Cassey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Cassey family

The surname Cassey was 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.

Early History of the Cassey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cassey research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1381, 1787, 1862, 1846 and 1870 are included under the topic Early Cassey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cassey Spelling Variations

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 Cassey 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.

Early Notables of the Cassey family (pre 1700)

Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cassey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Cassey migration to the United States +

Many Irish families boarded ships bound for North America in the middle of 19th century to escape the conditions of poverty and racial discrimination at that time. Although these immigrants often arrived in a destitute state, they went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. An inquiry into many immigration and passenger lists has revealed many early immigrants to North America bearing the Cassey family name:

Cassey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Elizabeth and Mary Cassey, who settled in Annapolis Maryland in 1733
  • Thomas Cassey, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1763

Australia Cassey migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Cassey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Cassey, aged 31, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "John Banks" [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cassey (post 1700) +

  • Rev. Peter William Cassey, African American barber, dentist, and bleeder in Philadelphia, later moving to California in 1853 where he founded the Phoenixonian, the first secondary school in California for Black students, son of Joseph Cassey
  • Joseph Cassey (1789-1848), African American settler to America c. 1808 who bought and sold real estate known for his activism in working for the abolition of slavery
  • Joseph Cassey Bustill (1822-1895), African American conductor in the Underground Railroad from Philadelphia


The Cassey Motto +

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.


  1. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 30th May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) John Banks 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/johnbanks1855.shtml


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