From England to Indiana, Part 3

This is the third post in a series discussing the handwritten family history of Isaac Casbon and his descendants. This post focuses on Thomas Casbon’s emigration to the United States with his family.

Thomas and family(Click on image to enlarge)

Thomas Casbon emigrated to United States in the year of 1865 1846. Although I haven’t been able to find a ship’s manifest or passenger list documenting Thomas’ voyage to America, there are several sources describing his emigration. One of the more detailed is the following, contained in a biographical sketch of his son Sylvester:

“Thomas … Casbon … who was an English farmer, in 1847 determined to share in the remarkable opportunities of the new world, and in that year embarked his family at Southampton on board the Canadian lumber boat Parkfield.…The boat on which they took passage had a long and tedious voyage, leaving England in February, first sighting land at the Banks and thence sailing up the St. Lawrence river.… At Niagara the family made the transfer in the horse cars then in use, and all had time to enjoy the spectacle of the mighty falls. From Buffalo they took another boat to Cleveland, where they arrived in the month of May. Thomas Casbon, the father, moved to Wayne county, Ohio, and bought eighty acres of land near Wooster.”[1]

The source above incorrectly gives the year as 1847. When Thomas applied for naturalization in 1852, he gave the year of his emigration as 1846.[2]

The journey must have been memorable. Another description says “the sailing vessel on which they all embarked encountered adverse winds that after several weeks drove it back within sight of the starting point, and it was a long voyage before the western continent appeared.[3] Sylvester later named a son Charles Parkfield Casbon – his middle name commemorating the ship that brought them from England to America!

He was Married to Emma Scruby at Meldrith or Melborn Church Cambridgeshire England where the record may be found. Here is a copy of Thomas and Emma’s marriage record from the Melbourn parish registers, dated October 9, 1830.[4]

1830 Thomas C Emma Scruby M Melb(Click on image to enlarge)

There are a couple of interesting things to point out in this marriage record. First, notice that the married couple and the two witnesses all signed with their ‘mark.’ Thomas used an ‘x’ and Emma used a ‘+’ sign. This suggests that neither one was proficient at writing. This is not surprising, because there was no compulsory education in England at the time.[5]

The other item of interest is that Joseph Casbon is listed as a witness to the marriage. We learned in the previous post that Joseph was Thomas’ younger brother. This marriage record is the only primary source document I’ve seen that links Joseph with the rest of the family.

Thomas and Emma Casbon had born to them 4 son’s and 2 daughters the firs born son died in infancy the name being the same as the secon born boy. Mary Ann Silvester Charles Jesse and Emma the last Daughter beng born in the state of Ohio Wayne Co. Mary Anne Casbon was baptized in Meldreth in 1833[6]. Their firstborn son was named Sell. He was baptized in 1836[7] and buried 23 days later[8]. Their next son, also named Sell (a nickname for Sylvester), was baptized 1837 in Meldreth[9]. The next two sons, Charles (“Thomas Charles”) and Jesse, were baptized in Meldreth 1840[10] and 1844, respectively.[11] Finally, daughter Emma was born May 22nd, 1847[12], not quite 1 year after they arrived in Wayne County, Ohio.

Everything in this part of the family history matches the original sources. The author must have had first-hand knowledge of most of this information. I wonder if one of Thomas’ children was the author?

[1] “Sylvester V. Casbon” History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Lewis Publishing Company (1912), Pages 482-484. Hathi Trust Digital Library: [accessed 20 August 2016]
[2] Wayne County HIstorical Society (Ohio), Genealogical Section, Wayne County, Ohio : abstracts of naturalization records, 1812-1903 (Wooster, Ohio:  Wayne County Historical Society – Genealogical Section, 1985), page 29
[3] “History of Porter County, Indiana.” Page 459
[4] Church of England. “Bishop’s transcripts for Melbourne, 1599-1847.” Marriages 1830. FamilySearch [accessed 15 May 2016]
[5] Lemire, D. A Historiographical Survey of Literacy in Britain between 1780 and 1830. Constellations Vol 4, No.1 (2012). [accessed 18 Aug 2016)
[6] Church of England., “Parish registers for Meldreth, 1681-1877”, Baptisms 1833. FHL Microfilm #1040542. Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1980
[7] Church of England., “Parish registers for Meldreth, 1681-1877”, Baptisms 1836
[8] Church of England., “Parish registers for Meldreth, 1681-1877”, Burials 1836
[9] Church of England., “Parish registers for Meldreth, 1681-1877”, Baptisms 1837
[10] Church of England., “Parish registers for Meldreth, 1681-1877”, Baptisms 1840
[11] Church of England., “Parish registers for Meldreth, 1681-1877”, Baptisms 1844
[12] “Emma Rigg” Find A Grave Memorial # 18208125. Find A Grave [accessed 18 Aug 2016]

13 thoughts on “From England to Indiana, Part 3

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    1. Hello, and thanks for the comments. I think the WordPress spam filter ate your first comment. I’m very new to the whole thing to. Think about what you want to accomplish and who your target audience is. Make a running list of potential blog topics. I started writing draft posts several weeks before I went live. That gave me a little buffer of time to work out kinks. Best wishes.


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