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

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Splinters From The Tree August 2007

(1) Welcome
(2) Bassett Family Reunion of August, 2007
(3) Major General Harold Huntley Bassett
(4) New Book available about the Loren Elias Bassett Family
(5) New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
(6) DNA project update

Section 1 - Welcome

Thank you to everyone that attended the National Bassett Family Reunion earlier this month in Boston, Massachusetts. We had a total of 29 in attendance.

There are two new Bassett books available for purchase. I will feature one this month and one next month.

Three new DNA kits were sent out this month and 10 kits remain outstanding.

Thanks to the following who made donation's toward the project this month:

1 person donating a total of $200 towards the Bassett DNA project.
15 people who attended the Bassett reunion donated $150 more than the costs associated with the reunion.

This extra money will also be added to the Bassett DNA project fund.

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Section 2 - Bassett Family Reunion of August 2007

The following Bassett lines were represented at the National Bassett Family Reunion held earlier this month in Boston, Massachusetts.

#1A    William Bassett of Plymouth, Massachusetts (Fortune 1621)
#1B    John Bassett of New Haven, Connecticut
#3B    Thomas Bassett of Fairfield, Connecticut
#8B    John Bassett of Hunterdon County, New Jersey
#10B  Richard Bassett of Mathews County, Virginia
#22B  Richard Bassett of Ashwater, Devonshire, England
#30B  George Washington Bassett of Macon, Georgia
#34B  The Bassetts of County Down, Ireland
#43B  Truman Bassett of Connecticut
#167B Bassetts of Somerset County, Maine 

Bassett Family Reunion held 16 Sep 1898 in Plymouth, Massachusetts
Picture of the Bassett Family Reunion held on 16 Sep 1898 in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The following summary of the reunion was written by Jim Bassett of California. (edited)

Greetings from Boston, MA, site of the Bassett Family Reunion in the old Boston Navy Yard. Brought back a lot of memories, as I had been here several times in the very early 50’s. Lot of changes – Old Marine Barracks building still there with signs probably as they were in 1950-52, but the peeling paint would hardly be tolerated if the USMC still occupied the building. Rest of the old Navy Yard is now partially a national park including buildings surrounding the USS Constitution. “Old Ironsides”, still an active Navy ship. The rest of the old Navy Yard is now known as Government Center. Now offices, high priced housing and condos and marinas. Will start my report of the proceedings, while still fresh in my mind.

Friday night – those of us here met informally - nothing new or decided. Info on what was to come.

Saturday – More people – those living locally who didn’t stay in the hotel. Meeting room reasonably filled. Jeffrey kicked things off. Reported he has info on 398 distinct Bassett lines, about 100 lines supported by DNA testing. 200+/- DNA tests with several more out but not yet back.

Presentation #1 – John Charles (Chuck) Bassett of Kansas City KS area.  He is descended from John of CT and Heyschott, and Margery and thus we share a common interest. He has made several trips to England and is a serious genealogist. He verified the birth of John in 1589 (and sister Elizabeth in 1592, father Robert, mother Mrs. Bassett from Heyschott parish records)

Presentation #2 – Nate Carter. Another serious genealogist. After working his Carter family tree, he began working on his wife’s tree and explained how they finally tracked back her family roots to  County Down, Ireland using the results from Bassett DNA tests.

Presentation #3 – Jim Terzian, Executive Director of the Heraldry Foundation. Highlight of reunion – quite possibly. I would so vote. Just awfully interesting involving a subject I knew little about.

Jim attends worldwide meetings of the Heraldry foundation every other year. Last meeting was in Ottawa, Canada. Next meeting will probably be in Johannesburg, South Africa. Jim has an extensive family tree, which was explained to the attendees and eventually was displayed on several sheets of paper 30’ long 4’ wide which displayed 22 generations including a number of Bassett’s. As his interest is in heraldry, Coats of Arms were included, many extremely colorful, but as generations change, marriages occur, etc., changes occur in both the colors and design of the Coats of Arms would change. Displayed on 30’ long chart, it was reasonably easy to trace the lines. Interestingly, historically, there were apparently a lot of illegitimate children, who may not have been entitled to a coat of arms, but through various intermarriages, ended up with one. Jim is very knowledgeable, super enthusiastic and extremely informative. He probably could have explained what we heard on his Power Point presentation without using any notes. (My personal impression).

We learned the history of  heraldry - origins, lines, ensigns, coats of arms, graphic identifiers, etc used in old England to identify the primary the nobility and others of high rank within the community. Osmond Bassett was probably the first Bassett to be entitled to a coat of arms. The rules of inheritance, distribution of land, marriage, death, etc., would occasion many changes to various coat of arms down through the years. As far as the Bassett surname, Geoffrey de Ridel and Ralph Bassett were cited as where many Bassett’s descend. The ultimate goal will be to eventually match heraldry and DNA to prove the lines of descent.

Presentation #4 – Chuck Bassett. Discussion of DNA – genes, (amino acids, DNA - strands 6’ long) genetics, (study of how genes are passed down from generation to generation), resulting in how we do genealogy by tracking the Y chromosome from father to son.

Presentation #5 – Jeffrey Bassett – I’m sure we know Jeffrey. Discussed the Bassett Genealogy project – How I got started and developed. Jeffrey talked to all his grandparents and four great-grandmothers while in high school. And it grew from there. An overview of the Bassett one name study. He charts the distinct Bassett lines and has accumulated 10,000 pages in manuscript form. Provides us with the  monthly (and where he gets the info for the) Newsletters. The web site which is operating but will expand much further.

All in all, it was a very busy day, a very informative day, many questions were asked and answered with the best info available. Many of us took a water taxi to downtown Boston for dinner.

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Section 3 - Featured Bassett: Major General Harold Huntley Bassett

Harold Huntley Bassett descends from #23B Joseph Bassett of Bodiam, Sussex, England as follows:
Joseph Bassett and wife Sarah
Samuel Bassett
William Bassett (b. 1817) and wife Charlotte Johns
Alfred Bassett (b. 1840) and wife Susan Stanley
Archibald Bassett (b. 1877) and wife Clara Huntley
Harold Huntley Bassett

This article is reprinted with permission from St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy. It comes from The Beacon of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, Summer 2007, Volume 27, Number 1, page 31.

"On April 1, 2007, Major General Harold Bassett S'24 USAF (Ret.) celebrated his 100th birthday.  The gala celebration took place in the ballroom at the residence of the General's assisted living facility in San Antonio, TX.  Academy Director of Alumni Gary Richert presented General Bassett with a plaque from the Corps of Cadets with best wishes and the hopes of many more birthday celebrations to come.  The General graduated from West Point in 1928 and was visited by a representative from his college alma mater (left below).  John G. Minniece S'50 of Houston, also visited the General to honor him on such a momentous occasion (right below)." 

Harold Bassett - Oldest Living Alumnus of SJNMA
Harold Basset Class of 1924 and John Minniece Class of 1950
Harold Bassett - Oldest Living Alumnus of SJNMA
Harold Basset Class of 1924 and John Minniece Class of 1950

Harold Huntley Bassett

Biography, United States Air Force
Major General Harold H. Bassett
Retired October 1959

Major General Harold Huntley Bassett was born in Albion, Ill., in April 1907. After preliminary schooling in Albion and two years at St. John's Military Academy, Delafield, Wis., he entered the U.S Military Academy in 1925. Upon graduation in 1929 he was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers but went directly into flying training and upon completion thereof was transferred to the Air Corps. After approximately five years of squadron officer duties in Hawaii and at Randolph Field, Texas, General Bassett took the course in meteorology at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., and, in 1937, when the Air Weather Service was first organized, he commanded one of the three original weather squadrons.

Leaving the weather service in 1940, he was again assigned to Hawaii where he performed administrative and staff type duties; however, he was selected to participate in the first mass flight of B-17s from the mainland to Hawaii and, for his part therein, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Shortly after the outbreak of the U.S.-Japanese hostilities in World War II, General Bassett was assigned to the Naval War College as a student. Upon completion of this course he returned once again to the Weather Service, where he remained - in Washington and Europe - until shortly after the end of the war. For his services during this period, General Bassett received the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster and the Bronze Star Medal.

Upon his return to the United States in 1947, General Bassett attended the National War College and then spent the following three years in the Joint Staff.

In 1951 he was assigned to the recently organized U.S. Air Force Security Service as deputy commander and in 1953 succeeded to the command of that organization - a position he held until 1957 when he became deputy commander, Taiwan Defense Command. There were two promotions during this period: to brigadier general on Sept. 5, 1952 and to major general on Oct. 27, 1954.

Returning to the United States in November 1958, General Bassett was assigned as commander, Air Weather Service, Headquarters Air Weather Service, Military Air Transport Service, Scott AFB, Ill.

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Section 4 - Featured Bassett:

Book Cover

The following was written by Cheryl Harmon Bills.

My book begins with my 3rd great grandmother, Hulda Dimeras Vaughn and follows her life, that of both of her husbands, and each of the ten children who had a posterity. (She actually had 14, but four of them had no children.) It contains lots of history, pictures, documentation, and FUN stuff! If you are at all interested in family history, you will really enjoy getting to know Hulda. She had an incredible life and left us with a great heritage. Researching each of her children has taken me over six years, but what an experience it has been!

Loren Elias Bassett and Huda Vaughn Harmon
Loren Elias Bassett & Hulda Vaughn Harmon

For more information and to purchase a copy of the book, you can contact:

Cheryl Harmon Bills
49 North 6th West
St. Anthony, ID 83445

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Section 5 - New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter

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

 394B.  William Bassett of Gravesend, Kent (married circa 1800)
 395B.  William J. Bassett of Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland (b. 1821)
 396B.  Richard Bassett of Carmarthenshire, Wales (b. 1797)
 397B.  John Bassett of Brenchley, Kent  (b. 1761)

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Section 6 - DNA project update.

Several new participants joined the DNA project, but no new results are back from the lab to report on this month.

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