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There are several methodologies which can be used to try to determine the origin and distribution within the UK of  the most common names in my One Name Study. A description of various methods, and their advantages and drawbacks, can be found on Peter Dance's Modern British Surnames web site1 . The usual scheme is to extract numbers of occurrences from particular sources at particular times or over particular periods, which are then plotted on a map in order to make areas of concentrations of the names clear.

The methodology I have chosen is to use readily available sources, and to take three time periods or snapshots which can be compared to show the area of origin and spread of  the names CAUSER, CAUSIER, CAWSER and CORSER. The events, sources and times selected are: 

(1) Christenings from the IGI for the period 1500- 1750 - i.e. roughly from the introduction of Parish Registers and covering the period when people generally stayed in their home parishes before the start of the Industrial Revolution brought migration from the country to the towns.
(2)  The 1881 census, when the population throughout the country was recorded, and the mass population movements of the Industrial Revolution were all but over.
(3) The 1999 electoral register, from UK-Info Disk 20002 , for the situation at the Millennium.

That there are shortcomings to these sources is acknowledged, but they do have some advantages. The IGI does not have all parish registers transcribed, so that the distribution will be skewed towards those areas where records survived and were made available. Also, the period taken is one where the spelling of names was not fixed, so that the intermixing of spellings within one family may result in a false picture of origin emerging. However, the source is readily available, and figures are easily extracted. I have taken the number of christenings in the IGI as the measure of population. The 1881 census is the first to be fully transcribed and indexed, so it is easy to extract the figures. By taking the location of individuals on census day, rather than where they were born, I have a snapshot of the spread of the names across the country. The UK-Info Disk 2000 information only covers those over the age of 18 - i.e. eligible to vote - so the total population of each name will be skewed. Also, not everyone over 18 is registered to vote, further skewing the figures. However, it will provide a snapshot of the spread of the adult population over the UK and, again, extraction is easy.

I have also attempted to show the distribution of some of the names at the present day in Australia and the United States. In these cases the sources are telephone directories and electoral rolls, which were used to compile the listing in  The Burke's Peerage World Book of Corsers3 dated 1997. Those people with ex-directory numbers will not be shown, and this information will only show adult population, or only households, but an indication of the spread of the names can be gauged, particularly when the original point of settlement is known.  


Corser in UK
Causer in UK
  Causier in UK
Cawser in UK
Corser in USA
Corser in Australia
Causer in Australia


A research project based at University College London (UCL)  has investigated the distribution of surnames in Great Britain, both current and historic, and their database is available for public use at  The UCL Surname Profiler

The names Causer, Causier, Corser, Corsar, Cosier, Cozier, Couser, Kauser and Kausar are in their database, and you can see map plots of  the name distribution in Great Britain in 1881 & 1998. Also shown are the "top areas" in Great Britain and Ireland, and "top  state/province"  in Australia, New Zealand and the US.

A detailed discussion of surname distribution can be found on the Surname Studies website here

The site "Surnames of  England and Wales"4    shows the number of occurrences of surnames in September 2002. The site shows the following figures for names in this study; multiplying the "raw" figure by 0.93 gives a more accurate estimate of the living population:

Name Raw Population Estimated Population
Causer 1642 1527
Corser 432 402
Causier 234 218
Cosier 232 216
Cozier 162 151
Cawser 139 129
Cowser 54 50
Corsar 53 49
Corsair 20 19
Corvesor 11 10

A German web site estimates that there were some 24 people with the surname Kauser in Germany in 20085, scattered in small groups in various areas, mainly on the eastern side of the country. The biggest grouping is in the area of Spree-Neisser. The name also occurs in very small numbers in Poland and Switzerland.

A French web site gives the places and numbers of births for some of the names in this Study in France6, shown by Departement and in 4 time periods from 1891 to 1990.  There are only 2 occurrences of the name Corser, in the Hauts de Seine Departément in the period 1966-1990. It is believed that these are for an English family. Other occurrences of the names connected with this study include:

                               Causer, Causier, Cauzier, Courcier, Cosier, Cozier, Cowser, Corsaw, Couser, Cassier, CasserCossier

Links to surname distribution maps for other countries can be found on the FamilySearch web site here.


1.  Surname Studies
2.   UK-Info Disk 2000SE, i-CD Publishing (UK) Ltd
3.   The Burke's Peerage World Book of Corsers, Halberts Family Heritage, 1997

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 This page updated 21 January 2015