Cewsach History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

When the Anglo-Normans began to settle in Ireland, they brought the tradition of local surnames to an island which already had a Gaelic naming system of hereditary surnames established. Unlike the Irish, the Anglo-Normans had an affinity for local surnames. Local surnames, such as Cewsach, were formed from the name of a place or a geographical landmark. Often, these place names were prefixed by "de," which means "from" in French: in later years, the prefix sometimes became joined to the name, or was sometimes dropped. The Cewsach family name is thought to have come from any of several places named Cussac in France; such as Cussac in Guienne (Guyenne), Cussac in Limousin, or from Cussac in Auvergne. These place names are thought to derive from Cucius or Cussius, a Romano-Gallic personal name, along with the suffix "-acum." After the name came to Ireland, it took on the Gaelic form Ciomhsóg. However, in the county of Clare, the Gaelic form of the name is Mac Iosóg.

Early Origins of the Cewsach family

The surname Cewsach was first found in County Meath (Irish: An Mhí) anciently part of the kingdom of Brega, located in Eastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where Jeoffrey Le Cusack was first recorded. He was named after a town of that name in France and came to Ireland shortly after the English invasion. Adam Cusack, his grandson "slew William Barret and his brothers in Connaught, on account of a quarrel about lands " in 1282. [1]

Another reference has a slightly different twist on the origin in France. In this reference, the name "is derived from a place in Guienne, France, and was first anglicized as de Cussac." [2] Whichever origin is true, the occurrence of the name in England was indeed rare.

Early History of the Cewsach family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cewsach research. Another 194 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1211, 1280, 1300, 1687, 1770, 1788, 1861, 1409, 1415, 1490, 1571, 1541, 1542, 1550 and 1551 are included under the topic Early Cewsach History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cewsach Spelling Variations

Church officials and medieval scribes often spelled early surnames as they sounded. This practice often resulted in many spelling variations of even a single name. Early versions of the name Cewsach included: Cusack, Cusacke, Cussack, Cossack, Cosack, Cewsack, Ceusack, Cowsack, Coussack, Cussach, Cussache, Cussoch, Coussack, M'Cusack, Cussick and many more.

Early Notables of the Cewsach family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family up to this time was Thomas Cusack was Mayor of Dublin in 1409; and Sir Thomas Cusack, who fought as a lancer at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Sir Thomas Cusack (1490-1571) was Lord Chancellor of Ireland. He was "of an ancient family in Meath, was Sheriff of...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cewsach Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cewsach family

Ireland went through one of the most devastating periods in its history with the arrival of the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. Many also lost their lives from typhus, fever and dysentery. And poverty was the general rule as tenant farmers were often evicted because they could not pay the high rents. Emigration to North America gave hundreds of families a chance at a life where work, freedom, and land ownership were all possible. For those who made the long journey, it meant hope and survival. The Irish emigration to British North America and the United States opened up the gates of industry, commerce, education and the arts. Early immigration and passenger lists have shown many Irish people bearing the name Cewsach: Christopher Cusack who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1830; Betsey Cusack settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849; Pat Cusack settled in Canada in 1839.



  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)


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