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Our 2,765 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

Some time ago I started a one-name study of the COSSAR and CROSSER surname, including COSSER, COSSOR, CROSSAR and CROSSOR. This study was registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in London England in 1989. COSSAR is also an acronym for the Colorado Society for the Sons of the American Revolution.

I have many Scottish trees in my records and a number of large English and international bushes.

I am seeking references all around the world, in all time periods and am always interested to hear from people researching these names.

Variant names


I have information about the surname(s) COSER, COUSER, COUZER, COWSER, COSKER, and BAUCHOP which I would like to pass to someone undertaking them as a one-name study.

Name origin

From 'The surnames of Scotland: their origin, meaning and history', by George Fraser Black: COSSAR, COSSER: Ralph le Kosser 1299 MESO (Ess): John Cosser, Cossier, 1392 LLB H. me cosser 'dealer, broker', 'horse-corser' 1300. MED.

Historical occurrences of the name

One of the earliest mentions of the name is in Scotland on 18 September 1473 when Robert COSSAR, bailie of Stirling, was a witness a crown brieve of inquest obtained by Elizabeth Menteith concerning certain lands in earldom of Lennox (NAS GD430/77).

Dr George Carter COSSAR CBE, MC, FRCPE (1880-1942) was active in training young poor Scots boys for a new life in Canada. In 1910 he bought a 600-acre farm near Lower Gagetown in New Brunswick, which he called Cossar Farm, Receiving Home and Distributing Centre for Scotch Lads.

In 1892, John COSSAR bequeathed his freehold house in Forest Road, Walthamstow, to his wife, Susanna FROGGETT, and after her death to the Trustees of the Squire's Almshouses. The sale of the property was completed in 1911, and the proceeds were invested and transferred to The Official Trustee of Charitable Funds (source Waltham Forest Archives).

In 1859, Alfred Charles COSSOR (c.1835-1910), who had trained as a glassblower, founded Acosson Ltd in north London. In 1904 the company made its first blood pressure monitor, a product for which the company is still renowned to this day. Another member of this family, Alfred Charles COSSOR junior (c.1861-1922) trained as an electrician and went on to found the COSSOR radio and television company.

Simon and David COSSAR were renowned golf-club makers in 18th century Edinburgh. David died in 1816. Whether the two men were related is not yet known.

Name frequency

It is estimated that as of 2009 the living bearers of this surname in England, Wales and the Isle of Man number around 300. (Figures are not available for Scotland or other countries, as far as I am aware.)

Distribution of the name

The surname seems to have originated in the Scottish borders, although there are lines springing from Lanarkshire. Descendants of these Lanarkshire lines are today in New Zealand, Canada, USA and London England. Descendants of Berwickshire lines are similarly widespread and have settled in Australia also. Today, COSSARs are represented as far apart as Canada, Iceland, Chile and South Africa.

There is a very large group of English COSSARs in the south west of England from the 18th century onwards, and unconnected line in Norfolk England in 1881. In Canada, a family now using the name COSSAR was originally COSSABOOM from the Netherlands. There are also some COSSARs of Italian origin, particularly in the USA and Switzerland; some of these families originally used the name COSSARINI.

The distribution map of the name in the 1901 census of Scotland, England and Wales is shown as the picture on this page.


Sources researched include:

  • GRO S Scottish birth, marriage and death civil registration certificates from 1855
  • GRO English & Welsh birth, marriage indexes from 1837
  • Scottish testament calendars and testaments
  • English & Welsh wills from 1858
  • 1841 British census index and images
  • 1851 British census index and images
  • 1861 British census index and images
  • 1871 British census index and images
  • 1881 British census index and images (does not include Ireland)
  • 1891 British census index and images
  • 1901 British census index and images
  • 1901 Irish census index and images
  • 1911 England & Wales census index and images
  • 1911 Irish census index and images
  • 1911 Scottish census index
  • Some Australian birth, marriage and death civil registration indexes
  • Some US birth, marriage and death civil registration indexes
  • Recent telephone directory entries for the UK, Australia, South Africa and USA

Currently working on:

  • Scottish census images 1911
  • Scottish Valuation Rolls
  • Scottish Executry
  • 19th and 20th century USA censuses
  • New Zealand birth, marriage and death civil registration indexes
  • The British Newspaper Archive at the British Library
  • North American censuses


I have recently started a DNA project


and would like to hear from anyone interested in participating.