Show ContentsCosey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In its ancient Gaelic form, the Irish name Cosey was written O Cathasaigh, from the word "cathasach," which means watchful.

Early Origins of the Cosey family

The surname Cosey was first found in the counties of Fermanagh, Mayo, Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Roscommon. In early times, there were six unrelated septs of O Cathasaigh; the two most important were the erenagh (church steward) families of Devenish in the county of Fermanagh and the Lords of the Suaithni, in the present-day barony of Balrothery West, in County Dublin. The name has since become widely scattered. Although it remains common in County Dublin, it is now most prevalent in the southwest of Munster, with a smaller but still sizable population in north Connacht. This corresponds with the locations of the other four septs, which were found at Liscannon near Bruff in the County Limerick; near Mitchelstown in County Cork; in Clondara in County Roscommon; and in Tirawley in County Mayo, where two Casey septs were located. The Caseys of Mayo and Roscommon, like those in Fermanagh, were also notable as erenaghs. Archaeological remains indicate that Caseys were also once found near Waterford. Furthermore, a sept of MacCasey was once located at Oriel and was common in County Monaghan. However, this sept is nearly extinct today. Due to the widespread dropping of Irish prefixes under British rule and their often-erroneous resumption in the 20th century, many MacCaseys are incorrectly thought to be O'Caseys.

Early History of the Cosey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cosey research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1381, 1787, 1862, 1846 and 1870 are included under the topic Early Cosey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cosey Spelling Variations

Names during the Middle Ages were typically recorded as they sounded and in many cases, one's surname spelling changed with each record. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Cosey family name include Casey, MacCasey, O'Casey and others.

Early Notables of the Cosey family (pre 1700)

Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cosey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cosey Ranking

In the United States, the name Cosey is the 10,645th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Cosey migration to the United States +

Irish families began leaving their homeland for North America in the late 18th century. These families were usually modestly well off, but they were looking forward to owning and working on a sizable tract of land of their own. This pattern of emigration continued until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine sparked a major exodus of destitute and desperate Irish people. These people were not leaving for a grant of land in North America because by this time the East Coast had reached its saturation point and free land was scarce. They were merely looking to escape the disease, starvation, and hopelessness that Ireland had fallen into. Although these unfortunate immigrants did not receive a warm welcome by the established populations in the United States and what would become Canada, they were absolutely critical to the rapid development that these two nations enjoyed. They would help populate the western lands and provide the cheap labor required for a rapid industrialization. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early bearers of the name Cosey or one of its variants:

Cosey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Rich Cosey, who arrived in Virginia in 1636 [2]
  • Richard Cosey, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [2]
Cosey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Johanna Cosey, aged 25, who landed in New York in 1849 [2]
Cosey Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • William Cosey, aged 27, originally from Leicester, who arrived in New York in 1904 aboard the ship "Baltic" from Liverpool, England [3]
  • Gladys Cosey, aged 19, originally from Ternbridge Wells, who arrived in New York in 1906 aboard the ship "Minnetonka" from London, England [3]
  • Louise Cosey, aged 16, originally from Dublin, Ireland, who arrived in New York in 1910 aboard the ship "Caronia" from Queenstown, Ireland [3]
  • Julia Cosey, aged 16, originally from Mitchelstown, Ireland, who arrived in New York in 1910 aboard the ship "Campania" from Queenstown, Ireland [3]
  • Lillie Cosey, aged 22, originally from Telling, England, who arrived in New York in 1910 aboard the ship "Caronia" from Liverpool, England [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Cosey (post 1700) +

  • Donald Ray Cosey (b. 1956), American Major League Baseball pinch hitter who played for the Oakland Athletics in 1980
  • Joseph Cosey (1887-1950), the favorite alias of notorious forger Martin Coneely, American handwriting forger known for his forgeries of famous historical American figures including James Monroe, Button Gwinnett, Mark Twain and best known for his purported Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence
  • Glenn Cosey (b. 1992), American professional basketball player
  • Anthony E. "Tony" Cosey (b. 1974), American steeplechase Olympian and retired American long-distance runner
  • Pete Cosey (1943-2012), American guitarist, best known for his work with the Miles Davis' band between 1973 and 1975

The Cosey Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Per varios casus
Motto Translation: By various fortunes.

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from on Facebook