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Kuster Name Study

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Surnames/tags: Kuster Kester
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Welcome to the Kuster Name Study

This is for the One Name Study to collect together in one place everything about the Kuster surname and the variants. The surnames Kester and Kuster are the study focus. Both these surnames are found in the United States from the East to West Coast, the Kuster's came to the United States from Germany. In the United States Kuster became Kester (for my line), and many other variants of the name.

To add the Kuster Name Study to a Kuster profile, please add [[Category:Kuster Name Study]] for the One Name Study template (which will add the category automatically).

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This profile is part of the Kuster Name Study.

The hope is that other researchers like you will join our study to help make it a valuable reference point for people studying lines that cross or intersect. Please contact the project leader, add categories to your profiles, add your questions to the Forum (G2G), add details of your name research, etc.

Name History

In Germany, the official in charge of the church sacristy was the Kuster. (Kester, Kuester, Kiester and Koester are variations of that occupational name.) The English equivalent was Sexton, and in the United States most commonly called the Church Caretaker.

The Dictionary has "Sexton", Sex┬Ěton, a noun: sexton; plural noun: sextons; a person who looks after a church, a church-yard, sometimes doing the bell-ringing and formerly did the grave digging (a grave-digger).

My Kester Family Line History

We all have our own surname line history, mine started as Kuster, and came from Germany to the United States. In the period around 1680, when William Penn was bringing the folks over to help him out in Pennsylvania, my Kuster line came over. At first three brothers, and then their parents. They came to Germantown, Pennsylvania. The name started changing with the brothers and their families, mine went from Kuster to Kester and stayed the course from Pennsylvania west ward. Slowly over the years, county to the next county, then to the next state. State to state and into the central United States. In the early 1800's just a few came all the way to California, they all were into farming, some in Napa County and others in San Luis Obispo County. Then in the 1850's with the finding of Gold, many of their relatives headed west to the gold fields those they had no luck finding gold joined up with the families that were already here, and began farming. Some returned back eastward, back to Indiana or surrounding states. In the early 1900's my line had been farming on the central coast in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, These years were dry, no rain, they packed up the wagon trains and moved into the central valley of California, mostly Fresno County. A few remained in San Luis Obispo County, switching from farming to ranching, and the raising of cattle. The folks in the central valley continued to farm.

Around 1910 to 1914 my direct line of Kester's moved from Fresno County to Santa Cruz County, back to the coastal area. Most remained farmers. When the flu hit in 1916 through 1918, I lost way to many of my line. The remaining Kester's moved from farming to road construction, which three generations have done. When my father retired, that ended that trade, and also for our direct Kester line, just my brother and I to continue it. I also went from working road construction and into the military service, wanting law enforcement, but guess what... all those tests they have you take ... said I would make a great heavy vehicle operator. I could operate and repair almost everything the military had. My unit was at the range, a grass fire broke out, I used a "Cat" key in my pocket and started up a grader nearby at a construction site and made a fire break around the fire. The military never trained me to use that grader... but my father had. After the service, I went to work in California Public Safety as a Deputy Sheriff, which I retired from a few years back. In the early 1980's when I was injured on the job and healing up, my mother gave me a big box of files of her genealogy work of many, many years. She said it would keep me busy. It has, I was hooked. And have been doing it since.

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