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Home: Surnames: Kossman Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Kossman ...Jewish???
Posted by: Nicholas (ID *****2127) Date: February 07, 2009 at 23:23:25
In Reply to: Kossman ...Jewish??? by Aldon Olson of 17

This surname of KOSSMAN or KOSSMANN was a German occupational name for a sexton or church-warden. The name was derived from the Old German word KUSTER, and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form CUSTOR (warden, guard). The name has numerous variant spellings which include KUSTERMANN, KOSTER, KUSTERSM, KOSTERING and CUSTERS. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. George Armstrong CUSTER (1839-76) was the US cavalry general. After earning distinction in the Civil War, he commanded the Seventh Cavalry during the western campaigns against the Indians. He was sent to round up Sioux and Cheyenne forces under Chief Sitting Bull, in South Dakota's Black Hills in 1876, an erroneous reconnaissance report led him to divide his force and he and about 260 were massacred by the main Indian strength at Little Bighorn, (Custer's Last Stand). In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.

I have heard of other variations such as KOCHMAN. etc.

The traditional jewish name would be KOS (cup) MAN (man)
Like so many of the "man" surnames (especially due to immigration...) the spellings changed. I know I have far removed relatives in Canada with the surname KOSSMAN who were devout Lutherans. They fled German settled eastern europe (Ukraine/Russia) to Canada for a better life. I know enough about their lifestyle to guess they weren't in the least Jewish - German was the only language spoken in the household. There was consumption of pork(old family recipes passed down to my grandmother), an excess of alcohol and strict male/female household segregation at suppertime(stories I have been told). I can guess my ancestors were probably run out by the Russians - but I do not know for certain. I would imagine it to be early 1900's before, during or shortly after WWI.

I hope this helps with your search. I will try and find more information.

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