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
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
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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