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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, German

Where did the German Boss family come from? What is the German Boss family crest and coat of arms? When did the Boss family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Boss family history?

The roots of the Boss family are found in the ancient German state of Bavaria. Boss is one of the most common styles of German surname, that of patronymics and metronymics - names derived from the given names of the father or mother of their original bearers. Boss is derived from the medieval name Boss, a frequent shortening of the personal name Burkhard. In medieval times, given names were frequently abbreviated as terms of affection and endearment. This Germanic personal name was also associated with the German word boese, which meant naughty and tough. Thus, the name referred to a person who was very tough or one who was inclined to fight.


Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Boss include Bosse, Bosses, Bauss, Bausse, Bausses, Boss, von Bosse, Boesse and many more.

First found in Westphalia, where the name Bosse was closely identified in early mediaeval times with the feudal society of early Europe. The family would later emerge as a noble family with great influence, having many distinguished branches, and become noted for its involvement in social, economic and political affairs.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Boss research. Another 116 words(8 lines of text) covering the year 1659 is included under the topic Early Boss History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Boss Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


After 1650, thousands of German settlers came to North America to escape the religious persecution and poverty that wracked Europe and to make the most of the opportunity to own their own land in a new country. They settled across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California, and in Canada in Ontario and on the fertile plains of the prairie provinces. Among them:

Boss Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Alexr Boss, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • John Boss, who landed in Virginia in 1706
  • Johannes Boss, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1741
  • Frans Joseph Boss, aged 21, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753
  • Andreas Boss arrived in Long Island in 1781

Boss Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Mr. BOSS, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1822
  • Christopher Frederick Boss, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1843
  • Theodore Boss, aged 35, arrived in Missouri in 1845
  • A. P. Boss arrived in San Francisco in 1851
  • A P Boss, who landed in Sari Francisco, California in 1851

Boss Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Albert Boss, aged 16, who settled in America from Baden, in 1901
  • Alice Boss, aged 0, who emigrated to America from England, in 1902
  • Alexander Boss, aged 39, who landed in America from London, in 1903
  • Barbara Boss, aged 18, who settled in America, in 1908
  • Albert Boss, aged 22, who emigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1911


  • Harold Francis Boss (b. 1903), American life insurance executive
  • Lewis Boss (1846-1912), American astronomer
  • Hugo Boss (1885-1948), German fashion designer
  • Isaac Boss (b. 1980), Irish rugby union player



  1. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Garland, Mary and Henry Garland Editions. Oxford Companion To German Literature 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print. (ISBN 0198158963).
  5. Strassburger, Ralph B. Pennsylvania German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  6. Tarneller, Josef. Zur Namenkunde Tirolen Familiennamen. Bozen: Buchhandlung, 1923. Print.
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  9. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  10. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Boss Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Boss Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 28 December 2013 at 19:19.

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