- In which U.S. State did the Casbons first settle and where did they come from?
- What year is the earliest U.S. Census with the surname Casbon?
- What is the first U.S. military conflict for which there are service records of a Casbon family member?
1. The U.S. State with the earliest records of the Casbon name is Louisiana. Today Louisiana has the second highest number of individuals with the Casbon surname after Indiana. A few of Jesse Casbon’s (1843—1934; son of Thomas Casbon, 1803—1888) descendants now live in Louisiana. Otherwise, the remainder of the Louisiana Casbons are not related to the “Indiana Casbons,” and their ancestors almost certainly did not originate in England.
Many of the given names for this family, especially in early records, are French in origin. It is possible that the family migrated to Louisiana from Acadia, which was the name given to portions of the Canadian maritime provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island) by French settlers in the 1600s. In 1755, the British began to expel the Acadians from their homeland in Canada, and they were dispersed to a variety of locations, including France, Great Britain, the Caribbean, and the American east coast. Gradually, many of them resettled in Louisiana, which had originally been a French Colony, and in 1763 became a possession of Spain following the Seven Years’ War. This became part of the United States in 1803 with the signing of the Louisiana Purchase. In Louisiana, the term Acadian was shortened to Cajun, referring to the descendants of the original Acadians.
It’s also possible that the Louisiana Casbons have Creole origins, which refers to those who were native-born in Louisiana. This originally referred to descendants of French settlers but also “came to be applied to African-descended slaves and Native Americans who were born in Louisiana.”
The 1900 U.S. Census has a record for Francois Casbon, born 1825 in Louisiana. His father’s birthplace is recorded as France, so it’s also possible that some or all of the first Louisiana Casbons migrated directly from France in the late 18th or early 19th century.
I don’t know which of these origins best describes the Casbons of Louisiana. Hopefully this knowledge has been passed down through the generations for the benefit of present-day family members.
Like those of us with English roots, it’s possible that the name has changed over time. There are records for similar French surnames, such as Cassabon, Casabonne and Casbonne.
2. The 1820 U.S. Census has an entry for “Bte [Baptiste] Casbon,” whose age was between 16 and 25 years. This is the earlies census record I have found with the Casbon surname.
Detail from 1820 U.S. Census, St. Jacques Parish, Louisiana. The “1” in the first numbered column denotes a free white male under age 10; the “1” in the 4th numbered column denotes a free white male age 16-25; the “1 in the 9th numbered column denotes a free white female age 16-25. The 16th through 19th numbered columns show numbers of males slaves of different ages; columns 20 through 23 show numbers of female slaves; these are followed by numbers for free male and female “colored persons.” (Click on image to enlarge)
There may be earlier census records with variant spellings of the name, but without more information, such as birth and marriage records, I can’t tell if they are related.
3. Corporal Bte [Baptiste] Casbon is recorded as a member of Colonel Landry’s 6th Louisiana Militia regiment in the War of 1812.
Corporal Casbon is listed in the rosters of those who fought in the New Orleans Campaign, and he very likely participated in the Battle of New Orleans, January 1815, led by Major General Andrew Jackson.
Is this the same Bte Casbon as the 1820 census? He might be, depending on his age. Since the census only gives his age as 16-25, he could have been anywhere from 8 to 17 years old in 1812, and 11 to 20 when the war ended in 1815. If he was at the older end of this range, it might be possible, though unlikely, that he achieved the rank of Corporal by the age of 20.
This is only a brief introduction to the Louisiana Casbons. They have not been the focus of my research, but I wanted to mention them in the blog because they also have a story worth preserving. Hopefully a member of that family is doing research or will be motivated to do so.