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 Cowsak, 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 Cowsak 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 Cowsak family
The surname Cowsak 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. CITATION[CLOSE]
O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
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." CITATION[CLOSE]
MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
Whichever origin is true, the occurrence of the name in England
was indeed rare.
Early History of the Cowsak family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cowsak research.Another 387 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1211, 1280, 1300, 1687, 1770, 1788, 1861, 1409, 1490, 1571 and 1415 are included under the topic Early Cowsak History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cowsak Spelling Variations
It was found during an investigation of the origins of the name Cowsak that church officials and medieval scribes often spelled the name as it sounded. This practice lead to a single person's being documented under many spelling variations
. The name Cowsak has existed in the various shapes: Cusack, Cusacke, Cussack, Cossack
, Cosack, Cewsack, Ceusack, Cowsack, Coussack, Cussach, Cussache, Cussoch, Coussack, M'Cusack, Cussick and many more.
Early Notables of the Cowsak family (pre 1700)
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cowsak Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cowsak family to the New World and Oceana
Irish immigration to North American began in the late 18th century as many Irish families
desired to own their own land. This pattern of immigration grew slowly yet steadily until the 1840s. At that time, a failed crop and a growing population in Ireland
resulted in the Great Potato Famine
. Poverty, disease, and starvation ravaged the land. To ease their pain and suffering the Irish often looked upon North America as a solution: hundreds of thousands undertook the voyage. Their arrival meant the growth of industry and commerce for British North America and the United States. For the individual Irishman, it meant survival and hope, and the opportunity for work, freedom, and ownership of land. The early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Cowsak: Christopher Cusack who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1830; Betsey Cusack settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849; Pat Cusack settled in Canada in 1839.