The Cass Family
The relationship between Thomas and James Cass has not been
established, although it is possible that they might have been
On 12 April 1812 a son of James Cass and Sarah was baptised at
Hovingham, having been born the previous day. Although the name of
the child is given as James in the register, this could have been an
error on the part of the priest. Both the date of birth (according to
Thomas's gravestone in Stellawood Cemetery, Durban and other
evidence) and the name of the father (according to the entry for
Thomas's marriage in the registers of Easingwold) coincide with
the information known for Thomas.
On 16 June 1816, James, the illegitimate son of Elizabeth CASS of
Scackleton, was baptised at Hovingham.
Thomas Cass had two illegitimate children by Jane CLARKSON.
$ Sarah was baptised at St. Mary's, Kilburn on 11 January 1835
$ Elizabeth, born on 5 January 1836 and baptised at Easingwold on
the same day that her parents married.
Thomas CASS and Jane CLARKSON married after banns at the
church of All Saints and St. John, Easingwold, on 23 April 1837, with
the consent of James CASS, possibly Thomas's father. One wonders
why consent was necessary, since at the time of the marriage Thomas
would have been well over the age of consent. Had his father perhaps
been outspoken in public about his son's liaison with Jane, to the
extent that the priest concerned felt it safer to ensure that the father
had consented to his son's marriage?
The couple had two more children baptised at Easingwold:
$ William, born on 24 April 1840 and baptised on 19 May 1841
$ Ann, born 28 April 1844 and baptised on 7 July 1844
At the time of the 1841 census, the CASS family were living at Uppleby
in the parish of Easingwold. Thomas was an agricultural labourer.
There were three children: Sarah and Elizabeth aged 6 and 4
respectively, both known by the surname CASS and the baby William
aged 6 weeks.
The CASS family emigrated to Natal in 1850. The family settled in
Durban where by the end of 1852 Thomas was working as a labourer.
At some time between 1858 and 1865 the family moved to Wentworth,
where they grew fresh produce on a large piece of land. Thomas CASS
was murdered on his farm on 14 May 1876 when he surprised some
Africans skinning one of his oxen which they had slaughtered. His wife
Jane died at Wentworth on 3 November 1889. They were buried at
Clairmont Cemetery. Their remains were later reinterred in the
Stellawood Cemetery, Durban.
Researched and contributed by Anne Clarkson. Thank you Anne for
sharing your research with us.