The Bassetts in Barnwell
by Sue Bassett Folawn, Copyright ©2003, all rights reserved.
Key for below;
< means before, > means after,
Family tradition means that from generation to generation, this is the family story passed down.
The Bassetts in Barnwell
Family tradition says that the original immigrating ancestor in this family was Francis Bassett and that he arrived from England, prior to the Revolution. Tradition also says that he landed in Virginia and later went to North Carolina, and that the two brothers he immigrated with chose to go to northern states. Until this point, we are relying on long held tradition.
The first known record is dated Nov. 1772, when we find Francis Bassett witnessing a deed in Mecklenburg Co. NC. (Mecklenburg county NC Deeds and Abstracts, Book 6, page 320-321) Next, there are Revolutionary War records on Francis Bassett, who served with the South Carolina State Militia from April 5, 1781-Mar. 16, 1782 (National Archives, SC State Militia records, Role M267). He was a property owner and tax payer in the Orangeburgh Dist. (later to become Winton and then Barnwell) , SC when he purchased 378 acres in Oct. 1786 (Plat Book 14, pg. 628, Barnwell Courthouse). He is listed many times in Brent Holcomb's book "Winton County, Minutes of County Court & Will Book 1, 1785-1791", as Deputy Clerk of Court, witness and grand juror and would seem to have been an active and respected member of his community. The last record of Francis Bassett is in May, 1790 when he served as a juror.
Francis is believed to have been the father of four sons, William, Eli, John and Thomas, all of whom were in and out of the Barnwell area for the next 30 years or more. The assumption that Francis was the father of the 4 Bassett brothers is based on family tradition, as well as the records existing on the brothers through the 1820's, whereas the last known record on Francis is dated 1790.
Children of Francis Bassett;
1-John, born <1769 (John is listed in Barnwell in the 1790 census.) He had one son, 16 or older.
His descendents are believed to have moved on to Georgia during the Land Lotteries. In the first Georgia Land Lottery, 1805, a John Bassett won land in Pulaski Co, GA (abuts Houston) In the 1821 Land Lottery, a John Bassett won Lot 265, dist 11, Houston Co.
2-Thomas, born about 1762 (married Luranna), he died >1820. He is listed as a Barnwell resident in 1789 in a medical journal of Dr. Moses Newton. Luranna (and presumably Thomas) had 3 known children (one a son) per the 1800 census, where she is listed as head of household. Thomas is last documented in McIntosh Co. GA (Sapelo Island?) in 1820, at which time he has a young wife, under 25 (he's listed as over 45) and 3 small children (all females). Of interest is that Mary Ann, Sarah Ann and Eveland Bassett, "orphans" of McIntosh Co. GA won land in the 1827 Land Lottery in McIntosh Co. (Possibly the 3 young daughters of Thomas??)
3-William, born about 1765, died Mar. 14, 1810 (Barnwell Co. (He was married to Mary Phillips of Cumberland Co. NC with whom he had 3 sons, Stephen, Thomas and Francis. He later married Elizabeth Erwin and Michal Moye (who was his widow), both of Barnwell) During the decade before his death, he was back and forth between Barnwell and Sapelo Island, Ga (McIntosh Co.) While living on Sapelo Island, he served as a Captain of the Georgia State Militia (Collection of Georgia State Historical Society, Vol. XV, The Reuben King Journal, 1800-1806, page 40, 48.) What the Barnwell/McIntosh connection was has not been determined, but there was one and it existed for the Bassett brothers for about 20 years. Of William's sons, Stephen married Jane Morris of Barnwell and later went to Houston Co. GA. where he and his family were early pioneers and descendents remain today. Son Thomas remained in Barnwell and his descendents were in the Hampton Co. (formerly Barnwell) area through the 1950's. Son Francis removed to Barbour Co. Alabama. (He had 4 daughters and one son, who died childless)
4-Eli, born about 1768 (married Rhoda Kersh of Barnwell, per tradition) He was in Barnwell, documented first in 1786 and remained there until after his brother William's death in 1810. He is next found in McIntosh Co. Ga. (Sapelo Island?) And in 1821 was a "fortunate drawer" in the Georgia land lottery in Monroe Co. Whether he claimed the land is not known. The last known record on Eli Bassett is in Appling Co. GA in the 1820 census. 2 sons of Eli, William and John Bassett were an early pioneers to Florida in about 1830.
The relationship of the sons of Francis Bassett as brothers is documented through wills, letters and diaries. All are documented in the book, "Homeplace, the Bassetts of Fort Valley, Georgia", written by Sue Bassett Folawn, the ggg-granddaughter of Francis Bassett, the immigrant. ( F122775@aol.com )
In order to appreciate the activities of the Bassett brothers, we must understand that these were first generation immigrants. Land represented wealth, and the search for it and the attempt to acquire it was a big part of their lives. It would be the next generation, at least, before we would see them actually settling and staying for long.
Copyright ©2003, Sue Bassett Folawn. These documents may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy. However, this document is copyrighted and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same.
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