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

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Splinters From The Tree November 2007

(1) Welcome
(2) Russell Bassett, actor
(3) Georgia Death Records Online
(4) Isaac Bassett of Lynn, Massachusetts (Christmas 1855)
(5) The Search for Elias Bassett's Roots by Irvin Bassett
(6) New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
(7) DNA project update

Section 1 - Welcome

I made several new contacts on Genes Reunited, mostly from England, this month. Welcome to all of those new Bassetts to the monthly newsletter.

For those of you contacting me requesting that I update your e-mail address, can you please provide (1) your old e-mail address  and  (2) your family number from my records if you know it. I get several e-mail change requests per week and it takes me a while to update my documents if you don't provide the above two items. There are now more than 2,000 Bassetts on my worldwide mailing list that receive the monthly newsletter.

FamilyTreeDNA has once again come out with holiday gift certificates to be used between now and the end of the year. We have 2 certificates available good for $30 off a 37 marker kit and 2 certificates good for $15 off a 25 marker kit. The kits must be ordered before year end and paid for before 30 Dec 2007 to be eligible for the discount. If you have been thinking about joining the Bassett DNA project, now is a good time to do it.

Donations towards the DNA project for this month total $80.

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Section 2 - Featured Bassett: Russell Bassett, actor

Any help in identifying the parents of this Russell Bassett would be appreciated.

A picture postcard of Russell Bassett purchased on e-bay. (click to enlarge)

1910 Federal Census of Manhattan, New York City, New York (23 Apr 1910)
Russell Bassett            68 M WI NY OH  Lodger   Actor Theatre
Lotta                      47 F EN EN EN  Wife     Actor Theatre
Arthur                     25 M NY WI EN  Son      Clerk Drug Store
(Living at 328 W. 51st St.)
(See 1880 census of Eureka, Nevada and 1900 census of San Francisco)

The New York Times, 9 May 1918
Russell Bassett

Russell Bassett, an actor for sixty-four years, and recently engaged in motion pictures, died of heart disease at his home, 101 West Eighty-ninth Street, on Tuesday, in his seventy-third year. Mr. Bassett had been associated with practically every well known actor from Joseph Jefferson to Mary Pickeford. He had finished last Saturday his work in a motion picture in which Lina Cavaliere had played the leading part. Mr. Bassett was born in Wisconsin, and made his first appearance on the stage when he was eight years old. He had been with the Famous Players Motion Picture Company for ten years. He is survived by his wife and a son.

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Section 3 - Featured Article: Georgia Death Records Online

The following information was provided by Michael Victor Bassett of Texas. You can now see images of actual death certificates for some Georgia deaths.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH-FamilySearch and the Georgia Archives announced today that Georgia's death index from 1919 to 1927 can be accessed for free online. The online index is linked to digital images of the original death certificates. This free database will open doors to additional information for family historians and genealogists with Georgia ties. The index and images can be searched and viewed at www.GeorgiaArchives.org (Virtual Vault link) or labs.familysearch.org.

The names of Georgia's deceased from 1919 to 1927 are now very much alive, searchable, and viewable online-and for free. The online index to some 275,000 Georgia deaths is the result of a cooperative effort between FamilySearch Record Services, the Georgia Archives, and the Georgia State Office of Vital Records and Statistics.

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Section 4 - Featured Bassett: Isaac Bassett of Lynn, Massachusetts

The following is a booklet purchased on e-bay by Helen Bassett. It is available to any proven descendant of this family.

Isaac Bassett descends from #4B William Bassett of Lynn as follows:
William Bassett (b. 1624) and wife Sarah Burt
William Bassett (b. 1647) and wife Sarah Hood
William Bassett (b. 1678) and wife Rebecca Berry
Joseph Bassett (b. 1715) and wife Eunice Hacker
Isaac Bassett (b. 1741) and wife Mary Collins
Isaac Bassett (b. 1779) and wife Ruth Breed

The booklet contains a short genealogy of the family in verse from 1855.

A short excerpt from the booklet.

The Second Book of Chronicles of the Feast of Christmas
Chapter I

William the printer goeth to the land of shoes. He is espoused unto Sarah and buildeth him an house. They bid their kinsfolk to the feast.

Now, it came to pass that in the third year of the reign of Franklin the Hunkerite, a man who was famous above all who had reigned before him for the grievous oppressions wherewith he had oppressed the Ethiopians, there dwelt in the Land of Shoes a man named William, a printer.

2. Now William dwelt aforetime in a far country toward the setting of the sun, even by the great river called the Connecticut.

3. And he heard good tidings of the Land of Shoes which lieth eastward by the Sea-Shore, and he journeyed thither, and the land pleased him mightily, and he took up his abode there.

4. Now there dwelt in the Land of Shoes a comely damsel named, Sarah, the daughter of William the money changer, of the tribe of Isaac.

5. And William the printer looked upon the damsel that she was fair, and his heart yearned toward her, and he said within himself, it is not good for me to be alone, but it is meet that I take unto me a wife before I become old and stricken in years.

6. And he went unto the house of William the money changer and Mary his wife, and did eat and drink with them and their children; and William the money changer dealt kindly with the young man, and he wot not that he was smitten with his daughter............

The booklet contains several more pages of similar verse going through each of the children of William Bassett, a banker and son of Isaac Bassett. This William Bassett is referred to as William the money changer in the booklet.

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Section 5 - Featured Bassett: The Search for Elias Bassett's Roots

Irvin Bassett

Elias Bassett of Connecticut has left a large posterity across the American Midwest and West over the last 200 years, but his ancestry has presented a proverbial brick wall. For years the search has been on for Elias Bassett’s birth and parentage. The project has involved several competent professional researchers as well as experienced amateur genealogists.

Elias’ eldest son Loren Elias Bassett was born in Granby, Hartford, Connecticut on 5 March 1809. In 1872, Loren Elias stated that his father was born on 16 March 1775 in Connecticut. Records concerning Elias’ early adult life are centered around Granby, Hartford, Connecticut, so the research was for a long time concentrated there. There was at least one Bassett family living in the Granby, Connecticut area in the late eighteenth century: Joshua Bassett, (b. 1723), a descendant of #1A William Bassett of Plymouth, Massachusetts. We have spent a lot of time and energy trying to find evidence that might tie our Elias to Joshua Bassett’s family. The evidence for that connection is enticing but only circumstantial. DNA tests have been made to see if the descendants of William matched descendants of Elias. There was not a match. Further DNA matches suggest that Elias Bassett’s line comes through #3B Thomas Bassett (b. abt 1598 in England). Thomas came to America in March 1634/35 on the ship Christian. He lived in Windsor, Connecticut in 1640, moved to Stratford by 1651, and then to Fairfield by 1653. He married (probably his second wife) Johanna Beardsley, a widow, by 1656 and died in Fairfield by 1705. Their son, 3B3 Thomas (b. say 1660), settled in Milford, New Haven, Connecticut and raised his family there. Among this Thomas’ descendants is an Elias Bassett, born 17 March 1780 in Milford. The birth date is five years off, but there is a possibility.

The line from #3B Thomas Bassett to Elias is as follows:

3B. Thomas Bassett (b. 1598) and wife Johanna (_____) Beardsley

3B3. Thomas Bassett (b. 1660) and wife Sarah Baldwin

3B32. Josiah Bassett (b. 1692) and wife Alice Canfield

3B325. Edward Bassett (b. 1727) and wife Sarah Sanford

3B3254. Elias Bassett (b. 1780)

The only records found so far for this Elias are his birth and christening entries. He was born 17 Mar 1780 and christened 26 March 1780 in Milford. (See references below.)

Could this be our Elias? Milford is about 60 miles south of the Granby area and the five-year difference in birth dates raises questions. In the 1790 census listing of Edward Bassett’s household (The 1790 census of Milford, New Haven, CT, p.102), the Edward Bassett household included: One male over 16 [Edward], one male under 16 [either son Edward [14], Elias [10], or Josiah [8], (But which one?), and five females [wife Sarah & daughters Sarah, Mehitable, Elizabeth, & Mary]. Were two of the sons living with relatives, deceased by then, or working outside the home? The available records of Milford have been carefully searched without any further mention of Elias.

Another interesting note that may pertain to our Elias is a classified ad that appeared in the CONNECTICUT COURANT, Vol. xxxiv (Monday, June 17, 1799), p.3 col. 5: "Run-away from the subscriber an indentured apprentice by the name of Elias Basset, 5 feet 3 [or 8] inches high. All persons are forbid harboring or trusting him on penalty of the law. Whosoever will return said boy shall have eight milles [0.8 cents] reward, but no charges paid, by Ezekiel Cowles, Jun. Farmington, June 14.

Farmington is between Milford and Granby, about 45 miles north of Milford and 15 miles south of Granby. Whether this pertains to our Elias, we can’t know for sure. If it does, it opens up room for some interesting conjecture. The term "boy" would add weight to the 1780 birth year over 1775. Being born in 1780 would make him 19 in June 1799; a more appropriate age for an apprentice than 24. The picture that comes to mind is that Elias was apprenticed to Ezekiel Cowles in Farmington and left him at age 19 in 1799, before the apprenticeship was finished, and found his way to what is now Granby where he began a new life.

The 1800 census of Granby, Hartford, Connecticut has an entry for the Elias Basket household. This entry shows one male between 16 and 26 [likely Elias], and one female between 16 and 26 [likely his first wife]. Information from later Granby land records indicates that Elias married a Holcomb, the daughter of Consider Holcomb II and Hannah (Loomis). Apparently Elias and his wife had a daughter named Amouret or Mary Amouret. She married Omer Norton.

Elias’ first marriage ended soon. In the North Granby, Hartford, Connecticut Church Records, p.33 there is a death entry for the wife of Elias Bassett, who died 17 May 1802. This entry evidently pertains to Elias Bassett's first wife.

Sometime after the death of his first wife Elias married Lucy Gillette. Their first three children were born in Granby, Connecticut: Roena (1803), a child that died in 1805, and Loren Elias (1809). The birthplaces for sons Alfred (1810) and Richard (1813) are listed only as Connecticut. The last child, Harlow G. (1817) was born in Scott, Cortland, New York. From there their trail is clear for the family. They lived in Cortland County, New York until after 1827. By 1830 they were in Bennington, Genesee (now Wyoming) County, New York. Elias lived in Bennington until his death in 1857.

The evidence left by early records that points toward linking Elias of Granby to Elias of Milford is unfortunately quite sparse and not conclusive, but at least it is not contradictory. The runaway apprentice note provides a neat but circumstantial bridge between the two. The most compelling evidence comes not from old records, but from modern scientific and technological sources. The weight of DNA test results has tipped the scales in favor of accepting the connection of Elias of Granby and Elias, son of Edward Bassett as the same person. The lack of a DNA connection between Elias of Granby and the descendants of #1A William Bassett dissolves that connection. Then the DNA matching of four people so far to the #3B Thomas Bassett line adds considerable weight to that possibility. Two of these matches are quite clearly traceable as descendants of Thomas. The other two are clearly descendants of Elias. Based on these conclusions the Elias Bassett of Granby line has been connected to Edward Bassett and thus to #3B Thomas Bassett.

Finally, a years-long quest has been concluded and a troubling question mark has been erased. Many people have worked, studied, and helped in this search over the years. I would like to personally thank my wife, Nel Lo H. Bassett; the late Fred Theon and Barbara Bassett of Lovell, Wyoming; Robert Bassett of Walpole, Massachusetts; Carol Laun, Curator of the Salmon Brook Historical Society, Granby, Connecticut; and especially Jeffrey Bassett for their dedicated and careful work on this quest.

Irvin Bassett.


Sheldon Brainerd Thorpe & Frank G. Bassett, comp., GENEALOGICAL NOTES ON BASSETT & ALLIED FAMILIES, Vol. 21 (FHL film #2996): "Elias born 17 Mar 1780."See also Index to Milford Vital Records, Vol. 3, p.170 (FHL film #1428120 item 1): Elias Bassett b. 17 Mar 1780. (Ref. Milford Vit.Rec.#1)

Also see Susan Woodruff Abbott, comp., FAMILIES OF EARLY MILFORD, CONNECTICUT, (Baltimore, MD: Gen. Pub. Co., Inc., 1979), p.64. (FHL US/CAN 974.67/M2 D2a): Elias Bassett b 17 Mar 1780, son of Edward Bassett and Sarah Sanford.

CHRISTENING: Milford First Congregational Church Records, Vol.1, p.104 (FHL film #1012263): Chr. 26 Mar 1780 Elias son of Edward Basset and Sarah his wife." (Ref. New Haven Co. Milford Church #2, p.2)

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Section 6 - New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter

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

11B.   Elias Bassett has been combined into the #3B Thomas Bassett of Connecticut family.

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

11B.   John Bassett of St. Arvans, Monmouthshire, Wales (b. 1797)
323B. Adelbert Bassett of Ridgefield, Connecticut, USA (b. 1861)
403B. James Bassett of Birmingham, Warwickshire, England (b. 1796)
404B. John Bassett of Clifton, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England (m. 1804)
405B. George Bassett of Birmingham, Warwickshire, England (b. 1899)
406B. John Bassett of Cardington, Bedfordshire, England (b. 1810)
407B. David Bassett of Magor, Monmouthshire, Wales (m. 1770's)
408B. John Bassett of Fordham, Cambridgeshire, England (b. 1819)
409B. Samuel Bassett of Ruscombe, Gloucesteshire, England (b. 1817)

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Section 7 - DNA project update.

No new DNA kits were sent out or returned this month.

No new DNA results to report 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