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 Cowsake, 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 Cowsake 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 Cowsake family
The surname Cowsake 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 Cowsake family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cowsake 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 Cowsake History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cowsake Spelling Variations
During the lifetime of an individual person, his name was often spelt by church officials and medieval scribes the way it sounded. An examination of the many different origins of each name has revealed many spelling variations
for the name: Cusack, Cusacke, Cussack, Cossack
, Cosack, Cewsack, Ceusack, Cowsack, Coussack, Cussach, Cussache, Cussoch, Coussack, M'Cusack, Cussick and many more.
Early Notables of the Cowsake family (pre 1700)
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cowsake Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cowsake family to the New World and Oceana
In the mid-19th century, Ireland
experienced one of the worst periods in its entire history. During this decade in order to ease the pressure of the soil, which was actually depleted by the effects of the previous years' grain crops, landowners forced tenant
farmers and peasants onto tiny plots of land that barely provided the basic sustenance a family required. Conditions were worsened, though, by the population of the country, which was growing fast to roughly eight million. So when the Great Potato Famine
of the mid-1840s hit, starvation and diseases decimated the population. Thousands of Irish families
left the country for British North America and the United States. The new immigrants were often accommodated either in the opening western frontiers or as cheap unskilled labor in the established centers. In early passenger and immigration lists there are many immigrants bearing the name Cowsake: Christopher Cusack who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1830; Betsey Cusack settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849; Pat Cusack settled in Canada in 1839.