Newsletter August 2005
Welcome to a dozen new Bassetts living in England, Canada, the United States and Ireland who are receiving their first issue of the Bassett Family newsletter. The newsletter is published free the 3rd Sunday of every month (except December) and documents my research on the Bassett family worldwide.
To be featured in newsletters later this year:
(1) George Bassett and the Bassett's Allsorts company of Sheffield, England
Section 2 - Featured Article: National Geographic Genographic Project
To read more about this project, visit the following website.
During the last week in July, we had a new participant in the Bassett DNA project that came to us via the National Geographic Genographic project. I do not yet have details on the family line for this family other than they currently live in Wales, but they matched the DNA results for the Bassett of Wales group.
Section 3 - Featured Bassett: Autobiography of Isaac Newton Bassett
John Bassett of Hunterdon County, New Jersey (died 1776)
The DNA test below is from a family member of this #8B John Bassett of New Jersey family line.
Isaac Newton Bassett’s
Copied from the original manuscript by Anna Stowell Bassett
Aledo, Illinois, March 27th 1897
Some years ago, (1888-1892) while my son Victor was at college, he wrote
me requesting a history of my family and of my own life, to be reduced to
writing by me and left for the benefit of my children and descendents.
I now undertake this duty, but my material is meager in regard to the family of my parents prior to their time, as I have no family record or other record of the family prior to that of my father. I derived some knowledge, however from my father and others through conversation which, however, is meager, but will be of some help in tracing the genealogy of the family. I will therefore record the same in the following pages with an autobiography of my own life.
I (Isaac Newton Bassett) was born in Lewis Co. Kentucky, September 8th 1825 in a country place two miles west of the little village of Quincy and one-half mile from the Ohio River. My father owned a little farm bordering on a little stream called Montgomery Creek. Kinnikonnick a much larger stream, was west a half mile and it ran in an easterly direction for nearly two miles, receiving the water of Montgomery Creek and emptying into the Ohio river. Its course was for the two miles reverse of the of the Ohio and the water was by reason thereof backed up for three miles in high water and at all times for a half of a mile.
My Father’s house was just at the foot of the hills, which bordered on a little creek. The Ohio R. bottoms were about one half mile wide and the country back was hilly or mountainous and the land was all heavily timbered, principally white oak, black oak, chestnut and poplar with hard and soft maple, beech, and sycamore in the bottoms.
Other timber in less quantity was buckeye, sweet gum, black Gum, Black Locust, Honey Locust, Hackberry, Black Walnut, White Walnut, Mulberry, Serviceberry, Linden or Bass Wood, Ash, Hickory, Dogberry, Ironwood, Sourwood, Sassafras, Spruce, Pine, Pitch and Yellow Pine, Wild Cherry, Black Jack, Red Oak Cedar, Slippery Elm, Water Elm, Birch, and White Pine with an undergrowth of Pawpaw, Hazel, Spicewood, Chinkapin [chinquapin= dwarf chestnut], Leather Wood, Black Haw, Red Haw, Wild Plum and Whortleberry and along the streams occasionally, Cottonwood, Willow, Weeping Willow and occasionally a Cucumber Tree and Holly. There was, also, of wild fruit, Blackberries, Raspberries and Dewberries, Mulberries, Whortleberries, Service Berries, Plums, Paw Paws, and Haws.
The country abounded with stone and gravel, the streams running over gravel beds and sometimes solid rock all of which was sandstone in the vicinity where I was born; or boulders of a more flinty formation. The water was all soft and springs were abundant.
Fletcher Stuart Bassett was a son of Isaac Newton Bassett and was a Lieutenant
in the United States Navy.
Section 4 - Featured Bassett: Mary Imogene Bassett and Bassett Healthcare
Mary Imogene Bassett is descended from #95B Benjamin Bassett as follows:
Benjamin Bassett, born 1766 and wife Elizabeth Hewett
Benjamin Bassett was born in Yorkshire, England. Both Wilson T. Bassett and
Wilson T. Bassett, M.D., a prominent physician of Cooperstown, N.Y., was born at New Lisbon, Otsego Co., N.Y., February 2, 1821. His father, Benjamin Bassett, was born in Yorkshire, England, and resided there until 1815, when with his wife and two infant sons, he sailed for the United States. The voyage was made in a sailing vessel, steamships not having then begun to cross the sea. The voyage was a very stormy one and occupied three months and two days. When within a few days' sail of New York a terrible storm came upon them and nearly wrecked their vessel, and for six weeks afterward they were tossed about upon the ruthless ocean, during which time they were put upon a short allowance of food, and lost what property they had on board, before it was possible for them to land. They at length landed in New York. They were of an honest, industrious and intelligent class of English people, and were unaccustomed to such rough ways as they found in this new country and to the hardships that awaited them here; they were disappointed, too, in not receiving the assistance which they thought they had a right to expect from friends already here, and for these reasons their struggle for existence was a very hard one. Mr. Bassett was compelled to rely entirely upon his own resources. He was a veterinary surgeon, and would doubtless have succeeded well, but a few years after landing in this country, he became blind from sickness brought on by exposure, and died in 1824, leaving the burden of the care and support of the family solely in the hands of his widow. She was a woman of superior intelligence and executive ability, and managed her affairs so successfully that she became in time well situated in life, and lived to the advanced age of seventy-eight years, dying in Otsego County. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Heughit. She reared one son, Samuel F. Jones, by a former marriage. By her second husband, Benjamin Bassett, she had three sons, viz.: John, a farmer residing at Garrattsville, Otsego County; William, a retired physician, who practiced many years at Binghamton, N.Y.; and Wilson T., the subject of this sketch, the only one born in the United States.
Wilson T. Bassett in inherited a sound constitution, and was naturally of a studious disposition. His early habits were carefully watched and formed by his mother, who had a very comprehensive and accurate understanding of the meaning of the word discipline. His early educational advantages were somewhat limited, consisting of only four months school in the year from the time he was eight until he was sixteen years old, but he made the most of the opportunities he did have, as is evident from the fact that when he was a little past sixteen years old he taught a term of school, continuing to teach four successive winters. The intervening summers he spent in study, part of the time under the private instruction of Rev. Joh Hughes, a fine scholar, and a portion of the time in the Clinton Classical Institute, then one of the best academies in the State. In his youthful days books and newspapers were comparatively scarce, and having a strong desire to acquire knowledge, he read everything that came to his hand. One of these books was "Combe's Constitution of Man," which he studied with great care, and which may have been the means of turning his attention to the study of medicine. He also acquired a good English education and a fair knowledge of mathematics and Latin, at the same time mixing in a good deal of anatomy and physiology on his own account. When nineteen years old he began the study of medicine regularly in the office of Dr. G.W.P. Wheeler, of Garrattsville, and at the age of twenty-one took his course of lectures at the Albany Medical College, paying his expenses with money he had saved from his earnings. He continued in attendance at this college for the two succeeding winters, and graduated from the institution in 1844. Almost immediately after graduating he began practice in Mount Vision, Otsego County, but as for the first three or four years he had but little practice, he had ample time for further study, which he faithfully improved.
When thirty years of age Dr. Bassett had acquired a large practice, but as there was no practitioner in that locality who could be relied upon in severe and complicated cases, he realized the necessity of a more thorough knowledge of his profession. Accordingly, in the fall of 1858 he left his practice and his family and spent five months in New York City, attending lectures, hospitals, and the clinics of such physicians and surgeons as Carnochan, Wood, Peaslee and Barker, and worked from four to six hours daily in the dissecting room during the entire five months. Upon returning to the field of his labors he entered upon a much larger practice than before, and performed some surgery and held much consultation. He thus continued hard at work until the fall of 1863, when he returned to New York City, and during the fall of that year and the succedding winter he attended the hospitals and lectures, and took a special course in surgery with Dr. Frank H. Hamilton, working in the dissecting room as before. Returning home in the spring, he continued his practice through the summer, and in the fall of 1864 went into the office of Dr. March, assistin ghim in shis operations, and being under his private instruction altogether for six months, attending lectures on anatomy and also working in the dissecting room. He subsequently had a very large increase in his surgical and consultation work. I the fall of 1868 and the following winter he attended lectures at Harvard Medical College, and took a special course on the eye with Professor Williams, and also attended the surgical lectures of Professors Bigelow and Cheever.
From this brief outline of Dr. Bassett's history it will appear that his opportunities for becoming a thoroughly learned and skillful physician and surgeon were of the best, and that his determination to be well qualified was of the strongest. These facts being generally recognized, it is not remarkabe that his practice should be very large and that he should be brought in contact with more critical cases than usually fall t the lot of the physician outside of the largest cities. He has been called in consultation at times to distances of fifty miles from home, and frequently to lesser distances. He has performed numerous difficult surgical operations, as in hernia, in amputation at the shoulder and hip joint, and in lithotomy.
During the Civil War Dr. Bassett manifested his patriotism by treating all returning soldiers, and the families of these soldiers while they were absent in the field, free of charge, and these services were very widely and very gratefully accepted. In the spring of 1869 he removed to Cooperstown, that place being more central and affording him a wider field for practice. Since living there his practice has been very large, and has embraced many difficult cases of surgery. He has had the medical charge of the Orphan Asylum at Cooperstown, for which he has made no charge. Dr. Bassett is a member of the Otsego County Medical Society, and is also a prominent member of the State Medical Society. He has been on the witness stand a great many times as expert in murder trials when insanity has been set up as a defense. In such cases he has invariably been the despair of the lawyers in cross examinations. He is one of the most affable of men, and this fact has frequently led lawyers into the mistake of thinking they could browbeat or confuse him, but the result has always been that the lawyers themselves have been confused. The Doctor is the most accomplished witness that has ever been placed on the stand in Otsego County. He has no political aspirations, but he has served as County Coroner and has represented the town on the County Board of Supervisors, with much credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of all concerned.
April 12, 1845, Dr. Bassett married Mary Augusta Ostrander, a daughter of William and Harriet Ostrander, of whom a sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. Dr. Bassett has four children living, viz: Liston B., engaged in business in Norwich, N.Y.; Emma, wife of Melville Keyes, an attorney at Oneonta; Hortense, who is an invalid, and M. Imogene, a graduate of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, which she attended four years. She then took a post graduate course at the Polyclinic College of Philadelphia, and was for a time instructor in nervous diseases in that institution. She was also assistant to Dr. Charles K. Mills. Since the death of her mother she has returned to her home and now has quite an extensive practice, quickly taking up the practice her mother had acquired.
It gives great pleasure to the publishers of this work to be able to present in this volume a portrait of Dr. Bassett, who for so many years had been one of the most prominent and successful of the physicians of Otsego County.
Biographical Review, Otsego County, New York (1893)
Mrs. Mary Augusta Bassett, M.D., who was pioneer woman physician of this part of the country, was born in Albany, N.Y., March 28, 1825. Her father, Captain William Ostrander, was also born in that city, and was for many years in active business there. His father, Adam Ostrander, was also a native of Albany, was of Holland ancestry, and was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He died at the advanced oage of ninety-five years. Captain William Ostrander, father of Mrs. Bassett, was the proprietor of the sloop "Eclipse", the fastest sailing-vessel on the Hudson River at that time. He commanded this and another vessel on the Hudson for many years, and died at Albany in 1838. He was a man of uncommon energy and enterprise, and was recognized by all as one of the leading business men of Albany. The maiden name of his wife, the mother of Mrs. Bassett, was Harriet Gregory. She was born in Norwalk, Conn., and was the daughter of Samuel Gregory, a native of Connecticut, but of English ancestry. He owned and operated boats for many years on Long Island Sound, and later moved to the State of New York, spending his last years in New Berlin, dying at ninety years of age, in full possession of his mental faculties. The mother of Mrs. Bassett died on board the "Eclipse" in 1832, of cholera. Three of her children were reared to maturity. The father of Mrs. Bassett had one child by a former marriage.
At the time of her father's death Mrs. Bassett was fourteen years old, and she then went to live with an uncle, Hiram White, Esq., of Garrattsville, Otsego County, residing in his family until her marriage, at the age of twenty years. Previous to this time she had given some attention to the study of medicine, but not with the intention of following it as a profession. In 1865, however, she attended a course of lectures at the Philadelphia Female College, and in the following spring graduated at the New England Female College at Boston. She took a third course in the city of New York, and from that time until her death was engaged in active practice. She began practice when there was a strong prejudice against women physicians, and during her practice she was the means of breaking down that prejudice to a considerable degree and of opening the way for others of her sex. Her skill as a physician was soon recognized, and she practiced in every town in Otsego County, sometimes driving as many as forty miles a day. She aided her husband in many ways, being a cool and efficient assistant in surgical operations. She was very diligent in the acquisition of professional knowledge and was eminently successful in her practice. From 1871 until her death, she practice gratuitously in the Orphan Asylum at Cooperstown, as did her husband during the same time, and also since her death. Her experience and her success are among the many evidences of what can be done in the profession of medicine by women, if they set themselves resolutely to work; and as their success becomes more evident to the world, more of them will doubtless become practitioners.
Mrs. Bassett died February 26, 1893, and was sincerely mourned by a large circle of friends as well as by immediate family. She was in every respect a most worthy woman, a loving wife and mother, kind-hearted and sympathetic in all cases of trouble or distress. She was well educated, not only in her profession but also in general literature, and was accomplished and cultured much beyond the ordinary degree. Her loss even to general society cannot be filled, to say nothing of her immediate family circle and closer friends.
Mrs. Bassett was in fact for many years, and up to her death, one of the leading woman physicians of the State of New York, as well as having been the pioneer woman physician of Otsego County. There can be no doubt that a portrait of this superior and most excellent woman will be acceptable to all who loved her in life, and to all who cherish her memory.
Mary Imogene Bassett - A Brief Biography
Mary Imogene Bassett was born to Doctors Wilson and Mary A. Bassett in Mount Vision, New York in 1856. In 1874, the family moved their growing medical practice to Cooperstown. They practiced in a house that still stands on lower Fair Street and treated their patients for $6-$12 week -- including room and board!
At a time when few women found recognition in medical careers, Dr. Mary Imogene distinguished herself early. She was only 31 when she graduated from the Woman's College of Pennsylvania. She received further training and became an instructor in Nervous Diseases at the Philadelphia Polyclinic and College for Graduates in Medicine. She published several articles in that field and was subsequently elected delegate to the Philadelphia County Medical Society and the American Medical Association (AMA).
After the death of her mother in 1893, she abruptly turned to a rural general practice in Cooperstown with her aging father. Her father died in 1905 and Dr. Mary Imogene continued alone. She had a very active practice in and around Cooperstown. She was a beloved, dedicated physician who was called "Dr. Molly" by most of her patients.
Among her friends and patients was Edward Severin Clark. He had great admiration for Mary Bassett. According to anecdote, he heard her express a wish for a laboratory to provide scientific data with which she and the other Cooperstown practitioners could better care for their patients. Mr. Clark granted her wish, building not only a laboratory, but a fully-equipped 100-bed fieldstone hospital building. Named "The Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital", it was meant as a living memorial to Dr. Bassett.
In 1918, the hospital was nearing completion and was offered by Mr. Clark to the army for use as a convalescent home for aviation officers until late 1919. The public opening of the hospital came in June 1922, with Dr. Bassett serving as chief of staff. Tragically, she suddenly died of a stroke at home in October of that year. Mr. Clark directed that the light in the cupola be lit every night in memory of her - and it is to this day.
To read more about Bassett Healthcare, click on the link below to see their
Section 5 - New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
The following family lines have been combined/eliminated since the last newsletter.
152B. James Robert Bassett of Kentucky added to #106B Russell Bassett of
321B. John Bassett of Chipping Warden, Northamptonshire (b. 1836)
Section 5 - DNA project update.
Participants from the following lines were added to the DNA project this month.
No DNA kits were sent back to the lab this month. We still have 12 outstanding kits.
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:
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.
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