NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people
in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
Le Bas is a well-known French surname. The Anglo-Saxon form is Bass, Basse, Bassi, Bassus, Bassite or Bassett. Other variations of the name are Bassano, Basselin, Bassville, Bassantien and Bassianus.
It is a popular tradition that the name being of French origin, came the word has, meaning, in this connection short of stature. Before surnames were known, Henry, for example, was a youth who may have lacked some inches of being six feet - that was an age of giants - therefore Henry was designated "la bas." In time the name belonged to him and to his descendants. Or the name may have originated with Basque. A native of the Basque provinces was spoken of as a Basque, which, through corruption, became Bass or Bassett. One of the Basque legneds has to do with Bass-Andre, a land mermaid who sits in a cave combing her golden locks with a golden comb.
Basset - the extra "t" was not added until the fifteenth century - is a name found on Battle Abby roll. William the Conqueror's grand falconer, who accompanied him from Normandy, was Thurstine de Basset; from him are descended all who now bear the name.
Cornwall and Devonshire have always been stongholds of the family, and the mines of Cornwall gave them princely incomes. Two distinguished members were Sir Francis Bassett, vice-admiral, time of Charles I, and another Sir Francis, time of George III, who was made Baron Bassett as well as Baron of Dunstanville; in the time of Henry I, Osmund Bassett was judge of all Britain; so was his great-grandson in the reign of Hernry III. Sir Ralph Bassett attended Edward I in the Welsh wars.
Alan Bassett's name appears in Magna Charta among those of the king's counselors; also his brother Thomas' name. Peter Bassett was biographer of Henry V. and his chamberlain and intimate friend. Fulk Bassett, Bishop of London, is remembered in the records of St. Paul's Cathedral on account of his gifts to that church. On the pavement of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, is an epitaph to a Colonel Bassett.
The Bassetts have always taken prominent parts in the nation's development. They helped to subdue both forests and Indians, and were to the fore in revolutionary times. Their war record goes back many centuries. There is hardly a state in the Union that cannot boast of a Bassett within its borders.
The coat-of-arms is that borne by the falconer, Thurstine de Basset, and are argent, a chevron between three bugle horns, sable. Crest, a stag's head cabossed; between the attires, a cross filcher, all argent. Motto: "Gwell angan na chywilydd" - "Death before dishonor." Another Bassett motto is "Pro Rege et Populo." The chevron in heraldry denotes stability. A stag's head cabossed, vigilance and celerity - that he upon whom the arms were first bestowed was not afraid to stand face to face with an enemy. The cross fitches is a corss sharpened at the base - the kind of cross born by Crusaders, who place it upright in the ground when making their daily devotions.
(I) William Bassett, immingrant ancestor, settled first in Plymouth and then in Duxbury, Mass. He came with his wife, Elizabeth, in the ship "Fortune," in Nov. 1621. This ship brought the first white people that the Pilgrims had seen since landing a year before. By occupation he was a blacksmith and gunsmith. He was doubtless well educated, for we know he had what was then considered a good library. In 1624 he was one of the committee in charge of fixing the boundaries after the land had been divided. He was a deputy to the general court from Duxbury in 1640-43-44-48. In 1651, with others, he became one of the first settlers and original proprietors of the town of Bridgewater and he lived in what is now West Bridgewater and died there in 1667. He was twice married before coming to this country.
His third wife was Elizabeth Tilden.
Children of third wife:
1. William, mentioned below.
2. Elizabeth, born 1626; married Thomas Burgess.
3. Nathaniel, 1628.
4. Sarah, 1630.
5. Ruth, 1632.
6. Joseph, 1637.
(II) William (2), son of William (1) Bassett, was born in 1624, died in 1670. He settled in Sandwich, Mass., and soon became prominent there, not only as a prosperous citizen and farmer, but in public life. He represented the town from time to time in the general court and held other places of trust.
He married Mary, daughter of Hugh Burt, of Lynn. The descendants of William are numerous. The Bassetts of Ashfield, Claremont and many of those on the Cape and at Martha's Vineard are descendants of William and his son, William. It is generally conceded that he married Mary Burt, of Lynn. William Bassett, who came at the age of nine and settled at Lynn, married Sarah Burt, a sister of Mary. These Williams were probably related.
1. Mary, born Nov. 21, 1654.
2. William, mentioned below.
(III) Colonel William (3), son of William (2) Bassett, was born in 1656. Governor Hinckley was his guardian after his father died. He married, Oct. 9, 1675, Rachel Willison, of Taunton.
1. Mary, born Oct. 20, 1676.
2. Nathan, mentioned below.
3. Rachel, Oct. 25, 1679.
(IV) Nathan, son of Colonel William (3) Bassett, was born in 1677, died at Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, Mass., Nov. 16, 1743. His wife, Mary (Huckins) Bassett, died at Chilmark Nov. 8, 1743, aged seventy years.
1. Ruth, born at Chilmark, Feb. 17, 1691, died young.
2. Samuel, Feb. 4, 1693, died Nov. 20, 1770.
3. Cornelius, April 21, 1695, drowned Jan. 12, 1714.
4. Mary, May 10, 1697, died March 8, 1785, unmarried.
5. Elizabeth, Sept. 2, 1699, died young.
6. Nathan, Feb. 14, 1701-02, drowned June 26, 1730.
7. William, Dec. 17, 1702.
8. Barachiah, March 2, 1704.
9. John, April 26 1706.
10. Hope, July 26, 1708.
11. Nathaniel, Aug. 2, 1715.
(V) William (4), son of Nathan Bassett, was born Dec. 17, 1702, died Dec. 24, 1782, at Chilmark. He married Ann Mayhew.
1. Nathaniel, born Nov. 16, 1727.
2. Jedidiah, July 17, 1729.
John, Barakiah, Nathan, Mary, Susannah, Abijah, Fortunatus, Jedidiah and Ebenezer.
(VI) Nathan (2), son of William (4) Bassett, was born about 1740. He married June 9, 1763, Mercy ____. He married (second) March 17, 1776, Martha Bassett. She died Nov. 21, 1790, aged thirty-five. He married (third), Sept. 22, 1791, at Chilmark, Lydia, daughter of Major Peter and Sarah (Bassett) Norton. She died Oct. 20, 1815, aged sixty-eight years.
Children of first wife:
1. Peres, born at Chilmark, May 12, 1764.
2. Lydia, Aug. 18, 1766.
3. Clement, April 17, 1768.
4. William, May 25, 1770.
5. Polly, June 28, 1773.
Children of second wife:
6. Nathan, mentioned below.
(VII) Nathan (3), son of Nathan (2) Bassett, was born at Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, July 28, 1785. He settled at Lowville, New YOrk, and conducted a hotel. He married (first) rhoda Merry, born at Kent, Conn. April 26, 1781, died Feb. 6, 1816; married (second) Feb. 18, 1827, Laura Loomis, born at Westmoreland, Oneida county, N.Y. Feb. 17, 1799, died at Deer River, 1893. Among his children was Nathan, mentioned below.
(VIII) Nathan (4), son of Nathan (3) Bassett, was born at Lowville, N.Y. May 8, 1813. He married, March 18, 1841, Clarissa Hall, born Feb. 27, 1808, at Leyden, N.Y., daughter of Isaac and Ruth (Wetmore) Hall (see Hall VI). He was educated in the common schools. He went to work for his father in the hotel business and afterward learned the trade of carpenter. He was in business for a time as a builder, but preferred farming, and devoted most of his active life in that pursuit.
1. Ellen Ruth, born Jan. 23, 1844; married Abijah Merrill, and lives in Boonville, N.Y.
2. John Jay, mentioned below.
(IX) John Jay, son of Nathan (4) Bassett, was born in Leyden, N.Y. Nov. 18, 1848, and was educated in the common schools and at the Watertown Commercial College, from which he graduated in the class of 1869. He worked on his father's farm and in the course of time took over the management. When his father died he succeeded to the homestead on which he has always lived. As a farmer he was progressive and successful, but was not satisfied. His health was not good, and after a time he gave up farming and engaged in more congenial occupations. He has been treasurer of the Leyden Building Association and is at the present (1910) time one of the directors. He belongs to the Boonville Fair Association.
In politics he is a Republican, taking an active part in party and public affairs. He was appointed postmaster at Talcottville in 1908 and his appointment has given general satisfaction.
He is a member of the Boonville Lodge, No. 165, Free and Accepted Masons; Salina Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star; Leyden Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, of which he is master at the present time.
He and his family attend the Methodist Episcopal church. He has an attractive home in the village of Talcottville. Kindly and courteous in manner, of genial disposition, he attracts many friends, and is held in high esteem by his townsmen.
He married, Dec. 28, 1870, Ella Beatrice Hall, born July 6, 1852, daughter of Major Isaac and Amelia (Thayer) Hall. their only child died in infancy.
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