Cousins families in Wexford

Cousins Name and it's History in Wexford

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The name of "Cousins" is claimed by some experts to have been derived from the ancient Norman French name of "Cuzon", and came over to England with William the 1st in 1066.

Another theory is that "Cousins", is derived from a reference to a kinsman or near relative "cousins of the King" Other experts that say "Cousins" was derived from Cutison and Cuthbertson this only helps to make the mystery of the researching our family name more exciting and definitely more frustrating.

The Cousins  families in Ireland have been in south Wexford from early Norman times.The name is said to derive from the Old-French ' Le cosin i.e relation or kinsman  . The earliest reference is to Henry Cosin under the years 1282-1283 in Hore's History of Old Ross.  In 1312 Patrick Cosyn was Vicar of Bannow and in 1240 was appointed ( with others) collector of the subsidy to tithes of Papal Pence for the Diocese of Ferns.

At the beginning of the fourteenth century Cousins families were found in Counties Cork, Tipperary in the Meath-Louth area. Their principal seat was at Farrahy, near Kildorrery, Co. Cork, which was renamed Bowenscourt when the Welsh family of Bowen (Ap Owen) acquired the property subsequent to the ruin of the Cussens under the Cromwellian regime. The name was often written Cushine or Cooshin; it appears as Coshin and Cooshene in King James 11's army list.

Coosheene is phonetically the same as the form used in Irish - Cúisín. In the Fiants of the previous century there are a number of other variants including Quyshen - Robert oge Quyshen of Grange, Co. Limerick, was attainted in 1593. The majority of these are in Co. Limerick, but a family of the name was evidently well established in Co. Westmeath, for among the 1582 pardons we find Edmond Cushene, of Cushenstown , and Edward Cushine of the same place in the 1659 census. Families of Cussen etc., were formerly numerous in Leinster (there was another Cushenstown alias Cosinestown in Co. Wexford and Cussin is listed in 1659 as a principal name in the barony of Forth. Cussen, the usual form today, is mainly found in Counties Wexford Limerick and Cork. The form Cushing survives in Co. Wexford and is prominent in the person of Cardinal Cushing, a recent Archbishop of Boston. Adam Cussin (1395) was one of the scribes of the Book of Uí Maine. A Cussyn was M.P. for Athy in 1560 The Cousins family of Wexford has settled all over the globe

In his history of the Barony of Forth, Hore mentions a David Coussen who was implicated with others in 1559 in intruding upon the lands of Richard Stafford of Ballymacane ( Tacumshane) and stopping the flow of water from Lady's Island Lake into the sea.

By the mid-seventeenth century families of the name had become well established in the Barony of Forth. The 1659 "census" lists Cussin as one of the principal names in the barony. This was still so at the middle of the last century when we find 22 Cousins householders listed in Griffith's  1853 Valuation compared to  two in Shelmalier East( Tykillen ),  two in  Bantry ( New Ross, Templeudigan) and  one in Shelmalier West ( Ardcandrisk).

I believe my Cousins family are of Norman origin having been brought to Ireland when the Anglo-Normans colonised the southern region of the county. The Normans first come ashore at Bannow Bay in 1169, on the invitation of Dermot MacMurrough, who had enlisted their help in his bid to regain the throne of Leinster. Families bearing this name formed the Cuisin Sept along native Gaelic lines and became fully integrated into Irish society.

The name became best known in Wexford through the mineral water company at Old Pound (St Peter's Sqare) founded by Patrick Cousins from Ballyharron, Tykillen.  Griffith's records William Cousins owning 24 acres and John Cousins 13 acres at Ballyharron in 1853.

Patrick Cousins , who died in 1934, had been prominent in the commercial life of Wexford for more than forty years.  He was chiefly responsible for reviving the Chamber of Commerce and became its President.  He was one of the founders of the Rosslare Golf Club and one  of the pioneers  of the Gaelic Athletic Association ( G.A.A) in the  county. For many years he was chairman of the South-East Mineral Water Works Association. His daughter Eva Cousins, married Dr. Tom Walsh, founder of the Wexford Opera Festival. A singer and actress of great talent, she was a leading light opera artist from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Thomas Cousins, Menapia Avenue Wexford, who died in January 1950, played  a notable  part in the War of Independence.  He was one of the first  to join  the Irish Republican Brotherhood

( I.R.B )  in 1913. During the the Black  and Tan campaign he was arrested and detained in the Wexford military barracks.  He escaped and was later captured with Gregory Devereux of Ballyfinogue and put in Waterford jail.

On the signing of the Treaty in 1921 he was released and joined the national army, retiring with the rank of captain in 1925. On the outbreak of World War Two, he joined the Local Security Force  and later the Maritime Inscription Corps. He was an employee of the Wexford Timber Co, for forty years and was foreman for a period with the Wexford County Council.

The Cousins name has been spelt in many ways over the centuries. Here is a selection Cuisin, Cussen, Couzens, Cussin, Cusson, Cossen, Couxens, Cosyn, Cusyn, Coossyn, Coossyne, Cosins, Cosin, Cuzin, Cousin, Cousen, Cuzen Cuzun, Cosen, Cossins, Cussyn, Cussans, Cozzens, Cozins, Cozens, Cousins and many more variations.

How did the many was of spelling the Cousins name come to being., scribes spelled the name as it sounded. This was dependent on the accent of the person and the interpretation of what the scribe thought he heard .i.e. The person giving his name said Cousins and the scribe thought he said Cussens. This can happened may times through the ages giving us the various spellings of the Cousins name. It was not uncommon that a person could be born with one spelling of "Cousins", married with another "Cosins" and buried with yet again with another spelling of "Cussans". All three spellings relate to the same person. Always keep an open mind on the spelling of your name the spelling may have changed several times over the years.

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Cousins Family who had Business in and around Wexford Town

Surname

First name

Occupation

Address

District

Year

Cousins
Laurence
Grocer
Wexford Town
Wexford
1825

Cousins

P

Grocer

25 Main Street

Wexford Borough

1855

Cousins

& Co

Tea Dealer, Wine Merchant

Main Street, South

Wexford

1885

Cousins

& Co.

Grocer, Bottler Etc

25 South Main Street

Wexford Borough

1885

Cousins

& Co.

Grocer & Wine & Spirit Merchant

25 Main Street, South

Wexford Borough

1885

Cousins

A

Dressmaker

Selskar Street

Wexford Borough

1885

Cousins

Catherine

Baker

Killann, Enniscorthy

Co. Wexford

1885

Cousins

Frank

Carpenter

Kilmore

Co. Wexford

1885

Cousins

John

Blacksmith

High Hill, New Ross

Co. Wexford

1846

Cousins

L

Tailor

Bride Street

Wexford Borough

1885

Cousins

Michael

Land

Mauritiustown, Tagoat

Co. Wexford

1885

Cousins

P

Grocer

25 Main Street

Wexford Borough

1885

Cousins

Patrick

Boot And Shoemaker

Barrack Lane

New Ross, Co. Wexford

1856

Cousins

Richard

Land

Hill, Kilmore Quay

Co. Wexford

1885

Cousins

Robert

Land

Cumshinstown, Tacumshane

Co. Wexford

1885

Cousins
Patrick
Mineral Water Factory
Old Pound Wexford
Wexford
1900?
Cousins
Thomas
Shoemaker
Kilbraney
Wexford
1850?

Cousins

T

Ship Carpenter

Faythe

Wexford

1885