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Sunday, December 18, 2016

William Bassett c. 1600-1667

If there is one thing I discovered about William Bassett it is that his ancestry is still very much in question. Then, to make matters even worse, information on William, the father, and William, the son, have been combined, twisted and confused.  I have found reports stating that the elder Bassett was married four times when, in fact, he was married twice and the son was also married twice. Other reports have William, the son, married to his mother. It has been a struggle trying to decipher who was who, when and where. I can say that I have not found any report or record that states exactly where the elder William Bassett was born. It is not even certain that he is the father of the William Bassett who went to Plymouth in 1621. All circumstantial evidence points to him being the father and it does seem probable, but there is no evidence. Interestingly, the DNA project of the Bassett Family Assoc. show that William, the immigrant, may not have been connected to the Kent, England, Bassetts.

In doing recent research on William Bassett, I have discovered that there are at least four different locations given for his birth. The one I’m using is Sandwich, Kent, England, as it was mentioned in records concerning him while he was in Leiden, Holland. This does not mean this is where he was born, just that he was there before he left for Holland. This William was born about 1575 and was the son of Edward Bassett and Elizabeth Lygon. He married Cecelia Light, Dec 30 1592. Cecelia died in 1606. In 1608, he became involved with the ‘Pilgrim Church’ at Scrooby, near York, England, where they hoped to return to a more pure form of worship, excluding the Pope, and embracing the thinking of the Protestant Reformation. And so, he was among the members of the church who left England to settle in Leiden, Holland. He was to marry again, in 1611, but his intended wife, Mary Butler, died before they could exchange vows. Yet marry again he did, to Margaret Oldham on Aug 13 1611. William was a master mason. He died and was buried Apr 23 1631 at St. Nicholas, Gloucestershire. I believe this shows that he returned to England. It is not generally believed that he went to Plymouth.

William Bassett (1600-1667) left Leiden on the Speedwell, but it proved to be unseaworthy and returned to England. He is believed to be the son of William (1575-1631) and Cecelia Light Bassett. But Robert Charles Anderson in The Great Migration Begins [vol. I, p.130] says that it is "possible" that the William Bassett of Leiden in 1611 was the father of the immigrant to Plymouth in 1621, but there is no evidence directly favoring this hypothesis. William Bassett, the immigrant, arrived in Plymouth, in 1621, on the Fortune.  William married Elizabeth (nee unknown – not Tilden), in 1623 (or before), who may have been a passenger on the Fortune as well. He was a blacksmith and a gunsmith. Blacksmith tools were found within the inventory of his personal goods after his death. It is believed he was a well educated man since many books, some on theology, were found in his inventory, as well. He moved to Duxbury, MA arund 1637. He married a second time to Mary Tilden Lapham in 1651. All of his six children were with his first wife. It is unclear whether she died after the last child was born (c. 1634) or later.  They had six children:

          William          (1624-1670) m. Mary Raynesford – 3 children
          Elizabeth       (1626-1661) m. Thomas Burgess
          *Nathaniel     (1628-1710) m. Dorca Joyce – 10 children
          Sarah                     (1630-1712) m. Peregrine White – 6 children
          Ruth             (1633-c 1693) m. John Sprague
          Joseph         (c 1635-1712) m. Martha Hobart – 7 children

*Nathaniel started out in Duxbury but then moved on to Marshfield (both in Plymouth Colony). Eventually he moved to Yarmouth, located on Cape Cod where he lived until his death, at age 82. He and Dorcas had 10 children:

          Samuel         (c 1672-1760) m. Elizabeth Jones
          Dorcas          (c 1675-1707)
          Nathan         (1677-1723) m. Mary Crowell
          *Hannah       (c 1679-1741) m. Joseph Covell
          Sarah           (c 1689-c 1744) m. John Nickerson
          William          (c 1698-?) m. Martha Godfrey
          Nathaniel      (?-1728) m. Joanna Borden
          Joseph         (?-1750) m. Susanna Howes
          Ruth             (? - ?)
          Mary             (? – 1741) m. Thomas Mulford

                           Red dot indicates location of Yarmouth (pronounced Yah-muth)

*Hannah Bassett m. Joseph Covell, son of Nathaniel Covell and Sarah Nickerson. Nathaniel Covell became an indentured servant of Edward Winslow, of Marshfield in New England, on Apr 18 1653 in Chelmsford, England. Nathaniel arrived in Boston Aug 26 1653 and was assigned to Peregrine White, a step-son of Edward Winslow. Peregrine White is the first English male child born on the Mayflower while it lay at anchor in Cape Cod Bay. Peregrine’s father died in Feb 1621 and his mother, Susannah, married Edward Winslow. Peregrine married Sarah Bassett, d/o William and Elizabeth (unknown) Bassett. Through these marriages the Whites, Bassetts, Winslows, Covells and Nickersons all became inter-related, as the ensuing generations intermarried with each other.

*Hannah Basset and Joseph Covell’s farm was part of William Nickerson’s land and was located on the east side of Muddy Cove. Hannah and Joseph had 8 children:

          Lydia            (1701-?) m. Thomas Nickerson, s/o Thomas and Mary                                       Bangs Nickerson 
          *Sarah          (1705-bef 1790) m. William Nickerson, s/o William and                                        Deliverance Lombard Nickerson
          Constant       (c 1706-1772) m. Ebenezer Nickerson, s/o Thomas and                                      Mary Bangs Nickerson
          James          (c 1709-?) m. Mehitable Nickerson, d/o Samuel and Hannah                                       Hall Nickerson
          Joseph         (1710-?)
          Dorcas         (1714-1803 m. James Nickerson, s/o William and                                               Deliverance Lombard Nickerson
          Hanna          (?-?)
          Nathaniel     (?-?) m. Mary Chase

*Sarah Covell and William Nickerson had 12 children, all born in Chatham, MA:
          Absalom       (1724-?)
          Stephen        (1726-1801)  went to Barrington, NS, Canada
          Deliverance   (1728-1780)
          James           (1730-bef 1781)
          Mercy            (1732-aft 1805)
          *Elizabeth      (1735-1826)  went to Barrington, NS, Canada
          William          (1736-?)
          Lumbart        (1739-?)
          Susanna       (1741-?)
          Joshua          (1743-?)
          Gideon          (1746-?)       went to Barrington, NS, Canada
          Nicholas        (?-?)

At this point, my blog converges with a former blog on the Nickersons. I will just quickly list the remaining generations.

          Sarah and Williams daughter Elizabeth:
          *Elizabeth Nickerson (1735-1826) m. Archelaus Smith (1734-1821).                                            Their son Hezekiah –
          *Hezekiah Smith (1754-1834) m. Abigail Doane (1758-1847)                                                       Their son Stephen
          *Stephen Smith (1786-1870) m. Elizabeth Spinney (1789-1874)
              Their daughter Rachel
          *Rachel Smith (1823-1881) m. Samuel Scarr (1814-?) Their daughter                                        Mary Ellen
          *Mary Ellen Scarr (1854-1913) m. Henry Gordon Carmichael (1850-1910)
              Their daughter Nora
          *Nora Carmichael (1875-1921) m. Jesse Pye (1865-1940)

Nora and Jesse are my grandparents.

Plymouth Colony: Its History and Its People

The Mayflower Descendant: Volume 9 1907

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