Origin of the Kosbab Name

When our quest began, we knew vaguely that our forefathers had come from somewhere in Europe, most likely Germany.

After many years research, it is evident the surname KOSBAB originated in Germany in an area east of the Oder River, which today is in Poland.

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Research has shown that the surname is unique in its spelling with 3 main groups…
KOSBAB (216), KOSBAU (68), KOSSBAB (2).

It is more than probable that both KOSBAU and KOSSBAB are derivatives or even misspellings of the name Kosbab.  Years ago, Carol Haley discovered a branch of Kosbab’s in an old census except the surname was spelt differently, but it was clear they were Kosbab’s.  As it was explained to me, cast your mind back 100 years when lots of people could not read or write.   Who would have checked the correct spelling of names written down by the census person.  The names would often be spelt phonetically, in other words, how they sounded.

The surname KOSBAB has been traces back as far as Germany around the early 1800’s.  The majority of towns associated with the surname KOSBAB are in an area known as Hinter Pommern, a type of state or county (area) east of the Oder River.  Today this area is part of Poland (re-indexed 1945) and unfortunately, records are scarce.

We have not been able to find any record of the Kosbab surname before 1814.


Kosbab is a very old German name meaning: Goat Shepherd
Kos (old German word for:Ziege = goat)
bab  (old German word for: Bube = Boy )
Kosbab= Ziegenbub= shepherd but for goats.
So the first Kosbabs had to be shepherds!
Virginia Nagel (Abramowski) 2008

One source suggests that KOSBAB’s came from Hungary.  Any other associations and country references can be found in our sworld section.


Our web site and family tree concentrates on the Kosbab branch that left Germany and emigrated to England.  After that our branch of the family emigrated to Australia.

We know that Kosbab’s started emigrating from Germany around the 1850’s.  Many emigrated to the United States of America.  We have information that some went to Canada but we have no evidence of this.

One family emigrated to England around 1877 who were my ancestors.

The rest of the information originally stored in this section has now been transferred to the Family Tree and the Archive.