Saturday, May 30, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ BASSETT of Lynn, Massachusetts


The first BASSETT in this family to come to America was William Bassett (1624 – 1703), my 8th great grandfather, who was baptized in Dorking, Surrey, England.  He was about ten or eleven years old when he immigrated to New England on board the ship Abigail with his mother and stepfather, Hugh Burt.     

About 1646 William married Sarah, maiden name unknown.  William and Sarah had twelve children born in Lynn, Massachusetts.  William served as an ensign in Captain Gardner’s company in Salem, and later he was raised to Captain and granted three acres in Lynn. 

WILL OF WILLIAM BASSETT, proved 22 May 1703

"In the name of God everlasting Amen: I William Bassett Senr. of Lyn in ye County of Esex in Newengland being of good & perfect memory & Rationally Disposed And having attained to ye years of a good old age & being very sensable of ye decay of nature & ye many Distempers & Infirmities that do attend my outward (mein?) not knowing how soone my great & last chang may come have therefor taken this opportunity to settle ye affaires of my family & so leave this as my last will and testament. Impr: as for my precious mortall soul I freely resign it to him that gave it & to my Redeemer Jesus Christ which by his precious blood hath ransome my soul from Death. as for my body which is fraile I comend it to ye dust willing a decent Interment thereof suitable to my Rank & quality. Although worms my skin destroy yet in my flesh I shal see God - Amen. As for the disposall of my outward Estate which God of his Goodness hath given me - my will is that after my funerall charges & lawfull debts bee paid I bequeathe to my deare & loving wife who hath bin carefull of mee & industrious in her place for ye procurement of what outward Estate I have I bequeath unto her the Improvement of my whole Estate during her naturall life and all the moveable estate in my house which is mine to be at her disposall - as shee shall see cause: Item: I give to my eldest son willm Bassett all ye housing land meddowes marshes and movalbes within y bounds of Lyn township or Elsewhere to bee at his absolut disposall: further it is to bee under stood that my son willm Bassett is to pay out of such Estate all such Legasies as I shall give to ye rest of my children as followeth: Item: I give to my son John Bassett five pounds in mony: Item: I give to my son Elisha Bassett fivetie shillings in mony: Item: I give to my son Samuel Bassett fivetie shillings in mony: Item: I give to my daughter Elizebeth Bassett allias Richards forty shillings in mony: Item: I give to my daughter Sarah Elwell fortie shillings in mony: Ittem: I give to my daughter Merriam Sandy fortie shillings: Ittem: I give to my daughter Mary Ruck fortie shillings in mony: Ittem: I give to my daughter Rachel Silsbe fortie shillings in mony: Ittem: I give to my daughter Rebeckah Bassett fortie shillings in Mony: Ittem: I give to my Hannah Lille fortie shillings in mony -- and if any of ye above named Children Except my son Willm should then to be divided Equaly amongst them all. It is to be understood that these legasies are to be paid with-in a one yeare after my disease and my wives and my will is that neither str? nor waste be made But to the end foresaid. Ittom my will is that my son William Bassett bee sole Executtor to this my last will and testament. Heare unto I have sett to my hand and seale this tenth day of february in the yeare of our 1701. Sighned William Bassett with a seale--Wittnessed by Before sighning it is to be understood that my son William Bassett is to have my whole Estate as is above mentioned to him & his heirs for ever."  

Witnesses: Samuel Johnson, Lois Rogers, Ezekiel Rogers.

In the third generation, William Bassett (1647 – 1732), my 7th great grand uncle, married Sarah Hood (1657 – 1729).   They were early Quakers.  Sarah was accused of witchcraft in 1692 and sent to prison in Boston with her 22 month old child (possibly Ruth).  After her imprisonment she had another daughter she named Deliverance.  I descend from his sister, Hannah (born about 1670), who married John Lillie of Reading.

William and Hannah’s sister, Elizabeth Bassett (1650 – after 1703), married my 8th great grandfather, John Proctor (1631 – 1692) who was hanged as a witch on 19 August 1692.  Elizabeth was John Proctor’s third wife, and I descend from his first wife, Martha.  Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor was also condemned to be hanged but was finally pardoned because she was pregnant.  Her child was born January 27, 1693.  This family was plagued with witchcraft accusations and imprisonments.  

After she was set free, Elizabeth and her children and step children were impoverished, her house had been looted while she was in prison with John, and she was considered legally dead because she had been condemned to hang and she couldn’t claim her husband’s property.

Some sources for information on the Bassett family:

The Great Migration:  Immigrants to New England 1634 - 1635, Volume I, pages 190 to 195.  

The Bassett Family Association   

The Essex Genealogist, Volume 18, pages 28 - 39. 

My BASSETT genealogy:

Generation 1:  Roger Bassett, married on 27 April 1623 at St. Martin’s church, Dorking, Surrey, England to Ann Holland. 

Generation 2:  William Bassett, baptized on 30 May 1624 in Dorking, died 31 March 1703 in Lynn, Massachusetts;  married about 1646 in Lynn to Sarah Unknown.  She was born between 1623 and 1627 in Dorking and died after 1700 in Lynn. Twelve children.

Generation 3:   Hannah Bassett, born about 1670 in Lynn; married to John Lillie.  He was born 5 December 1662 in Reading, and died in Woburn, Massachusetts.  Six children.

Generation 4:  Phebe Lilley m. Noah Eaton
Generation 5: Katherine Eaton m. John Emerson
Generation 6:  Romanus Emerson m. Jemima Burnham
Generation 7:  George Emerson m. Mary Esther Younger
Generation 8:  Mary Katharine Emerson m. George E. Batchelder
Generation 9: Carrie Maude Batchelder m. Joseph Elmer Allen
Generation 10: Stanley Elmer Allen m. Gertrude Matilda Hitchings (my grandparents)

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Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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