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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: German, Polish, Ukrainian


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The surname Kowal was first found in East Prussia, where the name Kowalski was a royal house in what was originally Poland but passed through history from Prussia to Czechoslovakia and back to Polish. The name gained a reputation for its contribution to the emerging mediaeval society in Silesia. It later became more prominent as numerous branches of the same house acquired distant estates, some of which were located in other countries. Through the acquisition of these estates as well as their important contributions to society, the family successfully elevated their social status. The name originated as an occupational name for a blacksmith.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Kowalski, Kovak, Kowak, Kowal, Koval, Kovalski, Kovalyov, Kovach, Kovats, Kowalsky, Kovac, Kofax, Kowahl and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kowal research. Another 224 words (16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kowal History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Antonia Kowalski, who came from the port of Bremen to New York in 1868; Carl Kowalski, who arrived in Baltimore in 1868; Ernestine Kowalski, who arrived in New York in 1873.

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  • Terri Kowal (b. 1949), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 2004
  • Sheila Kowal, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Colorado, 1980
  • Leon J. Kowal, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1952
  • John Kowal, American politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Monroe County 4th District, 1936
  • Gerald J. Kowal, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Pennsylvania State Senate 19th District, 1980
  • Chester Kowal, American Republican politician, Mayor of Buffalo, New York, 1962-65; Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1964
  • Kristina Ann Kowal (b. 1978), American three-time gold and silver medalist swimmer
  • Charles Thomas Kowal (1940-2011), American astronomer who discovered two moons of the planet Jupiter, and a number of asteroids, comets and supernovae, recipient of the 1979 James Craig Watson Medal
  • Yoann Kowal (b. 1987), French middle distance runner


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  1. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
  4. Schenk, Trudy. Wuerttemberg Emigration Index Volume I-VIII. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1986. Print.
  5. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  6. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  7. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  8. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
  9. 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).
  10. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmacher's Grosses Wappenbuch 35 Volumes. Germany: Bauer & Raspe. Print.
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This page was last modified on 26 November 2013 at 10:44.

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