I am so thrilled to have discovered this website! Like many of you, the only other Kusches I had ever met were my relatives. I am working on putting together a family history and found it very interesting that all the Kusch ancestors listed seem to have originated around the same area. I suspect we are all very distantly related.
My grandfather was born John Matthias Kus in Warschowitz, Silesia (which belonged to Germany at that time, I think)on February 24, 1873. The county (kries) was Pless. I have been able to find Pless on an old map but Warschowitz was evidently too small to be noticed. (http://dcn.davis.ca.us/~feefhs/maps/gere/ge-siles.html will get you to a nice map of Silesia from an 1882 atlas and
http://www.genealogienetz.de/reg/SCI/ortsliste/deu_W-d.html gets you a table listing the Silesian town names in German, followed by their Polish names and the name of the county they were in)
The town was Catholic but the family wasn’t and my grandfather was “the only Protestant schoolboy in a village full of Catholics” and suffered for it. Beyond this tidbit about religious affiliation I know nothing of his parents or siblings (if any).
According to family lore, the prince of Pless sponsored him to go to a German gymnasium to continue his education. From there he went to theological school and became a minister, then a missionary, and eventually ended up in the United States in the early 1900’s. During his time in Germany he began using the German form of the name, Kusch because, and I quote from the only surviving letter he wrote, “I didn’t like to be called Kus.” According to my father, my grandfather always thought of himself as German rather than Polish.
I have my doubts as to whether his name was originally “John”. It seems unlikely a family in “what is sometimes Germany and sometimes Poland” in 1873 would use the English form of the name John for their son. Johann is the German form I believe. Does anyone know what the Polish equivalent is?
Also, what were the religious affiliations (Catholic or Protestant) of the other Kusch/Kus ancestors? My guess would be that those who were Protestants are more likely to be related to my grandfather.
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