This is one of a group of surnames which is well recorded in the surviving church registers, but the origin and meaning is open to some dispute. In our opinion the name recorded in the spellings of Cossell, Coshell, Coesall, Cosell, Cozall and Cossal, is of Old English pre 7th century origins, and locational. It originates from either a now "lost" medieval village, or from Cossall, in the county of Nottingham. This village name is given by the late Professor Ekwall as meaning "Cossa's house" with Cossa being an ancient personal name. However it may also be a development of the Olde English word "cors" meaning a bog or marsh, to give the equally logical meaning of the house by the bog. A second possibility is that the surname has a French origin, from the pre-medieval job descriptive word "cosse" meaning a merchant, possibly a fish merchant. However the records do not give absolute proof either way. What we do have is a range of spelling examples which include Dorothye Cossell, who married Francis Saxton at St James church, Clerkenwell, on February 20th 1622, Jean Cozall, who seems to have been a Frenchman, and who married Judith Andran at St James church, Dukes Place, London, on February 16th 1692, and Mary Cossell, who married John Aleway at the church of Allhallows, London Wall, on February 13th 1719. The first recording is in the reign of King James 1st of England, and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625.
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