Name: Yelles Cassel
Birth: 1590 in Germany
Yelles and family lived in hiding most of their lives moving from town to town. But Yelles's main residence was Kriesheim and Worms Germany which are about six miles apart. Yelles was a Mennonite minister, a poet of some note, and a farmer.
William Penn, who was latter to be known as the founder of Penn's woods, or Pennsylvania, came to speak in 1681 at a meeting in the city of Kassel at Frankford when he was only 37 years old. He then went to Kresheim for a meeting. That preaching was forbidden by the authorities so it had to be held in secret. Yelles Kassel (Cassel) and members of his family traveled from Worm, Germany, by wagon to attend the meeting. Penn spoke of the need for religious freedom. Yelles and other Kassels present, members of the newly emerging Mennonite church, were so impressed with Penn's ideas, that they invited Penn to their home. Penn told them about free land that was available in the new world. Two sons of Yelles Kassel (Julius Cassel , 1590-1681) were the first Cassels to come to America under the terms of a promise by William Penn. They were Johannes (John) Cassel (1639-1691), with his wife, Mary, and Arnold Cassel (1642-1687). They came on the ship Jeffries and it took seven months to make the journey. Shortly after Johannes arrived in Germantown, he learned that a large legacy was left his family, through the death of a relative, amounting to nearly one million dollars. It was necessary for them to return to Germany to claim the legacy. A church council was called to discuss the matter. It was decided unanimously to not receive the money as it would have a tendency to make them proud. Johannes signed the original charter of Germantown, Pennsylvania where he lived the rest of his life.
- Abraham Cassel b: 1644 in Kriesheim, Baden, Germany*
- Johannes Cassel
- Arnold Cassel