This is a truly famous surname, but unfortunately one which as a result of a small incident during the First World War has become associated with the re-writing of history. 'Casement' is a Manx surname, the few nameholders in Ireland being from a County Antrim settler family who once owned enormous estates in Ulster. The derivation is originally from the Norse 'Asmundr' to which was added the Gaelic prefix 'Mac'. This created a spelling which is believed to have been 'MacCasmonde in the mid 15th century, before its gradual dialectal change through MacAsint to Casmyn in 1540, Casmond in 1580, and Casement in 1611, all in the Isle of Man. It is however curious that the Justiciary Roll of Cork, Ireland for the year 1311 does list the first named holder below. It would seem that he was a member of King Edward 11 civil judiciary, who later returned to England, as it is not until the 17th century that the name as landowners appears in Ireland at all. Examples of the surname recording include Alice Casement of Andreas, Isle of Man, who married Daniel Curlet in 1617, and Janie Casement, the daughter of Jon Casement, christened at Ballaugh, Isle of Man, in 1649. The precise dates are not known. The Irish patriot Sir Roger Casement was born in Sandycove, Dublin, in 1864. He was a member of the County Antrim land owning family, and was shot as a traitor by the British in 1916. The coat of arms has the blazon of ermine, a lion rampant guardant proper, charged with a red mullet and holding a sword. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas MacAssemond, which was dated 1311, in the Cork county Justiciary Roll of Judges, during the reign of King Edward 11, known as 'Edward of Caernafon', 1307 - 1327. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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