Cawsey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Cawsey name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived in the Pays de Caux (Seine-Infèrieure) in Normandy. However, the surname Cawsey may have also been applied to someone who lived near a causeway, which was a raised roadway crossing wet or low-lying ground. In this latter case, the surname Cawsey is derived from the Old English word cauce, meaning causeway. [1]

Cawsey is a classic example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.

Early Origins of the Cawsey family

The surname Cawsey was first found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 where John de Chausy, Gloucestershire was listed. Following this early listing further, we found Robert Causeys, Causay was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex 1327, 1332; Robert de Calceto listed in the Assize Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1202; and Henry atte Cause listed in the Somerset Rolls for 1356. [2]

The variant "Cossey is an old Norwich name. In 1472, Henry Cossey, who was afterwards rector of Wilby, was a noted friar of the Dominican convent in Norwich; and there were then others of the name in that city. About the same time John Cossey was rector of Cougbam." [3]

The Causey variant seems unique to Devon and Cornwall. [4] More specifically, Trusham was the ancestral home of the Causley family, whose descendants include the poet Charles Causley and the folk singer Jim Causley.

Today Trusham is "a parish, in the union of NewtonAbbott, hundred of Exminster, Teignbridge and S. divisions of Devon." [5] But turning back the pages of time, we found that Trusham goes at least as far back as the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was known as Trisma [6] and originally meant "place overgrown with brushwood." [7]

Early History of the Cawsey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cawsey research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cawsey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cawsey Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Cawsey were recorded, including Causey, Causley, Cause, Causy and others.

Early Notables of the Cawsey family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Cawsey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Cawsey migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Cawsey family emigrate to North America:

Cawsey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Nathaniel] Cawsey, who arrived in Virginia in 1607 [8]
  • Nathaniel Cawsey, who landed in Virginia in 1608 [8]
  • Thomasine Cawsey, who arrived in Virginia in 1609 [8]
  • Thomas Cawsey, who arrived in Virginia in 1620 [8]
  • Tho Cawsey, who landed in Virginia in 1661 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  7. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  8. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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