A brief overview of the research to this point shows that our Cassity descendants have been tracing their roots for most of this century... if not before. We'd certainly like to have all their notes, but so far we have in the archives only some partial notes and old correspondence from a few. Of course, some of the earlier researchers did not have access to many of the records we have today and so some of their conclusions have now been proven wrong.
Since there are so few records of our Cassitys in Colonial Virginia, most of the research has focused on early Kentucky. We have found our Cassitys and Cassidys in the records of several counties. In the early years of the state many of these counties were divided more than once making it appear that our clan moved around a lot when in truth much of the time they stayed in the same place and just the name of the county changed. They are first recorded in Fayette and Lincoln and possibly Mercer counties, then Clark, Bourbon, Montgomery and Fleming. Later they are found in Bath, Nicholas, Floyd and Morgan and still later in Rowan, Lewis, Jessamine, Owen, Menifee and possibly others.
As early as the 1830's some of our Kentucky Cassitys set out for new frontiers. We find them in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and some of their descendants moved even farther west and south. Today I suppose we have descendants of these original "five brothers" scattered across the whole country! We hope to discover all the branches of this family and fill in a good many blanks in the near future.
We certainly need more research done on all the brothers and sisters. It appears that many of David's descendants, a few of John's, and several of William's have been tracing their roots. Possibly the rest of us who are unsure where we fit in are descended from Peter Jr. We have not heard yet from anyone descended from Daniel. There are of course several Cassity men in the same counties who have not been definitely linked with any of the brothers. It would be a major find to have someone turn up a will, probate record or property settlement naming all the children of Peter Jr. as that would probably link up several of these men of the second generation!
Without a doubt, our biggest challenge is to identify the father of the "five brothers"... our immigrant ancestor! There are two theories at present. Some believe that a Peter Cassity Sr., born c.1725 Co. Fermanagh, Ireland was their father and some name this Peter's wife as Ann Melissa Armstrong. There is a brief court record of a Peter Cassady in King George County, Virginia in 1727. We have records of a Peter Cassity in Frederick County, Virginia as early as 1744. Frederick County is the area where the locale known as the South Branch was found and we know that at least some of our Cassitys lived in the South Branch. A 1777 petition in Harrison County, Virginia is signed by John Casaday, Peter Casaday Jr., Peter Casaday, Sr., David Casaday and Wm. Casaday. Because of the early date of this appearance of two Peter Cassitys this could support the claim that the father of these men was a man named Peter.
Peter Cassity is named in early Virginia records but we know that there were at least two by that name and likely three or even four, so it's hard to determine which Peter is being referred to in each instance. There is indeed a birth record found for Ann Armstrong in Edinburgh, Scotland on 5 Aug 1728 which is the date of birth given for the wife of Peter Cassity, Sr. However, no middle name is given and so far no marriage record has been found.
Some have believed that the Neil Cassaty referred to in the Augusta County, Virginia court records of 1767 is the father of these Cassity brothers. The court records list Neilís sons as John, Peter, James and Patrick. It appears that this Neil and family lived in the Buffalo River area which eventually became a part of Rockbridge County, Virginia. There is also a record of a Cornelius and James Cassidy on a 1702 Essex County, Virginia list of immigrants. Exchange of data with descendants of this Peter Casseday reveal that he lived and died in Rockbridge County, Virginia in 1804. Although at least some of his children moved to Louisville, Kentucky after his death, there is no evidence that Peter Casseday himself ever left Virginia.
A descendant of a John Cassity born c.1750 believes he may very well be the same John named as son of Neil in the Augusta County court records. This John also lived in Rockbridge County before marrying and moving to the part of North Carolina that later was included in the boundary of Tennessee. He died in Washington County, Tennessee after 1798.
For more details on this subject, read an article and editorial originally printed in our newsletter "The Link". If you have any evidence to support either of these two theories... or any other theory... PLEASE send us email! We cannot extend our line back to Ireland until we identify our immigrant ancestor.
Please check our Links page to find some helpful sites for your research. We also have links to some of our researchers homepages.