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
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.
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.