A discovery: 
"The Old Village of Kuhmann"

The Upper-Germanic Roman Limes covers a total distance of 550 kilometers. Around 2,000 years ago its forts, watchtowers, walls and palisades protected the mighty Roman Empire from independent Germania. It is the longest and one of the most impressive archaeological monuments in Europe, marking the frontier where the highly developed civilization of ancient Rome met 'barbaric' Germania. The Limes run from Bad Hönningen/Rheinbrohl on the River Rhine to the Regensburg area on the River Danube. Alongside Roman remains preserved in their original condition, there are restored buildings, excavations and reconstructions. The course of the border wall can still be made out in places as it stretches in long, straight lines across forests and pastureland.

a) Link to a book (page) that makes reference to a fortified town, called "the old village of KUHMANN" situated along the "Roman Limes' (the limit that separated northern Germania from the Roman Empire, about 40-280 AD).  The village was probably situated in the general vicinity of the Lahn river, and the towns of: Nieborn, Lauenburg, Holzapfel, Spesz, Oberlahnstein, Scheuern, Nassau -- Becheln, Marienfels, Holtzhausen, and Kemel.


German language page about the Limes:

Link to a map that shows the distribution of the name KUHMANN (circa 2012). It is interesting to note that the 2nd highest presence is close to the location of the "old village of Kuhmann" ...merely a coincidence?

Enter the surname "KUHMANN" where asked...

KUHMANN mercenary / nobility?

b) Recollections of an Officer of Napoleon's Army, "Colonel von KUHMANN" -- "His alter ego, the brave Kuhmann, seconded him capitally. This epithet of 'brave' had been given him by a man who was a judge, by Napoleon himself." 


c) Phrase used at the military school at Fontainebleau, invented by the same "Colonel von KUHMANN", an Alsatian: "L'immobilité, c'est le plus beau movement de l'exercise."  (Standing still, is the most appealing  movement of the exercise.)  Spoken while training troops.


d) (en Francais / in French)



e) Baron von KUHMANN (an alleged "estate" -- that wasn't claimed)




von KUHMANN ~ ties to Kaiser Wilhelm, Emperor of Germany
My research led to the discovery that "Kaiser Wilhelm II" (a former German Emperor, King of Prussia) once had a "von KUHMANN" as his Foreign Affairs Minister (for a brief 4 months).  That "von KUHMANN" was the King's diplomatic envoy -- assigned to help calm tensions following the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (and his wife) in Sarajevo.  His was a peace-keeping mission that took place just prior to the out-break of hostilities of World War I.  

von KUHMANN ~ The Russian Revolution (use search - to find the name von Kuhmann)
Foriegn Affairs Minister - "von KUHMANN" 1917 (texts related to the events of the Russian Revolution)

The KUHMANN name and its Origins?
These various recorded facts combine to formulate some presumptions and a few "best guesses" about our name and its origins.

1) The name KUHMANN (provably) hails from a place in Germany -- a locality once occupied by Roman legions (unlikely that our name is as ancient, see next comment).
2) This being said, we do not (yet) know WHEN the place-name of, the "old village of KUHMANN" came into being.  That village probably grew-up around the Roman fortifications.
3) What is clear is that the fortified site along the "Roman Limes", did exist sometime between 50 BC and 280 AD.  I have yet to find a surviving village by the name "KUHMANN" on German maps.
4) According to the book (dedicated to the Duke of Nassau, and referenced above), all that remains of the "old village of KUHMANN", are fortifications that were in ruin (circa 1837).
5) As a point of fact, "family names" did not come into popular, general usage until about the 15th century, except for the nobility.
6) It is true that noble family names akin to "von KUHMANN" had their origins -- stemming from regional lords who oversaw localities, from which the "place name", became the nobleman's name.
7) Like in many other European languages, the prefix "von", means "from the place of", or "from the place called".  Akin to the word "de" in French and Spanish, or "di" in Italian and Latin.
8) The name KUHMANN is very rare (to this day -- about 1 person in 2.5 Million, worldwide), and quite naturally, rarer still -- in days gone by.
9) I think that it is reasonable to assume that all persons named "KUHMAN", "KUHMANN", and "von KUHMANN" are fairly closely related.
10) It has also come to my attention that the oldest spelling of our name, placed an "umlaut" over the "U".  That accent changes the prononciation to "key-ooh-mahn", in lieu of "coo-mahn".
11) The name, spelled with an "umlaut", likewise changes the meaning, "von KUHMANN" = as 'from the place called KUHMANN', versus "KUHMANN" (no umlaut) 'the person who herds cows'.
12) I have found several references to dignitaries whose name and titles can be validated, such as "Baron von KUHMANN" -- clearly a Nobleman's name, Colonel von KUHMANN, and a Minister of State.

Therefore, I am wondering if at one point in time, some of the KUHMANN family had not (INDEED) been accorded a title of nobility?  There is a small amount of ample proof.

For me, the most significant fact is that both Dad and Fred pronounced our name (as did their father), as: "Key-ooh-mahn".  In which case, the CORRECT spelling in German would INCLUDE the "umlaut".  Just why, when, or how that spelling was lost is unknown as of this writing.  It is also (still) unknown, as to why, when, or how the second "N" was lost.  What we know for a certainty is that in Germany our name was spelled with TWO letter "N"s.   I obtained copies of the birth record of Friedrich Ferdinand KUHMANN, and the marriage record of his parents, as well as those of his Grandparents.  In each case, the name was KUHMANN (with two "N"s). 

Anyway, it is apparent that some part of the family was accorded a noble title.  The name "von KUHMANN" is in use in modern Germany.  I have yet to find anyone who has retained a noble title.  It's not impossible that those persons ALL died in the great wars, or that they left no heirs.
Other online references:
Maps of the Limes:
Limes Germanicus:
UNESCO Info about the Limes (pronounced, "lee-mess")
A story, to be continued.
Robert Charles KUHMANN

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Last updated: 22-Jan-2016