Tuesday, 1 November 2016

John and Margaret Cassel family

John Cassel (one "l" in his last name is the only way I've seen it written) was Randy's second great grandfather and was born February 11, 1932 in Sharbot Lake, Ontario.  He married Margaret Anne Briggs on the 21st of January in 1851 in South Sherbrooke Township in Lanark, Ontario and went on to have family of 4 daughters and 4 sons.  This area on the northeast tip of Lake Ontario was part of the Perth Military Settlement of 1815  which was created as a home for former British soldiers of the War of 1812 looking to move permanently to Canada. 

John Cassel declares himself to be of English origin on early census documents and his wife Margaret as Irish. On later homestead forms he declares himself to be Canadian however.  Thanks to the help of fellow Cassell researcher Sharon Etsell, this is my best guess to the family of John and Margaret:  

  • Mary Jane (1851-1922) married John Paterson, farmed and had 3 children in the South Sherbrooke area.
  • John E. Jr (1853-1931) married Sarah Ann Ferguson , had at least 9 children and was a carpenter in Watertown, New York for many years in the teens and twenties.  Their 15 year old youngest daughter Myrtle Belle can be found living with William and Agnes on the 1911 Manitoba census.
  • Stanley (1856-1942) married Susan Fargo and later Ellen Cassels (they may have been first cousins - she was the daughter of Charles Cassels).  We think he had 3 children that survived infancy.  He was a small farmer at Wolfe Island. 
  • James "Jim" (1859-1934) married Almeda Babcock and had a large family of eleven including Norman Stanley who died in WW1 in France.  They lived in Westport, ON where he was a labourer for the railway.
  • Margaret Ann "Fannie" (1863-1885) married Louis Franklin Kiell had a family of four and farmed in the Township of Oso 
  • Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie" (1871-1958) married Sydney "Warner" Asselstine and moved west to homestead in Manson MB area in 1900 where they raised a family of three
  • William George (1871-1958) and his wife Agnes Rebecca Snider are our branch of the tree
  • Isabella "Bella" (1877-1901) married John Butts and had a family of 2 girls. She died at age 23 after the birth of the youngest.  They lived in the same area around Kingston. 
Margaret Ann Cassel, the mother died in March of 1898 at the age of 67.  Her husband John was the same age but decided rather than retire with family, he would move to Manitoba with William and Agnes and start over homesteading. Coming from the bush and trees of Ontario by the lakes, south west Manitoba must have looked like a flat treeless table.  Breaking the sod would have been hard work but not having trees and stumps to deal with would have made it seem easier. A paper trail of his adventures can be found at the Manitoba Archives in Winnipeg and that will be the subject of my next blog post! 

After a question from a family member, I've done some research on another John Cassell but have not found any connection between the two men.  That one was the head of a publishing company which began in Britain before becoming international.  The company published books and also a magazine in Britain (1867-1932) and America as well in the early years of the 1900's. You can even read an online version from 1875 here.  Some of their first edition printings appear to be quite valuable today.  We may be related way back but not our Cassells - sorry!


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