This is a true Anglo-French medieval surname of location and description. Like the similar names such as Townsend or Bitheway, it literally describes either somebody who lived by the 'causeway', or who came from the village called 'Pays de Caux' in Normandy. Recorded in the spellings of Cawsey, Causey and Cawsy, it is one of the earliest surnames on record with early examples including William le Caucais in the Curia Regis Rolls of Nottingham for the year 1212, and Robert Causeys, also known as Causay, being found in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex for the years 1327 - 1332. Other examples are Henry atte Cauce in Somerset in 1356, and Nicholas Casey in the 1524 Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk. Elizabeth Cawsey, was christened at St James church, Garlickhithe, London, on October 18th 1562, whilst later examples are those of Jacobus Causey at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on July 20th 1671, and Jone Cawsey who married John Cantwell at St Mary Le Bone, on January 19th 1687. The very distinguished coat of arms has the blazon of a silver field, charged with a black dragon segreant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Caucais, which was dated 1166, the Red Book of the Exchequer Rolls, London, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as 'The church builder', 1154 - 1189. 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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