Managing the Multiple William Bassetts of Colonial New England

+7 votes

UPDATED 28 May 2013

This post seeks to distinguish the multiple William Bassetts of early New England-- most of whom gave their children names similar to those of the other William Bassetts-- including (in all but one case) another generation of Williams. Outermost levels (1-3) are emigrating William Bassetts.

NEXT STEPS for others: Double-check that the children of each of these is accurately attached to the right set of BOTH parents. I found MANY errors and may not have caught them all. Dedupe the subsequent generations. Clean up the narratives of the children. 

1. William Bassett (Bassett-13) of Bridgewater, Mass; thought to possibly be same as the William Bassett who m1 Cecilia Light, then m2 1611 in Leiden, Holland, but Anderson argues against this; says it’s more likely that William of Bridgewater was son of Leiden William, but points out that there is no proof of it.

Married first Elizabeth ______ abt 1621; m2 abt 1664 Mary Tilden, widow of Thomas Lapham. Source: Anderson, Great Migration Begins, pp 128-

Born abt 1600, assuming Elizabeth was his first wife.

“In 1611 a William Bassett, formerly of Sandwich in England, widower of Cecily Light, was twice betrothed at Leiden in Holland. His first bride-to-be died, but he succeeded the second time [Margaret Oldham?]. Some have held that this was the man who came to Plymouth, but this seems unlikely given the ten-year gap before the arrival in Plymouth in 1621 and the lack of evidence for children of the Plymouth man born before that date, assuming that he had been married at least twice before. It is also 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. (See discussion in Stratton 242-43.)

He emigrated in 1621 on the Fortune, residing initially in Plymouth, then Duxbury by 1637, then Bridgewater by 1656. He was a blacksmith.

Pope claimed that [this] William Bassett resided at Sandwich in 1650, but this would be the son of the same name.

He married (1) by 1621 Elizabeth _____, probably also a passenger on the Fortune in 1621; she appears on no record after 1627 and may have died soon after the birth of the last child in 1634, or she may have lived until just before William married (2) after 1651 and before 12 Dec 1664 Mary (Tilden) Lapham, dau of Nathaniel Tilden, widow of Thomas Lapham. (Anderson says to see the GMB profile for Timothy Hatherly.); she was living in Bridgewater as late as 28 Mar 1690 (Bassett Gen 6, citing Bridgewater Town Records 1:320).

William Bassett died in Bridgewater between 3 April 1667 (date of will) and 12 May 1667 (date of inventory).

On 3 April 1667 William Bassett Senior made a nuncupative will, bequeathing the movables to his wife, and the house and land to her during her life, after which it was to go to his son William’s son, and bequeathing his tools to his son Joseph.


1)   William Bassett (Bassett-232) b Plymouth abt 1624; m by 1652 Mary Rainsford, dau of Edward; settled in Sandwich. Children included:

a.    William Bassett (Bassett-159) b Sandwich abt 1656; d 1721 Sandwich; m. Rachel Williston

2)   Elizabeth, b Plymouth abt 1626; m Sandwich 8 Nov 1648 Thomas Burgess; divorced him 10 Jun 1661

3)   Sarah, b Plymouth abt 1628; m by 6 Mar 1648/9 Peregrine White, son of William White

4)   Nathaniel, b abt 1630; m abt 1661 Dorcas Joyce, dau of John Joyce

5)   Joseph b abt 1632; m 1 about 1660 Mary [said to be his stepsister Mary Lapham, dau of Thomas; m2 in Hingham 16 Oct 1677 Martha Hobart

6)   Ruth, b abt 1634; m1 by 1655 John Sprague, son of Francis Sprague; m2 ___ Thomas (possibly John Thomas of Marshfield)


3. William Bassett (Bassett-464) of Lynn, Mass; arrived on the Abigail 1635. This is the only Bassett, per the Bassett Family Association, whose origins have been documented: he was christened 30 May 1624 in Dorking, Sussex, England, son of Roger Bassett and Ann Holland (who went on to marry Hugh Burt). He was 9 when he emigrated and was travelling with his (remarried) mother and step father. He married by 1647 Sarah ____who many call a Burt, but Anderson does not recognize this surname. Source: Great Migration A-B, Boston, MA: NEHGS, pp 190-195.

He fathered twelve children:

1)   Elizabeth, b abt 1647; m1 in Salem 1 April 1674 John Procter; m2 (int.) Lynn 22 September 1699 Daniel Richards

2)   Sarah, b abt 1649; m Gloucester 23 Nov 1675 Thomas Elwell

3)   William Bassett (Bassett-1097) b abt 1651; m Lynn 25 Oct 1675 Sarah Hood

4)   John, b Lynn Nov 1653; m by 1687 [Mary?] _____ (evidence for her name has not been found)

5)   Miriam, b Lynn Sept 1655; m by 1681 Ephraim Sandin, children bp in Marblehead

6)   Mary, b Lynn Mar 1657/8?; m abt 1676 Michael Derich (or Derrick or Rich)

7)   Hannah, b Lynn 25 Feb 1659/60; probably d. abt 1670

8)   Elisha, b abt 1662; m by 1689 Elizabeth _____

9)   Samuel, b Lynn 18 Mar 1663/4; named in 1673 will of Ann Burt; living 1701/2 unm.

10)         Rachel, b Lynn 13 Mar 1666; m Salem 23 Jan 1693/4 Ephraim Silsby.

11)         Rebecca, b abt 1668; living 10 Feb 1701/2 (named in father's will); no further record

12)         Hannah, b abt 1670; m by 1691 John Lille


4. William Bassett (Bassett-19) of New Haven, Connecticut, who died there 1684; NOT proven to be son of John Bassett, also of New Haven (and died there 1652). Married 7 Nov 1648 (in New Haven) Hannah Dickerman, widow of William Ives. Source: Bassett Family Association profile for this William Bassett. (Not sure why Anderson does not include him.) Look! No William:

1)   Hannah Bassett, b. 13 Sep 1650,   d. 7/17 Jun 1726

2)   John Bassett, b. 24 Dec 1652,   d. 8 Feb 1713/1714

3)   Samuel Bassett, b. 15 Feb 1654

4)   Abiah Bassett, c. 7 Feb 1658


WikiTree profile: William Bassett
asked in Policy and Style by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (662k points)
edited by Jillaine Smith

1 Answer

0 votes

Sorry for your sore eyes!.  I'm unclear as to what should be done when Anderson says William #1 is the "stronger candidate" for being the son of Leiden William, but then goes on to say that William #2 is thought to possibly be the son Leiden William but argues against it.  It sounds like there isn't enough evidence to make a definitive call.

Perhaps the best way to handle it is to leave both William #1 and William #2 as the sons of Leiden William, separate their bios, reject a match (and maybe even set both as HSAs), and insert notes in both profiles as to the dispute.  (Of course, that is probably what you were planning to do all along.)
answered by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (318k points)
Actually, closer examination of Anderson is altering my summary above re: #1 and #2. (Part of the problem is that Bassett-13's narrative is a mess.)

I'm working on it, but have a very full day, work-wise, and will edit the above opener with a revised review as soon as I can.
I have updated the opening post. The narrative of Bassett-13 still needs major cleanup to align with what's above. I *might* work on that, but have to take a break.

The rest I'm leaving up to the other profile managers, and I'll go on to the next PGMer.
I have also locked #1-3 (the immigrants).

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