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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: French, Irish, Scottish

Where did the Irish Casey family come from? What is the Irish Casey family crest and coat of arms? When did the Casey family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Casey family history?

In its ancient Gaelic form, the Irish name Casey was written O Cathasaigh, from the word "cathasach," which means watchful.


Up until the mid twentieth century, surnames throughout the world were recorded by scribes with little regard of spelling. They recorded the name as they thought the surname should be spelt. Accordingly, research into the name Casey revealed spelling variations, including Casey, MacCasey, O'Casey and others.

First found in the counties of Fermanagh, Mayo, Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Roscommon. In early times, there were six unrelated septs of O Cathasaigh; the two most important were the erenagh (church steward) families of Devenish in the county of Fermanagh and the Lords of the Suaithni, in the present-day barony of Balrothery West, in County Dublin. The name has since become widely scattered. Although it remains common in County Dublin, it is now most prevalent in the southwest of Munster, with a smaller but still sizable population in north Connacht. This corresponds with the locations of the other four septs, which were found at Liscannon near Bruff in the County Limerick; near Mitchelstown in County Cork; in Clondara in County Roscommon; and in Tirawley in County Mayo, where two Casey septs were located. The Caseys of Mayo and Roscommon, like those in Fermanagh, were also notable as erenaghs. Archaeological remains indicate that Caseys were also once found near Waterford. Furthermore, a sept of MacCasey was once located at Oriel and was common in County Monaghan. However, this sept is nearly extinct today. Due to the widespread dropping of Irish prefixes under British rule and their often-erroneous resumption in the 20th century, many MacCaseys are incorrectly thought to be O'Caseys.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Casey research. Another 225 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1381, 1787, 1862, 1846 and 1870 are included under the topic Early Casey History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 61 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Casey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


North America accepted thousands of Irish immigrants during the 19th century as their homeland suffered under foreign imperialistic rule. Although settlers from the early portion of the century came to North America by choice in search of land, by far the largest influx of Irish immigrants came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Many of these Irish families left the country destitute and in some cases suffering from disease. However, those who survived the long ocean voyage were especially vital to the development of industry in the United States and what would become known as Canada. Research of immigration and passenger lists has shown many early immigrants bearing the name Casey:

Casey Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Casey, who arrived in Virginia in 1636
  • Ann Casey, who landed in Maryland in 1663

Casey Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Wm Casey, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Elizabeth Casey who arrived in Maryland in 1725
  • Con Casey, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1765
  • Edward Casey, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766

Casey Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Peter Casey, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • George Casey, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • Alexander Casey, aged 45, arrived in Tennessee in 1812
  • Henry Casey, aged 26, landed in Louisiana in 1813
  • Mr. Casey, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815


  • John Casey (b. 1939), American novelist and translator and winner of the National Book Award in 1989
  • Robert Patrick "Bob" Casey (1932-2000), American politician and 42nd Governor of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1995
  • William Joseph Casey (1913-1987), American Director of Central Intelligence from 1981 to 1987
  • Alvin W. Casey (1936-2006), American guitarist mainly noted for his work as a session musician with The Wrecking Crew
  • Major-General Hugh John Casey (1898-1981), American Division Engineer, Ohio River Division (1949)
  • George William Casey Jr., (b. 1948), American four-star general, United States Army
  • Conor Casey (b. 1981), American soccer player
  • Dan Casey (1862-1943), American baseball player
  • Kenneth Casey (1899-1965), American composer, publisher, author and child actor
  • Ron Casey (1952-2014), American politician, Member of the Missouri House of Representatives (2004-2012)



  • A Bakers Dozen: We Were Thirteen, The Caseys of Tuscola, Taylor County, Texas by Clifford Casey.
  • Casey Family History by Alvin Harold Casey.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Per varios casus
Motto Translation: By various fortunes.


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  1. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  3. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  10. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  11. ...

The Casey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Casey Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 October 2014 at 11:10.

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