Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and love that this blog helps with that. I consider much of my research as a work in progress, so please let me know if you have conflicting information. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My male Mayflower ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, and John Howland.
Female Mayflower ancestors: Mary Norris Allerton, Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Mrs. James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, and Joan Hurst Tilley.
Child Mayflower ancestors: Giles Hopkins, (possibly) Constance Hopkins, Mary Allerton, Francis Billington, Love Brewster, Mary Chilton, Samuel Eaton, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Nathaniel Bassett ca 1628-16 January 1709/10 and Dorcas Joyce of Plymouth and Yarmouth

Nathaniel Bassett was born circa 1628, likely in Plymouth, Mass., the son of William and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) Bassett. I wrote about that couple here. He is my 10th great-grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side.

My line of descent from Nathaniel and Dorcas:

Nathaniel Bassett        1628 - 1709/10
.+Dorcas Joyce           
.3  Hannah Bassett    
+Joseph Covell            1675 -
4    Sarah Covell          Unknown - 1790
+William Nickerson    1701 - 1763
5    Deliverance Nickerson      1728 - 1808
+Ebenezer Eldredge   1706/07 - 1797
6    Elnathan Eldredge            1746/47 - 1837
+Dorothy Freeman      1752 - 1825
7    Nehemiah Eldredge          1775 - 1839
Ruth Harding 
8    James Harding Eldredge   1797 - 1873
+Rosanna Wixon        1789 – 1868
9    Rosana S. Eldredge          1826 - 1911
+Valentine Kelley       1828 - 1882
10        Mary Ann Kelley        1855 - 1941
+David Howes Kelley            1842 - 1925
11        Ethel Florence Kelley 1890 - 1981
+Wallace Cedric Booth          1887 - 1970
12        Mildred Louise Booth            1917 - 1999
+Arthur Elmer Washburn Davis         1913 - 1976
13  my parents
14  me

From the History of Duxbury church records: In 1651 Nathaniel Bassett and Joseph Prior were fined twenty shillings each for disturbing the church and at the next town meeting or training day each to be bound to a post for two hours in some public place, with a paper on their heads with their crime written thereon in capital letters. Whether they paid the fines or suffered the punishment is not noted.

On 16 June 1656, William Bassett formerly of Duxbury, now of Bridgewater, deeded land at Duxbury to his sons Peregrine White and Nathaniel Bassett. Peregrine was his son-in-law, married to daughter Sarah.

About 1661 Nathaniel married Dorcas Joyce, the daughter of John Joyce.* They lived in Marshfield, Duxbury, possibly Sandwich, and later settled in Yarmouth. They had eight children that lived to adulthood, according to Nathaniel’s will. They are listed below in no particular order.

Nathaniel, married Johanna Borden, m. 2nd widow Elizabeth Merrick, removed to Connecticut
Mary who m. Thomas Mulford
Hannah who m. Joseph Covell and Asa Mayo
William who m. Martha Godfrey and Sarah Jenkins
Samuel who m. Susannah Howes and Thankful Hallet
Sarah m. John Nickerson

My research on Nathaniel and Dorcas’ children is a work in progress--I welcome anyone’s input on better sources or additional information. I have seen that a son Nathan was also listed in the will, but I don’t see that in the transcription I have read so need to look at the original.

I descend from Hannah and her husband Joseph Covell.

Some sources say Nathaniel married, 2nd, a woman named Hannah, but I am not certain of this. It seems unlikely if Dorcas predeceased him by only seven months. Unless Dorcas Bassett that died in 1709 is a daughter rather than his wife. It’s difficult to determine because of the lack of surviving vital records in Yarmouth. Also, there was a Nathaniel Bassett married to a woman named Hannah in Sandwich, so perhaps there is some confusion between the two couples.

List of pounds of gunpowder given to military company members from Sandwich Town Records, 25 June 1660: Nathanell Bassett "fore pounds" and Nathanll Basset "one pound." I’m not sure if one of these is “my” Nathaniel.

In 1676, Nathaniel Bassett was taxed toward King Philip’s War: 2:14:09. This was his first appearance on the tax list in Yarmouth. Nancy Thacher Reid writes he came to Yarmouth (a part that is now Dennis) from Plymouth by way of Sandwich.

In 1888 Amos Otis wrote that Nathaniel resided near the first meeting-house in Yarmouth and his descendants still enjoy his lands. After his one lapse of conduct as a young man, he was a very worthy and respectable citizen, and had a large family, ten of whom lived to mature age. 

The first meeting house in Yarmouth is near the Ancient Cemetery which is located on Centre street. 

Plaque on boulder commemorating the original location of the First Congregational Church

Dorcas died Yarmouth on 9 June 1707.

Nathaniel died at Yarmouth on 16 January 1709/10, age 82.

His will was written just six days before his death, 10 January1709/10, and mentions eight children: William, Joseph, Nathaniel, Mary Mulford, Ruth Bassett, Samuel, Hannah Covell, Sarah Nickerson. He also mentions son-in-law Thomas Mulford of Truro, his daughter-in-law Joannah, and grandchildren, although not by name. It was witnessed by Rev. Daniel Greenleaf, Experience Rider and his nephew Col Wm Basset. He mentions no wife as she predeceased him. He writes he is "aged and under much decay of body," being then 82 years old. He gave property to Nathaniel that was his Grandmother Joyce's.  Mr. Thomas Mulford of Truro and his son Joseph Bassett of Yarmouth named executors. He names items such as a loom, a musket, two pairs of spectacles with cases, a chest that was his wife’s, his great Bible and great book, sheep two canoes, a drying yard, his house, barn, orchard, shop and meadow at Yarmouth, land near the dock, land at Middleborough, an island near Cross Creek. He left his son Nathaniel money to buy each of his children a pocket Bible.

An inventory of his estate is dated 25 January 1710/11. It includes items such as cows, oxen, a horse, sheep, books, fire tongs, pewter, earthenware, ironware, iron tools, land to be sold, housing land and meadow land. His estate was appraised at 228 pounds, 11 shillings.

*Savage's Genealogy Dictionary of New England states that Nathaniel married a daughter of John Joyce, no first name given. Her name is given as Dorcas by multiple sources, including Robert Charles Anderson’s The Great Migration Begins. A 1966 article on John Joyce in TAG 43:3 gives proof Nathaniel married Dorcas Joyce.

Sources Not Listed Above:

CW Swift, Pamphlet No. 85 of the Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy, The Bassett Family of Yarmouth, 1912

Nancy Thacher.  Reid, Dennis, Cape Cod from Firstcomers to Newcomers, 1639 – 1993, 1996

Amos Otis, Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, being a reprint of the Amos Otis Papers, originally published in the Barnstable Patriot, 1888

Robert Ray King, NEHGR, 125:7), The Family of Nathan Bassett of Chatham

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