Jeff, you're lucky to have a very old name. The entire nobility of Wallachia, since the dawn of the 14th century came form the Basarab family. The name origin is uncertain, there appears to be even some Arabic name Bas-Arab. However, Basarab I (Tihomir) is already a ruler of the unified state of Wallachia in 1330. Wallachia is the part of Romania containing the capital, Bucharest, a territory between the Carpathian Mts. and the Danube. Because the territory between the Prut, Danube and Dniester/Nistru rivers and the Black Sea coast was held by this dynasty, the entire region between Prut and Dneister was called Bessarabia, today most of it forming the Republic of Moldova. You should find lots of stuff about your name. And yes, you might be a descendant or collateral of Vlad the Impaler (or Dracula).