Show ContentsCousin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Cousin was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, who was 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 Cousin family

The surname Cousin 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 Cousin family

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

Cousin Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Cousin, Cousins, Cozens, Cossins, Couzins, Cossens, Cosin, Cosyns, Cousens, Couzens, Cossins, Cosin and many more.

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

Cousin Ranking

In the United States, the name Cousin is the 7,421st most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4] However, in France, the name Cousin is ranked the 150th most popular surname with an estimated 20,944 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Cousin family to Ireland

Some of the Cousin 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.

United States Cousin migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Cousin or a variant listed above:

Cousin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Richard Cousin, who settled in Grenada in 1774
  • Marie Blanche Cousin, aged 37, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1785 [6]
Cousin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Willie Cousin, aged 16, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Baltic" from Liverpool, England [7]
  • Oscar Cousin, aged 50, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Espagne" from Le Havre, France [7]
  • Auguste Cousin, aged 65, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "France" from Le Havre, France [7]
  • Marie Cousin, who arrived in New York City, New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Niagara" from Bordeaux, France [7]
  • Christopher Cousin, aged 17, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Aquitania" from Southampton, England [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Cousin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Cousin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Cousin, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Ranger" in 1834

Australia Cousin migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Cousin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • W. Cousin, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839 [8]

New Zealand Cousin 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:

Cousin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Cousin, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "William Davey" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1870 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cousin (post 1700) +

  • Ertharin Cousin (b. 1957), American 12th Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program (2012-)
  • William J. Cousin, American politician, Mayor of Seneca Falls, New York, 1953 [10]
  • Professor David R Cousin, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Sheffield
  • Daniel Michel Cousin (b. 1977), retired Gabonese footballer
  • Aurelien Cousin (b. 1980), Maltese water polo player who played at the 2016 Men's European Water Polo Championship
  • Alan Cousin (b. 1938), Scottish former footballer, who played from 1955 to 1970, member of the Scottish League XI National Team in 1958 and the Scotland U23 National Team (1958-1960)
  • Elzéar Auguste Cousin de Dommartin, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [11]
  • Victor Cousin (1792-1867), French philosopher

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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)
  7. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from
  8. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BUCKINGHAMSHIRE 1839. Retrieved from
  9. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  10. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, May 19) . Retrieved from
  11. Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, February 13) Elzéar Cousin. Retrieved from on Facebook