Sunday, March 29, 2009

Speaking of Highwaymen

Kolbush (also spelled Kolbusz - depending one which brother I am researching) is not a very common surname. It has proven a difficult task, and all we really know is that they immigrated from Galicia, originally part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, then after WW1 it became part of Poland.

In researching the area of Galicia we have come across a town name, Kolbuszowa, of which the history imparts a colorful origin. According to one legend the town is named after a robber highwayman named Kolbuch or Kolbush or perhaps Kolbas, who ran wild in this vicinity and did a great deal of mischief. When he was finally caught and the danger was past, the incident was immortalized by naming the place after him. Archeological finds indicate the area was originally inhabited by shepherds and farmers of Slavic origin. Artisans of that area were known for their master carpentry skills and stories of their accomplishments were passed down through the generations including the those of the famous "Kolbuszowa violins" and furniture.

Okay - so back to the highwayman theme - if my ancestral blood originates from there: then the highwayman blood mixed with my gypsy blood combined with my spouse's pirate blood means our children are apparently doomed to have a raucously good time - at least that's what I tell them! Let us hope that my mother-in-law's puritan blood will keep them in check.


Anonymous said...

I was searching for ‘Kolbuszowa Violins’ and stumbled on your site. I typically search for violins on Sunday. Sorry, I am just in ancestry overload. Honestly, I can’t ever remember a time that I searched for any kind of violin much less a Kolbuszowa Violin. What a surprise to find you might have someone from that region and furthermore they eventually settled in New Jersey.
I started a little over a year ago and only within the past two weeks have pinpointed the area down of my paternal grandmother’s family. Finally, I can request documents.
By the way, part of the family settled in NJ also. Passaic, Plainfield, So. Plainfield and Scotch Plains areas. They came early 1900’s. Enjoyed your site. Thank you.
Jo Anne

Lawrence said...

If your patrilineage is the same Kolbush/Holbus of New Jersey listed in the SMGF Y-DNA database, then my aunt's patrilineage (tested through a male Kolbusz) matches you very closely. Please contact the administrator of the Polish Project (

TCasteel said...

Thank you for the connection - I will follow up with them.