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

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Newsletter May 2005

(1) Welcome
(2) British Census records
(3) The Bassetts of Eltham, Virginia
(4) New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
(5) DNA project update

Section 1 - Welcome

This issue will highlight the Bassett family of Eltham, New Kent County, Virginia.


Section 2 - British Census Records

Ancestry.com has now put online British census images for 1861. If you have any Bassetts that you need looked up in England or Wales for 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 or 1901, let me know which Bassett you are looking for and your family number from my database, and I will be happy to look them up for you.

Also, a complete copy of census images for 1800 through 1930 for the United States are available also so anyone needing a Bassett looked up just let me know.


Section 3 - Featured Bassett: The Bassetts of Eltham, Virginia

I had a very nice trip filled with history to Jamestown, Williamsburg, Richmond, Eltham and Yorktown, all in Virginia, in April 2005 and include several pictures of that trip below. I have not uncovered any proven male descendants yet from this family. As you will see below, the Bassetts, Harrisons and Washingtons were all connected through marriage.

The Bassetts of Eltham, Blisland Parish, New Kent County, Virginia, were possibly descended from the Bassetts who for a long time had lived in Southampton, England.
William is possibly a descendant of James Bassett and Mary Roper.
James Bassett, Gentleman of the Royal Chamber, died in 1558. He married Mary Roper, daughter of William and Miss Moore Roper of Eltham in Kent, England. Miss Moore was the daughter of Sir Thomas Moore, Lord Chancellor of England. This may be where the Eltham name in Virginia came from. The arms on the tomb of the emmigrant William Bassett and upon the family silver corresponds with the arms of the Bassetts of Umberly.
William Bassett, son of William and Ann Bassett of Southampton, England, was born in 1640 in Newport, Isle of Wight, England. He died in 1687. He married Bridget Cary, daughter of Miles and Ann (Taylor) Cary. She was born in 1645 in Warwick County, Virginia. She died in 1702 in New Kent County, Virginia. He was a member of the House of Burgesses, and of the Council for 1667.
During the early years of his residence in New Kent he lived at the site of the Castle, which by his last will he devised to his nephew, Joseph Foster. He purchased a large amount of land and acquired a large estate which he disposed of in a lengthy will made in 1671. Among other things, he directed that he be buried at the Upper Church in Blisland Parish, which was the Old Warreney Church, but there is no evidence that this was done.
The land which he gave his wife and son constituted the large Eltham Plantation, which became the seat of his family, and was one of the great plantations in Virginia for the whole of the Colonial Period.

Information on Eltham (Bassett Plantation)


William Bassett II, son of William and Bridget (Cary) Bassett, was born in 1671 in New Kent County, Virginia. He died on 11 Oct 1723 in New Kent County, Virginia. He married Joanna Burwell, daughter of Hon. Lewis and Abigail (Smith) Burwell, in 1708. Joanna was born in 1675 at Carter's Creek in Gloucester County, Virginia. She died 7 Oct 1727.

William Bassett II, added to the large estate his father and mother left him. He purchased the large tracts of land on the Pamunkey River which had been vacated when Sir Philip Honniwood and Maj. Gen. Mainwaring Hammond returned to England. The deeds to this land have been preserved and included the tract of land which later became known as White House.

Col. William was selected to the General Assembly from New Kent County in 1692 as soon as he was of age. He was appointed to the Council in 1707 and resigned, but was reappointed in 1711. He was named County Lieutenant of New Kent in 1707 and held the same office for New Kent and King William in 1715.

Colonel William Bassett was buried at Eltham, New Kent County, Virginia, but was later moved to the Hollywood cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. The tomb bears the Bassett arms and the following epitaph:

Here lies inter'd ye Body of he Hon'ble
William Bassett, of ye County of New Kent,
Esq'r, son of Will'm Bassett, Esq'r, and
Bridget, His Wife, of ye County of
Southampton, in ye Kingdom of England.
He married Joanna, Eldest Daughter
Of Lewis Burwell, Esq., with whom
He happily Lived 29 years and 10 months
And was Blest with 5 sons and 7 Daughters.
He Departed this Life ye 11 October,
1723, in ye 53rd year of his Age. He
was A Good Christian, A Knd and Indulgent Father,
An Affectionate, Obliging Husband, A Good
Master: His Loss was
Greatly Lamented by His Country,
County, and Family, and
inexpressibly to
His Mournful, Disconsolate Widow,
who also departed this Life ye 7th day
of October, 1727, in the
53d year of her age.

Col. William Bassett III, son of William and Joanna (Burwell) Bassett, was born on 8 Jul 1709 in Ellham, New Kent County, Virginia. He died around 1744 in New Kent County, Virginia. He married Elizabeth
Churchill, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Armistead) Churchill. Elizabeth was born in 1710 in Busky Park, Middlesex County, Virginia. She died on 16 Apr 1779 at Eltham. He was a Vestryman in Blisland Parish. He was elected to the General Assembly and was serving in the House of Burgesses when he died in 1744.

After William's death, Elizabeth married (2) Rev. William Dawson, President of the College of William and Mary and Commissary of the Bishop of London and a Member of the Council of State.

Two of their children were:

+ 5B181. Elizabeth Bassett - born 13 Dec 1730, married Benjamin Harrison.

+ 5B183. Burwell Bassett - died 4 Jan 1793, married (1) Anne Chamberlayne (2) Anna Maria Dandridge.

Elizabeth Bassett Harrison

Elizabeth Bassett married Benjamin Harrison and settled in Berkeley Plantation. Benjamin Harrison was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin and Elizabeth were the parents of President William Henry Harrison and great grandparents of President Benjamin Harrison.

Burwell Bassett

Burwell married for his second wife Anna Maria Dandridge, sister to Martha Washington (wife of President George Washington). His daughter also married a nephew of President George Washington.

5B183. Burwell Bassett, son of William Bassett

Burwell Bassett, son of William and Elizabeth (Churchill) Bassett, of Eltham, was born 3 Mar 1734 at Eltham. He died on 4 Jan 1793 at Eltham. He was frequently a member of the House of Burgesses. He was active as a patriot during the Revolution. He married (1) Anne Chamberlayne, daughter of John Chamberlayne, when he was 19. They had no children. He married (2) Anna Maria Dandridge, daughter of John Dandridge and sister of Martha Washington, on 7 May 1757. Anna Maria was born on 30 Mar 1739. She died on 17 Dec 1777. He was Burgess for New Kent, 1762-1774; member of the County Committee of Safety, 1775-6; of the Conventions of 1775, 1776 and 1788; of the State Senate, 1780 and 1788; and of the House of Delegates, 1789.

Burwell Bassett and General George Washington were intimate friends and brothers-in-law, and it is certain that George Washington spent more time at Eltham than at any private home in America outside of Mt. Vernon.
He visited Eltham frequently, stopping on his way to Williamsburg to meetings of the General Assembly, and on business trips to the Pamunkey River Estates of which he had charge for the Custis Heirs. He hunted at Eltham, he fished for sturgeon in the Pamunkey, he hauled seine, and visited in the neighborhood. There are many records of his social activities with Col. Burwell Bassett in New Kent around Eltham.

The following is a copy of a letter from President George Washington to Burwell Bassett mentioning the engagement of George Augustine Washington, nephew of George Washington, to Fanny Bassett, daughter of Burwell Bassett. A picture of Fanny as a child hangs in Mt. Vernon in the parlor.

5B183.5. Burwell Bassett, son of Burwell Bassett

Burwell Bassett, son of Burwell and Anna Maria (Dandridge) Bassett, was born 18 Mar 1764. He died 26 Feb 1841. He married (1) Eliza McCarty, daughter of Daniel and Winifred (Thornton) McCarty on 10 Jan 1788 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He married (2) Ann Claiborne.

He was from Eltham and later Williamsburg. He was a member of the House of Delegates from New Kent, 1789; State Senate 1798-99 and 1802-3; delegate from James City in 1819 and 1820, and member of Congress, 1805-13, 1815-19 and 1821-1831. Bassett Hall, an historic site in Williamsburg, Virginia, was named for this Burwell. He lived there for many years.

Click to see enlarged picture in another window

Information on Bassett Hall in Williamsburg.


Section 4 - New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter

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

#101B. John Bassett has been merged into the #1B John Bassett of New Haven, CT line.

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

#316B. Bassetts of Thornbury and Braunton, Devon, England #317B. Hester Ann (Ackerman) Bassett of New Jersey and Toledo, Ohio #318B. Edward Bassett of Louisville, KY (b. 1836 in Ireland)


Section 5 - DNA project update.

I have placed the #101B John Bassett line into the #1B John Bassett partially based on DNA results.

When two male Bassetts share a close DNA signature, especially when one of the markers does not match all others in the group, it is almost for sure that the two must share the same family line.

Given the descent of kit #7008 from John through Robert, Robert, Samuel, Samuel and David, it is very likely that #11776 shares the same line since they both have a 26 for marker 18.

The following John Bassett comes through this same line. Even before the expanded DNA results were back, I had thought this was the line to place our (#101B) John L. Bassett.

David Burr Bassett, brother to the John Bassett, also ended up moving to Cincinnati, Ohio.

1B112.111. John Bassett, son of David Bassett

John Bassett, son of David and Mable (Tomlinson) Bassett, was born in 1775 in Derby, Connecticut. He died near Cleveland, Ohio. He married (1) Louise Clemens. He married (2) Urania Thorpe, daughter of Jehiel and Eleanor (Burr) Thorpe, of Greenfield, Fairfield, Connecticut. She died in 1838.

1830 Federal Census of Portage County, Ohio
John Bassett 0001001-112001000

1B1121111. John Bassett - born about 1800, married Miss Ferris?. Another source suggests that this is the John that was married to Louise Clemens in Hudson, not his father.

1B1121112. Kneeland Bassett - died unmarried.

1B1121113. Ellen Bassett

1B1121114. Mary Bassett - born 26 Oct 1804, married Oliver Owen Brown on 21 Jul 1823 in Hudson Township

1B1121115. James Bassett - born 1806, died 25 Dec 1837, unmarried.

+ 1B1121116. David Burr Bassett - born 1807, married Elmira Foster.

1B1121117. Abbie Bassett

1B1121118. Eliza Bassett - married John Chapman.

1B1121119. Grace Perry Bassett - married Oliver Owen Brown in 1833.

1B112111A. George Basset

General Fund Scholarship total as of 05/15/05 = -($405.00) Donations since last newsletter $115.00.

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 website can be found at:


A current spreadsheet of results can be found at:



Jeffrey Bassett
520 Salceda Drive
Mundelein, IL 60060 USA
(847) 949-1443
bassettgenealogy@hotmail.com (home)