History of the Kobernuss & Kubbernuss families in Mecklenburg

We have researched  US and German records as early as 1600 and found over 1200 people who used one or more of the known variations of the Kobernuss & Kubbernuss surnames. Some variations are clearly errors in transcription. However, until the late 1800's in Germany spelling was not considered important. We've seen various surname spellings within the same village, within families, and have noted several cases where individuals have used more than one variation in their lifetime.

We're not sure of the origin of these names. KOBENHAVEN Denmark is not far from the Malchin area in Mecklenburg where they first appear, so maybe there is a connection there. The surnames Cober & Kobern are also found frequently in German records. The COBERNUSS  family, merchants in 1450 in Malchin near the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania border, appear to be the earliest mention of the variations that begin to show up in German church records as early as 1600. The surname variations in German and US records appear to  stem from the two most common forms; KOBERNUSS and KUBBERNUSS. Since these two names have been used interchangeably in church records, and appear in the same general area of Mecklenburg, we assume for now they have a common origin.

These are the historical flags of these two regions

Mecklenburg Vorpommern

This is the flag of contemporary Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

If you want to see where these areas are located, check our Maps link. The 1819 Mecklenburg census and Franz Schubert's survey of Mecklenburg Marriages  are reliable indicators of where people with these names lived.

Want to know more about these two regions, now known as the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern? Carol Bowen's excellent homepage on Mecklenburg and Pomerania provides a great deal of information about these areas. Also, check the comprehensive information prepared by the Mecklenburg Family Association  and the German Genealogy Homepage.  In addition, Dieter Garling's Homepage  is packed with interesting historical and genealogical data. Be sure to check his Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Additional research aids are also available at our Research Tips  page. Finally, information on Mecklenburg-Vorpommern civic heraldry are provided at the German Civic Heraldry Link

We've analyzed 111 known KOBERNUSS and KUBBERNUSS marriages between 1643 and 1800 to determine where these people lived. Almost all of the early families we've studied lived near the borders of Mecklenburg and West Pomerania. To our knowledge, these names do not appear anywhere else in the world prior to 1800, so their origin appears to be in Mecklenburg.  Of the 17 villages in this study, KOBERNUSS families existed in 13 villages in an arc east and south of Malchin, while KUBBERNUSS families were concentrated primarily in four adjacent villages about 15 miles north of that city.

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