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The Basset Family - Normans to English


The Basset Family - Normans to English, or should it be Vikings to Normans to English

The Battle Abbey Roll



This appears to be the start of our story.

Before I begin I refer you to the Preface of "The Battle Abbey Roll" and the Introduction, an extract of which is below.


The famous Roll of Battle Abbey is believed to have been compiled in obedience to a clause in the Conqueror's foundation charter, that enjoined the monks to pray for the souls of those "who by their labour and valour had helped to win the kingdom." The great Sussex Abbey that was "the token and pledge of the Royal Crown," had been intended to be not only a memorial of his victory, but a chantry for the slain; and the names of his companions-in-arms, enshrined on this bede-roll, might thus be read out in the church on special occasions, and notably on the anniversary feast of St. Celict. It was most likely originally copied from the muster-roll of the Norman knights, that had been prepared by the Duke's orders before his embarkation, and was called over in his presence on the field of battle, the morning after it had been fought. The list, thus composed, was inscribed on a roll of parchment, and hung up in the Abbey Minster, with this superscription:

Extracts of various lists pertaining to Basset
List nameAs listed BassetEnglish equivalent
HOLINSHED'S ROLL Basset and Bigot  
LELAND'S ROLL Bardolf et Basset  
DIVE'S ROLL Guillaume Basset William Basset
DIVE'S ROLL Raoul Basset Ralph Basset


 In the same document, Basset;

"from its ancestor Bathet or Baset, Duke of the Normans of the Loire, 895, 905 (Bouquet, vii. 360; viii. 317). He acquired Ouilly Basset, and Normanville in 912, and had issue Norman, father of Osmond, Viscount of Vernon, whose elder son, Hugh Basset, was Baron of Chateau Basset, which barony passed by his widow to the house of Montmorency, circa 990. His brother, Fulco de Alneto, was the father of Osmond Basset, who accompanied the Conqueror."—The Norman People. The names given on the Dives Roll, are, however, "Raoul et Guillaume Basset:" and the former, afterwards the celebrated Justiciary, was the reputed son of Thurstin, a Norman who held five hides of land at Drayton in Staffordshire, 1086. (Domesday.) Ordericus says of him, that Henry I., at the very beginning of his reign, "De ignobili stirpe illustravit ac de pulvere (ut ita dicam), extulit; dataque multiplici facilitate super consules et illustres oppidanos exaltavit." "He had the high office of Justice of England under Henry I., with a power so great, that he sat in what court he pleased, and wherever else he thought fit, for the administration of justice. And to his wisdom, it is asserted, we owe the first design and institution of the law of frank-pledge, besides other excellent laws. From this it seems evident, that he shared largely in his sovereign's favour, and that he had great abilities, which, with so wise a prince, were the likeliest means to procure it.

Looking into the above paragraph;

It seems unclear who the first person is, other that Bathet or Baset or Basset. For this purpose I shall refer to him as Basset One.

The duchy arose out of a grant of land to the Viking leader Rollo by the French king Charles III in 911. In 924 and again in 933, Normandy was expanded by royal grant. Rollo's male-line descendants continued to rule it until 1135. In 1202 the French king Philip II declared Normandy a forfeited fief and by 1204 his army had conquered it.

However, avoiding delving into Rollo and William the Conqueror as that is dealt with in another article, Before 1066 and all that.

 Basset One.

Basset One acquired Ouilly Basset, and Normanville in 912, and had a son called Norman. 

Ouilly-le-Basset is a locality in Normandy. Ouilly-le-Basset is situated southwest of Plainville, and northwest of Le Bourg d'Ouilly. Ouilly le Basset is also listed as a place in this persons Family Tree.

The village of Normanville is a small French village located north of France. The town of Normanville is located in the department of Eure of the French region Haute-Normandie. The town of Normanville is located in the township of Évreux-Nord part of the district of Évreux.

1024px Location of Basset sites in the Department of Orne southern NormandyLocation of Basset sites in the Department of Orne, southern Normandy -- Ipsden, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

On the current Google map there are two Normanvilles, a village to the North and a town East of Pont-d'Ouilly, near Ouilly-le-Basset according to the map above. I have also picked out Le Pommeraye, just to highlight how close it is to Pont-d'Ouilly. Pomeroy being a branch of my family dating back to the Norman Conquest.

 I currently don't know which of the two Normanville settlements Basset One acquired in 912, both are a fair distance away from Ouilly-le-Basset

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Basset One

Basset One was before 1066 but as I am not sure of his identity I have left him as the head of the family, as an introduction.

However, according to The St. John Genealogy Project Bathel de Centerille is the person I have been referring to as Basset One. The project also traces his ancestry back to 660 and the Vikings.


Bathel Rognvaldson, de Centerille


On Ancestry Brenda Glaze notes that Bethel was born in Mont-Saint-Michel. Mont-Saint-Michel is a 3 acre rocky islet topped by a famous Gothic abbey, 1 mile off the Northwest coast of France in the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel in the English Channel. The Island, located 3 miles from the shore during the Middle Ages, is now surrounded by water only two times a month. Its one cobblestone street climbs in three spirals from a great granite base to the towering Benedictine abbey of Mont-saint-Michel, an architectural masterpiece built in the 13th century, replacing the original abbey, which was founded in 708 by St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches, but destroyed by King Phillip II of France in 1203. The abbey served as a prison during Napoleon's reign. Restored after 1863, and connected to the mainland by a causeway, the abbey is preserved as a national historical monument and is one of France great tourist attractions.

Birth: 870
Death: 917 age between(43-51) Rouen, Upper-Normandy, France
Place of Burial: Ouilly-le-Vicomte, Lower-Normandy, FranceRouen, Upper-Normandy, France

From the St John Genealogy Project, we have;

"Bathel de Centerille, Duke of Norman Loire". The St. John Genealogy. (accessed January 31, 2022).

There have been differences in the spelling of Centerille including Centerville and Centeville

His father is recorded as being Rognvald Eysteinsson, Earl of More and the Orcades
and his mother
Ragnhilde de Moere, Countess of Maer,

They had four children:

1. Hrolander Rognvaldson, de Heidmark, b. 854, d. 896 (Age 42 years)
2. Hallad "Maladulc" Rognvaldson, b. abt. 864, d. abt. 920 (Age ~ 56 years)
3. Bathel de Centerille, Duke of Norman Loire
4. Bernard 'the Dane' Rognvaldson, de Estouteville?, b. abt. 874

With his first wife, Ragnhild Hrolfsdottir, Countess of More, b. abt. 830, d. 892 (Age ~ 62 years)
1. Rollo de Normandy, 1st Duke of Normandy, b. abt. 846, d. abt. 928 (Age ~ 82 years) 

Bathel's oldest ancestor is Gorr, b. abt. 660, who may be from Scandinavian heritage. Gorr's grandson was Sveiði Heitisson, the Sea King, b. abt. 720.

From the Lives of my Ancestors

It is believed that Sveidi lived in the 5th or 6th century, so right in the middle of Dark Age Europe. he was born in Romsdal, Møre og Romsdal, Norway. Sveidi was the legendary father of Halfdan the Old.

He was a Legendary Viking Sea-king which was the Viking name for a powerful pirate chieftain.

Grandfather, Gór THORRASSON (also known as: Gorr)It is believed that Gór lived between 365 AD – 425 AD.

Father: Heiti ‘Heytir’ “King in Kvenland” GORRSSON
Issue: Halfdan ‘The Old’ SVEIDASSON

This source goes back a further five generations.



Bethel Bassett (de Centerville)

Also Known As: "Bathel", "Basset", "Bethel fitz Osmond"
Birthplace: Rouen, Upper-Normandy, France
Death: 917 (42-52)
Rouen, Upper-Normandy, France
Place of Burial: Ouilly-le-Vicomte, Lower-Normandy, France
Immediate Family:

Husband of Isabell Fitzosmund and Marie Pothier
Father of Lady Hildegarde Montihery Basset and Norman de Bassett de Centeville

Perhaps not so much of a Norman family, but more of a Viking one.

That leads to another observation. Bathel de Centerille, Duke of Norman Loire should read as Bathel Rognvaldson, de Centerille, Duke of Norman Loire. From Viking tradition and today in Iceland, the name of the son is the father's name plus son, hence Rognvaldson or son of Rognvald. For a daughter, dóttir, hence, if he had any they would be Rognvalddóttir.


< Continued with Rognvald Eysteinsson >

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