The New Zealand Bassetts

Great-grandfather Bassett - Ballygawley inch

In 1862 many emigrated to New Zealand for a better life, free land and the hope of finding gold.

 The arrival of the "Indian Empire." (Monday the 20th). Captain A. Black of London, with 257 passengers and general cargo was brought to anchor off the North Head.

Four children died on the voyage and one sailor - three births occurred.

Thursday, 23rd October 1862: The "Indian Empire" anchored off Orakei Bay (Auckland).

Friday, 24th: The "Indian Empire" took her berth off Queens Wharf.

The Basset family has lived in Inch parish, north of Downpatrick, for over two hundred and fifty years





(Ted) Edward Bassett 1826 - 1909
married (1849)
Ann Leonard 1820 - 1907

Edward (son of

Edward was Born Portaferry, Ireland. Emigrated to NZ 1862 

They have eight children


 Isabella 1851 - 1915 married (1874) George Lendrum 1844 - 1920


 Isabella Bassett 1851 - 1915  married (1874) George Lendrum 1844 - 1920

 Isabella is thought to be about eleven years old, when she arrived in New Zealand. 1862



 Ann Jane 1853 - 1944 married James Kidd


 Thomas 1856 - 1928 married Minnie Chadwick

 Thomas was one of the early settlers on the Tatarariki flats region (Kaipara, North Auckland. Thomas a Farmer and Road contractor.

 Minnie  was born in Portaferry, Ireland. Emigrated to NZ (?) She was a daughter of a storekeeper in Aratapu


 Elizabeth (Lizzie) 1858 - 1947 married William Dickinson


 Margaret (Meggie) 1860 - 1942 married Thomas Leonard (Ann's brother) in Downpatrick, Ireland.

They emigrated to New Zealand in 1864 on the ship "British Trident".

The have a child

Anne married (?) her double first cousin (?) William John Bassett

 They have two daughters




Madeline (Maud) 1863 - 1958


 Edward 1865 - 1937 married (1901) Eva Corkill 1876 - 1942

They have five children

Jack 1901 - 1979

Evelyn 1902 1985

Alan 1905 - 1978

Margaret 1907 - 1983




 Edward 1910 - 1947

married (1936)

Clare Brown 1912 - 1986

They have three children

Michael Bassett 1938 - married (?) Judith







 Nephews: William and Sam Kennedy (jr) emigrated to New Zealand in 1890

William married (1894) Minnie McClurg

Sam Kennedy (jr)  is the father of John Bassett (the aurthor of the attached letter) 

no further information or connections




 Samuel Kennedy  1840  born in Downpatrick, Ireland.

Samuel emigrated to New Zealand in 1869 - he meet up with David Morrow



Sarah married (at the age of 16) to a distant Bassett relative (?) He died (?)

They have two children

1 (?)

2 Thomas

Sarah emigrated to New Zealand in 1875 (after selling the farm "Blairgowrie)


Madeline married David Morrow

Madeline died giving birth - both buried at Saul Graveyard, Ireland.


"Saul Parish" church and graveyard are in the town of Saul; on the old secondary road from Downpatrick to Strangford.

The site is the oldest associated with Christianity in Ireland.

David Morrow emigrated to New Zealand in 1860 - with Samuel they went into business, selling hardware and machinery - in Christchurch.

R.I.P  - Bassetts



This photo of Irish Street, Downpatrick was taken around1915. Irish Street used to the commercial centre of the town until the marshes were drained in 1832 then Market Street (off the the far left of the photo) became the hub.

In the centre of the photo you can see the Assembly Rooms which were built in 1882 on the site of the old market house. On the skyline is the massive Downpatrick gaol; built in 1835 by the Grand Jury.

it was taken over by the government in 1878 and converted into a convict prison for those convicted of agrarian crimes. Today it is a high school. 


Correspondence with Jonathan McClure (McClurg)  Further information required.  Attached letter.