A Minor Mystery Solved

A more appropriate title for this post might have been “The Many Wives of James Casbon.” However, I’ll stick with the current title because it was finding the answer to the “minor mystery” that prompted me to write the post. This is a cautionary tale. The caution is that one should be very careful about… Continue reading A Minor Mystery Solved


The 19th century was a time of tremendous social and economic change in England. The industrial revolution and growth of the railroads created economic growth, new job opportunities, and shifted segments of the population from their traditional rural homelands to the cities. How did this affect our English Casbon ancestors? We can gain some insight… Continue reading Occupations

A Coming-of-Age Celebration

I wasn’t planning on writing about this family again so soon, but I was drawn to this article in the October 24, 1908 Bury (Lancashire, England) Times.[1] I was struck by both the importance of the occasion and the detailed reporting of the evening’s festivities. It paints such a vivid picture of a bygone era.… Continue reading A Coming-of-Age Celebration

A Family of Tailors

We’ve already met Alfred Hitch Casbon. He’s the guy whose middle name was transcribed as “Jitel” (see “Without a Hitch”). He was the son of James (Howse) Casbon (1806–1871) by his first wife, Ann Hitch. Alfred Hitch Casbon was born September 4, 1828 in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire and baptized in the “non-conformist” Independent church December 7th of… Continue reading A Family of Tailors

James Casbon, Farmer and Carrier, 1806-1871, Part 2

Part 1 of this series ended with the death of James’ wife of 16 years, Susanna Hayden Sanders. The next chapter of James’ life was turbulent, as he faced significant legal, financial, and domestic challenges. The first record of this period is the 1851 census.[1] Detail from 1851 census, Meldreth, Cambridgeshire (Click on image to enlarge)… Continue reading James Casbon, Farmer and Carrier, 1806-1871, Part 2

James Casbon, Farmer and Carrier, 1806-1871, Part 1

James Casbon of Meldreth (~1772-1833) had only one son, also named James, who is the subject of today’s post. He was born September 7, 1806 and baptized September 28 in the same year.[1] Detail from Meldreth Bishop’s Transcripts, showing birth and baptismal dates for James Casbon, 1806 (Click on image to enlarge) He was a… Continue reading James Casbon, Farmer and Carrier, 1806-1871, Part 1

Without a Hitch

What would you say is this first name? Don’t feel bad if you don’t know. One of the major online genealogy organizations didn’t know either. Here’s a screen shot of how the record was transcribed in FamilySearch. https://familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&query=%2Bgivenname%3Ajitel~%20%2Bsurname%3Acasbon~ : accessed 11 January 2017 (Click on image to enlarge) Did you think the name was “Jitel”?… Continue reading Without a Hitch