Berkeley County, West Virginia CASKEY Family Biographies


         The CASKEY name dates back to the time of the conquest of England by William the Conqueror. When William the Norman invaded England, Jean Casque, one of his most trusted captains, was at the head of a trained body of troops. Jean Casque married an English maid and settled near London. After a time, the French name became Angelicised into Caskey.

         In 1624, Richard Caskey, the lineal descendant of Jean Casque, came to the Colony of Virginia, became a tobacco planter, took up a large tract of land on the James River above Wyenoke, married a maid who came from England, and built a log house in the midst of a clearing. The family consisted of several children.

         His eldest son, Richard and several companions, on returning from a hunting expedition, found their parents and brothers and sisters massacred by the Indians and their houses burned. Two members of the family, John, a boy of 14, and Esther, a girl of 12, were missing; it was later discovered they had gone down the river in a canoe that morning to visit friends. Richard took them to Jamestown and placed them among friends and set himself the task of exterminating the Indians. He became known throughout that region as an Indian scout. From those two brothers descended the Caskeys of Berkeley County.


    John C. CASKEY

         A descendant of Jean Casque of Normandy and of Richard I and Richard II of Virginia, John C. Caskey was born in Berkeley County. He was a planter, married Mary Schoffstall. Their son was William Caskey.


    William CASKEY

         William Caskey was born in Berkeley County, Virginia. He enlisted in the Confederate Army, Company D, 2nd Regiment Virginia Infantry Volunteers (Berkeley Border Guards), 1860. Married Mary Ann Palmer. He was taken ill at the end of the Civil War and died shortly after.


    William P. CASKEY

         William P. Caskey was born in Martinsburg, Virginia, November 9, 1849. He was a farmer and then was employed at the Hannis Distilling Company from 1880-83. He was First Sergeant, Martinsburg Artillery Company No. 3, J.L. Nadenbousch, Captain, from 1883-86; Second Sergeant of the Berkeley Zouaves. In 1913 he was elected Captain of Ryneal Hose Company No. 1 at Martinsburg. Married Miss Rebecca SECKMAN; their son was John William Rufus Caskey.


    John William Rufus CASKEY

         John William Rufus Caskey was born at Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia, February 18, 1874. He was educated in the Berkeley County public schools, first at Three Runs School, next at Hooge Street School, and at the Martinsburg High School.

         In 1900, John W.R. Caskey established the Caskey Baking Company with a branch factory at Hagerstown, Maryland. He was a member of the City Council from June 1, 1907 to June 1, 1909; mayor of Martinsburg, June 1, 1910 to June 1, 1912; and president of the Board of Education, Martinsburg schools.

         On February 12, 1908, he married Miss Dora Matthaei, who was a teacher in the schools at Martinsburg. They had two children: Margaret Rebecca Caskey, born December 8, 1908, and a graduate of Martinsburg High School, class of 1926, and a student in Goucher College; and William Rufus Caskey, born March 15, 1915.


    Submitted by Marilyn Gouge and extracted from History of Berkeley County, West Virginia, 1928.

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