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

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Newsletter December 2003
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Contents of this Newsletter:

(1) Holiday Greetings
(2) Web site links
(3) New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
(4) DNA project update
(5) Featured Bassett: Charles Edwin Bassett, baseball player
(6) Death of one of our members


Section 1 - Happy Holidays

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Look for an upcoming article in the Spring edition of the New England Ancestors Magazine detailing information regarding my Bassett DNA project.


Section 2 - Web site links

This is just a reminder that the new website can be found at:

A current spreadsheet of results can be found at:


Section 3 - New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter

The following family lines were combined into other families based on DNA evidence and new research:

#121B Rev. John Bassett (b. 1764) combined with family #19B Michael Bassett of New York.
#171B Rose & Augusta Bassett combined with family of #40B Nelson Bassett Family of Michigan

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

233B. Thomas Bassett of Rotherfield, Sussex, England
234B. The Bassetts of North Hill, Cornwall & Australia
235B. The Bassetts of Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire
236B. Walter John Bassett of Chicago (b. 1885 Wisconsin)
237B. The Bassetts of St. Cleer, Cornwall
238B. Benjamin Bassett of Bury, Lancashire, England (b. 1827)
239B. Alfred Bassett of Kendall, Orleans County, New York (b. 1846)


(4) DNA project update.

Outstanding tests as of today are:

Kit # 11887 #34B Bassetts of County Down, Ireland
Kit #13274 #39B Bassetts of Norfolk, England
Kit #13826 #46B Isaac Bassett of Kentucky

We got results back from several DNA tests during the past month that have proved to be interesting.

A) Possible ancestral home of John Bassett and William Bassett of Connecticut identified.

A Bassett descendant from the #130B Bassetts of Claybrooke, Leicester, England family line matched on 12/12 markers to both the #1B John Bassett of Connecticut family and the #6B William Bassett of Connecticut family as well as the #43B Truman Bassett of Connecticut family. This Bassett line of Leicester is traced back to 1600 in Claybrooke. Some online family trees list #1B John Bassett as being the John Bassett born 17 May 1589 in Heyshott, Sussex, England but I have not yet seen any proof of this being our John.

B) Family #57B William Bassett of Georgia/Arkansas related to the #2B Thomas Bassett of Virginia family.

A Bassett descendant of #57B William Bassett of Arkansas matches 11/12 markers to both the #2B Thomas Bassett family of Virginia and the #75B Charles Bassett family of Kentucky. An old family history mentions that this William was from Georgia. There is a very good possibility that our William Bassett from Arkansas is the William Bassett found living on the Tensaw River living not too far from the Thomas Bassett family who settled on the Tombigbee River. My current thought is that William Bassett is either a brother or son of the Thomas Bassett listed below. More research needs to be done on this line, but at least we now know where to look based on our DNA results!

2B112.5. Thomas Bassett, son of Thomas Bassett

Thomas Bassett, son of Thomas and Lydia (Howle) Bassett, was born in 1737 in Virginia. He married Lucy Thomas about 1761. She was possibly from Richmond, Augusta County, Georgia. They moved to Washington County, Alabama in the 1760's. He received a Land Grant from the Governor at Pensacola, Florida in 1776 for lands near the River Tombigbee. This was later changed to a Spanish patent and then reverted to a United States grant after that portion of Alabama was made a part of the Mississippi Territory. He was killed by Indians in 1781 at Bassett's Creek in Clarke County, Alabama. His home was on Bassett's Creek in Washington County, Alabama. Both creeks were named for him. According to Carter's American State Papers, Lucy and son Thomas were living in New Orleans in 1794. The 750 acre plot mentioned below is the 750 acres tract at McIntosh Bluff also called Thomas Bluff. The other 1,050 acres tract was situated on the Tombigbee River, on Bassetts Bayou, called Bassetts Creek.

2B11251. Nathaniel Bassett - born in Georgia, found in New Orleans in 1800, died sometime after 1800 in either New Orleans or Washington County, Alabama.

* 2B11252. Thomas Bassett - born 1762 in Georgia, married Sarah. Sarah was born in 1766.

      "Claim: Of seven hundred and fifty acres, as administrator of Nathaniel Bassett, deceased, who was son and heir of Thomas Bassett, deceased, under a British Grant, confirmed by a Spanish warrant of survey, under the first section of the act.
      The claimant exhibited his claim, together with a surveyor's plot of the land claimed, in the following words and figures, towit: To the Commissioners appointed in pursuance of the act of Congress, passed the 3rd day of March, 1803, for surveying and adjusting the claims to lands south of the Tennessee and east of Pearl river.
      Please to take notice that the following tract of lands, situated on the river Tombigbee, in the county of Washington, beginning at a sassafras, running thence north, eighty-two degrees west, one hundred and twenty-five chains and seventy-five links, to a pine corner; thence, south, eighty degrees west, fifty-nine chains and twenty eight links, to a black jack; thence, south eighty-two degrees east, ninety-two chains, to a white ash on the river; thence, with the river, to the beginning; containing seven hundred and fifty acres, is claimed by Thomas Bassett, administrator of Nathaniel Bassett, in and by virtue of a British and Spanish grant, having giveth shape, form and marks, both natural and artificial, are fully represented in the plot annexed, and is now exhibiited ot the register of the land office, to be recorded as directed by said act. To all which he begs leave to (aver?), as also to a copy of the plot herewith filed.

Administrator of Nathaniel Bassett, March 19, 1804

C) #208B William George Bassett of Canada matches #112B Joseph Bassett of Warwick.

A descendant of William George Bassett of Madoc, Hastings, Ontario, Canada matches the family of #112B Joseph Bassett of Warwick, England. This Joseph Bassett of Warwick emmigrated to Canada in the 1860's, moved to Illinois about 1871 then on to Custer County, Nebraska where his family settled in and around Arnold, Nebraska. It is possible that William George Bassett is a son of Joseph Bassett since two of his children are still unaccounted for based on the information provided in the 1900 census of Custer County, Nebraska.


(5) Featured Bassett in this issue:
Charles Edwin Bassett, member of the 1884 World Champion Providence Grays

The following article is copyrighted by Rick Stattler and is used with his permission. Rick is the historian for the Providence Grays Baseball team and an employee of the Rhode Island Historical Society.

Charley Bassett, Ball-Player

      Charles Edwin Bassett was born on February 9 1863 in the industrial village of Central Falls (which was then located in the town of Smithfield, Rhode Island). He was the son of William H. Bassett and Frances (Smith) Bassett, but his mother died three years later of "insanity" at Butler Hospital. Although his father remarried and worked steadily as a carpenter, he was apparently unable to care for young Charley properly.
      Charley lived with his grandparents Thomas and Eliza Bassett in Central Falls. Grandpa Bassett died in 1877, and Charlie was soon working as a machinist to help support his grandmother. He began playing baseball with various amateur teams in Pawtucket from 1877 to 1881, and then enrolled at Brown University in Providence. 1
      Bassett quickly established himself as a star for the school's baseball team. He played third base and batted third in the lineup. Even after a long professional career, Bassett remembered these college games against Harvard and Yale days as the high point: "There was a thrill and a romance to them that I never obtained years later, even in the world series games. We were playing for the love of it, for the sport, and money never entered into it." His .448 batting average was the best of all college players in the country in 1883, and he reluctantly signed a contract with the major-league Providence Grays in mid-November, with the understanding that he would remain in school and play for the Brown team through the end of the 1884 spring semester. 2
      After the school year was over, Bassett played major-league ball for the 1884 Grays as their rarely used twelfth man. At 5'10", Bassett was one of the tallest men on the team, but rail-thin at 150 pounds. His first official game was on July 22, filling in for the regular second baseman.
      This debut was a controversial game. A Providence player, Charley Sweeney, stormed off the field in the eighth inning, forcing the team to finish the game with only two outfielders. While the rest of the team crumbled, one sharply hit ball "was cleverly stopped by Bassett behind second, before reaching the unprotected centre field." 3
      The Grays recovered to win the pennant on the strength of Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn's 60-win season, then they won the first world championship series that October against the New York Metropolitans.
      Bassett did little to contribute to this glory, however, finishing with a weak batting average of .139 in 27 games. He never did return to the university for his senior year. Instead, he married Ethel Gertrude Esten of Lincoln, R.I. in November of 1884. He went on to a nine-year career as a major league infielder with Providence, Kansas City (where he met famous outlaw Frank James), Indianapolis, New York, and Cleveland. During his team's Boston trips, Bassett often commuted down to Pawtucket and Central Falls after the games to spend time with his wife and family, and even to watch local minor-league games on his days off.4
      During the off-seasons, Bassett and his wife continued to live in Central Falls with his aged grandmother Eliza Bassett. However, she died in September of 1889. Her obituary mentioned her grandson "the well-known base ball player." She left an estate worth more than eight thousand dollars, but no will, so everything was divided between Charlie's father and aunts and uncles. Charlie got nothing, and had to find a new place to live.5
      He was voted the best third baseman in the National League that year, for which he received a floral wreath inscribed "Boss of Third" in a pre-game ceremony. Bassett spent five years playing minor league baseball from 1893 to 1897, and then retired from the game.6
      Charlie found permanent employment as a Pawtucket police officer shortly after his playing career came an end, and enjoyed regaling members of the force with stories of his baseball days. After receiving his pension from the force in 1924, Bassett worked as a bank guard at Rhode Island Hospital Trust in Providence.
      Bassett retired in 1932. His wife Florence purchased a house on 364 Power Road in Pawtucket, in the quiet suburban neighborhood of Fairlawn. Charley remained a baseball fan to the end, attending games at Brown on a regular basis, and using his free major-league lifetime pass to visit Fenway Park on occasion, although he was no longer able to drive. He was interviewed in 1940, and stated that his only complaint about the modern game was the size of the fielder's gloves. He showed the reporter "his strong, broad hands, of which almost every finger has been broken, attesting to the uncounted times they stopped whizzing horsehide spheres with no protection other than rugged skin."7
      Bassett died of heart and kidney problems at Memorial Hospital on May 28 1942, aged 80 years old. He was buried in the Moshassuck Cemetery in Central Falls. Three years after his death, he was named to the all-time all-Rhode Island all-star team by the Providence Journal. Bassett's widow Florence died in 1961. Charley Bassett's only child Francis worked as an inspector for the railroad, and settled in the Auburn neighborhood of Cranston, raising a son named Charles Warren Bassett (1929-1999) and a dau daughter named Marion Sprague.8

1 1865 R.I. Census, volume 10, page 217; 1870 U.S. Census, North Providence district 1, page 345 (William H. Bassett without Charles); 1875 R.I. Census, Lincoln district 2, page 45; (Charles with grandparents); 1880 U.S. Census, Rhode Island E.D. 117, page 8 (with grandmother); Rhode Island marriages, 1862 page 556, 1866 page 556; Rhode Island deaths, 1866 page 944 (insanity of mother); Pawtucket / Central Falls directories, 1869-1878; Providence Evening Telegram, May 5 1893 (early career, 1877-1880); Historical Catalog of Brown University, 1764-1904 (Providence: Brown University, 1905). Rick Harris was helpful in sharing some of his own Charley Bassett research.

2 "Pawtucket's Diamond Veteran in First World Series," clipping from a Rhode Island newspaper dated spring of 1924, in Bassett's file at the Brown University Archives; Richard V. Reynolds, "When Providence Won the First World's Championship," Providence Sunday Journal, May 26, 1940, VI-3 (based on an interview with Bassett); Sporting Life, July 8 (average), November 21 (signing) 1883; Providence Journal, February 25 1884 (report date).

3 Providence Journal, July 23 1884

4 Rhode Island Marriage Records, (get citation); Reynolds, ibid (Frank James).; Pawtucket Evening Times, November 1 1886 (back in Rhode Island), August 9 1888 (visits); Pawtucket Evening Tribune, June 23 1890 (watching games).

5 Pawtucket / Central Falls directories, 1882-1890; 1885 Rhode Island Census, town of Lincoln (alphabetical, shows Charles E. and grandmother Eliza Bassett together); Pawtucket Evening Times, September 26 1889 (Eliza Bassett obit); Central Falls probate records, volume 18, pages 104, 276-277, and volume 20, pages 24, 213-214, in Central Falls City Hall.

6 Reynolds, ibid (Boss of Third)

7 Reynolds (quote); Providence and Pawtucket directories; "Brown University Graduate Records"survey filled out by Bassett's widow on June 13 1942 at the Brown University Archives (son's birth); 1905 R.I. Census; Pawtucket deeds at Pawtucket City Hall, 317:2 (364 Power); obituary of Mrs. Florence Bassett, Pawtucket Times, October 30 1961.

8 Death certificate at R.I. State Archives, May 1942 #320; "Brown University Graduate Records" survey, ibid; obituary in Brown Alumni Monthly , Summer 1942; Pawtucket Times, May 28, 1942, page 1 (obit), October 30 1961 (widow's obit); Providence Sunday Journal, April 13 1945, VI-2 (all-star); 1930 U.S. Census, Rhode Island E.D. 11, page 1 (Francis and family); Providence Journal-Bulletin, January 29 1999 (grandson's obituary).

To read more about the baseball statistics of Charlie Bassett, click on the link below.



Section 6 - Death of Gary Bassett

I am sad to report the death of one of our fellow Bassett DNA project participants earlier this month. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this Christmas season.

The North Platte Telegraph Gary Joe Bassett

ARNOLD - Gary Joe Bassett, 70, died Dec. 2, 2003, at WaKeeney, Kan., as the result of an auto accident. He and his wife Shirley were traveling back from Texas, where they had spent Thanksgiving with their son Randall, and his family when they were hit by another car. He was born April 4, 1933, to Clarence and Verel McCandless Bassett at Pleasant Hill. He graduated from Arnold High School in 1951 and then attended Kearney State Teachers College. He served in the U.S. Army for two years, mostly in Korea.
      On Nov. 19, 1955, he married Shirley Ann Nansel at the Garfield Church. They farmed at Pleasant Hill for 12 years. Mr. Bassett accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1966. In 1968, the couple joined New Tribes Mission. He was baptized that year at the New Tribes Mission Institute in Fredonia, Wis. When they completed the New Tribes' training, they served as dorm parents for seven years in Panama. He was also the field bookkeeper
      In 1978, they returned to the United States and served on staff at the New Tribes Language Institute for 23 years. They retired in July 2001. They spent the past two years in their hometown of Arnold. He served as a deacon at First Baptist Church.
He was a loving hsuband and wonderful father. He loved his Lord and enjoyed serving Him. His family will miss him but are so thankful they will see him again in heaven.
      Surviving him is his wife; their six children, Trace (Mike) Jarvis of Portland, Ore., Randall (Diana) Bassett of Killeen, Texas, Ann Bassett (Joel) Emerson of Nashville, Tenn., Holly (Steve) Robertston of Kansas City, Kan., Eir (Holly) Bassett of Columbia, Mo., Russell Bassett of Newport News, Va., and grandchildrdn, Krista (Dean) Miller, Denae (Jonathan) Deward, Shavon, Ryan, Allen, Lauren, Callie, Brooke Bassett, and Justin, Travis, Preston and Nachary Robertson; and two stepbrothers, Dean (Galey) Chrisp of North Platte and Don (Ellen) Chrisp of Arnold. He was preceded in death by his parents; his stepfather, Alvie Chrisp; four stepbrothers, Emmett, Everett, Mervin and Glenn Chrisp; and a grandson, Ian Bassett.
      In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorials be made to the First Baptist Church building fund of Arnold. Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday with the Rev. Irving Jennings officiating. His family asks that his funeral be a celebration of the goodness of the Lord in and throug his life.
      Burial will be in the Arnold Cemetery, with military honors by the American Legion Post 130 and the Veterans of Foreigh Wars Post 6157 of Arnold.
Visitation will be from 1 to 8 p.m. today at the home at 200 E. Jackson Street in Arnold. Arnold Funeral Home is in charge.


Have a safe and healthy holiday.

Jeffrey Bassett
520 Salceda Drive
Mundelein, IL 60060 USA
bassettgenealogy@hotmail.com (home)