He was born Alexander Küschwert in Wertheim am Main on Christmas day 1561 and died July 23 1619 as Alexander Kisseberth. His name has been recorded as Küschwert, Kusiwirth, Kisebert, Kieschwert, Kisibert and Kisseberth.
Thus, the beginning of the name Kisseberth originated between the late 1580's and Alexander's death in 1619. While attending the University of Lepzig in 1579, the Küchwert spelling was used. When Alexander was appointed parish minister of Kirch Brombach in 1587, the document listed his name as Kisebert. So it is safe to assume that the Kisseberth spelling originated shortly after this date.
The actual Kisseberth spelling was not a fixture until ancestor Johann Michael Kisebert/Kisseberth (1637-1694) used it as mayor of Kirch Brombach. In Germany the descendants of Alexander Kisseberth (Küschwert) have all kept the spelling the same. It is in America where the various differences arise (Kiseberth-Kisaberth-Kisabeth) upon the family's immigration in 1832 and 1842.
It is hard to believe how the name could go from Küschwert to Kisseberth in one's own lifetime. But remember Alexander was relocating from the states of Baden Württemberg to the Saxon city of Leipzig and finally to the Odenwald area of Hessen. Three different areas in Germany where three different dialects were spoken with several people recording the name. This in part could explain the gradual change of names. The sequence seems to be; Küschwert, Kusiwirth, Kieschwert, Kisebert, Kisibert, and ultimately to Kisseberth. Today, the descendants of the Küschwerts ( Kueschwerdts ) that remained in the Fichtelgebirge area of northern Bavaria use Küspert-Küsperth-Kispert-Kisperth
As of April 2001 there are more Kisseberths living in the United States than in Germany as there has been a gradual decline in births and specific families are dying out in the Fatherland. A current telephone directory shows 19 Kisseberths in Germany while in America it lists 43 Kisseberth families.
I would also like to point out that the correct German pronunciation of Kisseberth is kiss-a-bird or kiss-a-bared with a soft “r”. While most of the present-day Kisseberths in America pronounce their name kiss-e-birth with a more hard “r”.
written April, 2001 by Gerald Kisabeth