marqoz Threads: -
Joined: Feb 4, 2010
Mar 9, 2010, 12:50am #885
Snozzle of Oz:
Kobelke, nee Kauschke, family from Bunzlau (Boleslavia) post-1945 and pre-12th century Bolesławiec, on the Bober (Bobr) river. Yes, my ancestors considered themselves German however, look at their surnames, which hint of a Slavic origin! They migrated to Australia in around 1840 due to religious persecution
Maybe I, since Polonius not responded earlier ;-)
KOBELKE looks like germanized Polish KOBYŁKA meaning small mare
or in plural KOBYŁKI also grasshopper
KAUSCHKE looks also like germanized Polish or wider Slavonic diminutive. But it's not as obvious as the former. Diphthong AU could be equivalent of Slavonic U, so the original word could have sounded like KUSZKA or KU¦KA.
KUSZKA according to Samuel Bogumił Linde (1808)
1. a small box to hold sharpening stone (whetstone) to sharpen a blade (chine) of a scythe, it used to be bound to a mower's belt (description in German: ein hohler Zapfen mit Wasser, worin die Maeher den Senfenstein am Guertel haengen haben)
2. a small crossbow.
KU¦KA used to mean: 3. a penis ;-)
So, having in mind that your ancestors were most probably of peasant origin the most plausible etymology is whetstone holder not a knightly crossbow and not an obscene moniker as well.
The environment of Boleslauez later Bunzlau was gradually germanized from XIII to XVI century. But your ancestors could came from another part of Silesia.
Your line about religious persecution in 1840, which made your ancestors fled, interested me much. What was it all about? What was their denomination?