Cusack Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Cusack Family Coat of Arms

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Cusack Coat of Arms Meaning

Cusack Name Origin & History

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Cusack Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Cusack blazon are the mermaid, pale and fess. The four main tinctures (colors) are azure, or, argent and sable.

Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 1Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.3Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 4A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 9Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

The mermaid is depicted exactly as we now picture the mythical creature, and is almost always shown with dishevelled hair and looking into a hand mirror. 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Mermaid They tend to more frequent as supporters than being illustrated upon the shield itself. Wade cites Sloane Evans in his belief that the mermaid represents the “Eloquence” of the bearer.

The Pale is one of the major, so called ordinaries, significant objects that extend across the entire field of the shield. The pale being a broad vertical band up the centre of the shield 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pale. In origin, the word probably has its roots in the same place as palisade, a defensive wall made of closely space upright timbers. Indeed, it is possible that the original “pales” arose where a wooden shield was constructed of vertical planks painted in different hues 13A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, Chapter 1. This is perhaps why Wade, a writer on Heraldic Symbology suggested that denotes “military strength and fortitude” 14The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P47.

The fesse (also found as fess) is one of the major ordinaries to found in heraldry, being a bold, broad, horizontal band across the centre of the shield. It may originally have arisen from the planks of which a wooden shield can be constructed, the centremost plank being painted a different colour 15A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fesse. It is instantly recognisable as a symbol, for example the arms of COLEVILLE granted during the reign of Hery III are simply or, a fesse gules. With this clear association with the construction of the shield itself, Wade believes that the fesse can be taken to be associated with the military, as a “girdle of honour”.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Cusack Name

Cusack Origin:

France

Origin of Cusack:

This unusual surname derived from the Norman-French locational origin from Cussac in Guienne, an old district of southwest France. So named from the Gallo-Roman particular name “Cucius” or “Cussius,” with the addition of component “-acum,” which means an agreement. First appearing in Ireland after the invasion of the Anglo-Norman attacks of 1169 – 1170. The was name first Anglicized as “de Cussac” and “de Cusack,” and concluded as “de Ciomhsog” in Irish. Cusick, with other Norman names like Tobin (originally “St. Aubyn”) and Roche (ultimately “de Roche”), may now introduce as totally Hibernicized. The first listed name holders were given lands in divisions Meath and Kildare. The name also appears in 14th Century documents of divisions Clare and Roscommon, where it was Gaelicized as “Mac Iosog” and “Ciosog.” The Annals of the Four Masters register a war between the Cusacks and the Barrets in Connacht, about 1281. Today the name spread widely all over the Ireland, especially in Munster, where it Anglicized as Cusack, Cusick, Cuseck, Cuseick, Kusick, and Kewzick. In 1520, the birth of Patrick Cusack listed in Gerrardstown by Navan, division Meath, and in March 1737, Timothy, son of Matt Cusick, named in Ballyhay, division Cork.

Variations:

More common variations of this surname are: Cussack, Cuesack, Cusiack, Cusaack, Cuseack, Cousack, Causack, Cusac, Cusak, Cusck.

Ireland:

The surname Cusack first appeared in Division Meath in the early part of the kingdom of Brega, situated in Eastern Ireland, in the district of Leinster, where Jeoffrey Le Cusack was first listed. He was named after a town in France of the same name and came to Ireland shortly after the English conquest. Adam Cusack, his grandson “slew William Barret and his brothers in Connaught, on the situation of a conflict about estates” in 1282. Another story has a partly different twist on the origin in France. In this connection, the name was acquired from an area in Guienne, France, and first anglicized as de Cussac. However, whichever source is true, the existence of the name in England is limited.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Andre de Cusack, who came to Ireland with King John, which was dated 1211, in the “old Registers of the Pale.” It was during the time of King John, who was known to be the “Lackland,” 1199 – 1216.

United States of America:

Some of the people with the name Cusack who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Christopher Cusack who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1830. Edward Cusack, who arrived in New York in 1847. Betsey Cusack landed in Boston Massachusetts in 1849. William Cusack, who settled in Mobile Country, Ala in 1851. Peter Cusack came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1856.

Canada:

Some of the people with the name Cusack who settled in the Canada in the 19th century included John Cusack was a businessperson of St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1827. Pat Cusack shifted in Canada in 1839. James Cusack settled in Canada in 1849. Michael Cusack moved to Canada in 1850. John Cusack arrived in Great St. Lawrence in 1871.

Australia:

Some of the people with the name Cusack who settled in the Australia in the 19th century included Honora Cusack at the age of 30 and Margaret Cusack at the age of 20, who was a home slave, both arrived in South Australia in the same year in 1854 aboard the ship “Fortune.” Rose Cusack at the age of 23 settled in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship “Velocity.” Andrew Cusack at the age of 23 arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship “Royal Albert.”

Here is the population distribution of the last name Cusack: United States 4,949; England 1,850; Ireland 2,222; Northern Ireland 215; Australia 2,236; Scotland 177; Canada 723; South Africa 219; Germany 202; New Zealand 168.

Notable People:

Alex Cusack was an Australian-born cricket player.

Ann Cusack was an American performer and daughter of Dick Cusack.

Catherine Cusack was an Irish artist and daughter of Cyril Cusack.

Catherine Cusack was an Australian leader.

Cyril Cusack was an Irish artist.

Dick Cusack was an American actor and film producer.

Dymphna Cusack was an Australian author.

Joan Cusack was an American entertainer and daughter of Dick Cusack

John Cusack was an American actor, author, and son of Dick Cusack.

John Cusack was an Australian leader.

Joyce Cusack was an American congressman.

Mary Frances Cusack was a famous Irish author.

Cusack Family Gift Ideas

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Notes: (Killeen, Gerrardstown, Lismullen, and Clonard, co. Meath). Mottoes—“Ave Maria, plena gratia!” and “En Dieu est mon espoir.” Blazon: Per pale or and az. a fesse counterchanged, quartering Golding, St. Laurence, Beaufort, Holland, and Plantagenet. Crest—A mermaid sa. holding in the dexter hand a sword, and in the sinister a sceptre ppr.
2) Notes: None. Blazon: Per pale ar. and sa. a fesse counterchanged.

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References   [ + ]

1. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
2. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150
3. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
4. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
5. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
6. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
8. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
9. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
10. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
11. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Mermaid
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pale
13. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, Chapter 1
14. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P47
15. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fesse