The purpose of this page is to encourage research of the genealogy of the KOBERNUSS and KUBBERNUSS families. This research also includes the families that share the 20 or more variations of these namesf which include:
We've researched US and German records as early as 1600 and found over 1200 people who used one or more of the known variations. Until the late 1800's in Germany spelling was not considered important. Some variations are clearly errors in transcription; however, we've seen various spellings within the same village, within families, and have noted several cases where individuals have used more than one variation in their lifetime.
We're not sure of the origin of these names. KOBENHAVEN Denmark is not far from the Malchin area in Mecklenburg where they first appear, so maybe there is a connection there. The COBERNUSS family, merchants in 1450 in Malchin near the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania border, appear to be the earliest known mention of the variations that begin to show up in German church records as early as 1600. The variations we've encountered in German and US records appear to stem from the two most common forms; KOBERNUSS and KUBBERNUSS. Since these two names have been used interchangeably in church records, and appear in the same general area of Mecklenburg, we assume for now they have a common origin.
We analyzed 111 known KOBERNUSS and KUBBERNUSS marriages between 1643 and 1800. Over this period the number of marriages were about equal in the two family names. The KOBERNUSS families represented about 70 percent in the earlier years, while marriages in KUBBERNUSS families were greater in the later years.
Of the 17 villages in this study, KOBERNUSS families existed in 13 villages in an arc east and south of Malchin, while KUBBERNUSS families were concentrated primarily in four adjacent villages about 15 miles north of that city. A study of migration trends after 1800 indicates much more overlap and distribution of the names in villages throughout the Malchin area and to the west. This data only includes Mecklenburg and does not reflect possible migration to Pomerania, Brandenburg or other areas of Germany.
Almost all of the early families we've studied lived near the borders of Mecklenburg and West Pomerania. To our knowledge, these names do not appear anywhere else in the world, so their origin appears to be in Mecklenburg. If you want to see where these areas are located, check our Maps link. The 1819 Mecklenburg census and Franz Schubert's survey of Mecklenburg Marriages are reliable indicators of where people with these names lived. The Mecklenburg Marriages page provides a list of the German villages mentioned in these sources between 1643 and 1888. Some undocumented people also probably lived in Pomerania during the same time, but we have not yet begun serious research in this area.
We have traced about twenty five German families from Mecklenburg and West Pomerania that immigrated to the U.S. between 1853 and 1888. They settled mainly in Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, and Milwaukee. Several of these families later homesteaded in various areas of the Midwest US and Canada.
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The history of these families is largely undocumented, but we learn something new almost every day. We're always glad to get e-mail from long lost cousins.