CASSELL / KASSEL / KASSELL
A History of the Kassel/Kassell/Cassell family and Related families. By Al Cassell
This is a highly abridged version of the authors unpublished history of the Kassel/Kassell/Cassell family.
In order to maintain the various
in proper order and perspective, each individual in the direct line, as
well as certain others, are identified as to their generation from the
First Generation of Julius Kassel. This generational position is
by a (GX) following the individuals name.
It is an established fact that the Cassell family came to this country from the area around Worms, Germany, the area where Martin Luther was tried for his religious beliefs. ..There is speculation that the family had previously emigrated from Basel (Basil) Switzerland down the Rhine river, but I cannot prove that...its probably true however, and is the subject of continuing research.
About six miles from Worms, there was a small town named Kreisheim, which is not in current use.. It has been called variously as Creishem, Creisheim, Kreignsheim, Kirchem or Kircheim, in the many histories of the Cassell family...but we will use Kreisheim in this volume. It is also certain that the family name was originally Kassel, and that they resided in this area at the beginning of the 30 years war, (1618-1648)
The only accurate description of the area exists in William Penn's description of his travels in the Palatinate, which he referred to as the "town of Creisheim in the Paltzgrave's country" It fits all of the major criteria.
At this time Germany was a region divided into areas known as Electorates after those who had a vote in deciding the Holy Roman Emperor. France was ruled by Louis XIV and the Palatinate or Paltzgraves Country, was located in what is now Germany, near the French-German border and was a battle ground between both France and Germany, both of whom claimed it. It was nominally ruled by Prince and Count Karl Ludwig, who was an Elector. Thousands of people were killed and many were driven from their homes in these wars which were very vicious and cruel.
There were many abandoned farms, and empty towns and people found it difficult to raise enough food to supply themselves as so many farmers had fled for their lives, or just died from disease. The area was just beginning to recover from years of warfare. Into this area came an American, William Penn who had just been given a plot of land in America by the British King, and was interested in finding people to go to America and live on his land...He made three trips that we can identify, and left a fairly detailed account of his voyages, which occurred after Quaker missionaries first visited the area.
Penn's account is long and varied but the important thing is that he came to Kreisheim. According to the Kolb "History of the Cassel Family", Penn met with many German groups on his trips, and in 1681 he went to Kassel, Frankfurt, Worms and then to Kreisheim, arriving on August 23, 1681. Penn preached with the permission of Count Karl Ludwig and in the crowd at Kreisheim were three brothers, Heinrich, (G2)Yelles and Johannes Kassel who lived in the region We know that Heinrich lived in Gerolsheim and occasionally at least, used the name Heinrich Kassel von Gerolsheim, (Gorlisheim).
Julius Kassel (G1)was the father of Heinrich,(G2)Yelles and Johannes. Julius was a Mennonite minister as were his sons Heinrich and Yelles. Johannes was a weaver.
According to the Biography of Leonard Cassel by Rev. Charles D. Smith (1892), Leonard claimed that the three Kassel brothers were so enthused by Penn's preaching and comments about America that they immediately invited him to their homes, and he accepted the invitation to visit Heinrich, (G2) who lived in Gerolsheim which was nearby...Kolb indicates that Heinrich was a Minister in Lambartsheim in 1681 , moving to Gerolsheim in 1690 and on to Kreisheim in the early 1700's.
Kolb also says that Heinrich (G2) was a man of "considerable note" in Germany and was briefly tempted from his Mennonites to the Quakers because of Penn, as they were very similar in many respects, but he soon moved back to the Mennonites, and avidly attacked those other Mennonites who remained Quakers, especially his brother Johannes. He wrote some 'broadsides" as they were then called attacking his brother. Some of these broadsides still exist owned by Mr. A.H. Cassell of Harleysville, PA.. Johannes, (G2) Heinrichs (G2) brother, who had converted to Quakerism to obtain early access to land, sailed to America in the ship JEFFRIES, leaving Europe on March 20, 1686 and arrived in Germantown, PA, on Nov. 20, 1686, a voyage of 7 months . Johannes (G2)was 47 years of age.
Johannes brought with him his wife, Mary, and children Peter, Mary, Arnold, Sarah and Elizabeth...Some of the old papers about the Cassells list Johannes name as Hans Peter for some reason..it seems likely that his Christian name was actually Johannes (Hans) Peter Kassel. His son Arnold was elected "Rekorder" of Germantown in 1691. Johannes signed the original application of the town of Germantown, which was necessary to incorporate a new village. Heinrich(G2) sent his chidren to the first school in Germantown which was established in1702
Heinrich also grew dissillusioned with the conditons in Germany and in the Palatinate and apparently sailed to the New World, arriving around 1700. Heinrich (G2) brought with him his wife and four children. These children were Ann, (G3) Nicholas (G3) and Sara Kassel,(G3) while a fourth child, a boy, Heinrich, (G3) was apparently either born just before their departure or immediately after their arrival in the New World.
Julius's (G1) third son, also named Julius, (G2)who was also a Mennonite minister in Kreisheim, was apparently in poor health and never came to the new world.
Heinrich's (G3) son b. 1700-1708 was named Johannes Heinrich, who went by the name of Heinrich, and later just plain Henry. Someime around this period their name became Cassell instead of Kassel.
Also around this time, a strange little event occurred. There was apparently a death in the Kassel/Cassell family in Germany, and word came that a considerble fortune and possibly a title was to be claimed by one of the brothers, Johannes or Heinrich(G2)..We know that the entire matter was dicussed in the Mennonite religious service, since records exist of its discussion, and we also know that the congretation decided that the money should be refused because it would make the recipients"too proud". The author heard this story from his father and grandfather, and both Kolb's "History of the Cassell's", and the Cassel researcher Alice Bordeleon mention the same story. The fact that the matter was discussed in the Mennonite Church, but not the Quaker Meeting, seems to indicate that Henrich, (G2), who was still a Mennonite, was the intended recipient, and not Johannes, (G2)who was by now a Quaker. Nevertheless the money was refused, as was the title and land and the refusal seems to have created a schism in the family which had not healed at the time of World War II. There seems to be nothing left in writing which indicates what the title may have been, but the church minutes do mention an "enormous" fortune.
Perhaps due to the ill feelings from part of his family over being slighted as far as the inheritance was concerned, Heinrich (G2) left Germantown, Pennsylvania ,with his family, and moved to Philadelphia, a short journey and then in 1712 he moved to Chester Co. PA, near the town of Coventry where he died and was buried in 1726. His son Johannes Heinrich, (G3) by this time just plain John Henry Cassell (G3)married a young lady named Anna Margaret Bemker(G3) in approximately 1830. According to
PENNSYLVANIA GERMAN MARRIAGES by Donna Irish, Anna Margaret was the daughter of Christopher and Anna Eva Bemker. Anna and Henry(G3) had at least five children. They were:
John Jacob. b. Oct. 7, 1734. in Connewago, PA(G4)
Caterina b. Oct. 1739 in Connewago, PA(G4)
Anna Eva b. Feb. 25, 1748 in Conneewago, Pa(G4)
Martin b. approximately 1752(G4)
Abraham b. Sept. 25, 1756, probably in Maryland. (G4)
It seems very probable that Henry Cassell (G3) was, in fact, the first Maryland Cassell. By way of substantiation of this claim, both bore the name Heinrich , which was somewhat noteworthy at that time, and three of Henry Cassell's(G3) children, John Jacob , Katarina (Catherina)(G4), and Anna Eva(G4) , were born in Connewago, Pennsylvania, which at that time was located in Chester Co. and the Maryland Cassell's claim that the first Cassell migrated from Pennsylvania. This is the county in which Heinrich Cassell (G2) lived the last 14 years of his life, and where he was was buried.
The last written record of our Henry's (G3) presence in PA is in the recorded birth of his daughter, Anna Eva (G3) in Connewago, Penn on Feb. 25, 1748
We next find Henry (G3) in Frederick, Co. MD, purchasing a home and acreage named "Mill Lott", consisting of 50 acres, on July 19, 1754, followed by the additional purchase of a home named "Clear Meadows, on Aug. 25, 1754. Clear Meadows had 91 acres. He obviously arrived in Maryland between Feb. 1748 and July 1754. At this time Henry would have been in his early 50"s. Martin Cassell (G4) was born at about this time, either in Pennsylvania or Maryland but most probably Maryland, and Abraham (G4), the third and last son, came along about 2 years later, in the same year as old Henry's (G3) death.
A religious problem was developing in Maryland during the 1740's-50's. The Protestants thought that the Catholics were trying to intefere with their religion and were importing more Priests from Germany and France to help them do it. The Protestants organized watch groups of trusted Protestants, who spoke German, to spy on the Catholic "mass houses" and report back on their activities.
This "watching" was done secretly by trusted members of thecongregation and one of the "watchers" was Henry Cassell.(G3) On June 17, 1751, he made a "deposition" to the court of Frederick, Co. MD. A copy of the deposition is in the Maryland State Archives, Liber, L. P. 54.
The Blackhawk war began in 1754 and although it is not known if Henry(G3) was in the war, we do know that he died in that same year. There is quite likely to be some connection and the search is continuing.
Margaret (G3), Henry's widow found herself in need of money as a result of some expenses incurred during the war, and Henry's (G3) absence, and just before her mortgage on Clear Meadows was to be foreclosed, she sold it in 1761.
Martin (G4) married Anna Maria _______ around 1770. Martin apparently had 13 children whom we can name, but since there were two and possibly three wives, we do not know how many children were by each wife.
Some parts of the family insist that Martin (G4) was only married one time, to either, Anna Marie, or to Elizabeth; and other researchers are equally positive that he was married at least twice, the most common arrangement being first to Anna Marie ____ and second to Elizabeth...There are references and arguments to support each point of view, equally strong and vigorously defended. This author feels that the two wife theory is most likely correct, as far as it goes, since there is some supposition that in fact, he had three wives. The number, and names of his children as listed by various researchers seems to this author to argue for the three wife theory. Some researchers claim that he had only a "few" proven children, while others, equally diligent insit that the number ranged from 9 to 13, although amazingly the names of the nine children are always the same as 9 of the 13 listed by other researchers...although the birth dates, deaths, and marriages listed are highly suspect.
This list of Martin's children is generally accepted by most researchers, although the dates and names of marriages tends to vary.
(1) Mary (G5) married George Stone and had 9 children
Mary Stone (G6) married William Armstrong
William Stone (G6)married Ann
Betsy Stone (G6)married William Hafford
Lydia Stone (G6)married Gaines
Deborah Stone (G6)married Joseph Wingate
(2) Rachel (G5) married John Hines
(3) John(G5) married Catherine
(4) George (G5)married Margaret
(5) David (G5) married Anna
(6) Jacob(G5) married Rebecca
(7) Henry Cassell(G5) m (1) Ann Boston (1)married Mary Hesse (Polly)
(8) Catherine (G5) married John Loser
(9) Rebecca (G5)married Peter Lewis
(10) Deborah(G5) married William Cline
(11) Benjamin(G5) married Ann Warford
(12) Abraham(G5) married Mary Ann Nixon
(13) Thomas (G5)married Polly Claxton
Although the exact dates are unknown, Henry Cassell (G5) moved from Maryland down into Kentucky with his father and mother, and this is where his activities get a bit murky. There is strong suspicion that Henry's (G5) first wife was named Ann Boston, although this is more from conjecture than from any records available. It is also thought that his second wife was Polly Hesse although it possible that the order is reversed.
A bit of imagination is required here, since Henry (G5) was in Jacksonville in 1830 residing at a Hotel, and working as a carpenter. We know little of his life in Jacksonville at that time, but Jacksonville at that time was very crude, and just beginning to have frame buildings rather than sod huts, and Indians were plentiful just outside of the town area, especially around some of the creeks and heavily wooded areas.
There would have been a steady demand for carpenters and loggers, keeping Henry busy while he earned money for his family to join him... He must have returned to Kentucky to bring his wife back to Jacksonville, and we do not know how long he was in Kentucky but the next concrete event in his life is the birth of his oldest daughter Mary Cassell (G6) in 1833, in Kentucky and then a second daughter, S.A, or L.A. (G6) in 1835, also in Kentucky.
His next child, Henry M. (G6) was born in the house on North St, (Douglas Street) that he owned having purchased it on May 9, 1835 , described as lot 24 on the original city plat. He purchased it from Darius Ingalls.
Sometime during these years, it is believed that Ann Boston, (G5) his first wife, died and Henry(G5) remarried. We are not exactly sure if Ann died prior to the voyage to Morgan Co. IL or afterwards, and we do not know if Ann was the mother of some or all of his children but we do know that some of the Boston family either accompanied Henry to Illinois or came at some other time, and were living in property adjacent to him a bit later, and the Boston family were still residing in property immediately behind the Cassell family home on N. Fayette St. as late as 1950.
Many Cassell family members made the same trek including one or Henry's brothers perhaps Jacob and part of his family. There were apparently friendly enough to prompt the journey, but there was no familial relations after arriving in Illinois, at least when the author was a boy. There were many other Cassell families living in Jacksonville during the 1930's and 40's and no relationship between the two branches of the family was ever mentioned or referred to by the authors family. The several branches of the family more or less ignored the others, and no family activires were ever held, nor did the differing family members speak to each other.
Henry M.(G6) married Margaret Catherine Dunavan (G6) in Jacksonville on Aug. 16, 1859 by a miniser named J. A. Locke. Margaret Catherine was a daughter of Wyant Dunavan from Kentucky who was b. near Hopkinsville, KY in Christian Co. in 1810. Wyant married Ellen Courtney. Wyant Dunavan was descended from William Dunavan and Catherine Gay. Catherines father, Dr. Sameul Gay was a Revolutionary War surgeon in the Virginia 8th Regiment of Foot, and also served as a ships surgeon.
In the 1840 Federal Census, the Cassell's and the Dunavan's lived on North Street and Margaret Catherines father was also a carpenter, working with Henry.
In 1860, Henry M. was living on North Street in old Henry's former house, while the elder Henry, (G5) who was now 80 years of age, was living next door with his daughter Mary, (G6) and her husband, Walter Shaw who is listed as a tobacconist. They at this time had a daughter Lydia Shaw, and a boy William Henry Shaw who was five months old at the time of the 1860 census.
Henry M. (G6) had his son, another Henry,(G7) (Alfred Henry Cassell) who was 7 months at the time of the census. This Alfred Henry is the authors grandfather.
Alfred Henry Cassell, (G7) son of Henry M, was born on Jan 25, 1860 in Jacksonville. He was born on Douglas St. where his father, Henry M had been born.
Henry M.(G6) was by this time registered in the Illinois State Militia as the Civil War was beginning in ernest.
Alfred Henry, (G7) Henry M.'s son married Lena Burmeister (G7) of Virginia Il, in Virginia on May 4, 1881...Lena was the daughter of John Burmeister and Anna Sophie Reich, both of whom were born in The Kingdom of Hanover, town of Demian. They had an older boy, Charles who was born on Feb. 5 1854 in Hanover, and Lena was born om Chicago on Apr. 1, 1859. One thing occurred which was to affect their children for the rest of their lives . John and Anna Sophie were married in Hanover on Feb. 11, 1851. Charles was b in 1854 and the couple left Germany because for some reason, their marriage was declared to be unlawful....Arriving in the United States they were immediately remarried and then Lena was b in 1860. The fact that they were remarried in the United States made Charles appear to be illegitimate on the records, even though their parent's and others who came with them, including the neighbors who attended Anna Sophie at the birth, swore that they had been married in Hanover, and remarried as soon as they reached Chicago.
John either was drafted, or enlisted in the Union Army on August 27, 1862 and left for camp life, and on the very next day, his wife, Anna Sophie died. John never saw his children again as he was mortally wounded at Chickamauga, Georgia, during the Battle of Chickamauga on Sept. 20th 1863, and died in the general field hospital in Chattanooga, TN on Oct. 8, 1863. Johns death ocurred during a very brave and heroic stand against a much larger Confederate force, and the hill on which John was shot was renamed Lytel Hill in honor of the Commanding Officer of Johns Brigade and is crowned with a monuent honoring the men from Illinois who fell in that small part of the battle.
Charles and Lena were left in care of Johns brother, Charles Burmeister who received $4.00 per month for each child until their 16th birthday. Charles Burmesiter moved to Jacksonville between 1863 and 1866 bringing with him Johns children., Charles and Lena Burmeister. Alfred Henry (G7) and Lena Cassell (G7) had six children. They were:
Walter (G8) born in Aug, 1882
Maude(G8) was born in March,1884
Alfred (G8) born on Feb. 7, 1886 (G8)
Herbert (G8) born in July , 1887
Eugene(G8) born July,1890
Blanche (G8) born in April,1892
Alfred Henry (G7) and Lena Cassell (G7) bought Lots 9 and 10 located on the east side of N. Fayette Street at about the midpoint between Independence Ave. and Walnut St. in Lamberts North Addition. They divided these lots in half as they are 204 feet 6 inches in width and built the family home on the north half of lot 9 which was at 1048 N. Fayette St. Lots 9 and 10 together cost 400 dollars when purchased in April of 1888.
Alfred (G8) left home in about 1905 and went to work for the Railroad where he became a railroad telegrapher. His first job was in Seeburger, Mo, working for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy RR, working both in Seeburger and Hannibul, Mo. In the Spring of 1906 he moved to the Denver and Rio Grande and Western RR (DRGW) and started working in Mack, Colorado, and Price, Utah and also working in the main offices of the DRGW in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In 1906 his brother Herbert came to visit him, and Alfred (G8) got two RR passes for the two of them and they journeyed west on their vacation, winding up in San Francisco, CA. In April, on the day of the great earthquake they were staying in a hotel on Market Street in San Francisco. They planned to return to Salt Lake City that morning and so they arose early and checked out of their room. Alfred (G8)was down on the sidewalk waiting for Bert when suddenly the earthquake struck.
Neither one knew what it was, and Alfred (G8) indicates he was really frightened and almost ran away, as the bricks of the facade of their hotel began to fall around him onto the sidewalk. He ran out to the center of Market Street, and yelled for this Brother. Bert was on the inside stairs coming down from the upper floors when the quake hit, and he began running down, and says that he had to dodge bricks and chunks of concrete when he hit the sidewalk. They ran to the center of the street and Alfred says they proceeded immediately to the ferry landing at the foot of Market St. and went over to Oakland and after some delay, caught their train home. I have seen some photos of San Francisco on that morning, especially on Market Street, and while I have not been able to identify Alfred(G8) and Bert, it is quite possible that they are in some of the thousands of pictures of the area which exist today.
Finally Alfred Henry (G8) came home to Jacksonville and there met Gladys Emma Davis, (G8) who was in Jacksonville attending Nurses training at the Jacksonville State Hospital. Gladys was the daugher of Charles Marion Davis, and August (Gussie) Emma White. Gladys was b. in Buncombe, Ill on May 9, 1906 . Her father Charles M. Davis was the son of John William Davis and Nancy E. Stubblefield Davis. Charles was b. in Johnson County, IL, April 16, 1879 and August (Gussie) White was b in Indianapolis,
IN on Mar. 22, 1879 the daugher of Dr. William Gus White and Flora A. Nossaman.
Charles M and Gussie had three other children other than Gladys...They were Raymond Charles Davis. b. Oct. 10, 1899. Flora Elizabeth Davis, b. Dec. 8, 1903 and Orville White, b. Oct. 7, 1902.
Raymond served in World War I in the Rainbow Division, married Lois Cook and then Neva Carter. Flora married Leamon Walker and had one child, William E. (Bill) Walker.
Alfred Henry Cassell (G8) and Gladys E. Davis (G8) were married in Jacksonville on October, 19, 1925, and moved to St. Louis to live, where Alfred Henry Cassell (G9) was born. on September 19, 1926, the author of this record. Alfred Henry served in WWII and then attended Indiana State University and obtrained teaching credentials for Illinois, and Indiana and began teaching in Marshall, IL. He retired from the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1990 as Principal Administrator. On September 9, 1947 Alfred Henry (G9) married Hannah Henrietta Sornsen (G9) the daughter of Henry Sornsen and Lotus Elizabeth Tryon. Lotus was the daughter of Jerimiah Tryon, b, 7 April, 1840 and Mary Elizabeth Hall, b. 6 Feb. 1851. Jerimiah Tryon servdd in the 43rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry, for four years, having enlisted in 1861 and being dischrged as a Sargeant in 1865, having also spent part of this time as a prisoner of war in Tyler, Texas. In 1951, Charles Robert Cassell (G10) was born on May 30, and David Terrance Cassell (G10) was b. Dec. 3, 1952. David Terrance (G10) married Nam Eng. (Penny) Khoo (G10) on Dec.7,1979 and Faye Xian Hui Cassell (G11) was b. on 22 Aug. 1986, and Terrance Wei Long Cassell (G11) was b. on 12 Aug, 1988.
G1 Julius Kassell (G1)of Kreisheim
Heinrich Kassell(G2 Johannes Kassell (G2) Julius Kassell(G2)
Ann(G3) Peter(G3) unknown
Heinrich (G3)----------------Anna Margaret Bemker
Anna Eva b 1748
Martin (G4) b1752------Elizabeth
Mary Hesse------------Henry Cassell (G5) b 1780
Mary b. 1833
S.A (or L.A) b. 1835
Henry M. b. 1837 (G6)-----Margaret Catherine Donavan
Lena Burmeister b.1859----- Alfred Henry Cassell (G7) b. 1860
Gladys Emma Davis---- Alfred Henry Cassell (G8) b. 1886
Alfred Henry Cassell (G9) b. 1926----Hannah Henrietta Sornsen b.1927
Charles Robert Cassell (G10)
Nam Eng Khoo--------David Terrance Cassell (G10)
Faye Xian Hue Cassell (G11)
Terrance Wei Long Cassell (G11)
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