Tag Archives: New Hampshire

Heirlooms –The Oldest

As my brother and sister and I took out each precious antique, somebody wondered what the oldest heirloom is that we have had passed down to us.  We will never know how old my sister’s hand-carved wooden bowl is (although it looks like it could have been 17th century) or how old my brother’s pieces of pewter might be.

The Antique Chest Full of Heirlooms

But thanks to my great-grandmother, grandmother and mother, we have dates and names on nearly all the items in our 2x great grandmother Mary Bassett Morgan’s chest.  I wrote about Mary and her chest, and you might want to look at the history of its travels.

When my brother and sister visited recently, we opened the chest and saw this treasure trove.

 

Inside Mary Bassett's Chest

Inside Mary Bassett’s Chest

Since the chest itself belonged to 16-year-old Mary Bassett when she traveled to Ohio in 1826/27. It surely had been made some years before, and that makes it one of our older possessions. But there was a much older item to be found.

Finding Some Old Needlecraft

We saw this stack of cloth items, stitched loosely together with a note in the handwriting of our great-grandmother Harriet Morgan sewn on top.  She identifies a collar made on a loom in 1835 by her mother Mary Bassett Morgan (the original owner of the chest).  That means Mary made this lace collar when she was 25 years old, six years after her first marriage.

lace collar

Mary Bassett Morgan collar, stitched together with a cloth made by her mother.

Note o antiques

Harriet Morgan Stout’s note sewed to antique pieces.

lace collar made by Mary Bassett

A closer look at the loom-made collar and an embroidered collar saved together.

The note says:

Collar Made on loom in 1835 by Mary [Stout Platt] Morgan Killbuck

Not to go to Columbus   Holmes Co.

What Does That Mean?

Hattie Stout

Harriett Emeline Morgan Stout

That note takes a little explaining.  Why is this package “not to go to Columbus”?  When and why did Harriet Morgan Stout write this note?

Happily, I already sleuthed out the participation of Harriet and “Doc” William Stout in a huge celebration in Ohio to mark the founding of Marietta, Ohio’s first official city in 1788.  The statewide celebration included expositions in each county of memorabilia by “pioneers.”  Please read that earlier article, and see the newspaper article describing the festivities.

That celebration took place in 1888, so we know that “Hattie” Stout wrote the note that year.  And we now know that the reason it says “not to go to Columbus” is that these precious family antiques were not to go on the road. Mary Bassett Morgan, Hattie’s mother, was still living (she died in 1890) and she probably took these items out of her well-traveled wooden chest and loaned them to Hattie and Doc for the Holmes County exposition with instructions that they be returned safely to her.

However, the collar, now preserved for 181 years, is not the oldest item.  Underneath the collars, in the first picture, you can see a woven piece of cloth. It also has a note written by Hattie Stout attached loosely with thread.

flax cloth

Woven flax cloth

 

Harriet Morgan Stout

Harriet Morgan Stout’s handwritten note on the woven flax cloth.

The note written by “Hattie” Stout in 1888 says,

Spun & made by Grandma Bassett in 1796

H E Stout

not to go to Columbus        Killbuck     Holmes Co.

It takes me a moment to absorb that information.

Our Great-grandmother is identifying a piece made by HER grandmother, Elizabeth Stone Bassett, our three times great grandmother.

The cloth was made in 1796

  • 30 years after the Declaration of Independence,
  • 8 years after the founding of Marietta Ohio,
  • 92 years before the celebration of the centennial of the founding of Marietta,
  • 220 years before I unfolded the cloth and photographed it.

Elizabeth Stone, in 1796 when she wove this piece was 23 years old,  unmarried, and living in New Hampshire. Eight years later she would marry the last of our long line of William Bassetts. They had five daughters, including my great-grandmother Mary Bassett Morgan. If you click over to the earlier story about Elizabeth Stone that I linked above, you will learn that she died soon after she and her family moved to Ohio.

Unresolved Questions

I know nothing about lace making, and a quick search on Google showed me a wide variety of types of lace and types of looms on which to weave them.  If any readers know more about this, I would love to see what a loom would look like that was used by Elizabeth Stone.

I do know a bit about flax growing and use, as you can see in this item I wrote earlier about my husband’s ancestor Rudolph Manbeck. So Elizabeth may have been using a spinning wheel like this.

Spinning Wheel and Reel

“Charlene Parker, spinner, at Knott’s Berry Farm” by DTParker1000 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course we still don’t know if 1796 is the earliest heirloom that we still have in the family.

Others writings on familly heirlooms

This has been one of my occasional posts on Heirlooms. To see more, type heirlooms into the search box in the right hand column.

Other family history bloggers who write about heirlooms from time to time include:

52 Ancestors story #28: Questions for Elizabeth Stone Bassett

Elizabeth Stone Bassett 1773-1829

It is tempting to glamorize the life of Elizabeth Stone Bassett. After all, she had a father who fought in the American Revolution and she herself was a pioneer in Ohio territory. But was it a satisfying life–or a frustrating one? It certainly ended far too soon.

I wish that I knew more about Elizabeth Stone Bassett.

The little I can glean from the basic statistics – birth-marriage-children-migration-death – leaves me with more questions than answers.

Elizabeth Stone was the daughter of Jeduthan Stone, Minuteman and American Revolution Soldier of Rutland, Massachusetts. As I mentioned in the story about Jeduthan, my 3 x great-grandmother was born just seven months after her parents were married. The pre-Revolution times were already turbulent, and when she was two years old, her father marched off toward Bunker Hill for the first full-fledged battle of the Revolution.

A Late Marriage

My main question for Elizabeth is, “Why did you not get married until you were 30 years old?”  Elizabeth Stone married the younger William Bassett (b. 1776) in 1804. While that is a more common age for marriage now, in Colonial times, girls generally married around 20 if not before. Of course my mind toys with possibilities.

  • She might have been married before she met William Bassett and been widowed. If so, I have found no record of that marriage. With the voluminous documenting of the Bassetts, this does not seem to be a likely scenario.
  • Since Elizabeth was the oldest child, she might have been needed at home. After all, her 4-year-younger brother, Augustus (b. 1777), was blind, and he did not marry until he was 31 (in 1809). And her younger sister Patty (b. 1780) never did marry, which generally indicates a health or mental problem that would need extra care. Of her other four siblings, only Willard (b. 1776), born three years after Elizabeth, was married by 1804 when William Bassett and Elizabeth married.
  • Getting married late ran in the family.  Elizabeth’s mother was 29 when she married Jeduthan.  Her brothers married at 24, 31 and 29. However, her two sisters who married were 23.
  • She could have had some flaw–unattractive, terribly shy, misbehavior.  Given the appearance of her grand daughter Harriette Morgan Stout,  and the very religious nature of the Bassetts and Stones, unattractive and misbehaving seem unlikely.  If she was shy, she must have had great character to overcome her reticence and leave familiar territory to move from Rutland Massachusetts to Keene, New Hampshire and then to far away Keene, Ohio.

A Houseful of Daughters

Was it disappointing to have no sons?

When Elizabeth and William married in 1804, records identify his residence as Packersfield, New Hampshire or Keene Township.  That town, now Nelson, was experiencing a small boom in population and the residents actively resisted high tariffs against European trade. The newlyweds moved back to  Packersfield. There, they had (possibly) six daughters, only five of which I have been able to document.

1805: Elizabeth (Eliza) Bassett (Emerson)

1807: Martha Belding Bassett (Smith)

1810: Mary Bassett (Platt, Morgan), my 2x great grandmother

1812: Sarah (Sally) Bassett

1814: Laura/Lura Bassett

Mary Bassett's chest

Mary Bassett’s chest traveled from New Hamshire to Keene Ohio on a wagon, and 140 years later from Ohio to Arizona on a moving van.

When they made the move after twenty-three years of marriage, with everything they owned packed away in chests and boxes, the girls ranged from 13 to 22 years old. The two older sisters wasted no time when they got to Ohio–Martha marrying Sidney Smith in November 1828. According to the family account (not my family) mentioned below, Eliza married Enos Emerson on the same day. Mary Bassett married her first husband, Ashiell Platt in 1829.

However, it appears that Sarah never married, since she is shown in subsequent census reports living with Benjamin and Laura Stone (whom I believe is Laura Bassett and husband.)

An Adventurous Move

The other big question in my mind is how did you, Elizabeth Stone Bassett, feel about moving away from your family–particularly to the “wild west” of a canal town in Coshocton County, Ohio?

Various accounts date the move to Ohio at between 1826 and 1828. One family  story (not my family) which you can see here, says that William went first in 1827, and Elizabeth followed with the girls the following year. They traveled “by wagon to Troy, New York; by barge to Buffalo; by boat on Lake Erie to Cleveland and by wagon to Keene, Ohio.” That adventure would have required a lot of moxie from Elizabeth. The account is convincing since it appears to be a story handed down in the family from one of Elizabeth’s sisters.

My family records indicate that Elizabeth’s daughter Mary was 16 when they moved, which would date the move 1826 or 27.

Was it Worth It?

Did you think the move was worth it, to see your daughters–or at least most of them–settled in good marriages? Were you tired and ill after the rigorous trip from New Hampshire to Ohio?

Neither Elizabeth Stone Bassett nor William Bassett lived long after the move to Ohio–Elizabeth died in September 1829, at the age of 56 and just one month before her mother died back in Massachusetts. William died in 1833 at 54.

They are buried in the Old Keene Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Ohio.

 

Elizabeth Stone Bassett

Elizabeth Stone Bassett Old Presbyterian Church, Keene, Ohio gravestone

This has been my weekly ancestor story as part of the 52 Ancestors Challenge.  To see other people’s fascinating stories, go to No Story Too Small.

How I am Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, the daughter of
  • Hattie Morgan Stout, the daughter of
  • Mary Bassett Morgan, the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Stone Basset and William Bassett.

Notes on Research

  • Cemeteries of Ohio, Genealogical Publishing Com pg. 116 reproduces the words from the gravestones of several members of Stone families.
  • Other details of relationships, birth and death dates come from records found through Ancestry.com
  • Research notes from Daughters of the American Revolution, prepared for my grandmother, Vera Stout Anderson probably in the 1930s or 1940s.
  • Some information is from “The Family Forest Descendents of Lady Joan Beaufort” by Bruce Harrison, found in a Google Search for Stone and Bassett names.
  • History of Coshocton County: Its Past and Present 1740-1841 Compiled by N. N. Hill, Jr. (Available on line from Google Books.)
  • The gravestone picture is borrowed from Find a Grave and the photographer is Todd James Dean.
  • Family tales and Bible records sketched the story of the move from Keene (township) New Hampshire to Keene (township) Ohio.

 

A True Patriot: Samuel Bassett, a Fifer

Revolutionary Ancestors

Samuel Bassett,  (1754-1834) showed that even a fifer can be a hero. When I read his story I am so proud to be descended from a man of his strength of character and modesty.

…as I entered the army from patriotic motives, I felt unwilling to apply to my country for relief.
Drum and Fife Corps like Samuel Bassett.

Ancient Fyfe and Drum Companie, Sudbury, MA, photo by Joyce Isen

Born in Norton, Massachusetts in 1754, already the sixth generation of Bassetts in the new world, Samuel Bassett was one of many of my New England ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War.  But his story touched me more than most.

I have given the background of Samuel Bassett’s town, Keene, New Hampshire, and his involvement in the Revolution, already, but I think his story is more effective told by Samuel himself. The historian’s account that you can read here, minimized the damage of his wound–calling it a superficial flesh wound.  Samuel’s own words tell a different story. There are two pension applications in his file, and this one, filed in 1826– when he would have been seventy-two years old– tells his story fifty years after his service to the country.

I Samuel Bassett of Keene in the county of Cheshire, state of New Hampshire, on oath depose that on April 1775 on hearing of the battle of Lexington I with about thirty others started from this place for the vicinity of Boston.  Soon after my arrival at Cambridge, I entered into the Company commanded by Capt. Samuel Stiles in Stark’s regiment to serve for eight months.

On the 17th of June, the day of the battle of Bunker Hill, I was ordered on to the hill as part of a reinforcements.  I arrived in season to take part in the battle but after a short time the vitriol began.  While nitrating, I was wounded by a musket ball which as I raised my right foot, entered my thigh midway above the knee and lodged in the knee.  The ball remained there four months and four days and was then extracted.  The wound was very painful, and for several months I could not walk without assistance and it has always been very painful.

At the time others obtained pensions, I was often told that I might obtain one, and advised to make application and the reason I did not then apply, and have not before applied is that at that time a prejudice existed against such as applied for pensions who could possibly live without it and as I entered the army from patriotic motives, I felt unwilling to apply to my country for relief. As I grow older, the disability increases–the wound is frequently very painful, depriving me of sleep and prevents me in a great degree from performing my daily labor. And I now feel under the necessity of applying to my country for assistance.

Since 1776, I have lived either in Keene or Packersfield near Roxbury and my occupation has been that of house joiner. I am not on the pension list of any state and recieve no pension whatever.

Another application, that looks like it was an interview, specifies companies he served in through his dismissal on the last day of December in 1776, and adds, “was a Fifer in all this process.”

In 1777 he was back under a different command and “marched to Mount Independence near Ticonderoga in April.” He testifies that he recollects “General Washington, General Putnam, Major Moore who was killed in the Battle of Bunker Hill and Col. John Thomas Dixon.”

Samuel Bassett was awarded $6 a month 3/4 disability pension, with arrears of $37.17. Twelve years later, after he died, his widow was awarded $18.39 a month widow’s pension with an arrears of $83.87.

Thank you, grandfather Samuel Bassett, for your part in building our country.