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My father's oldest brother, James Bassett Gwin II, had an interest in researching and preserving genealogical information on his--our--family. A year or so before he died, Uncle James rode the bus from his home in Metarie, Louisiana, to ours here in Las
Cruces, New Mexico, to visit us and take care of the "preserving" part, asking me to serve as custodian of his work. I accepted that responsibility, and while I'm not yet
the researcher he was, I can at least protect his papers and make the fruit of his effort
available to others. I started these pages June 1, 1999, and plan to add to them as I
can and as I learn more-- from people like you!

His statements:
"These records collected and compiled in the year 1949 [and following] by James Bassett Gwin II, 2918 45th Street, New Orleans, zone 20, Louisiana, from information submitted by members of all families herein recorded." And specifically from the "Basset Family History" page 46: "Compiled...from records submitted from the collections of Kate L. Gwin, Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Edith Snow, Washington, D.C. "

In August 1999, I (John M. Gwin) received an e.mail from Jeffrey Bassett
( who responded to a posting I had left at the Basset Family
Genealogical Forum page ( His notes and Uncle
James' notes complement each other, although there are a few contradictions.
He indicates that "This material came from Elizabeth Nitschke Hicks and census
records," and I've added them below in the appropriate places using this format:
JB/ENH notes:
"Information obtained from Major Champ Carter McCulloch who employed genealogists to trace this ancestery."

"The name BASSET is French and originally pronounced "Bass-A". The first mention of this name revealed in research is found in 'The Geneva Armorial' (sic) in 1399 as a Burgess named Robert, son of Permet, a member of the Council of State in 1404.

1.--"The closest relative found was a Frenchman, Georges Basset in Geneva, Switzerland, who was a member of a Hugenot family in the eighteenth century before the French Revolution. Georges Basset was apprenticed to a silversmith and fell in love with a Madamoselle Lavalette who was the daughter of a French nobleman. Her parents objected to their courtship and sent her away to Wales to school to separate them. Georges followed her and married her. They had 2 sons.
JB/ENH notes:
This material came from Elizabeth Nitschke Hicks and census records.
53B. Jean Jacques Luis Basset married Mary Lavalette on 20 Aug 1767 in
Christchurch, Yorkshire, England. Family legend lists her as a cousin of Gen. Lafayette. Family
tradition states that Basset and Lavalette went to England from Switzerland via
France to run away and get married. They were only in England for two generations.

2.1--One son (no name/age listed) emigrated to America, and his whole family were wiped out in a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia.
2.2--John James Louis Basset, the other son, married Mary Miles, an English girl; they settled in Sussex, England, and raised 14 children."

JB/ENH notes:

53B151. Charlotte Basset - born about 1837 in England, married C.A. Derby.

53B152. James Basset - born about 1839 in England.

53B153. Peter Basset - born about 1841 in England.

53B154. Eliza Basset - born about 1844 in England.

53B155. John Basset - born about 1846 in Alabama.

53B156. M.A. Bassett - born about May of 1850 in Alabama.

53B1A. Joseph Lavalette Bassett, son of James Bassett

Joseph Lavalette Bassett, son of James and Mary (Miles) Bassett, was born
6 Jan 1822 in England. He married (1) M.A. Gwin. She died in 1845. He married
(2) Louisa. He died during the Civil War. He fought for Alabama.

1850 Federal Census of Cahawba Beat, Dallas County, Alabama (4 Nov 1850)
Joseph Basset 28 M England Carpenter 1500
Louisa 23 F South Carolina
Emily 6 F Alabama
Margaret 1 F Alabama

1860 Federal Census of Hooperville, Shelby County, Alabama (16 Jul 1860)
Joseph L. Bassett 39 M England Engineer 2000 300
Susan C. 33 F South Carolina Housekeeper
Emily H. 16 F Alabama
Margaret R. 10 F Alabama
Harry B. 4 M Alabama
Jno M. 1 M Alabama

Children by 1st wife.

53B1A1. Emily Basset - born about 1844 in Alabama, married G.T. Macon in
1864 in Shelby County, Alabama. They had Thomas C., Alexander
Cora and Carrie (twins), John, Emma, wife of W.C. Lewis,
who died in 1882, aged 12 years, and Willie who died in 1884.

Children by 2nd wife.

53B1A2. Margaret Basset - born about 1849 in Alabama.