What is the origin of the last name Bassett?

The last name BASSETT has its origin in French and English genealogy. Derived from the Old French word "basset," meaning "short," the surname was initially associated with individuals of short stature. It is believed that the name was first used as a nickname, later evolving into a hereditary surname during the medieval period. Over time, the name BASSETT became prominent in England, and various branches of the family played significant roles in English history, including the Norman Conquest and the War of the Roses. Today, the surname BASSETT continues to be a widely recognized family name, both in Britain and across the world.

Countries of origin for the last name Bassett

The last name Basset is of English origin and is derived from the Middle English word “bas”, meaning “short” or “low”. The name likely originated as a nickname for someone who was of low stature or had a short stature. The double “t” in Basset could have been added later to emphasize the shortness or lowliness. The name Basset is believed to have been introduced to England by the Normans following the Conquest in 1066.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the Basset surname is that of Ralph Basset, who was a prominent nobleman and landowner in England during the 12th century. The Basset family played a significant role in English history and held high positions of authority, with several members serving as justices and sheriffs. The family held extensive lands in various counties across England, including Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and Warwickshire.

Throughout history, the Basset name has undergone various spelling variations, such as Basset, Bassett, Bassette, Besset, and others. These variations can be attributed to factors such as regional dialects, illiteracy, and clerical errors in record-keeping. Despite these variations, the core meaning and origin of the name remain consistent.

Over time, individuals bearing the surname Basset migrated to different parts of the world, including the United States. The Basset name can be found in various records such as census data, immigration records, and military records. Notable individuals with the surname Basset in US history include Samuel Basset, a colonel in the American Revolution, and Lewis Basset, a US Army general during the Civil War.

The Basset name continues to be relatively uncommon, but it is still present in various regions, particularly in England and the United States. The surname has also inspired the creation of other names, such as Basset-Hound, a breed of dog named after the family due to their historical association with hunting and hunting dogs.

While the available historical and etymological records provide a wealth of information about the Basset surname, there are still many unanswered questions and possibilities to explore. Further research and study into specific branches of the Basset family, as well as genetic analysis, could contribute to a deeper understanding of the surname’s lineage, distribution, and connections to other families.

Interesting facts about the last name Bassett

  • The surname “Bassett” originates from the medieval English word “bas” or “bass,” which means “low” or “short,” and the suffix “-et” or “-ett,” indicating a diminutive or small size.
  • Bassetts were often associated with the aristocracy and nobility in medieval England, as the surname was frequently used as a status title for the lower-ranking members of the ruling class.
  • During the Middle Ages, Bassett was also a common occupational surname, referring to a person who served as a page or steward in a noble household.
  • The Bassett family name can be traced back to the Domesday Book of 1086, where several individuals with the surname are mentioned as landowners in various counties across England.
  • There are several variations of the Bassett surname, including “Basset,” “Bassit,” and “Bassot,” which developed over time as families migrated and dialects changed.
  • The Bassett family played a significant role in English history, with notable members holding positions such as knights, barons, and even serving as justices in the early legal system.
  • One of the most famous historical figures with the surname Bassett is Sir William Bassett, a loyal supporter of King Henry VIII, who fought alongside him during the Battle of Flodden in 1513.
  • The Bassett name managed to spread to other English-speaking countries during the age of exploration and colonialism, leading to descendants with the surname in places such as the United States, Australia, and Canada.
  • Bassett is a relatively rare surname, ranking as the 2,529th most common surname in the United States according to the 2000 Census.
  • The Bassett Hound, a breed of dog known for its long ears and distinct droopy expression, is named after the English word “basset,” which means “low-set” or “dwarfish.”

Name Rank


There are around 20482 people with the last name Bassett in the US

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