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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German

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.


The surname Boss was 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.

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.


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 and printed products wherever possible.


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


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 United States in the 18th Century

  • Alexander 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 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 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
  • ...

Boss Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Andrew Boss arrived in Canada in 1820
  • Andrew Boss, who landed in Canada in 1820

Boss Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Annie Boss, who settled in Canada, in 1912

Boss Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • George Boss, aged 24, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Constance"
  • Joseph Boss, aged 28, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Constance"

  • Jeffrey Boss (b. 1963), American politician, Candidate for President of the United States, 2008 (Independent), 2012 (NSA Did 9/11); Candidate in Democratic primary for Governor of New Jersey, 2009
  • Henry Manchester Boss Jr. (1875-1960), American Republican politician, U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island, 1926, 1929-34; Candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island, 1934
  • George A. Boss, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1964
  • Ferdinand Boss, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Jeffersontown, Kentucky, 1882-85, 1889-93
  • Eugene S. Boss, American politician, Member of Connecticut State Senate 17th District, 1882-83
  • Elizabeth H. S. Boss, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Laurel, Maryland, 1934-44 (acting, 1934)
  • David B. Boss, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Hunterdon County, 1864-65
  • Charles Royce Boss, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from New London, 1895-96
  • A. Boss, American politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives 15th District, 1872
  • John Linscom Boss Jr. (1780-1819), American politician, Member of Rhode Island State House of Representatives, 1806; U.S. Representative from Rhode Island at-large, 1815-19
  • ...

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    Other References

    1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    2. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
    3. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
    4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    5. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
    6. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
    7. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
    8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    9. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
    10. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
    11. ...

    The Boss Family Crest was acquired from the 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 7 January 2016 at 11:57.

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