Coussake 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 Coussake, 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 Coussake 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 Coussake family

The surname Coussake 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 Coussake family

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

Coussake Spelling Variations

During an investigation of the origin of each name, it was found that church officials and medieval scribes spelled many surnames as they sounded. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, a name could be spelt numerous ways. Some of the spelling variations for the name Coussake include Cusack, Cusacke, Cussack, Cossack, Cosack, Cewsack, Ceusack, Cowsack, Coussack, Cussach, Cussache, Cussoch, Coussack, M'Cusack, Cussick and many more.

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

Migration of the Coussake family

A great number of Irish families left their homeland in the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century, migrating to such far away lands as Australia and North America. The early settlers left after much planning and deliberation. They were generally well off but they desired a tract of land that they could farm solely for themselves. The great mass of immigrants to arrive on North American shores in the 1840s differed greatly from their predecessors because many of them were utterly destitute, selling all they had to gain a passage on a ship or having their way paid by a philanthropic society. These Irish people were trying to escape the aftermath of the Great Potato Famine: poverty, starvation, disease, and, for many, ultimately death. Those that arrived on North American shores were not warmly welcomed by the established population, but they were vital to the rapid development of the industry, agriculture, and infrastructure of the infant nations of the United States and what would become Canada. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Irish settlers bearing the name Coussake: 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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