The McDonald/Cass Family
Cass, Josiah


Family Links

1. Pomeroy, Mercy

2. McIntyre, Anne

Cass, Josiah

  • Born: 2 Feb 1738, Hebron Connecticut
  • Marriage (1): Pomeroy, Mercy on 28 Nov 1760
  • Marriage (2): McIntyre, Anne on 1 Aug 1782
  • Died: 1804

bullet  General Notes:

Josiah Cass' ancestors immigrated to the United States and living in Massachusetts in 1640, moving to Exeter, New ire about 1723. By 2 Feb 1738, when Josiah was born, his , Moses, and family resided in Hebron, Connecticut. Josiah a Bachelors degree from Yale in 1758, a Masters in 1760 practised law in Hartford, Connecticut. On 28 Nov 1760 he led Mercy Pomeroy in Suffield, Connecticut. Mercy was born 24 1740, the daughter of Joseph Pomeroy and Thankful Burbank. The genealogy goes back to Eltweed Pomeroy who was baptized 4 1585, in Beaminster, Dorset, England. Eltweed is given as a of Henry II through his illegitimate son, "Reginald The Bastard” the first Earl of Cornwall.

At least the first three of Josiah and Mercy's children were in Suffield, Josiah 12 Dec 1761, Joseph Pomeroy 28 May 1764 Elihu 22 June 1766. In 1773 he was a clerk in Rupert, Vermont liy 1775 he was farming in Charlotte County, province of York, Two more children were born during this period, Mercy 26 Jan 1769 and Amanda 21 July 1771.

In 1776 when the war between the United States and England erupted, Josiah chose to remain loyal to England and served in Colonel John Peters Corps, which was called the Queen's Loyal Rangers. In Oct 1777, after many successful skirmishes, General Burgoyne's army, lost a thousand men in a battle at Bennington, Vermont. Colonel Peters Corps alone lost 298 out of 452 and obtained permission the night before the surrender at Saratoga, New York to try to escape through the woods to Canada. Josiah Cass and his sister's husband, Jephtha Hawley, were two of the many who were successful. It is assumed that they went to their homes, picked up their wives and families and then escaped to safety in Canada, where most Loyalists wintered at a frontier post, probably near Prescott.

Daniel was born to Josiah and Mercy 15 Jan 1778. On 14 Sep 1778 Josiah, Jephtha and other Loyalists arrived at Machiche, Quebec, which is fifteen miles south-west of Three Rivers on the north shore of Lake St. Peter. Here they began building a new community. Josiah Cass was appointed as Schoolmaster and he was to receive 40 pounds a year. The following letter is evidence he did not receive anywhere near that sum:
Machiche, 11 March, 1784.

Whereas I understand by Mr. Delaney, Inspector of Loyalists, who passed here last week that His Excellency did not think proper to give anymore subsistence money, think myself in duty-bound to acquaint His Excellency of the distressed situation it inevitably involves me and my family. I have seven in Family who subsisted on 3.5 Rations Provision until lately. Have one Ration added which makes 4.5 and that's not sufficient. Also, the expense of necessary clothing for about three years back, besides : :-contingencies as sickness which we have been exercised with more or less every year. All which expenses have consumed my subsistence money before I could get it. Nor am I unable to discharge necessary debts and not a shilling to help me in moving to Cataraqui to which Place I am designed with Captain Sherwood. I . would also wish to remind His Excellency that I began school here the 1st November 1778 and for about 14 months succeeding I received my only in pounds 29 - 17-9 which I did expect will be made equal with ey pay since, as I looked upon it as equally deserving at that Ti-time, having a very large school likewise this winter I have constantly attended when health would permit. It seems to me hard after five and a half years service, besides four years service of three sons for Government that I have not sufficiency to move comfortably off the ground set aside. The hardship of cultivating a new soil notwithstanding any suggestions His Excellency might receive to the contrary I think I have earned every shilling I have received very dear but submit to His Excellency's great wisdom. Humbly praying Him to grant such relief as the circumstance requires.

From Sir
Your most humble servant
Josiah Cass

Major Matthews

While Josiah was teaching at Machiche, his three sons, Josiah, Joseph Pomeroy and Elihu enlisted in Sir John Johnston's Royal Regiment and served as drummer boys until the end of the war. The Regiment was disbanded in Dec 1783. When they returned home, conditions were very different. Their mother, Mercy Pomeroy Cass, 16 May 1781 and Josiah married Ann Mclntyre, a widow with a John, 1 Aug 1782. A daughter, Mary, was also born to them May 1783.

Machiche was only a temporary settlement until land could be eyed to be granted to the Loyalists. It appears that they were two choices: Cadaroque (Kingston) or Bay Chaleur in the Gaspe Peninsula. The following letter from Josiah Cass to Captain Justus Sherwood states their concerns;

Machiche 23rd February 1784.

Agreeable to your Instruction I have communicated to the People of Machiche your Proposals for settling No. 2 & 3 at Cadaroque & find as yet but about 12 or 15 families that seem any ways inclined that way and those who are, think the proposals unequal to the design. In the first place they look upon it will be very detrimental to settlers to transport their Provisions such a distance, that it will consume the most convenience Season for labour on their plantations and consequently greatly retard their Progress in procuring an independent support for their families, that one years provisions delivered at Cadaraque will be almost as good as two at Montreal and the people are generally unacquainted with conducting boats through the bad passes. The people seem willing to take up one load of provisions but think it not possible to take up a load with their families and baggage. Another objection is that His Excellency has not been pleased to hold out to them any encouragement but Lands and provision to a people who have lost their all destitute of cattle, of farming tools, or money to purchase them, which consideration causes them almost daily to take lands on Seignories, farms on shares for particular farms or to the more disagreeable method of seeking to the colonies and try to gather some fragments of their former estates. If people had any recompense for their real Losses by the war they would be able to form a remote settlement immediately but that is yet doubtful. People seem very anxious for settling and I am very confident that a considerable number of good people here would agree to go to Cadaroque if there was encouragement held out to them equal to the undertaking, but if not they seem universally to decline going there.

Sir if you think proper the people would wish to have the Substance of this letter communicated to His Excellency and his advice accordingly transmitted to us as soon as may be conveniently.

From Sir
Your most humble servant
Josiah Cass Captain Justus Sherwood

In the end, Josiah and his family chose to go to the Bay Chaleur while Jephtha Hawley chose Cadaroque. The Brig St. Peter, Snow Liberty, Brig Polly, Hoy St. Johns as well as four whale boats conveyed 315 people from Machiche to The Bay Chaleur. They left 9 June 1784 and arrived at Paspebiac 14 Aug 1784. They built their community near Paspebiac and named it New Carlisle. Josiah and Anne had two more daughters born to them while in the Gaspe, Margaret 12 Jan 1786 and Anna 20 Aug 1788. Josiah was granted 750 acres, and his three sons 100 acres each. They were dissatisfied with their land in the Gaspe, and in 1788 Josiah obtained 400 acres in the first and second concessions of Hawkesbury. Early in 1790, he and his family, with the exception of the oldest son, Josiah Jr. who had married, set out on the journey to Hawkesbury. They were very pleased with this location and Josiah became a Justice of the Peace, even performing marriage ceremonies when no clergyman was in the vicinity. On 1 Dec 1791, a son, Moses was born to Josiah and Anne and 8 Oct 1793 twin daughters, Elizabeth and Janet were born. Josiah's date of death is not known, but he made his Will 16 Aug 1804 and it was probated 12 Feb 1805 so his death occurred between those two dates.

Joseph Pomeroy and Elihu both married in 1795 and remained in Hawkesbury until 1798. At that time, they moved to the L'Orignal area where the little settlement near the town was named Cassburn after the Cass families. Elihu and Elizabeth Story Cass' oldest daughter, Elizabeth, married Donald McDonald and their daughter, Catherine Theresa, married Michael Patrick Doyle.

This Petition made by Elihu Cass is a sample of how the Loyalists received their land grants.
Upper Canada Land Petitions 1797 to 1840 (C 1646 and C 150)

To His Excellency Sir Peregine Maitland H.C.B. Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Upper Canada and Major General commanding His Majesty's Forces in North America.

The Petition of Elihu Cass of Longueuil in the Ottawa District of the Province of Upper Canada, Esq. Most Humbly Sheweth.

That your petitioner was an inhabitant of that part of the Late British Colonies of North America (now called the state of Vermont, one of the United States of America) before the year seventeen hundred and seventy six. That your petitioner served during the Revolutionary War, in His Late Majesty's Royal Regiment of New York commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Sir John Johnson Knight of Baronet. That your Petitioner was Regularly Discharged at Montreal at the Peace of seventeen hundred and eighty three. That your petitioner resided in the province of Upper Canada before the 28th day of July A.D. 1798. And hath resided therein every since that period. Your petitioner begs leave to refer your Excellency to the accompanying affidavit namely one of Joseph P. Cass Esquire corroborating the same. Your petitioner therefore prays that your Excellency may be graciously pleased to take into your Excellency's wise consideration the services that your petitioner Hath rendered to His Majesty's Government and also your petitioner's explicit obedience to the regulations of the same. That your Petitioner emulous to have his name handed down to posterity along with those of his Loyal Brethren in Arms. Doth Further pray that your Excellency may be Graciously pleased to grant that your Petitioner's name may be placed on the List of United Empire Loyalists, as a memorial of your petitioners loyality and affection for His Majesty's government. And your Petitioner as in Duty bound will ever Pray.

Elihu Cass

Longueuil,Ottawa District Feb 20, 1820 The Petition of Elihu Cass Esquire


Josiah married Mercy Pomeroy on 28 Nov 1760. (Mercy Pomeroy was born on 24 Apr 1740 and died on 16 May 1781.)


Josiah next married Anne McIntyre on 1 Aug 1782. (Anne McIntyre was born on 15 Apr 1758.)

The McDonald/Cass Family came from Scotland - - For additional information please contact John Meehan ( or Charlene Deam (

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