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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? 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.


Lacking standardized spellings, scribes and church officials recorded people's name according to how they sounded. This practice often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Casey are preserved in the archival documents of the period. The various spellings of the name that were found include 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.


Under the rule of England, land ownership in Ireland changed dramatically, and many native Irish families found themselves renting out land to farm from absentee owners. This was one of the prime reasons that immigration to North America began in the late 18th century: Irish farmers dreamed of owning their own parcel of land to work for themselves. At this point, the immigrants were at least of modest means for the passage across the Atlantic was often quite dear. In the 1840s the Great Potato Famine created an exodus of people of quite different means. These people were most often destitute: they either sold anything they had to gain a passage or they were sponsored by philanthropic societies. Many of these immigrants were sick from disease and starvation: as a result many did not survive the long transatlantic journey. Although those settlers that did survive were often despised and discriminated against by people already established in these nations, they were critical to rapid development of the powerful industrial nations of the United States and the country that would later become known as Canada. An examination of immigration and passenger lists shows many persons bearing the name of Casey or one of its variants:

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.


  1. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  5. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. 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. ...

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

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