& von KUHMANN
"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,
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
Enter the surname "KUHMANN" where asked...
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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:
UNESCO Info about the Limes (pronounced,
to be continued.
Robert Charles KUHMANN
Terms and Conditions
- R.C. Kuhmann - All Rights Reserved
http://www.KUHMANN.com - QMann-at-Kuhmann.Com (remove the "-at-" )
Last updated: 26-Sep-2012