Two John Bassetts - Almost a case of mistaken identity
On John Bassett’s death certificate (died in Eaglehawk, Victoria, Australia) in 1868 his age was 80 and his parents were William Bassett and Mary Unknown. Therefore we deducted that he must have been born in circa 1788.
Research turned up a John Bassett christened 27 March 1788, St Izzey, Cornwall his parents were William Bassett and Mary Symons. At this point we felt very excited that we had found our John. However, after further research a descendant was found in Roma, Queensland, Australia who refuted our claim of kinship – in the nicest way possible.
The following information was forwarded for us to digest:-
John Bassett [son of William Bassett (1761-1831) & Mary Symons (1767-1832)] Christened 27 Mar 1788 in St Izzy, Cornwall who died 7th Oct 1851 in Fairwater House, Taunton Somerset.John was a lunatic confined to Fairwater House Lunatic Asylum for many years admitted July 1828 having previously been a patient at a similar establishment near Tauton, Fivehead House since 25 Oct 1822.This was a wholesale move and transfer of license from the one to the other asylum by the same surgeon/owner. Private patient. Cause of death peritonitis and effusion in the chest (Somerset RO 1/5/87).
This therefore couldn't be the John Bassett who married Martha Carbis as he died in England in 1851 whereas our John died in Eaglehawk, Victoria, Australia in 1868
So it was back to the drawing board, until a second promising John Bassett was unearthed, who was also born in Madron
John Bassett christened 5 September 1790, Madron, Cornwall Unfortunately only one parent is given, the father, in the Madron Parish records see below
"5 Sep 1790 John s/o William Bassett, pauper at Madron"
On John Bassett's death certificate1 in 1868 his father is listed as William, a farmer, and his mother is listed as Mary unknown, a farmers wife.
Another conundrum perhaps John's parents had in the past been farmer but had become paupers just before John was born?
It would seem highly likely that the descendants in Australia had no clear memory of who John's parents were, or what their occupations were. Australia is a long way away and death certificates are not the most reliable source of information.
So until someone comes along to prove something different I've decided to lay claim to this John, at least for the momment.