What is the origin of the last name Case?

The last name Case has its origins in medieval England, specifically derived from the Old French word "casse" meaning a "container" or "box." It was a surname commonly bestowed upon individuals who were skilled makers or users of cases, such as coffer makers or box makers. Over time, the name Case evolved and spread throughout different English-speaking regions, including the United States, where it became more prevalent. It is an example of a surname indicating a traditional occupation, reflecting the importance of craftsmanship and practical skills in medieval society.

Countries of origin for the last name Case

The last name Case has a long history and interesting etymology. It is derived from the Old English word “casu,” which means “case” or “box.” This suggests that the name may have originally been a nickname for someone who made or sold cases or boxes. Alternatively, it could have been a topographic name for someone who lived near a box-like or cylindrical feature in the landscape. The surname is found across England and has been recorded in various spellings including Case, Caze, Caas, Cass, and Chace.

Early records indicate that the surname Case has been present in England since at least the 13th century. In 1275, a Petronilla Case was registered in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire. The name also appears in various parish records and tax rolls over the centuries, indicating its continued usage and presence in different regions of England.

Migration records show that the surname Case made its way to the United States in the early colonial period. One of the earliest recorded instances is the arrival of a John Case in Virginia in 1623. The name subsequently spread throughout the colonies and can be found in various states, particularly in New England and the Mid-Atlantic.

Notable individuals with the last name Case have contributed to various fields. For example, Francis Case was a United States Senator from South Dakota, serving from 1951 until 1962. He was known for his advocacy of American Indian rights and his efforts to protect the environment. Another notable figure is Steve Case, the co-founder of America Online (AOL) and a pioneer in the development of the internet and technology industry.

Overall, the last name Case has a rich history and multiple possible origins. Its use in England dates back several centuries, and its migration to the United States demonstrates its transnational presence. The surname has been associated with individuals of prominence and influence. Despite these facts, the exact meaning and specific lineage of the name may remain elusive, leaving room for further exploration and discovery.

Interesting facts about the last name Case

  • The surname Case is of English origin.
  • It is derived from the Old Norman French word “casse,” meaning “case” or “container.”
  • The name could have originated as an occupational surname for someone who made or sold boxes, chests, or cases.
  • Variant spellings of the surname include Cace, Caus, and Caas.
  • According to surname distribution data, Case is relatively common in the United States, particularly in the states of Ohio, Massachusetts, and New York.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Case include Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, and Stephen Case, an American football player.
  • The surname Case also has Dutch and German variations, such as Käse and Kaste.
  • In genealogy, the surname Case has several notable family branches, including the Case family of Rhode Island, known for their prominent contributions to American society.
  • There are various theories about the origin of the name, including associations with the Latin word “casus,” meaning “fall” or “event.”
  • The surname Case can also be found in other countries such as Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Name Rank


There are around 39319 people with the last name Case in the US

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