3 January 2010
My Kies ancestors came from Kehlen, Luxembourg to Dubuque, IA in the 1850s.
my main goals is to work out the details of how and when they came over. Family lore is that
all of the Kieses descended from two brothers who came to the U.S., while one brother
remained in Luxembourg. As it turns out, there were more than just those
three brothers in the family, but only two came to America.
I'm descended from Nicholas, born in 1807. Another Nicholas/Nicholia, born
in 1803, settled near Random Lake, WI. It took a while to track down who
exactly this brother was. We wouldn't have known he existed exept for his
Henry Kies married a woman named Mary Miller in Random Lake, WI and they
moved to the Dubuque, IA
area for a time. That is where Mary's younger sister, Elizabeth, married
my ancestor, Peter Kies in 1869.
But we aren't the only Kieses in the U.S. There are German Kieses, Dutch Kieses, and
even Scottish Kieses. And I saw a website that explained that the Geis name is related to
the Kies name. Which means there might be even more of us.
In Dutch, the word "kies" means molar, and one of the old Dutch Kies families has teeth
on their coat of arms. In German, "kies" means gravel or pyrite (fool's gold is iron
pyrite). I'm not sure how either word would have become our family name. And now I have discovered that the Luxembourg records have the name spelled Kays, Kees, Koehs, Koes...