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


Over the course of its history, the boundaries of Poland changed frequently and as a result, Polish names have much in common with other Slavic names in the way they are formed. Polish surnames often end with a diminutive suffix, such as "-owicz," "ak," "ski," or "ska." The family name Kowalewski is an occupational type of surname, derived from the occupation of blacksmith. This name is a derivative of the word "kowal" which means "blacksmith" and, since this used to be a rather common profession, there were many bearers of the name. In fact, Kowalewski is one of the most common surnames in contemporary Poland.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Kowalski, Kowal, Kovalski, Kovel, Kovalski, Kofax, Kowalczyk, Kowalik, Kovaricek, Kovarik and many more.

First found in Galicia which lies in southern Poland on the northern slopes of the Carpathians. It was overrun by Monguls in 1223. The region is composed of Polish and Ukrainian natives, the latter being to the east. The Ruthenian nobles adopted the Catholic faith and the Polish tongue. The surname became noted for its many branches in the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied by the princes of the region. In their later history the name became a power unto themselves and were elevated to the ranks of nobility as they grew into this most influential family.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kowalewski research. Another 257 words (18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kowalewski History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kowalewski Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Adolf Kowalewski, aged 30, who emigrated to the United States from Gelanance, Russia, in 1907
  • Adam Kowalewski, aged 33, who landed in America from Waidbudisghi, Russia, in 1909
  • Aleksander Kowalewski, aged 21, who settled in America from Jawowo, Russia, in 1910
  • Adalbert Kowalewski, aged 34, who landed in America from Skolki, Germany, in 1912
  • Adam Kowalewski, aged 35, who settled in America from Rachwalowice, Russia, in 1913

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  • Günter Kowalewski (1943-1972), German wrestler who competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics
  • Dr. Gerhard Kowalewski (1876-1950), German mathematician who introduced the matrices notation


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  1. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Co., 1976. Print.
  3. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Harper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland. Teaneck, New Jersey: Avotaynu, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-9626373-9-4).
  7. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
  8. Jones, Stephen. The History of Poland: From Its Origin as a Nation to the Year 1795. London: Vernor and Hood, 1795. Print.
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Jones, Henry Z. Palatine Families of New York 2 Volumes. Rockland, ME: Picton Press, 2001. Print. (ISBN 978-0961388829).
  11. ...

The Kowalewski Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kowalewski 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 20 April 2014 at 20:19.

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