Bassett Family Association - , Modern Founder (originally founded in 1897)

Home >

Newsletter October 2004

Contents of this Newsletter:

(1) Welcome
(2) Edgar Rees Bassett and the USS Bassett
(3) Samuel Symons Bassett of Australia, founder of Romavilla Winery
(4) New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
(5) DNA project update


Section 1 - Welcome

Greetings to the 50 or so new people added to the Bassett distribution list since our last newsletter. There will be one more issue this year (in December). Next year, if time permits, I hope to expand to make it a montly newsletter.


Section 2 - Featured Bassett: Edgar Rees Bassett and the USS Bassett

Edgar Rees Bassett descends from #4B William Bassett of Lynn, Massachusetts as follows:

William Bassett and wife Sarah Burt
Elisha Bassett and wife Elizabeth Collins
Daniel Bassett and wife Mary Lawrence
Daniel Bassett and wife Sarah Linch
Nathan Bassett and wife Sarah Saunders
Josiah Bassett and wife Susan M. Levick
Josiah Bassett and wife Mary Coleman Pennock
Roland Wister Bassett and wife Margaret Rees
Edgar Rees Bassett

Edgar Rees Bassett

Born in Philadelphia 10 March 1914, Edgar Rees Bassett entered the Navy 13 February 1940 and was subsequently commissioned Ensign, Naval Aviator, USNR. Ensign Bassett was killed in action 4 June 1942 during the Battle of Midway.

The USS Bassett was launched 15 Janaury 1944 as DE-672 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., Orange, Tex.; sponsored by Mrs. Margaret Bassett, mother of Ensign Bassett; reclassifed APD-73, 27 Jun 1944; converted to a high-speed transport; and commissioned 23 Feburary 1945, Lieutenant Commander H.J. Theriault, USNR, in command.

Bassett reported to the Pacific Fleet on 1 may 1945. Amphibious training n the Hawaiian Islands was followed by convoy duty to Eniwetock, Guam, Ulithi, Hollanida, and Leyte. Upon reporting to Commander, Philippine Sea Frontier, Bassett transported mail and passengers to various Philippine ports and to Brunie Bay, Borneo.

On 2 August 1945, while on anti-submarine patrol off the coast of Leyte, she received orders to investigate reports of a large group of survivors 200 miles away. Bassett steamed to the scene and rescued 150 survivors of Indianapolis (CA-3 5) which had been sunk 30 July by a Japanese submarine.

With the cessation of hostilities Bassett took part in the Japanese occupation. After landing troops at Wakayama and Nagoya, Japan, she served as harbor entrace control vessell at Nagoya until detached 18 November 1945 and ordered to the United States. Arriving in the United States, she had a short stay at San Deigo and then proceeded to Philadelphia, via the Panama Canal. After undergoing yard availability at Philadelphia Navy Yard she reported to the 16th Fleet, Green Cove Springs, Fla. for inactivation. Bassett went out of commission in reserve 29 April 1946.

On 7 December 1950 Bassett was recommissioned and reported to the Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet. Since that time she has operated along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean. Between June and August 1952 she participated in a midshipmen cruise to the British Isle and France. During October 1955 Bassett was ordered to Tampico, Mexico, where raging floods caused by hurricane "Janet" had engulfed 32,000 square miles of Mexican territory. While at Tampico, Bassett working conjunction with Saipan (CVL-48), rendered invaluable services to the distressed people by carrying supplies and rescuing those marooned by the swollen Panuco River. Between March and October 1956 she served as a unit of an amphibious task force in the Mediterranean. During this cruise she took part, as primary control ship, in four amphibious operations.

A picture of the USS Bassett

To read more about the rescue of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, click on the link below.



Section 3 - Featured Bassett: Samuel Symons Bassett, founder of the Romavilla Vineyards

Samuel Symons Bassett belonged to the very large Bassett of St. Enoder, Cornwall, England family. He is descended from Emanuel Bassett (#44B) as follows:

Emanuel Bassett and wife Grace
Thomas Bassett (b. 1628) and wife Lowdy
John Bassett (b. 1658) and wife Phillipa Rickard
John Bassett (b. 1703) and wife Alice Benallack
John Bassett (b. 1725) and wife Mary Roberts
William Bassett (b. 1761) and wife Mary Symons
William Bassett (b. 1800) and wife Philippa Batten

44B136.129.4. Samuel Symons Bassett, son of William Bassett

Samuel Symons Bassett, son of William and Philippa (Batten) Bassett, was christened 13 Mar 1840 in Pencorse, St. Enoder, Cornwall. He died 25 Dec 1912 in Romaville, Queensland, Australia. He married Isabella Cameron on 27 Jul 1871 in Roma, Queensland, Australia.

He went to Australia with his sister Loveday on the "Robert Small" leaving Portsmouth 30 Jan 1856 arriving in Sydney on 23 May 1856. He worked for his uncle John Symons Christian in the Roma area. In June of 1886 he started the first winery in Queensland called Romavilla. It was sold after the death of his grandson William Augustus in 1973 but is still in operation.

1841 British Census of Rose Cottage, St. Enoder, Cornwall

1851 British Census of Summercourt, St. Enoder, Cornwall

44B13612941. Samuel Symons Bassett - born 1870 in Roma, Queensland, died 7 Jul 1883 in Roma, Queensland, Australia.

44B13612942. Henry Bassett - born 1873 in Roma, Queensland, died 16 Nov 1874 in Roma, Queensland.

44B13612943. Henry Augustus Bassett - born 1875 in Roma, Queensland, died 18 Jul 1976 in Roma, Queensland.

+ 44B13132944. Millicent Bassett - born 1 May 1877 in Roma, Queensland, died 6 Jun 1959 in Roma, Queensland, married Mr. Carlile on 25 Feb 1904 in Roma, Queensland. They had five children including John Bassett Carlile, born 22 Oct 1906 in Roma, Queensland.

+ 44B13612945. Ellen Isobel Bassett - born 1878 in Roma, Queensland, died 25 Dec 1925, married Mr. Care on 27 Apr 1905, and had 4 children.

44B13612946. Robert James Bassett - born Mar 1880 in Romavilla, Queensland, died 1 Feb 1924 in Romavilla, Queensland, aged 43.

+ 44B13612947. Katherine Christian Bassett - born 1882 in Roma, Queensland, married (2) 23 Feb 1905. She had a child named Nagel.

+ 44B13612948. Francis Rendell Bassett - born 1884 in Roma, Queensland, died 23 Sep 1947, married 31 Jan 1912.

+ 44B13612949. William Augustus Bassett - born 27 Apr 1887 in Romavilla, Queensland, died 4 Dec 1973 in Roma, Queensland, married 8 Jun 1911 in Roma, Queensland.

+ 44B1361294A. Samuel Symons Bassett - born 27 Apr 1887 in Roma, Queensland, died 1977 in Roma, Queensland, married 22 Dec 1910.

+ 44B1361294B. Lionel Mark Symons Bassett - born 25 Mar 1889 in Roma, Queensland, died Mar 1957, married 15 May 1918.

44B1361294C. Kenneth Cameron Bassett - born 14 Sep 1891 in Roma, Queensland, died 31 Dec 1966, aged 75 years. He is buried in Mt. Thompson, Brisbane. He married Ellen Lillian Laycock.


Samuel Bassett established The Romavilla Vineyards in 1863 and sold his first wine in 1866. By the turn of the century his marketing list included "Burgundy, Chablis, Hock, Claret, Riesling, Champagne and Sauternes, Port, Muscat, Sherry and Madeira". Bassett also sold grapes to colonial and overseas markets packing them in sawdust for safe transit any many thousands of cases of grapes annually from other Roma growers also found their way to eastern markets. Romavilla has not missed a vintage since 1866 producing 30,000 to 170,000 litres of wine through the 1930's to 60's depending on the year.

The present winery was built in 1878 and is a fine example of those large timber and corrugated iron buildings of yesteryear. The high roof, supported by elegant king post trusses, helps alleviate the heat during summer.

A.D.B. 1891-1939

Bassett, Samuel Symons (1840-1912), vigeron, storekeeper and pastoralist, was born on 26 March 1840 at St Enoder, Cornwall, England, son of William Bassett, landowner, and his wife Phillippa, nee Batten (or Letcher). Migrating to New South Wales in 1856, he gained colonial experience on the Hunter River with his uncle John Christian, went to the Maranoa District in Queensland in 1858, and became overseer of Euthulla station.
Grapes had already been grown on the adjacent Mount Abundance station and, perhaps becuase of his Hunter Valley experience, Bassett planted vines on the banks of Bungil Creek just north of the developing town of Roma. Using local cuttings and some from Toowoomba, he established a vineyard on freehold land purchased in June 1866. Despite his limited knowledge of either vine-growing or wine-making, he gradually expanded his Romavilla vineyard and orchard to 60 acres (24 ha) and was soon selling wine locally. Although he tried unsuccessfully to sell Romavilla in 1879, he persisted with deveopment and by 1889 had the largest vineyard of seven in the Roma area, yielding 200 gallons of wine to the acre (2250 litres to the hectare). By 1884 he had a cellar and a wine-making plant.

Bassett began business as a storekeeper and wine merchant in Roma in partnership with A.J. Skinner from 1874 and was on his own in 1880-92. He also held interests in the pastoral runs Mount Maria (1875-88), Brigham (1876-88), Tarawinnabah (1876-88), Winneba (1877-88), Red Cap (1878-88), Bassett (1882-88) and Protection (1885-88), all in the Warrego District and in partnership with Skinner and Robert Douglas. After considerable losses Bassett and Skinner withdrew.

Returning to wine, Bassett began marketing operations which eventually covered eastern Australia. He also sold grapes to colonial and overseas markets, packing them in sawdust for safe transit. His wines won prizes at the Brisbane Exhibition in 1902 and at interstate and overseas shows. In 1903 the Romavilla marketing list included port, muscat, amontillado, burgundy, madeira, chablis, hock, claret, sherry, champagne and sauterne. Irrigation was introduced before 1900.

Despite poor health in the latter half of his life, Bassett was an enterprising, energetic, tough businessman, respected as a benevolent taskmaster by his family. He died of pulmonary tuberculosis on Christmas Day 1912, survived by his wife Isabella, nee Cameron, whom he had married at Roma on 27 July 1871, and by six sons and three daughters of their fourteen children. His estate was valued for probate at 823£.

Romavilla had involved a heavy contribution from the family. Bassett's sons, Lionel, Samuel and Kenneth, travelled for the firm and Samuel, before leaving the business for the pastoral industry, was manager of the vineyard. His twin William Augustus (1887-1973) took increasing responsibility for the wine-making operations. Born at Roma on 27 April 1887 and educated there and at The Armidale School, New South Wales, William was sent to Sydney by his father to learn the wine-making art from Leo Buring (q.v.3, T.G.H Buring). Returing to Roma he joined the family business, working in the winery. When his father died William took over the total management of Romavilla. He continued the family's success in retail-marketing of wine and exhibiting at various shows.

Like his father, Bassett was interested in grazing, holding at various times Crochdantigh near Muckadilla, Karoola Park and Ventura Downs in the Surat district, and Mooga Hills near Roma. On 8 June 1911 at Roma he married Ruby Maiden who predeceased him in 1971. Actively managing Romavilla into his old age, he died after a short period of illness on 4 December 1973, aged 86. The business was then sold. He had been a respected member of the business community and a strong supporter of local interests. He was survived by one daughter and three sons and left a gross estate of $85113 to his family. By Paul D. Wilson

For a few pictures of the present day winery and a map showing where this winery is located, click on the link below.



Section 4 - New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter

The following family lines have been combined/eliminated since the last newsletter.

47B. Thomas Bassett of Ladock, Cornwll combined with #44B. Emanuel Bassett of St. Enoder, Cornwall
183B. Francis Bassett of St. Ewe, Cornwall combined with #44B. Emanuel Bassett of St. Enoder, Cornwall
215B. Bassett Corbin of Indiana - no connection to any Bassett line found.
278B. Major & Charles Bassett of Ohio have been combined into the #6B William Bassett of CT family.

The following family lines have been added since the last newsletter.

47B. Peter Bassett of Monroe County, New York (b. 1823 Canada)
183B. William Bassett-Smith (b. 1830 in England)
215B. Joseph Bassett of Hamilton County, Ohio (b. 1827 Ohio)
278B. Gifford Bassett of Waltham, Massachusetts (b. 1854 Ireland)
285B. Nicholas Bassett of Brigerule, Cornwall
286B. Jacob Bassett of St. Stephens by Launceston, Cornwall (b. 1710's)
287B. Reuben Bassett of Adams County, Illinois (b. 1810 NY)
288B. Samuel Bassett of Eldon, Victoria County, Ontario, Canda (b. 1817 Eng.)
289B. Anna Josephine (Bassett) Maguire Baird
290B. Stephen Bassett of St. Veep, Cornwall (m. 27 Dec 1823)
291B. Clara Bassett of Allegheny County, PA (b. 1876 in PA)


Section 5 - DNA project update.

For those new to the newsletter, the Bassett y-chromosome DNA project is being used to show relationships between the different Bassett family lines worldwide. Several new results have been posted at the website since the last newsletter.

I am still anticipating some interesting results from some new branches, so look for an update in the December newsletter in this section.

I am still waiting for the return of 9 kits from participants scattered around the country, three of which were paid for using group funds. If you still have an outstanding kit, please return it at your earliest convenience. If you are still interested in participating but your financial circumstances have changed since you received the kit, please let me know. We might be able to work something out using general funds.

Here are some of the new lines that we are waiting for kits or results from:

(1) #219B Thomas/Owen Bassett of Speldhurst, England
(2) #241B John Thomas Bassett of Bude, Cornwall
(3) #31B Elias Bassett of Wetzel County, West Virginia
(4) #274B Bassetts of Pulaski, Virginia

Scholarship fund total as of 10/15/04 = $236.00

This is just a reminder that the DNA website can be found at:


A current spreadsheet of results can be found at:


If you enjoy this newsletter on a monthly basis, please consider making a small donation ($5-$10) towards the project. Family Tree DNA has a new service whereby donations can be sent directly to them and they will keep track of them for me and then I can disburse the funds to whichever tests need them. Also, for any donations received by them before the end of October, they will be matching the money dollar for dollar for the first $200 donated. Below are details of the new General Fund plan from Family Tree DNA. Visiting the following link will take you to a page giving you more information about this new service.

Clicking on the above link takes you to a page with the following:

Contributing to the General Fund
If you would like to make a contribution to your Surname Project General Fund, there are three ways to do it:
a) Credit Card,
b) PayPal,
c) Mail

Here is the explanation from Family Tree DNA about the service.

The General Fund was created as a tool
to be administered by Family Tree DNA, so that it is not a burden to the
Group Administrator:
a) Family Tree DNA collects/disburses the money and keeps a log under the General Fund link in the GAP
b) The Group Administrator tells FTDNA to which kit we should apply funds.
c) We have created a self-explanatory page to be used by those who want to make a contribution to their family DNA project:

-- Matching Gift from Family Tree DNA: in conjunction with the launch of the General Fund, Family Tree DNA will match dollar per dollar the contributions to Surname Projects during the month of October, up to a total of $200.


Jeffrey Bassett
520 Salceda Drive
Mundelein, IL 60060 USA