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  • Pilgrim Village Families Sketch: William Bassett

    Robert Charles Anderson

    Birth: William Bassett was born in England by 1600.

    Death: He died in Bridgewater between April 3, 1667, the date of his will, and May 12, 1667, when his inventory was taken.

    Ship: Fortune, 1621

    Life in England: Nothing is known of his life in England.

    Life in Holland: There was a man named William Bassett, from Sandwich, who lived in Leiden in 1611. He was a widower, and in that year married Margaret Oldham.While some historians have identified him as the same man who emigrated to Plymouth Colony, others believe that the man in Plymouth was too young to have been a widower by 1611.

    Life in New England:  William Bassett arrived in Plymouth in November 1621, most probably with his wife, Elizabeth. He moved to Duxbury by 1637, and to Bridgewater by 1656. He served on a number of juries and committees, and was a deputy for Duxbury to the Plymouth court. He was a blacksmith, and a number of smith’s tools were listed in his inventory. Interestingly, his inventory also contained a number of theological books.

    Family:  William married (1) Elizabeth _____ by 1623. She died sometime after 1634. He married (2) Mary (Tilden) Lapham after 1651 and before December 12, 1664. She was still living in Bridgewater on March 28, 1690.

    Children of William and Ellizabeth Bassett:

    • William was born in Plymouth about 1624. He married Mary Rainsford by about 1652 and had three children. He died in Sandwich on May 29, 1670.
    • Elizabeth was born in Plymouth about 1626. She married Thomas Burgess on November 8, 1648, in Sandwich. They divorced June 10, 1661; the first divorce in Plymouth Colony.
    • Sarah was born in Plymouth about 1628. She married Peregrine White before March 6, 1648/9, and had seven children. They lived in Marshfield and she died January 20, 1711/2.
    • Nathaniel was born about 1630. He married (1) Dorcas Joyce about 1661 and (2) Hannah _____. He lived first in Marshfield, then in Yarmouth. He had ten children and died on January 17, 1710/1.
    • Joseph was born about 1632. He married (1) Mary _____ by about 1660 and (2) Martha Hobart on October 16, 1677. He had eight children and died in 1712.
    • Ruth was born about 1634. She married (1) John Sprague by 1655 and had seven children and (2) a man surnamed Thomas. She died after March 22, 1693/4.
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