My Bassett Family from Cornwall to Australia
The Pattern of Arrival
After initial research it appeared that John Bassett first came out to Australia in 1861 as part of a larger family group on the SS Great Britain (Voyage 21) which arrived in Melbourne on the 23rd Dec 1861. He arrived with wife Martha, and daughters Ann Davey and Martha Rowe, their husbands and children and soon to be daughter-in-law Eleanor Symons.
The passenger list shows that on Board were in the following groupings, the comments in the brackets were not on the passenger list but are my own musings
1. John Bassett, aged 70
2. Mrs M Bassett, aged 65
3. Miss Samions, aged 27 9 (should read Symons, and soon to be wife of James Bassett)
4. Mrs Ann Davey, aged 35 (formerly Bassett)
5. Elizebeth Davey, aged 16
6. Jane Davey, aged 18
7. John Davey, aged 12
8. Stephen Davey, aged 9
9. James Rowe, aged 38
10. Mrs Rowe, aged 32 (formerly Martha Bassett)
11. Julia Rowe, aged 8
12. Martha Rowe, aged 5
13. Nanney Rowe, aged 1
After a little more digging it appears that at least John Bassett (Snr) and John Bassett (Jnr) made several trips backwards and forwards between Australia and England before being joined by the rest of the extended family. The idea that several members of the family commuted between Australia and England before the rest of the family arrived is supported by the following evidence:-
- a notation on a mining lease application made in Victoria, Australia for ground in Specimen Hill, Sailors Gully on the 4th Feburary 1861 which included the following special remarks that “The applicant had been in possession of the ground for 5 years” (Bendigo Lease Register, Department of Energy and ……. Registery of Applicationg) indicating that John Bassett was already mining in the area on this site in 1855.
- A reference to John Bassett in “The Methodist History of Victoria and Tasmania: Originally published in the Spectator, Volume 2, 1998 onwards” "Mr John Bassett, known as Grandfather Bassett, was a much-loved and esteemed local preacher and class-leader; also was Mr. T. Featonby and others, whose names cannot be erased by time, as their works follow them. Mr. Bassett was called Home at 80 years of age in 1869". After talking to Professor Ian Breward the archivist at the Uniting Church archives in Victoria Australia, Professor Breward felt that such terms of endearment indicated that John Bassett (Snr) must have arrived earlier than 1861 in Australia to be refered to as "a much-loved and esteemed local preacher".. This lead us to look further afield and we found a John Bassett on the Marco Polo 1853 which may have been our John Bassett accompanied by another John Bassett (Jnr). (The ages match perfectly). Listed on the passenger list were John Bassett, aged 53 & John Bassett, aged 32.
- It is interesting to note that one of the "family stories" is that John Bassett (Snr) was wealthy and bought over a lot Cornish miners; perhaps the story should be that he went backwards and forwards between Australia and Cornwall bringing across different family members until the whole family had migrated to Australia
Over a thirteen year period the entire family moved to Australia, it appears that almost all of John & Martha’s family and their descendants came out to Australia.
The first firm record that we have of John Bassett (snr) and John Bassett (jnr) coming out to Australia is on the “Marco Polo” in May 1853
John Bassett (jnr) appears to re-entered Australia again in January 1854 on the Marco Polo perhaps after returning back to Cornwall with his father or alone.
The next group to arrive were to arrive on the Royal Charter in July 1857(VPRS 7666 Fiche Reference 127 Page 004)
• John Bassett, 36 yrs, Miner, Son of John Bassett and Martha Carbis
• Catherine Bassett, 33 yrs, Nee Davey sister to Stephen Davey
• Francis Basset, 11 yrs, John and Catherine bought all their children with them
• John Bassett, 10 yrs
• Catherine Bassett, 8 yrs
• Martha Bassett, 6 yrs
• William Bassett, 40 yrs, Miner, William’s wife, Martha and his children arrived 1866 see below for details almost 11 years later.
• Stephen Davey, Stephens wife Ann was left to follow in 4 years later with her parents John & Martha Bassett.
We know that John Bassett (Snr) - arrived with his wife and their two married daughters and their children on the SS Great Britain as outlined above
The final group to arrive in Australia was on the True Britain which departed in February 1866
1. Martha Bassett, 49 yrs wife William Bassett
2. Mary Bassett, 22
3. John Bassett, 12
4. Elizabeth Bassett, 15
5. Matilda J. Bassett, 17, according to my musings this is probably Martha Jnr
6. Nanny Bassett, 23
In summary the family migrated to Australia in the following order
John Bassett Snr came out multiple times
And John’s wife - Martha Bassett nee Carbis came out in 1861
When their children came out in the :
1. John Bassett (Abt 1814-1815) died in Cornwall before the family migrated
2. William Bassett (Cir 1816-1869) came out in 1857
3. John Bassett (1820-1865) came out multiple times
4. Francis Bassett (Cir 1823-1839) died in Cornwall before the family migrated
5. Anne Bassett (1826-1904) came out in 1861
6. Martha Bassett (Cir 1828-1907) came out in 1861
7. James Bassett (Cir 1832-Cir 1833) died in Cornwall before the family migrated
8. James Bassett (Cir 1833-1879) I have been unable to locate when James my 2x great grandfather came out to Australia
9. Samuel Bassett (1838-1839) died in Cornwall before the family migrated
Of their grandchildren I still have to locate what happened to the following individuals
William Bassett & Martha Moffatt
Nanny Bassett b. Cir 1841, St Erth, Penwith, Cornwall, England
William Norman Bassett b. 1845, Crowan, Cornwall, England
John Bassett & Catherine Davey
John Bassett b. Between Jun 1846 and Sep 1846, Cornwall, England
William Bassett b. Cir 1854
James Bassett b. Cir 1857
Anne Bassett & Stephen Davey
Ann Bassett Davey c. 15 Jan 1854, Crowan, Cornwall, England
Catherine Davey c. 4 Mar 1857, Crowan, Cornwall, England d. 1862?
Martha Bassett & James Rowe
Martha Bassett Rowe c. 1852, Breage, Cornwall, England
Henry B Rowe b. 1860
I would be interesting in contacting anyone been able to locate what happened to the above individuals particulary since it appears that everyone else would have migrated to Australia? I am presuming that they would have died in Cornwall but I am not sure.
I would also be interested in finding out when James Bassett (Cir 1833-1879) came out to Australia, the earliest record i have of him in Australia at present is in Aug 1859 when his name appears on a mining list with his two brothers John Bassett, William Bassett, and Stephen Davey his brother-in-law.