerson were well known pals, and that they were living together in South Boise at the time Bassett was arrested for his crime. At the hearing before Justice Savidge Bassett’s defense was that he had traded a gun for the wheel found in his possession, and as corroborative testimony Emmerson testified to having seen the man about the house with the gun that Bassett had traded him. Further proof of the mutual bonds existing between the two is the fact that since the imprisonment of Bassett Emmerson had been a regular visitor at the county jail.
        Emmerson returned to this city about 10 o’clock yesterday morning, returning the team, which evidenced a long, hard drive, to the stable, where he was at once taken into custody by Deputy Sheriff Roberts. His clothes were covered with dust from head to foot and he evidently was exhausted for want of sleep. When arrested Emmerson was apparently very indignant, stoutly denying that he had anything to do with the affair, and that he knew nothing of Bassett’s escape. Later he became less talkative, taking the position “you’ll have to prove it”. The officers are still hopeful, however, of locating Bassett through the arrest of Emmerson.
        Bassett who is about 29 years of age, is of stocky build, being 5 feet 4 ¼ inches in height and weighing about 150 pounds. His hair is dark and he is slightly bald. At the time of his escape he had a sandy mustache, but as he took with him a razor belonging to a fellow prisoner it is believed that his intention was to cut that off. He is an habitual cigarette smoker and his hands are badly stained with nicotine. On his departure he wore a slouch had and soft blue shirt with brown stripe. Emmerson is believed to have driven him to a railroad point, at some of the surrounding towns where he took a train, that there be as little chance for apprehension as possible.

Idaho Statesman, April 26, 1908
Prisoner Breaks For Liberty
Bicycle Thief Bassett for Second Time Successfully Makes Get-a-Way.
Makes Believe He Is Washing His Face and Hands
But Hides Behind Door and Slips Out Through Sheriff’s Office at Noon Hour

        G.N. Bassett, bicycle thief, escaped from the Ada county jail yesterday for the second time since his arrest last September. The prisoner had, by Deputy Sheriff Siggins, been given the privilege as had been the custom, to go from the day cells into the sleeping apartment at the rear of the jail at noon that he might wash his hands and face. He had entered the corridor fronting the row of cells, and by the officer was believed to have gone to the rear, but it seems that on entering he merely stepped behind a door. Mr. Siggins, for a moment, stepped from the door opening into the back yard, but this was long enough for Bassett to make a break for liberty.
        When the deputy looked into the corridor again the prisoner was gone. There was but one avenue of escape and this the man had taken, going through the sheriff’s office. At the time there was present a woman, who had called to see one of the prisoners. The man, she said, in passing did not act unusually, and she did not realize he was making this escape. When once on the outside of the building Bassett ran across the street and disappeared around the corner of the Yeoman flats. When the officer reached the street two passers-by pointed out the direction the follow had taken, but by that time the prisoner’s start was too great for him to be successfully followed as he dodged in and out among the buildings.
        This escape apparently was not premeditated, as there were not well laid plans such as resorted to at the time of the escape last November, when Bassett was taken in a rig and driven down the valley by Cal Emmerson, who was subsequently arrested for aiding and abetting. The testimony at the trial of Emmerson on this charge pointed out conclusively that he was with Bassett very shortly after the prisoner was out of the building and that he had met the man with a rig and driven him across the country to a railway point. The court held that the escape of Bassett was complete when he was once out of custody and therefore the charge against Emmerson was dismissed.
        After making the escape Bassett went into Oregon but later returned to Idaho, going to Pocatello where he was recognized and placed under arrest, being returned to Boise November 29.
        Since that time Bassett has been serving his original sentence, not having yet entered upon the time imposed as penalty for his attempted escape. His disappearances from the city yesterday afternoon was complete, but it is thought he is in hiding with friends, and those of his association are to be watched in the belief that this will aid the officers in apprehending the fugitive. Notice was given to the police in all the smaller towns.

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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.

 470B.  John Bassett (b. 1908) of Macclesfield, Cheshire, England
 471B.  Frederick George Bassett (b. 1909) of Plymouth, Devonshire, England
 472B.  George Bassett  (m. 1782) of Bristol, Gloucester, England
 473B.  Henry Bassett (b. 1806) of St. Pancras, Middlesex, England

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Section 9  - DNA project update

No new participants were added since the last newsletter.

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