Person:William Bassett (2)

William Bassett
b.by abt 1600 England
m. bef 1621
  1. William Bassettest 1624 - 1670
  2. Elizabeth Bassettest 1626 -
  3. Sarah Bassettest 1628 - 1711
  4. Nathaniel Bassettest 1630 - 1709/10
  5. Joseph Bassettest 1632 - 1712
  6. Ruth BassettAbt 1632 - 1676
  • HWilliam Bassett1600 - bef 1667
  • WMary Tilden1610 - aft 1690
m. Bef. 20 Dec 1664
Facts and Events
Name William Bassett
Gender Male
Alt Birth? ABT 1590 Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England
Birth[1] by abt 1600 England
Christening? 24 OCT 1600 Stepney, London, England
Marriage bef 1621 to Elizabeth Unknown
Marriage Bef. 20 Dec 1664 to Mary Tilden
Death[1] bef 12 May 1667 Bridgewater, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United StatesDate of inventory
Will[1] 3 April 1667 Bridgewater, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Ancestral File Number 8FNH-SF

For a fairly comprehensive treatment, see William Bassett 1595??-1667


Immigrated in 1621 on the Fortune. He lived first at Plymouth before removing to Duxbury by 1637 and Bridgewater by 1656. The inventory of his estate indicates he was a blacksmith.

He appears on lists of Freeman in 1633 and 1637 at Plymouth, in 1639 at Duxbury, and in a list at Bridgewater probably from 1658. [3]

In the 1623 Plymouth land division "William Bassite" received two acres as a passenger on the Fortune in 1621. [4] The 1627 Plymouth division of cattle included William Basset, Elizabeth Basset, William Basset Jr. and Elizabeth Basset Jr. [5]

On 3 June 1652 William Bassett of Duxbury gave to "his son-in-law Leiftenant Perigrine White" forty acres of upland with the meadow adjoining. [6] On 16 June 1656 "William Bassett Senior of Duxburrow now living at Bridgewater" made a deed of gift of his Marshfield lands to his "two sons there living viz: Perigrine White and Nathaniell Bassett." [7]

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, and "being demanded about his books which he formerly took care about, answered he could not now do it." His inventory was taken 12 May 1667 and totalled £123 2s. 6d. (which included no land, but did include his blacksmith's tools and more than twenty books). On 5 June 1667 letters of administration were granted to William Bassett Jr. on the estate of William Bassett Sr. deceased. Two years later, "William Bassett of Sandwich ... the eldest son and heir of William Bassett sometimes inhabitant of ... Bridgewater ... now deceased" confirmed on 2 June 1669 to "Joseph Bassett of Bridgewater my youngest brother" land in Bridgewater granted him by his father in his lifetime but not legally confirmed.[8]

Wives and Parents

William was married before the 1623 land division to a woman named Elizabeth (as listed in the 1627 cattle division) who most likely came on the Fortune as well, as his wife or as a single woman.

William married second before 12 December 1664 Mary (Tilden) Lapham, daughter of Nathaniel Tilden and widow of Thomas Lapham.

"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. 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.)"S1

Candidate parents given by various theories:

Note that Great Migration Begins says that nothing is known about his origins. Further, quoting the article cited above: "He may conceivably have been a son of the Pilgrim William Bassett of Leyden, Holland, but Robert Charles Anderson in The Great Migration Begins (page 127[-130]) says there’s no evidence." The parents listed here are speculative.

Text References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 William Bassett, in Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995).

    William Bassett, b. by about 1600, d. Bridgewater bet. 3 Apr 1667 (will) and 12 May 1667 (date of inventory) [Notes that 4 Apr 1667 is an error results from a misreading of probate documents], m. (1) by 1623 Elizabeth ---, m. (2) aft. 1651 Mary (Tilden) Lapham. Migrated 1621 on the Fortune.

  2.   Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England: Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, on the Basis of Farmer's Register. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co, 1860-1862), 1:136.

    WILLIAM, Plymouth, came in the Fortune 1621, with w. Elizabeth m. at Leyden, as his sec. w. 13 Aug. 1611, being the earliest m. of any of our pilgrims in that foreign ld. had Sarah, William, and Elizabeth count. in the div. of cattle 1627, but neither of the three is reckon. in the div. of ld. 1623, so that we may believe they were b. in the interval, liv. at Duxbury in 1637, and was rep. 1640, and four yrs. more; in 1652, with Gov. Bradford and others join. in purch. of Dartmouth, rem. to Bridgewater, and d. 1667. Other ch. beside a sec. William, were Nathaniel, Ruth, Jane, and Joseph. His d. Sarah m. 1648, Peregrine White; and Elizabeth m. 8 Nov. of the same yr. Thomas Burge.

  3. Plymouth Colony Records 1:3, 1:52, 8:174; 8:202
  4. PCR 12:5
  5. PCR 12:11
  6. Mayflower Descendant 1:96, citing Plymouth Colony Land Records 2:1:5
  7. MD 10:25-27, citing PCLR 2:1:177-78
  8. Mayflower Descendant 16:162; PCR 4:155; PCLR 3:140


The Fortune (1621)
The Fortune, the second ship to arrive at Plymouth, was sent by the Merchant Adventurers, the same group that financed the Mayflower. It arrived unexpectedly and without significant supplies, thus further stressing the colony. Upon return to England, the Fortune was carrying £500 of cargo to pay off the Pilgrims' debt, but it was captured by the French en route.
Sailed: 9 Aug 1621 from London, England under Master Thomas Barton
Arrived: 9 Nov 1621 at Plymouth, Massachusetts, shortly after the first Thanksgiving
Next Vessel: The Anne and the Little James (1623)

Passengers:
35; 17 families left descendants (Full List)
John Adams - William Bassett - Jonathan Brewster - Clement Briggs - Edward Bumpas - Robert Cushman (and son) - Stephen Deane - Phillip Delano - Ford family - Robert Hicks - William Hilton - Thomas Morton - William Palmer (and son)- Thomas Prence - Moses Simmons - John Winslow - William Wright

Resources: Primary Sources: Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation - Mourt's Relation
Wikipedia: Arrival of the Fortune