Our noted ancestor Leonhard Kisseberth (1590-1654) the criminal magistrate at Breuberg Castle in the Odenwald area of Hessen, Germany had two sons. The oldest son Leonhard (1627-1657) took the Kissenberth spelling (although the actual spelling change didn't occur until his son Johann Georg relocated to the village of Eschau. The magistrate's youngest son Johann Michael kept the Kisseberth spelling.
So we can say with reasonable accuracy that the probable progenitor of this branch of our family was Johann Georg Kihseberth, a blacksmith born to Leonhard & Margretha (Dingler) Kihsibert in the village of Neustadt near the Breuberg Castle in 1650. At a young age, Johann Georg moved to the village of Eschau. It is here in Eschau that the Kissenberth spelling originated although our noted criminal magistrate at Castle Breuberg was once referred to as Leonhard Kiesenberth in a 1644 document. The small village of Eschau is located in northwestern Bavaria south of the larger city of Aschaffenburg. It is here where almost all the German Kissenberths live today.
It must be pointed out that during the 16th and 17th centuries in our history there were various spellings of our name. From 1578 the different spellings were; Kuschwert, Khuschwerdt, Kuiswirth, Kissibert, Kissebert, Kisebert, Kisibert, Kihsibert, Kihseberth, Kiesebert, Kiesenbert, and Kiehsenberth before finally giving way to the Kisseberth, Kisaberth, Kisabeth and Kissenberth spellings we use today.
Our noted family historian, Dr. med. Fritz Kisseberth (1914-1995) writes, “ My father, Friedrich Wilhelm (1880-1951) had turned up a Professor Kissenberth in Wunsiedel before the war (WW2), who was descended from a branch of the same line, but one that we hadn't known existed.” “So we wanted to try to find out in which generation this branch occurred.” “It later came to light that our ancestors had come from the Fichtelgebirge and that Wunsiedel played a role in this."
The actual spelling of Kissenberth occurred with our ancestor Hans Heinrich Kissenberth in the mid 18th century. Hans Heinrich was born September 29, 1767 and died August 30, 1820.
The foremost historian on the “Familie Kissenberth” was Fritz Kissenberth. He was born in 1879 in the town of Aschaffenburg and compiled a beautiful family tree chart. Together with his wife Lilli, he completed this genealogical chart in 1913.
Our current historians are William (Bill) Kissenberth of Merritt Island, Florida, Erwin Kissenberth of Rockledge, Florida and June Kissenberth of Long Island, New York.*
* The families of June Kissenberth are descendants of Baltazar Kissenberth whose name was changed upon arrival to America in 1872. He was born June 5, 1832 as Baltazar Kisseberth.
written April, 2001 by Gerald Kisabeth