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 MacCusak, 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 MacCusak 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 MacCusak family
The surname MacCusak 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 MacCusak family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacCusak 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 MacCusak History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacCusak Spelling Variations
A single person's name was often spelt simply as it sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. An investigation into the specific origins the name MacCusak has revealed that such a practice has resulted in many spelling variations
over the years. A few of its variants include: Cusack, Cusacke, Cussack, Cossack
, Cosack, Cewsack, Ceusack, Cowsack, Coussack, Cussach, Cussache, Cussoch, Coussack, M'Cusack, Cussick and many more.
Early Notables of the MacCusak family (pre 1700)
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacCusak Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacCusak family to the New World and Oceana
In the 1840s, Ireland
experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine
. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name MacCusak: Christopher Cusack who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1830; Betsey Cusack settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849; Pat Cusack settled in Canada in 1839.