Just wanted to let you know that I've made the definitive connection of my ggg grandfather Joseph Caisse/Casey to the family in Lanoraie, Quebec, that Alex and Michael Caisse and probably some other people have done so much research on. For any of you interested in the details of this genealogy search, here's the quick story (or maybe not so quick story):
My ggg grandfather was Joseph Caisse/Casey (born in 1812), and we knew he emigrated from Canada and lived most of his life in Cohoes, NY.
My siblings and I have been researching this line on and off for a number of years without much luck, having no idea where in Canada Joseph came from and without much information from the other descendants of Joseph that my mother knew (there are, strangely, not a huge number of us, considering how long ago Joseph was born--so she knew most if not all of the living descendants of Joseph).
Anyway, I recently came across Michael and Alex Caisse online, after I posted a message about Joseph being from Cohoes, NY. They were interested in Cohoes because they had traced Laurent Caisse from Lanoraie to Cohoes. They had census records and birth dates of Laurent's wife and children, as well as their names, matching up in both Lanoraie and Cohoes at various times, indicating that the family had gone back and forth from Lanoraie to Cohoes over the years. They knew that Laurent had a brother named Joseph (whose birth year matched what was indicated on his death certificate) but had no idea what happened to Joseph after he was born. They had no idea that Joseph actually lived out his life in Cohoes, literally right down the street from where Laurent and his family lived (information I've learned from census records.)
I knew that years ago I'd learned somehow that Joseph had a brother named Laurent, but upon looking for that source a few months ago, I could not find it. I was starting to think that I'd made up this info. But the reason why I didn't give up on the idea was because I remember, upon learning years ago that Joseph had a brother named Laurent, how strange that was, because my family always believed that the Caseys (that's how it was spelled in the US) were Irish by origin. The story my mother told us, as she believed it, was that the name was Casey in Ireland, was changed to Caisse in Canada and then was changed back to Casey in the US. She did know for sure that her gg grandfather was born in Canada and that the spelling in Canada was Caisse. So the fact that Joseph had a brother with a French spellling for a first name--that was quite a surprise for me. It didn't make sense based on what my mother said about the Caseys being originally Irish. When I tried to find the source of my belief re the brother Laurent a few months ago, I just could not find it (and of course, Laurent had not been added to the master Family Tree Maker file that we maintain!).
In all of this recent research, it was clear that the chances were extremely high that Joseph and Laurent were brothers, but until we had actual evidence, it was difficult to make the leap and say, OK, we'll accept without proof that they're brothers (and then make the next logical link, to the line in Quebec that Alex and Michael have done so much research on). We wanted to be sure but didn't have the evidence. My sister even went to Cohoes last month to find out whether Joseph had been naturalized--and it seems he was, but there was no info on the naturalization papers to link him to Lanoraie. So we'd pretty much resigned ourselves to never having the proof we needed to link our family to the family in Lanoraie.
But, today (to wrap this story up), my sister called to say she found the paperwork that I knew I'd seen years ago: evidence that Joseph and Laurent were brothers. We'd gotten the pension application that was filled out for Joseph's son Thomas B. Casey, who'd been killed in the Battle of Bull Run in 1862. Attached to that pension application was an affadavit from Laurent Casey (who we know was from Lanoraie), attesting to the fact that he was indeed the brother of Joseph Casey and that they were both of Cohoes, etc. The information on the affadavit corresponds to the other info we've pulled together about Joseph and the Laurent/Lawrence Caisse/Casey who lived in Cohoes (and yes, Laurent's name was presented as the anglicized Lawrence Casey in various census records).
So we finally have the corroboration we need that we are indeed from this line of Caisses--as well as how we fit into this line. And now, since Michael and Alex have done so much research on this, we can trace our family back to the 1600s in France. I really have to say thank you to Michael and Alex for watching these message boards and responding to my mention of Caisses in Cohoes. This kind of thing is what genealogy research is all about.
For those of you who have followed this note all the way to the end, thanks for reading.