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


The roots of the distinguished German surname Priebe can be traced back to the duchy of Silesia. The name is an East German/Slavic short form for the name "Pribislav" or "Pribislaw"; as a surname, it indicates "son of Pribislav or Pribislaw." Alternatively, the name may be derived from the name of the medieval township of Pribus; in this case, the surname would indicate someone hailing from this area.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Priebe, Preebe, Prebe, Preibe, Pribe, Priebke and many more.

First found in military states, where the personal name "Pribislaw" was most popular. The name came to be associated with military prowess and victory in battle; it was therefore a common choice for a Christian name and was eventually adopted as a hereditary surname. The first record of Priebe as a surname dates back to 1316; there is a Priebe registered for that year in the Pommersches Urkundenbuch.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Priebe research. Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1413 and 1560 are included under the topic Early Priebe History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Priebe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Herman Priebe, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1870
  • William Priebe, who landed in Iowa in 1879
  • Martin Priebe, aged 7, arrived in New York, NY in 1885
  • Mathilde Priebe, aged 4, landed in New York, NY in 1885
  • Wilhelm Priebe, aged 34, arrived in New York, NY in 1885


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  • Karl J. Priebe (1914-1976), American painter whose studies and paintings of birds, exotic animals, and African-American culture won him international recognition
  • Jeanette Brooks Priebe (b. 1937), American who instituted the first affirmative action hiring program for the Louisville metro area


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  1. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
  4. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  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. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
  9. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Hopeful Journeys German Immigration, Settlement, and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  10. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  11. ...

The Priebe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Priebe 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 26 March 2016 at 16:08.

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