Family Stories
A Moving History.....

Arthur Richard Cassan

At Parry Sound District Jail (Parry Sound, ON) there were 3 hangings, before it closed in 2002

"You shall be hanged by the neck until you are dead."
A Judge has uttered these words to 1,300 Canadians. More than 700 of them actually went to the Gallows before
Canada abolished Capital Punishment in 1976.

February 2nd, 1916 – Arthur Richard Cassan – 32 years – murdered James De George (robbery).

Arthur Richard  Cassan was hung for murdering a man near Parry Sound.
Thomas ,  his Father, took up a petition to have his Son saved from hanging, to appeal the decision. Some say
Richard was simple and didn't understand, It has been confirmed he killed a man . We have not been able to get
clear information - haven't found original sources
Toronto Star...

Friday October 15, 1915
"Ghastly story of death"  Cassan, Accused of killing employee, it is alleged, confessed to neighbour"
Parry Sound, Oct. 15- Arthur Richard Cassan, Ryerson Township, will be tried on the 26th inst [sic] for the
murder of James de George, a young Italian employed by him, whose body was found in a well.

At the preliminary hearing, here yesterday, Charles Held, neighbor of the prisoner, told in detail what he said
was a confession made to him by Cassan on September 28, before the body was found. Cassan stated, he
testified, that he had shot the man twice in the head with a revolver, and as this did not kill, had borrowed a
rifle to finish the job. Witness said he did not like to tell the story and had no chance to tell the Crown
Attorney at the inquest.
Mrs. Clough, who lent the rifle, and the prisoner's wife also testified against Cassan.

Friday Dec. 3, 1915 - Chancellor Sir John Boyd is hearing the charge of murder against Arthur R. Cassan at
Parry Sound.
Cassan is alleged to have shot James De George, a young Italian who had been working for him"
Parry Sound Court House
Parry Sound, Ontario

MATCH: Amanda Maria Dervaitis and Matthew Stephen Cassan

Just one look was all it took for Amanda Dervaitis to fall for Matthew Cassan, whose brother, Jim, was the high-school sweetheart of her cousin,
Laura Vanderlaan, and also an acquaintance of hers.
The threesome often visited the Cassan household, where Ms. Dervaitis remembers admiring family photos. "I said to Jim, 'Wow, your brother is so
cute!' But I'd never met him. It was a weird crush," she explains. Not to mention that Mr. Cassan was in a relationship at the time.
Then, in December, 2000, the plucky Ms. Dervaitis tagged along with her cousin to a surprise birthday party for the object of her unrequited
affections -- hosted by Mr. Cassan's girlfriend. Undeterred by that salient detail, she admits to "changing six times" before she was ready for the
event. Face to face with Mr. Cassan, at last, she had to cut the banter short when she realized she had been monopolizing the guest of honour.
The following spring, Ms. Dervaitis, who has a bachelor of education from McGill University and was working at a Toronto learning centre, was in
urgent need of a break after "one of the worst weeks in my life." So her cousin, Laura, and Laura's boyfriend, Jim, offered her solace at his family's
cottage. There they encountered Mr. Cassan, who had just completed his animation studies at Sheridan College. Happily for Ms. Dervaitis, he was
now unattached.
Long-time cottagers, Mr. Cassan and Ms. Dervaitis saw nothing untoward in sharing quarters. "We got the bunk room," she explains. All night long,
they talked about their lives, commitment to environmental issues and favourite pastimes, including Looney Tunes and Samurai Jack.
"It was like a sleepover, when you were a kid," Mr. Cassan remembers, chuckling.
"My face hurt from smiling so much," Ms. Dervaitis says, beaming.
Back home, the magic lingered. Mr. Cassan resolved "to move slowly," then called before the requisite 24 hours were up. Three days later, on a first
date together, they watched animated shorts together at a bar. "Growing up, I loved cartoons," Ms. Dervaitis confides. "Then Matt came along, I was
completely enamoured . . . and he was an animator."
They were inseparable through the summer, and their love was tested when Mr. Cassan took a job in Halifax and Ms. Dervaitis returned to school
in Montreal that fall. For further studies in speech pathology, she "only applied to Dalhousie. I wasn't willing to go anywhere else." Denied admission
due to limited enrolment, she journeyed to Halifax anyway, clerking in a mall and then working as a tutor.
In April, 2003, Mr. Cassan's animation studio shut down unexpectedly. Three weeks later, the two packed everything into a U-Haul and returned to
Ontario. Their impecunious struggles continued until the following October, when Mr. Cassan landed a job at Smiley Guy Studios in downtown
Toronto. In January, 2004, Ms. Dervaitis, now 27, began training in order to open her own Oxford Learning Centre in High Park.
In June, 2005, a planned first-ever vacation by Smart car to Newfoundland stalled with reports of frigid weather.
So instead Mr. Cassan splurged on a Dominican package, using funds he had earmarked for a diamond ring.
Frolicking in the Caribbean, Ms. Dervaitis assumed a spontaneous proposal was whimsical until Mr. Cassan's pleadings became so heartfelt that they
were both overcome with emotion. In the end, the promise was sealed with an $8 ring, a hotel purchase that has not left Ms. Dervaitis's hand since
Dec. 31, 2005, saw a tripartite event at the Trident Banquet Hall in Toronto: the bridegroom's 30th birthday celebration, a black-and-silver themed
New Year's Eve fete and the couple's nuptials, performed by Rev. Tina Gabriel.
The bride's mother, Lucy Belvedere, observes: "They are very much in sync, and their openness keeps them in tune with each other.
"Amanda followed her heart."
Bonnycastles and Cassans
Northumberland County
Seymour Township                            
The Bonnycastle Family married into the Matthew Sheffield Cassan Family twice. The
Family Tree linked below was created by Angus "Gus" Bonnycastle of Rothessay, New
Brunswick Canada. The link to the Bonneycastle Genealogy was created by Jennifer

The first marriage involving the two Families was between Richard Henry Bonnycastle and
Charlotte Kate Cassan. Charlotte Kate was the daughter of Matthew Sheffield. The second
marriage was between Charles Edward Bonnycastle and Henrietta Cassan. Henrietta was the
daughter of Edward Sheffield and the niece of Charlotte Kate
Bonnycastle Family Tree
Cassans and Sheffields
Burke's The Landed Gentry of Ireland
(1912 Edition)

Submitted by Tannis Pond
The Done Family of Brandon , Manitoba  Canada
Brief Family History by Allison Done
Daughter of Dorothy Beatrice Done
"nee Cassan"

My father died in July of 1963 and my family was briefly split among relatives. We were living in Camp Borden and, for obvious reasons, could not
continue to do so. Pat (12) and I (14) went to an aunt and uncle in Ottawa, then briefly to an Uncle Alex (Cassan) and Auntie May in Thunder Bay;
Mom and John (6) went to Auntie Alice (nee Cassan) in Invermere,British Columbia. Mom had to take a refresher course in nursing so she could
return to work and it was only offered in BC - Auntie Alice didn't have room for the whole family. The original plan was for Pat and I to stay in
Ottawa with Uncle Ted and Aunt Marge for the school year, while Mom and John stayed with  Auntie Alice and Uncle Bill - Mom would finish her
nursing refresher course and then decide where we would live. That didn't work out as we had hoped- by Thanksgiving Mom had to decide where we
would permanently reside and we all met in Brandon, but without adequate time for her to have found
a job or a place to live.

Brandon had been Mom's home as a child and she knew she could work again at the Brandon Mental Health Centre. So, we all met here in
November.I don't know how she knew the Wanklings, but they took us in until she could find us a home. I know that I stayed with the younger
Wankling family - Val and her husband - on the 400 block of 16th Street - and Mom and one of my brothers was at the senior Wankling's on the 500
block of 15th. They were kind to us and I don't know what we would have done without their generous help. I think of them every time I drive past
one of those old homes.......that is fairly often.

Those were awful years and I have few pleasant memories of them. Some people remember their teenage years as the best in their lives; I wouldn't
relive them for anything. I turned into the kind of teenager that parents have nightmares about and spent several years "getting even" with my poor
mother for everything wrong with my life. It is a tribute toher that I didn't end up in reform school. Now, when I hear mothers  despair of their
teenager's conduct, I tell them my little story - Iturned out just fine, almost certainly because of my mother's unfailing love and faith in me

Possibly one of  the Wankling Homes - shown below
when Allison's Family moved to
Brandon in 1963

Brandon , Manitoba   2005
Arthur Richard Cassan  Parry Sound , Ontario
WILLIAM CASSAN, theft : simple grand larceny, 19th September,
1810.The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t18100919-139

John Boswell, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 15th January 1756.
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t17560115-12
Articles of News
The Old Bailey - Boswell
The Old Bailey - Cassan
Bonnycastle Genealogy
Canada Death Penalty Index