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Unless otherwise credited, these brief notes on the various lines are derived from Three Hundred Years with the Corson Families in America, by Orville Corson. Some of the more common variants are listed with each division. For a more complete listing of variant spellings go to our Variants page.
RESEARCH HELPThe organization has established 'Division Coordinators', who have a degree of expertise and experience in researching each of these lines. For specific research help you are encouraged to post to the RootsWeb Surname Mailing Lists.
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This division has been divided into seven branches to represent each of the children of the third generation:
Jan CORSZEN came from Recife, Brazil to New
Amsterdam and married Metje Theunis CRAY according to the marriage
His origins are suspected to be Dutch, but no solid proof of this has
established. '300 Yrs'* offers some explanation, and in fact his
nine children were all baptized in the Dutch Reformed Church of New
I've spent about 40 years of my 68 years attempting to sort out the descendants of Jan CORSZEN. Many of my research notes and sources can be found in my 20 year old chronology posted about 3/4 of the way down the page on the "Dutch-Uncle" site at: http://www.teachout.org/du/
My years of research has led me to think that it is probable that the original French/Walloon surname may have been "de COURSE", "de COURCY" or some variation of that name; and that it was "Dutchified" to CORSZEN in New Amsterdam. There was a certain Peter de COURSE who visited the site of New Amsterdam as early as 1612. He had two sons, Arent CORSSE (aka Arent Stam) and Dirk CORSSE (aka Dirk Stam), both in the employ of the Dutch West India Company, which sailed the great circle route from the Netherlands to the Gold coast to Recife, Brazil to New Amsterdam and back to the Netherlands. Another son of this Peter (de) Course may have been the Jan Corsen who m.Tryntje Van Campen.
I don't guarantee the complete accuracy of my findings, but they might help sort out some of the many name changes that took place with successive generations on various Branches: ie: CORSEN, CORSA, CORSAW, DeCOURSEY, DeCOURCY, RESEER, RACER, etc. The French "Coursier", pronounced "Coursay" is translated to "Stam" in Dutch and to "RACER" in English. The "REESER" or "RACER" variation came into being about the time of the French and Indian War when a nephew of Benjamin Fletcher CORSA started using that variation [possibly] to disguise his French heritage in upper PA where the French/Indians were raiding the settlments.
It is interesting to note that two separate branches of the family eventually used the surname "DeCOURSEY" or DeCOURCY". Maria (Corsa) Staples, dau. of Isaac CORSA (1727-1807) was referred to as "Maria de Courcy" in letters from Recife, Brazil published in the NYGBR:v.23,p.127-30. Also two children and a step child of Teunis CORSA (1702-aft 1763) used the "DeCoursey" surname, and decendants of another son took the
"DeCorsaw" surname. While another son Benjamin Corsa/DeCoursey/Racer moved to Marietta, Ohio and left many "Racer" descendants.
For more information about Division II descendants, see the Division II data file under construction for CCFHA's 300+ Project.
Cors Pietersen is stated to be of Dutch
although some have speculated the family was of French Huguenot
His wife was Tryntje Hendrickse of Dutch ancestry. By reasons not
known, the children of Hendrick Carssen, one of the sons, adopted the
VROOM, which in Dutch could mean brave, pious, kind or gentle.
this word is encountered after someone's surname as a
It is suggested that this was the original surname of this line, but
records have confused this and it was dropped for a couple generations
which led to the family using CORSEN and CORSON. Later
married spouses with the similar name of CROESEN to further confuse the
John married Maria (Mary) Daws/Daas, who it is speculated was of English descent. This is in contention because her family were members of the Dutch Reformed Church, and due to the spelling of her surname as Daas. Her father was Elias (Eliose).
Peter married Deborah. Her origins and surname have not been established.
After they settled in NJ John & Peter were affiliated with the Quakers. Whether they might have been introduced in Gravesend is not established. Gravesend was an area of much Quaker persecution and many other families from that area emigrated to So. NJ. The family did not remain in the Quaker following. This is evidenced by the number who served in the Rev. War, and by later military records.
*Vol. II, Chaps. I-XXI, pp. 1-262.
Variant spellings: CORSON, CARSTEN, CORSTON, COSEN, CAUSON, COSTON, KARSTEN, CARSTENSEN
Immigrant families have been identified from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.
Group V-b: The Curzon line in England traces its ancestry to a Courson from France (Britany) who invaded with William the Conqueror in 1066. The family now uses the name Curzon, but other name variants also occur there and have immigrated to the US.
This group of Corsons traces to Jacob Corson, who
is known to have been in Hunterdon Co., New Jersey in the late 1700's,
living near his wife's parents in Lebannon, Amwell Township.
married Mary Hoppock (1759-1828) prior to 1790 (probably ca.
Mary's parents attended the Dutch Reformed Church of Readington and
were of Dutch descent. Mary and Jacob appear to have been part of
the same faith. Incomplete records suggest Jacob may have come
the Staten Island Corsons (Division III), and therefore is also of
descent. He was quite possibly the grandson of either Benjamin or
Douwe Corson, sons of Jacob Corssen and Elizabeth Viele of Staten
This group includes families whose progenitor was named Colson, Colston, or a close variant. Examples include Adam Cols(ton), born ca. 1660, who lived in Boston, Mass. Other Colsons are listed at the site for Colson Family Genealogy.
Variant spellings include: COLSON, COLESON, COULSON, COLSTON, COULSTON
This group is for families whose roots are in Europe (other than the United Kingdom or Germanic countries). Immigrants have been identified from Scandinavia, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Austria, Italy, Greece, Malta, Spain, and the Isle of Man.
Census reports show there were Corson
of African extraction in the US at least as early as 1820, when three
Black families were enumerated in New York City. By 1840 free
Americans were also living in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and in later years
pattern continued to spread. Following the Civil War and emancipation,
more Corson families of African extraction appear in the record,
in the South. Further research is needed to determine if the surname
adopted from former slave owners, admired acquaintances, or other
More research is likewise needed to see if any of these families were
and if any of the lines continue to the present.
Census reports sporadically show Corson and Corsum families identified as American Indians. The earliest entries were in 1880 for two families in Texas. By 1900 there were entries in Pennsylvania and Washington state, but no continuity has been found so far. Further research is needed.
XIII. CANADIAN & Other AMERICAS; MISC. & UNATTACHED Coordinator: Gale Corson M139 email@example.com
Several significant "Corson" families live in Canada, including one with Metis roots. A few immigrants have come from Latin American and the West Indies.
COMPILED FAMILY HISTORIES
Site maintained by Michael Corson (CCFHA Member M-297). Please report any errors, comments, or suggestions to
The CCFHA web site originally created by Jeff Owens (CCFHA Member M-260).
This page updated 18 Jan 2006
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