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Rusbult History Page
 

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Oldenburg Family Heiden Family Rusbult History Page
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This page was written by Dr. Volker Rusbueldt and Jason Rusbult detailing a chronology of the Rusbult Family History from the inseption to the present day

The earliest traces of the Rusbult family date back to the 15th Century.  One family member was listed in "In registro Dominorum Ac Fratrum Kalendorum beatae Mariae Magdalenae in ecclesia beatae Mariae Virginis sub anno domini MCCCCLVI".  He was a member of the Parchim brotherhood under the name of Rusboge or Rusboye from the village of Welzin.  Rusboye means a man named Boye living near the rush meadows.  His family probably belonged to the first German settlers immigrating to the west of Mecklenburg about 100 yeas before.  Once again Rusboge appears on the Welzin tax records of 1496 and again in 1540.  They were small farmers, even though they didn't own the land they were working on.  The lands were intrusted to them as a Fief or leasehold by the noble family of von Welzin within the framework of the feudal system.  The last record of Rosboye is shown in 1585.

The Thirty Years' War, which extinguished about two thirds of the population of Mecklenburg started in 1618.  The Village of Welzin was completely destroyed at that time.  There were only a few survivors.  Any regular administration of the rural areas had ceased to exist until peace was achieved in 1648.  The surviving people came back to their old places and the ruling noblemen entrusted them with farms to restart what would develop into a real agriculture system in the course of a few years.

One of those coming back was Churdt Rußebaw in the village of Passow, the village most southeasterly from Welzin.  He experienced hardship in farming until his death in 1672.  He left his farm leasehold to his son Jacob Rusbult.  The writing of the Rusbult name changed all the time according to the whim of the church record keeper.  

On November 20, 1672, Cort Rußbult, a younger brother to Jacob Rusbult married Greth Röhrdantz.  This event constituted the top of the newly established marriage record of the parish of Benthen.  He then, as a widower, married Catharina Holtendorp on October 21, 1679.  On July 13, 1680, their eldest son, Erasmus Rußbult was born. Cort Rußbult was a fisherman by trade.  He drowned in the Lake of Passow on January 17, 1719, while he was gathering firewood.  He fell through a patch of thin ice.

One of the sons of Erasmus Rußbult was Court Ludwig Friedrich Rußbult, born on May 8, 1731.  He was a cattleman in Diestelow, a village north of Passow.  He moved later on to the little village of Woosten, the cradle place of one American branch of the Rusbult family tree.

Welzin and Passow belonged to the parish of Benth, having one of the oldest churches of all the villages around.  This church was consecrated in 1267.  It looks more like a fortress than a church, but one has to keep in mind that at that time Christianity was not a fully established force.  The early German immigrants of the Christian belief had to defend themselves against the Pagan Aboriginals of that day. 

The first immigrant of my line to the United States  was Hinrich Johann Theodor Rusbult, the eldest son of Carl Friedrich Christian Rusbult and Sophia Maria Christiane Henriette Shulz.  This took place after the death of Fritz and Sophia.  Hinrich along with his orphaned siblings was forced to live with relatives or friends of Fritz and Sophia.  This caused financial hardships on the families that took orphans in.   Thus the custom of moving out the eldest as soon as possible came into play.   Hinrich had one of three choices, he could go to the arbeitleiderhaus (forced labor house), he could starve in poverty, or he could immigrate to the US.  Hinrich, upon entry into the United States decided to make his name more "Americanized" and changed it to the American form of his original name.  He changed it to Henry John Theodore Rusbult.    He immigrated to the middle of Iowa to a settlement close to a Colony of German Settlers called the Amana Colonies.  On January 8, 1878, Henry and Carolina Heiden were united in marriage.  This couple had 2 boys and 4 girls.  The eldest boy was William Christopher Rusbult he had 2 sons.  The youngest boy was Henry Jr.  He and his wife had 3 boys.  The sisters of William and Henry Jr. were Minnie, Annie, Mary and Ella.  All of the sisters were married but only 2 of them had children.  Minnie Rusbult married Dick Holscher but had no children.  Annie married Charles Hofmaster and had 3 boys and 3 girls.  Mary married Harry Daniels, and had no children but she did own a very impressive house in Williamsburg Iowa.  This house still stands today and is a very stately manor.   This was a gathering place for the Rusbult family after a Sunday service at the St. Pauls Lutheran Church across the street.  They would gather at her house to eat a delicious Sunday Lunch.  Ella Rusbult, the youngest sister, married George Washington Koster.  She had one boy and 4 girls.  The descendants of one of the girls I have contacted. 

William Christopher Rusbult's sons were Wilford Carl Rusbult and Herbert Rusbult.   Wilford had 4 sons,  3 of which still live near the settling place of Henry Rusbult.  Herbert has one daughter Betty Collins of Colorado.  Henry Jr.'s 3 sons were Charles, Rex, and Francis.  Charles has no children.  Francis has 2 girls and a boy, Craig Rusbult.  Craig is a professor at a University in Wisconsin.   Caryl the eldest daughter is a professor of Psychology in North Carolina.   Connie, the youngest daughter is the only child of Francis who has given him grandchildren.

The Eldest son Leroy William, named after his 2 grandpas, joined the United States Air Force and was stationed at the 780th RADAR Installation near the town of Fortuna North Dakota.  He met his wife of 38 years currently up there and settled in Montana.   He has one son and 4 daughters.  Lloyd has one daughter and is a retired National Guardmen.  Donald has 2 daughters and an adopted son.  He works at the Amana Refrigeration Factory in Amana Iowa.  Robert has 4 daughters.  He has been married twice.  His two eldest daughters live with their mother in California and the 2 youngest live with him and his wife in Iowa. 

This leads me to the current generation of the Rusbult family.  Craig has stated that he has no children and that the possibilities of him having offspring are very few.   That means that I, Jason Rusbult, bear the burden of carrying on the Rusbult family name in the United States.

I do have to thank our cousin Volker Rusbuldt of Hasau Germany for sending me most of the information I have on the Rusbult family.  If it were not for him I would not have nearly the generations I have.  Volker has given me the information from the father of Henry Rusbult on up to the earliest Rusbults.  I appreciate everything he did for me and hope to maintain contact with him until either one of us goes to our Heavenly Home.  

If anyone has any additional information on the Rusbult line please please contact me so that we can add to or correct what is there so that if the name lives on that our family will have accurate information. 

With that I hope that you have enjoyed your tour through the history of Rusbults.

 

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