Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,745 members have registered
2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

This project was started informally in 2013, when three gentlemen appeared as genetic matches during Y-DNA testing.  At the 67 marker level, these three men are related with a genetic distance of only “1”. Wives and a daughter of these men began working together with the goal of finding the connections. A DNA surname project was started in January 2014 as part of that effort.

The immediate goal of this study is to gather information on all related surnames, primarily in the United States and before 1900, in an effort to reconstruct the immigrant families. The ultimate goal would be to expand the study worldwide, particularly in Germany.

Variant names

Many variants have been found over the course of our research.  The top variants are Carbach, Kerbach, Kerbaugh, Kirbach and Körbach.  

Variants that occur less often are Carbough, Gerbach, Keerbach, Kerback, Kerbough, Kirbaugh, Kirbough and Koerbach.  

Name origin

It appears that the surname is metronymic, but the possibility that it is locative can’t yet be ruled out. While the various spellings seen in the U. S. were originally attributed to non-German speaking record keepers, this may not necessarily have been the case. Many of the “variants” are common in Germany today and can be found in the records as early as the 1500s.

The earliest version of the name associated with modern day Carbaugh descendants appears to be Körbach, although both of the immigrants who arrived in 1740 signed the Oath of Abjuration as Kirbach. Throughout the rest of the 1700s, the name was most frequently spelled Kerbach. In the following decades, the name was spelled various ways but eventually became either Carbaugh or Kerbaugh in virtually all cases. More recent immigrants have also used the name Carbaugh, one arriving about 1840 from Hesse-Darmstadt and one about 1865 from Saxe-Weimar. The surnames they used prior to immigration has not yet been determined.

Name frequency

Carbaugh is concentrated primarily in the United States at the rate of 13.71 FPM (Frequency Per Million), approximately 3500 persons, with very small concentration in Canada and United Kingdom. 

The next largest FPM is found using the variant spelling of Kirbach at the rate of 13.3 FPM in Germany.   

Using a variant spelling of Kerbaugh, the concentration is strictly in the United States, with fewer than 300 persons in 2016. 

Information was pulled from , which used data sourced from publicly available records from 2000-2005 to compile a database of over 300 million people in 26 countries.  

Distribution of the name

Using the same data as above, Carbaugh and 10 variant spellings are spread thru multiple countries, with the United States and Germany being at the top of the list.  Other countries of distribution are Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.

In 2016, Carbaughs can be found in 48 of the 50 US states.


To date, the bulk of our research has been in the United States.  Records include (but are not limited to) the following –

  • Birth/death indexes
  • Census records
  • Church records
  • Land records
  • Marriage indexes
  • Military draft registrations & Military service records
  • Newspapers
  • Probate records
  • Tax records
  • Vital records


A Carbaugh-Kerbaugh surname project was created in 2014 by the three cousins who met in 2013 thru Y-DNA connections.  The Carbaugh-Kerbaugh Family Project is open to all who are interested in working together to possibly find a common heritage. 

Please take a look at the project here -


This project is co-managed by cousins, Gloria Carbaugh and Kathy Harmon. We are in the start-up phase of putting all of our years of research into one location.  Please check back later for a link to the project site.  In the meantime, we would love to hear from you if you have any questions or have anything to share on this Carbaugh ONS. 

Please contact either of us at the following -