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Thomas CASS, SV/PROG's Geni Profile

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Birthdate: (64)
Birthplace: Easingwold, Yorkshire, England
Death: May 13, 1876 (60-68)
Wentworth, Durban, Natal, South Africa (Fatally stabbed in the neck by African cattle thieves)
Immediate Family:

Son of James CASS and Sarah CASS
Husband of Jane CLARKSON, SM/PROG
Father of Ann CASS, [Never married]; William CASS and Elizabeth CASS

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Thomas CASS, SV/PROG

British Settler in Natal.

Many Yorkshiremen came to Natal in the mid 1800's. One scheme that catered for them extensively was the Weslyan-orientated co-operative scheme conceived by Henry Boast. The committee assisting him consisted of Sameul Cordukes, Robert Smith (c. 1904-1881), Richard Brough, Joseph Smith, William Lund and James Tutin. The party sailed on the HAIDEE in July 1850 with Henry's wife Mary, now widowed, keeping the party together. Lund purchased the farm 'Mieliehoogte' about 20 miles from Pietermaritzburg for the immigrants. York was the name given to the village laid out for them.

Source: British Settlers in Natal. A Biographical Register 1824 - 1857, Volume 4 Cadle - Coventry by Shelagh O'Byrne Spencer.


British Settler

Source: British Settlers in Natal. A Biographical Register 1824 - 1857, Volume 4 Cadle - Coventry by Shelagh O'Byrne Spencer, pg. 52.

Born: c. 1812 Yorkshire. From Easingwold.

Died: 13 MAY 1876 Wentworth, near Durban.


Wife: Jane (c. 1811 - 3 NOV 1889, Wentworth)

Emigrated to Natal on the HAIDEE with Mrs. CASS's daughter Sarah CLARKSON (born c. 1834) who married in FEB 1856 at Pietermaritzburg to George JARVIS. They were assisted by Henry BOAST (1816 - 1850) and his wife Mary.

By September 1851 he had taken over York allotment of stepdaughter Sarah, but had sold his own land to John ATKINSON.

CASS settled in Durban, and by the end of 1852 he was working as a labourer. The Erf 14, Block C in St. George's Street was partly owned by CASS by April 1865.

He travelled to Australia in November 1854 with Francis CLARKSON, also a Haidee settler, leaving on the ANNE for Cape Town, then to the Australian Gold Fields. He returned from Melbourne in May 1855 via Mauritius on the LAVINIA.

CASS was a thatcher in 1858 to 1859 in Durban.

He moved to Wentworth between 1859 and April 1865. He had a large piece of land and grew fresh produce which he sold direct to Durban householders and neighbouring Africans.

By 1876, according to the Natal Mercury, CASS's house at Wentworth was in close proximity to those of his son William, son-in-law William WINN, and Francis CLARKSON.

He died on his farm. At about midnight he was aroused by noises in his cattle kraal and barking dogs. On investigation he surprised Africans skinning his oxen they had just slaughtered. They turned on him and he was fatally stabbed in the neck.

He brought other family members to Natal. James (born c. 1817), farmer, his wife Isabella (c. 1819 - 1907) and children William (born c. 1842), John (born c. 1845) and Elizabeth (born c. 1849) all from Sheriff Hutton, Yorkshire. They landed in September 1860 on the PRISCILLA. CASS stood surety for repayment of their fares.

James and his sons William and John were farming at Springfield near Durban in the mid 1860's.

In the 1870's James was farming at Pinetown.

Children of Thomas CASS:-

Elizabeth (5 Jan c. 1836, Easingwold - 20 May 1869, Wentworth. Married October 1855 at Durban to William WINN.

William (24 April 1840, ? Easingwold - 30 January 1927, Bellair, near Durban). Married to Martha CHILCOTT (c. 1841, England - 19 January 1933, Bellair, near Durban), daughter of Mrs. S. A. CHILCOTT. He was a bricklayer and builder. In the mid 1860's, 1870's and early 1880's he appears to have been in Wentworth, except for a short interlude around 1867 when he lived at Illovo Drift. By 1905 he was at Bellair.

Ann (28 April c. 1844, ? Easingwold - 24 July 1905, Pietermaritzburg). Unmarried. In 1855 one of Ann's hands was terribly mauled by a caged hyena on William SMERDON's premises.

Stepchild: Sarah CLARKSON (born c. 1834). Married February 1856 in Pietermaritzburg to George JARVIS.


Haidee Settlers

Surname - Cass

The Cass Family

The relationship between Thomas and James Cass has not been established, although it is possible that they might have been cousins.

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

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 liason 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 about 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.

Link sent by Shelvin SWANEPOEL on Geni, 6 FEB 2012


Origin and description of the surname CASS:-

Casse Rumpe 1279 RH (C); John, William Casse 1170 P (Y), 1200 P (Ess.) A pet-form of Cassandra, a common 13th-century woman's name: Cassandra 1182 -1211 Bury S (C), 1208 Cur (Y), 1275 RH (Nf).

Sourced from A dictionary of British Surnames by P. H. Reaney.


Estate and Court files:-

NAB/AGO/LEER/I/8/18/01/AGO 169A/1876/1 - Murder of Thomas Cass. He was murdered by natives.




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Thomas CASS, SV/PROG's Timeline

Easingwold, Yorkshire, England
January 5, 1836
Age 24
Easingwold, Yorkshire, England
April 24, 1840
Age 28
?Easingwold, ?Yorkshire, England
April 28, 1844
Age 32
?Easingwold, Yorkshire, England
May 13, 1876
Age 64
Durban, Natal, South Africa