Cosack 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 Cosack, 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 Cosack 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 Cosack family

The surname Cosack 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 Cosack family

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

Cosack Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, a single person often had their name recorded by church officials and scribes many different ways. Names were typically spelt as they sounded, which resulted in many different spelling variations. The many versions of the name Cosack to have been recorded over the years include: Cusack, Cusacke, Cussack, Cossack, Cosack, Cewsack, Ceusack, Cowsack, Coussack, Cussach, Cussache, Cussoch, Coussack, M'Cusack, Cussick and many more.

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

Migration of the Cosack family

Ireland's Great Potato Famine left the country's inhabitants in extreme poverty and starvation. Many families left their homeland for North America for the promise of work, freedom and land ownership. Although the Irish were not free of economic and racial discrimination in North America, they did contribute greatly to the rapid development of bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Eventually, they would be accepted in other areas such as commerce, education, and the arts. An examination of immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Cosack: 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)


Houseofnames.com on Facebook