This interesting surname recorded as Cass, Cassie, Cassey and Cassy, is of the group of surnames which derive from medieval female personal names. "Cass or Cassie" is a pet-form of the popular female given name "Cassandra", a Greek name meaning "snarer of men", and introduced into Britain about the time of the famous crusades. This was the name of an ill-fated Trojan prophetess of classical legend, who was condemmed to foretell the future but never to be believed! For whatever reason, this story was widely popular in medieval times. The name is also a metronymic in northern England and Scotland, which is so say that it derives from the mothers name, rather than the fathers. The personal name appears as Casse Rumpe in the 1279 Hundred Rolls of Cambridge, whilst William Casse was mentioned in the Essex county pipe rolls of the year 1200. The personal name Cassandra was recorded even earlier, appearing in the calendar of Abbot Samson of Bury St. Edmunds, circa 1182. Other recordings include Elyzabeth Casye, who married William Kendricke at St Dionis Backchurch, London, on August 27th 1564, whilst John Cass of Dalkeith, Scotland was summoned before the Privy Council for Scotland in 1566. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Cass, which was dated 1130, in the Registrum de Dunfermelyn, during the reign of King David 1st of Scotland", 1124 - 1153. 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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