Cewsak 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 Cewsak, 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 Cewsak 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 Cewsak family

The surname Cewsak 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 Cewsak family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cewsak 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 Cewsak History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cewsak Spelling Variations

Since church officials and medieval scribes spelt each name as it sounded to them; as a result, a single person could accumulate many different versions of his name within official records. A close examination of the origins of the name Cewsak revealed the following spelling variations: Cusack, Cusacke, Cussack, Cossack, Cosack, Cewsack, Ceusack, Cowsack, Coussack, Cussach, Cussache, Cussoch, Coussack, M'Cusack, Cussick and many more.

Early Notables of the Cewsak 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 Cewsak Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cewsak family

During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Cewsak: 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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