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

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Splinters From The Tree October 2012

(1) Welcome
(2) Rex Bassett of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Inventor
(3) Bassett Building of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
(4) Samuel Bassett of Pilesgrove, Salem County, New Jersey, notice of theft, 1771
(5) The W.E. Bassett Company of Connecticut
(6) William Bassett, Builder & Choir Member of Llanelly, Wales
(7) The Bassett Home of Fennville, Michigan
(8) New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
(9) DNA project update

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Section 1 - Welcome

Work continues on adding lines to the website, but we could use another volunteer or two to enter data into trees to be merged into the website. We have nearly 250 trees yet to complete. If you have some spare time during the winter months (in the Northern Hemisphere) and would like to help, please let me know. We have four individuals currently working on this project.

The following trees were added to the Bassett website database since the last newsletter:

 32B,  Arnold Bassett of Maryland (34 individuals)
 90B.  Aaron Bassett of Allegan County, Michigan (69 individuals)
 93B.  Bassetts of Worcester County, Maryland (314 individuals)
 94B.  Roscoe D. Bassett of Pennsylvania (21 individuals)

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Section 2 - Featured Bassett: Rex Bassett, Inventor

Rex Earl Bassett Jr. descends from #56B Jonathan Bassett as follows:

Jonathan Bassett and wife Amy Finch
John Bassett (b. 1779) and wife Sabra Witter
Elijah Witter Bassett (b. 1802) and wife Anna Snedaker
Immer B. Bassett (b. 1827) and wife Isabella W. Armstrong
Daniel Parmenas Bassett (b. 1848) and wife Lucinda E.
Rex Earl Bassett (b. 1884) and wife Dot Tuttle
Rex Earl Bassett Jr. (b. 1907)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 10 Jul 1987
        Rex Bassett, Inventor, Pilot, 46-year Lauderdale Resident

Services will be today for Rex Bassett, and electronics manufacturer and a resident of Fort Lauderdale for 46 years. Mr. Bassett, 79, and inventor, pilot and pioneer in radio communications, died on Tuesday.

Mr. Bassett moved his electronics business to Fort Lauderdale in 1941 and operated it in the city until his retirement in 1982.

In the early 1940s, he served as Deputy Wing Commander of the Banana River Civil Air Patrol, flying anti-submarine patrol off the Florida coast.

In the 1950s, he extended his business interests to developing real estate in the Bahamas and set up on auxiliary plant in Freeport to manufacture quartz radio crystals for governments and radio amateurs all over the world.

He was a member of the Society of Quiet Birdmen and the Amateur Radio Relay League, was a director of the Radio Club of America and a life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

He is survived by his wife, Marion; his daughter, Marianne Hendrickson of Pompano Beach; an uncle, Howard Tuttle of Kansas City; three grandchildren, and one great-child.

Funeral services will be at First Christian Church of Wilton Manors today at 2:20 p.m. Burial will be at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens Central, 499 Northwest 27th Ave., Fort Lauderdale.

Rex Bassett Aircraft Transmitter
Rex Bassett Aircraft Transmitter


        Rex Bassett, Jr. - In the person of Rex Bassett, Jr., Fort Lauderdale can claim as a resident and engineer and executive who is also one of the nation's leading inventors. Among Mr. Bassett's one hundred and fifty patents are laundry equipment and electric timing devices which have made the task of home-making lighter for millions of Americans. He is the president of two corporations, both of which he transferred to Fort Lauderdale: Rex Bassett, Inc., and the Bassett Research Corporation. In the civic sphere, he has taken a leading part in movements designed to assure the continued progress of his community.
        Mr. Bassett was born September 5, 1907, in St. Joseph, Missouri, and attended the public schools of that Midwestern city. He came East with his family, however, in time to complete his high school career at the New Rochelle High School in Westchester County, New York. Thereafter he attended for two years a preparatory school also located at New Rochelle.
        Mr. Bassett had formed the two corporations with which his name is identified, in the state of Michigan, and in 1939, he moved both to Fort Lauderdale. He is president of both of these corporations, while his father, Rex Bassett Sr., is secretary of Rex Bassett, Inc. This firm is a manufacturer of electronics equipment for airlines and military service. The Bassett Research Corporation is engaged in research and patent work.
        Active in national engineering and technical organizations, Mr. Bassett is a member of the Institute of Rado Engineers and the American Radio Relay League. As an aeronautics enthusiast, he is also a member of the Quiet Birdmen, a national organization of pilots; the Sportsman Pilot Association, and the Wings Club of New York City. He has for some time been a member of the Chamber of Commerce of Fort Lauderdale, and is secretary of a more recently formed organization designed to plan Broward County's industrial and agricultural future; the Broward Economic Development Commission.
        A professional engineer, Mr. Bassett has for some time been widely recognized for his inventions, among which are the Bendix Home Laundry and the Westinghouse Home Laundry, and electric timing device, and many others, his patents totaling one hundred and fifty. His primary enterprise, Rex Bassett, Inc., is listed in Fort Lauderdale's city directory as a manufacturer of marine and aviation communication equipment and quartz crystals. Its address id 307 Northwest First Avenue, Fort Lauderdale.
        Mr. Bassett is a member of the Methodist Church of Fort Lauderdale.
        In New Rochelle, New York, September 21, 1928, Rex Bassett, Jr., married Marion Cassidy, and they are the parents of one child, Marianne, born in June, 1929, now attending Florida State University.

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Section 3 - Featured Bassett: Bassett Building, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The Bassett Building of Oklahoma City was built and named for Charles Nebeker Bassett.
This is the same family that owned the Bassett National Bank of El Paso, Texas featured in last month's newsletter.

 His family line is as follows:

William Bassett of Plymouth and wife Elizabeth
William Bassett (b. 1624) and wife Mary Rainsford
William Bassett (b. 1656) and wife Rachel Williston
William Bassett (b. 1684) and wife Abigail Bourne
William Bassett (b. 1711) and wife Lydia Smith
Stephen Bassett (b. 1743) and wife Thankful Handy
Perez Bassett (b. 1774) and wife Lydia Snow
Abner S. Bassett (b. 1810) and wife Betsey
Oscar Thomas Bassett (b. 1847) and wife Myrtle Alma Nebeker
Charles Nebeker Bassett

Postcard purchased on ebay
Postcard purchased on ebay

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Section 4 - Featured Bassett: Samuel Bassett of Pilesgrove, Salem County, New Jersey

Samuel published this notice of theft in 1771.

Samuel descends from #4B William Bassett of Lynn, Massachusetts as follows:

Roger Bassett and wife Ann Holland
William Bassett (b. 1624) and wife Sarah Burt
Elisha Bassett (b. 1649) and wife Elizabeth Collins
Elisha Bassett (b. 1692) and wife Abigail (Davis)
Samuel Bassett (b. 1728)

Pennsylvania Gazette, January 2, 1772
Pennsylvania Gazette, January 2, 1772

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Section 5 - Featured Bassett: The W.E. Bassett Company of Connecticut
William Edwin Bassett descends from #1B John Bassett of Connecticut as follows:

John Bassett and wife Margery
Robert Bassett and wife Mary
Robert Bassett (b. 1640) and wife Elizabeth Riggs
Samuel Bassett (b. 1692) and wife Deborah Bennett
Samuel Bassett (b. 1719) and wife Sarah Botsford
David Bassett (b. 1749) and wife MableTomlinson
Asa Bassett (b. 1784) and wife Lucy Bull
Henry Wade Bassett (b. 1838) and wife Julia Caroline French
Henry Wade Bassett Jr. (b. 1885) and wife Charlotte Mary Pittis
William Edwin Bassett (b. 1914) and wife Doris Hilda Morley

W.E. Bassett Co. from Google Images
W.E. Bassett Co. from Google Images

Dictated by Henry Wade Bassett III (Harry)
February 19, 1986
The W.E. Bassett Co. Manicure Implements

        The W.E. Bassett Company is an excellent example of what can be accomplished in our country by imagination, dreams and ambition. My brother, William, age 25, was ambitious and he had a dream of going into business for himself where he could be his own boss and take the chance of succeeding or failing. He attempted this under the most wonderful system that has ever existed in this world; the Free Enterprise system that we have in the United States.
        Having started in a small wooden structure on Francis Street in Derby, Connecticut as a contract machine shop in 1939, he later progressed to rubber heel washers for the largest rubber heel manufacturer in the world, known as "Catspaw" Rubber Heels. During World War II the company manufactured various small munition parts as a sub-contractor. Shortly after the war, he took a step that developed into the present successful Manicure manufacturing business. He developed a fingernail clipper, the likes of which had never been known. The design and manufacturing methods were new, but most importantly, this clipper was of an exceptional quality, and as such the "TRIM" Nail Clipper captured a worldwide market.
        In 1952 the company moved into a new plant on Roosevelt Drive in Derby, Connecticut. During the next 20 years, there were five plant expansions totaling 40M sq. ft. In 1978 a new plant was built in Shelton, Connecticut, totaling 40M sq. ft.
        For many years we had one Manicure item, mainly a TRIM Fingernail Clipper. This one item has been added to many times so that today there are more than 16 items and all are packaged in different ways and sold throughout the United States and many of the free countries of the world.
        My brother, William, had the ability to gather people around him that were capable and who loved to work. It was possible to build a quality TRIM Nail Clipper because the most modern methods were used and the most dedicated people worked at the Bassett Company. That Fingernail Clipper sold for 25 cents from the year 1947 to the year 1970. Although our methods improved constantly, inflation out-distanced our modern machinery so that today that Trim Fingernail Clipper sells for 80 cents.
        As mentioned before, the Trim Nail Clipper was the best nail clipper that was manufactured any place in the world, at a price that people could afford. Today we do have much competition, both domestic and foreign, however, it is save to say that the TRIM Nail Clipper is the leader in its field. We have not sacrificed our quality. We know this because we receive many unsolicited letters praising our constant attention to the quality of our products.
        The second generation is now operating the company and many of our people in the plant are second generation. Henry W. Bassett, Chairman of the Board, started with the company in 1943. William C. Bassett, son of William E. Bassett, founder, is now President, having started work in 1968. David J. Bassett, the founder's youngest son, is the Manager of the Shelton, Connecticut plant. He started working for the company in 1973. John J. Kronen, our Controller and Vice President of Finance, started in 1965. V. Craig Finney, Sales Manager of Advertising Specialty and Special Markets, joined the company in 1978. Ronald J. Cappellieri, Sales Manager of Domestic, Export and Heirloom, started work in 1981.

W.E. Bassett Trim Nail File Store Display
W.E. Bassett Trim Nail File Store Display

New Haven Register, Connecticut, May 6, 1994
Harry Bassett
Bassett remembered as a businessman, friend

Representatives of a wide variety of Valley area organizations recalled businessman Harry Bassett Thursday as a community leader with a personal touch, whether it be in advocating Junior Achievement or in keeping his product’s price reasonable.

Bassett died Tuesday at age 84.

He was chairman of the board at the W.E. Bassett Co. and founder, charter member of the Board of Directors of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, from whom he once received the group’s Gold Seal Award.

Ed Strang, a veteran Scout leader in the Valley and a childhood friend of Bassett’s, recalled him as a star basketball player at Derby High School as well as a supporter of Scouting in the Valley. Strang said just last year Bassett pitched in with funding to help refurbish a shower house at the Strang Scout Reservation in Goshen, which served Scouts from the Valley area.

“Harry was a nice guy to know, always willing to help,” said Strang. “He had a very pleasing personality – the type that nobody would get mad at.”

Strang noted that Bassett also was an avid supporter of Junior Achievement in the area, helping to raise funds for the program for many years. That organization once named him Man of the Year.

Romolo Tedeshi, the first president of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, said Bassett stood out from other businessmen in the personal approach he took with employees. “He was president of the W.E. Bassett Co., but he was always out there in the workplace talking with the people making these implements,” Tedeshi said. “He knew almost everybody in the plant by name.”

The W.E. Bassett Co, with plants in Shelton and Derby, is the largest U.S. producer of metal nail clippers.

The company was founded in 1937 in Derby. In 1947, the W.E. Bassett Co. began producing the TRIM line of manicure implements and was the first company in the world to bubble-pack nail clippers so they could be sold in supermarkets and drug stores, opening the gates for added exposure and sales. In 1937, the Derby plant was bought by a New Hampshire company, but Bassett stayed on as president.

Bassett also was a trustee for Griffin Hospital and at one time was chairman of the hospital’s building and grounds committee, said Bill Powanda, vice president of support services at Griffin Hospital.

“He was the quintessential industrialist, community leader and corporate citizen, concerned and committed to making life better for his employees and the community,” Powanda said.

Valley United Way Executive Director Jack Walsh said Bassett also gave much of his time to the United Way, serving as a corporator and “very active campaigner” for the agency’s annual campaign.

Bassett was a 1939 graduate of Derby High School and a graduate of the Pratt Institute School of Architecture in 1933.

A memorial service is planned Sunday at the South Britain Congregational Church.

The W.E. Bassett Co. was honored on a BSA Council Patch in Connecticut
The W.E. Bassett Co. was honored on a BSA Council Patch in Connecticut

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Section 6 - Featured Bassett: William Bassett, Builder of Llanelly, Wales

It is interesting to note that information about Bassett families from Wales were published in a newspaper in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As far as I can tell, no family members from this  line came to the Pittsburgh area.

William Bassett descends from the following Bassetts from Llanelly, Carmarthen, Wales.

David Bassett of Llanelly, married Anne Thomas, daughter of Jane Thomas.
William Bassett (b. 1851) and wife Margaret.

 We are still trying to identify the parents of David Bassett.

Welsh-American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Monday April 1, 1918
Welsh-American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Monday April 1, 1918

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Section 7 - Featured Bassett: The Bassett Home of Fennville, Michigan

Marcia Bassett descends from William Bassett of Plymouth as follows:

William Bassett and wife Elizabeth
William Bassett (b. 1624)  and wife Mary Rainsford
William Bassett (b. 1656) and wife Rachel Williston
Nathan Bassett (b. 1685) and wife Mary Stetson
Nathan Bassett (b. 1715) and wife Thankful Fuller
Nathan Bassett (b. 1750) and wife Mary Bourne
Nathan Bassett (b. 1793) and wife Maria Houck
Elisha Bourne Bassett (b. 1822) and wife Anna E. Lawrence
Charles E. Bassett (b. 1864) and wife Carrie Kingsley
Marcia Bassett

Pittsfield Sun, December 14, 1865
Death of Judge Bassett

        We learn with regret from the Journal of Allegan, Michigan, of the death of Hon. Elisha B. Bassett, a native of Lee, where several of his brothers still reside. Mr. Bassett died at his residence in Allegan, on the 25th ult., soon after his return from a visit among his relatives and friends in Lee. He entered the army some three years since, was taken prisoner and lodged in Libby Prison, contracted disease, was exchanged, and his health failing him he was discharged. The Journal in speaking of him says: -
        “Judge Bassett was one of our most benevolent, enterprising and public spirited citizens. He had served for several terms as a member and chairman of our County Board of Supervisors, and held several county offices, among others Judge of Probate. He was a fine classical scholar, and graduated at Williams College. He formerly edited the Allegan Record, in an able manner. Judge B. was a member of the legal profession, and was one of its brightest ornaments in Allegan County, and we may say in Western Michigan. He was an old citizen of Allegan Co., having resided here since 1842. He leaves a wife and five children to lament his untimely decease. One of the daughters is the wife of Hon. D.J. Arnold, Judge or Probate. Judge B. lost two brothers in the Union Army, one of whom was the lamented Col. C.J. Bassett, of the 1st Louisiana U.S. Colored Troops, who fell gloriously upholding the flag of his country in the Red River Expedition. Mr. Bassett was buried with the usual Masonic honors, on the 27th ult.”

Bassett Home, Fennville, Michigan
Bassett Home, Fennville, Michigan (purchased on ebay)
This postcard was sent by Marcia Bassett of Fennville.

The History of Western Allegan County, Kit Lane, Project Director

        The first issue of the Fennville Herald was published on July 23, 1892, with Charles E. Bassett as editor. On the front page he promised, "An effort will be made each week to record all of the news of this section and to make the Herald a bright, clean paper, such as will be welcome in the home of every family..."
        There was at that time already a newspaper in the Village of Fennville, the Fennville Dispatch, founded in 1883 by John C. Holmes, formerly of Union City. Holmes apprently was not liked, and suffered from lack of local support. The Dispatch died the month after the Herald was born, then Holmes went of to found a newspaper in Hamilton which didn't do much better.
        Bassett was a teacher by profession and had begun the Allegan Record in 1890, but was unable to compete in the multi-newspaper town of Allegan and it was sold "under the hammer" in 1891. There was a second attraction to Bassett in Fennville in the form of Carrie E. Kingsley, the young daughter of Fennville fruitgrower H.J. Kingsley. She and Bassett were married Sept. 1, 1892, and she joined him in the Herald office.
        The Herald was originally housed in "a small brown building on the north side of Main Street". In 1894 it moved to rooms over the bank in the Raymond, Hutchinson and Dickinson Block, on the south side of Main Street east of Maple, and was wiped out int he fire of 1895. The paper missed publication for nearly a month following the fire, and it was then located in a building on Main Street near the foot of Elizabeth Street, a structure it would occupy until 1985 when it was moved north to a small building at 204 East Main Street, in the middle of the downtown area.
        The Bassett ran the Herald for 22 years, selling the paper in 1914 to the Royal Publishing Co., owned by H.M. Royal of Shelby who installed Ivan C. Lewis as editor. In 1917 he granted an option to Hardie L. Reynolds, Fennville storekeeper, and the paper ran large ads to permit him to sell out this stock before assuming the reins of the Herald.

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Section 8 - New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter

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

 245B.  The Bassetts of Bermuda
 477B.  Nicholas Bassett of St. Austell, Cornwall, England

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Section 9 - DNA project update.

Two new kits were ordered this month

#159B Bassett family from St. German, Cornwall, England.
#230B Joseph Bassett of Alaska family

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