Cousen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Norman culture that was established in England after the Conquest of 1066 produced the name of Cousen. It was given to a person who was related to someone of note in the area. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old French, cusin, and the Old English, cousin, which means relative. [1]

Early Origins of the Cousen family

The surname Cousen was first found in Norfolk and in the southern counties of England, where the first on record appears to be Roger Cusin, listed in the Pipe Rolls in that county in 1166. Robert Cusyn and his wife Joan were landowners in Ellisfield, Hampshire during the Reign of Henry III (1216-1272). Peter Cusin was a sheriff of London in 1273. A Galfridus Cusyn of Hardingham, Norfolk is mentioned in the Subsidy Rolls for that county in 1327. [2]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists: Johannes Cosyn, tiropour; Ricardus Cosyn; and Alicia Cosyn, 1379. [2]

Early History of the Cousen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cousen research. Another 51 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1558, 1558, 1535, 1541, 1547, 1585, 1594, 1672, 1549, 1597, 1549, 1547, 1697, 1743 and are included under the topic Early Cousen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cousen Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Cousin, Cousins, Cozens, Cossins, Couzins, Cossens, Cosin, Cosyns, Cousens, Couzens, Cossins, Cosin and many more.

Early Notables of the Cousen family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Edmund Cosin, Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University in 1558. He was "a native of Bedfordshire, entered King's Hall, Cambridge, as a bible clerk; proceeded B.A. early in 1535, M.A. in 1541, and B.D. in 1547." [3] Benjamin Cosyn, probably a son of John Cosyn, who in 1585 published sixty psalms in six parts in plain counterpoint. He was eminent as a composer of lessons for virginals. Many of his pieces are extant. He flourished in the first half of the 17th century. John Cosin (1594-1672), was an English churchman...
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cousen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Cousen family to Ireland

Some of the Cousen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 69 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Cousen migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Cousen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Cousen, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Tamar" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 28th January 1858 [4]


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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