Kisabeth Historical Review
Küschwert to Kisabeth
Spelling Variation of our Name
Since the first written records of our medieval surname Küschwert appeared in the 1400's I have found 74 different spellings of our name. We all tend to think of our names as permanent and unchangeable in their spelling, that is, until we get started in genealogy. Then, after a brief time looking at old records, we discover how, without much effort, the name can be spelled numerous ways. Take my name Kisabeth, for example. In researching the name I have found that our current name Kisabeth alone has had over 60 changes in spelling since the early days. To understand why we encounter so many spelling variations we must go back to the early record keeping methods. As we go back in history, we find fewer and fewer people who could write or even knew how the family name was spelled. They simply stated their names and the rest was up to the person recording the name. When the name was spoken, it was written down just as it sounded to him, and seldom was concerned about the spelling used by the family. This is very much true in census records. In the 1850 Federal census of Ohio our name Kisseberth was spelled the following ways Kisabard, Kisaberd, Kissaberd and Kissaburd.
Very often, one branch of the family will adopt a variation as its own spelling. There are, for example, the surnames of Kisseberth and Kissenberth. Both of these lines come directly from the common ancestor Alexander Küschwert (Kisibert) in Kirch Brombach, Odenwald, Hessen, Germany in the late 16th century. One of the sons of Alexander took the name Kisseberth while the older brother took Kissenberth. We find the German names of Küspert and Kispert often interchangeable, even in the same family. In the town of Marktredwitz in the Fichtelgebirge in Northeast Bavaria we find a Christoph Wilhelm Küspert, born in 1848 as the son of Johann Wolfgang Kispert. Also in the nearby village of Oberredwitz Johann Nikolaus Küspert was the son of Johann Georg Kispert of Unterthölau. We find several examples of this between the small villages in the Fichtelgebirge. I hope to explain the Küspert/Kispert subject later on in our research project.
Back in the mid 1500's the daughters of Jacob Küschwert of the village of Sinatengrün near Wunsiedel were listed as follows; Margaretha Küschwert born 1543, Katharina Küschwert born 1548, and Dorothea Küspert born 1550. This is another example that shows the Küschwert/Küspert connection. The ancestors of Holger Küspert are from Marktredwitz in the Fichtelgebirge. He points out an interesting fact, that in the Fichtelgebirge the name Küspert is generally pronounced "Küschbert", because the Bavarian pronunciation for "sp" is mostly "schb", which might be another indication of the old spelling "Küschwert. In over 100 years of family research conducted by Friedrich Wilhelm Kisseberth (1880-his son the late Dr. med. Fritz Wilhelm Kisseberth (1914-1995) and myself, it is the belief that the following 74 spellings come from the old surname Küschwert:
Click on shield to view data on the spelling of the name.