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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

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.

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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.


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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.

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

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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 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 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 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


Casey Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Daniel Casey, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Jas Casey, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Oliver Casey, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Mr. William Casey U.E who settled in Adolphus Town [Adolphustown], Ontario c. 1783

Casey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Eugene Casey, aged 32, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork
  • Dennis Casey, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork
  • Norry Casey, aged 11, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Hibernia" from Kinsale
  • Timothy Casey, aged 32, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Hibernia" from Kinsale
  • Mary Casey, aged 30, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Hibernia" from Kinsale


Casey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Casey, a carpenter, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • William Casey, English convict from Chester, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Ellen Casey, aged 16, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Elgin" in 1849
  • Henry Casey, aged 26, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Ascendant" in 1851
  • John Casey, aged 20, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Ascendant" in 1851


Casey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Casey arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Asterope" in 1867
  • Cornelius Casey arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Asterope" in 1867
  • John Casey, aged 18, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1873
  • Martin Casey, aged 28, a farm labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • Maurice Casey, aged 27, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875


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  • 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)

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  • A Bakers Dozen: We Were Thirteen, The Caseys of Tuscola, Taylor County, Texas by Clifford Casey.
  • Casey Family History by Alvin Harold Casey.
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  1. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  2. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  3. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  4. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  10. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 30 April 2015 at 11:55.

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