Recorded in over forty spellings including Kovac, Kovalsky, Kowal, Kowlaski, Kovel, Kovelman, Kovanko, Kowalczyk, Kofax, Kowalinski, Kozacz, Kozaczynski, and many more, this is a surname of Polish or perhaps in some cases, Russian origins. It is in its many and different native forms recorded in such varied places as Poland, Russia, The Ukraine, Germany, Belorussia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Hungary. It can be ethnically either Christian or sometimes Jewish. The origination is from the pre 7th century word 'kowac' meaning to forge, and hence is an occupational name for a smith or at least an ironworker. However the additive suffix '-ski' when recorded, implies land and estate ownership, and like the German 'von' can also be a locational or status name for a person who came from one of the various places called Kowal. Heraldically the name carries many coats of arms. Perhaps the most famous and associated with the famous Crusades of the 12th century to the Holy Land has the blazon of a red field charged with a broadsword, point down, between two Turkish crescents, all gold. It implies victory over the Muslims, although historically this is arguable.
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