The Bassett Family of Lynn, Massachusetts

Many Bassetts in the United States can trace their ancestry to one of five early Bassett immigrants who arrived in New England during the seventeenth century. Little is known of the origins of these five early New England families. The immigrants were:

1.      William Bassett of Plymouth, Massachusetts, who arrived on the Fortune in 1621
2.      William Bassett of Lynn, Massachusetts, who arrived on the Abigail in 1635
3.      John Bassett of New Haven, Connecticut, who died  there in 1652
4.      William Bassett of New Haven, Connecticut, who died there in 1684
5.      Thomas Bassett of Fairfield, Connecticut, who arrived on the Christian in 1635.

We are a documented direct descendants of William Bassett of Lynn, Massachusetts and are NOT related to the rest of the Bassett immigrants listed above, there are no records proving kinship or any DNA matches to the other Bassett immigrants who also arrived in New England.

While I was research my Bassett ancestry it took me about a year or two to figure out which Bassett men is my ancestor, so I had go back and stop at my Walling ancestor, Mary Walling, who is a supposed descendant of one these Bassett men, BUT which one?!!! I wondered. It was no easy task until one day. I was playing around on Ancestry.com and came across the birth record of my ancestor Mary Walling that listed her parents and all of her siblings, including Mary Walling herself and I was surprise, but I wanted to dig some more.. to confirm my findings and see if there is DNA matches with other Walling descendants that also lived in New Jersey.

The next step I took in the process was I wrote down who was Mary’s parents and her siblings were according to her brith registration then I googled Mary’s parents and siblings in Google Books section of Google, thinking someone MUST have done research on it. and one book came up that matched my information. I was so excited but soon I was bummed out because that book that I needed to continue my research was 1) out of print and very few libraries have a copy and 2) to BUY a copy was extremely expensive and it cost (the cheapest price I found was $495!.. I was not happy!) It bothered me for months on wether I should gamble on purchasing the book or not and I was trying to resist not purchasing it.. I finally gave up and brought the book.. I thought well if I regret the purchase I can always resell it.

When the book arrived I was so excited to the point where I so scared that I might have flush my money down the toilet. it was unused and new like condition and I thought here we go.. it might not tell much anyway, So I open the book, went to the index section to see if I can find Mary’s parents and sure enough I found them and what it said what page they are on..

Wallin, Carolyn D. Elisha Wallen, the Longhunter. C.D. Wallin, 1990.
Wallin, Carolyn D. Elisha Wallen, the Longhunter. C.D. Wallin, 1990. pg # 48-49

when I saw the pages for the first time I thought wow… this Mary does match with my ancestor Mary Walling, who married Jacob Garrison on February 4th, of 1720, and they lived in the same area where all of my other ancestors on different lines during same time period. I thought wow.. but I still had by doubt so I waited to see if there is DNA matches on my maternal uncle and mine Ancestry DNA list that matches with Thomas Walling’s siblings and/or other descendants of the Walling family that are mentioned in the book that was published in 1990, this was way before DNA testing for genealogy research became available. and sure enough after a long while the Walling DNA matches soon started popping up along with the Elwell of New Jersey. I was thrilled and to me it just a confirmation about the accuracy of the book that I just spent a fortune on! it was well worth the price and the list of DNA matches to this day keeps growing..

After the confirmation of the DNA matches and seeing Mary Walling’s birth registration on Ancestry.com and knowing how accurate the book really is.. I went on and started researching my Bassett line again and with the book and birth registration mentioned her parents as Thomas Walling II and Sarah Elwell, daughter of Thomas Elwell and Sarah Bassett. I thought wow this is actually Mary’s mom Sarah Bassett, who married name became Elwell

Now I got the name and dates of Mary’s parents and grandparents. I went on Ancestry.com and googled their names and more records and books started popping up! but I wanted records not books base on other people research, so I went back on ancestry.com and see if Thomas Walling II and Thomas Elwell both left a will since they were from two different prominent old New England families and sure enough these two men did not fail to leave anybody out and mentioned everybody in the family and the two wills confirmed the family relations between them. Thomas Elwell mention in his will that his son in law is Thomas Walling, husband of Sarah Elwell.

I was shocked and started laughing again! I said to myself this can’t be right?! really?! I’m related to them too?.. and my mind started saying stop this is just crazy my great-grandfather Charles Berdeaux Griner can not be related to another well know families of New England this is nuts! how did my ancestors pull these off? (I can even keep a boyfriend, let alone get married!…) first the Burnett Family of Southampton, Long Island and now the Elwell Family of Gloucester, Massachusetts, The Bassett Family of Lynn, Massachusetts, and the list goes on.

This all has to be a mistake, but is it? NO not at all. as I was researching my Bassett line these family are well documented there are marriage records, wills, Inventory records that all confirm that I am indeed a descendant of The Bassett Family of Lynn, Massachusetts and also indeed a blood relative to the real life Elizabeth Proctor of the Salem Witch Trails, which is loosely based on the play called “The Crucible” written by Arthur Miller in 1953. Even though the play itself is a semi-fiction, but the characters in the play were based on real life people who happened to be my own blood relatives.