In its ancient Gaelic form, the Irish name O'Cazeys was written O Cathasaigh, from the word "cathasach," which means watchful.
Early Origins of the O'Cazeys family
The surname O'Cazeys was first found in the counties of Fermanagh
, Mayo, Dublin
, 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 O'Cazeys family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Cazeys research.Another 225 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1381, 1787, 1862, 1846 and 1870 are included under the topic Early O'Cazeys History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Cazeys Spelling Variations
The spelling of one's surname was not as important as it is today. Names were recorded as they sounded and in many cases, one's surname changed with each listing. As a result, surnames often had many spelling variations
. For O'Cazeys some of these variations included: Casey, MacCasey, O'Casey and others.
Early Notables of the O'Cazeys family (pre 1700)
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Cazeys Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Cazeys family to the New World and Oceana
fled the English-colonized Ireland
in record numbers during the 19th century for North America. Many of those destitute families died from disease during, and even shortly after, the long journey. Although those that immigrated before the Great Potato Famine
of the 1840s often were granted a tract of land, those that arrived later were generally accommodated in urban centers or in work camps. Those in the urban centers would labor in the manufacturing sector, whereas those in work camps would to build critical infrastructures such as bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Regardless of when these Irish immigrants came to North America, they were critical for the rapid development of the young nations of the United States and Canada. Early immigration and passenger lists have recorded many early immigrants bearing the name of O'Cazeys: Elizabeth Casey who arrived in Maryland in 1725; as well as Andrew, Cornelius, Daniel, David, Edward, James, John, Mary, Michael, Patrick, Richard, Thomas and William Casey, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1865..
The O'Cazeys 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.