McCasey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the McCasey family

The surname McCasey 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 McCasey family

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

McCasey Spelling Variations

One must realize that attempting to record a Gaelic name in English was a daunting task. Even today the translation is a difficult one. Names, therefore, often had many spelling variations. The variations of the name McCasey include: Casey, MacCasey, O'Casey and others.

Early Notables of the McCasey family (pre 1700)

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


United States McCasey migration to the United States +

Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name McCasey:

McCasey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mary McCasey, aged 24, who landed in New York in 1854 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name McCasey (post 1700) +

  • Kristin McCasey, American film editor, known for her work on Bulimia: The Musical (2014), Jarvis Cocker: Black Magic (2013) and Walter (2015)


The McCasey 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. ^ 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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