R is for Roger Caissie/Casey

Ah, I know this is a new one for many of my cousins.  Roger Caissie was born in 1646 in Ireland. At some point he came by ship and ended up in Acadia. There is a theory that he was a young one indentured to an English family in the lower country and that he was able to get free and headed north to Acadia.   That was a French colony at the time and he became part of the community. In 1668 he married Marie-Francoise Poirier b. 1648.

Although Roger was Irish once he was living among the folks from France he turns up in the census with his name spelled Caissie.  In the documents from there on down the family was french. All the spouses were french as well so until my gr grandfather who married Scholastica there was french blood there with a tiny bit of Irish..  So it turns out that my Gr Grandmother MacDougall was a french woman named Scholastica Caissie. Wow in 2003 when we made this discovery it was like hitting the lottery.  From having no history we had a family tree going back to the 1600’s which is further back than any of my other family trees. It really was a thrill for my brother John and I when we made the connection that got us there.

My mother had a little family tree for my Dad’s family and on there it said Margaret’s mother was either a White or Casey.  Now that makes sense since her mothers parents were LeBlanc and Caissie.

The following is taken from the Caissie.com web site

“We have very little information about the origins of Roger, the ancestor of all the Acadian Caissie-Caissey-     Quessy-Roger. We do know that he was Irish. The censuses in Acadia give him four different years of birth namely 1646 which appears on the first census and 1648 which appears in two of the next four censsuses. He would have arrived in Acadia between 1657 and 1665.”

“The socio political context in Ireland at the time that Roger, a young boy, would have lived there was extremely difficult. In 1649, England was trying to reestablish its domination over the territory following the Irish revolution of 1641 which saw the massacre of many English settlers. There followed an era of terror for the Irish Catholics. There were massacres, women and children were captured and sold as slaves in the West Indies, and what little land the peasants had was taken away from them.”

“In a letter dated March 1755, Father Antoine Maillard describes Roger as an Irish Catholic who have arrived in Port Royal from New England where « he had been indented servant and had obtained at length his discharge from his master, with permisssion to remain with the French Acadians for the freer exercise of his religion » .”

If you want to read more of the details of their life check out the site   http://caissiefamily.org/node/29

When we went to Nova Scotia back in 2003 we went to Fort Beausejour and from there we could see Le Butte de Roger which is where Roger settled.  His older children were nearby in Beaubassin.  They were all pretty successful farmers but then the English arrived and many of them were deported and one line ended up in Louisiana and took the last name Roger.  Many of those descendants have been located and come north to celebrate their Acadian Ancestry.

I am descended from Rogers son Michel, his son Joseph dit Grande Joseph.  His family hid in the woods during the deportation and ended up staying in Acadia. Otherwise we might not all be here.

The rest of the line from Roger goes Joseph, Urbain, Laurent and then Scholastica aka Christie.  She married Martin MacDougall and they had my grandmother Margaret who married James Vint.

I have never met any of my Caissie relatives but hope to in the next year or so. They have reunions up in New Brunswick. There are Caissies in Massachusetts, and Maine.  I met a fellow at a wedding and we had a grand conversation about Caissies.

So now you know about the Roger in my family tree.  We have the great documenters in Acadia who kept accurate census, land records etc and Dr. Stephen White at the University of Moncton who wrote the entire history of the Acadian Families. That has given us so much information even if it is all in French.

Genealogy is like a huge puzzle and for those of us who love doing puzzles it is incredibly fulfilling.


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