Edith Kukuk and her Kukuk Family

The Raveling Family

This is a write-up of things learned from researching my Grandma Edith Kukuk Raveling's family. A little bit of Raveling history can be learned in reading this too!

Edith Kukuk Raveling:
I never met my grandma Edith (Kukuk)Raveling, so I never got to learn any stories of her family or her childhood. The first link to her family history that I had was a collection of papers with Raveling family genealogy. These naturally focused on Raveling lineage, but included an obituary for Edith Raveling, giving important information to begin a genealogical search. According to the report,

       “Mrs. Edith Raveling was born on September 9, 1894, at Mankato, Minnesota, the daughter of Michael Kukuk and Augusta Koentop Kukuk.”

 As to her family, the report states that Edith “was preceded in death by…seven sisters and three brothers.”

 So, now a little detective work for the Michael and Augusta Kukuk family is in order! Since we know that Edith was born in Minnesota, the known facts were entered into the Ancestry.com search engine. The following censuses report Edith’s birth family:

       1895 Minnesota Territorial Census – Altona Township, Waseca County, MN


Michael Kukuk, 38, M, W(hite), Germany, 18 (yrs in state),

    1 (yr in this enumeration district), Farmer

Augusta Kukuk, 35, F, W, Germany

Mary Kukuk, 14, F, W, MN

Arthur Kukuk, 12, M, W, MN

Fredrick Kukuk, 10, M, W, MN

Michael Kukuk, 8, M, W, MN

Martha Kukuk, 6, F, W, MN

Lena Kukuk, 5, F, W, MN

Alvina Kukuk, 3, F, W, MN

Ida Kukuk, 1/2, F, W, MN


Note: Though it may appear that this isn’t the family of our “Edith” Kukuk Raveling, note that a record on Ancestry.com from the “Minnesota Death Index, 1902 - 2002” reports “Eda Pauline Raveling” with the correct birth and death dates and confirming a mother’s  maiden name of Koentop. One other researcher, a Kukuk “Cousin,” also gave a list of the Kukuk family, listing an Eda, or Edith Raveling. More on that later.


      1900 U.S.  Federal Census - Freedom Township, Waseca County, MN


Michael Kukuk (Transcribed Muna Kukuk), head, W, M, April

1857, 43, M, 20 yrs (married), Germany, Germany, Germany, 1873(yr of immig.), 27 (yrs in US) Na, Farmer

Augusta E, wife, W, F, May 1860, 40, M, 20, 10 (children

       born), 10 living)

                        Arthur F, Son, W, M, Jan 1883, 17, S, MN (born in)
                        Fredrick H, Son, W, M, Aug 1884, 15, S, MN
                        Michael J, Son, W, M, Sept 1886, 13, S, MN
                        Martha L, Dau, W, F, Sept 1888, 11, S, MN
                        Lena C(?), Dau, W, F, Jun(?) 1890, 9, S, MN
                        Alvena A, Dau, W, F, Sept 1892, 7, S, MN
                        Ida P, Dau, W, F, Sept 1894, 5, S, MN
                        Frida, Dau, W, F, Sept 1896, 3, S, MN
                        Alma E, Dau, W, F, Sept 1898, 1, S, MN


1905 – Fifth Decennial Census of Minnesota – Township of Lake George (June)


            Kukuk, Michael, M, 51, W, Germany, Germany, Germany,
                   29 (yrs resident in MN), 3 yrs, 5 mo (in enum dist),
            Augusta, F, 45, W, Germany, Germany, Germany,
                  24 (yrs resident in MN), 3 yrs, 5 mo (in enum dist)
            Fred, M, 18, W, (b.) MN, 18 yrs, 10 mo, (resident in MN)
            Alvina, F, 13, W, MN, 13 yrs, 0 mo, (resident in MN)
            Ida, F, 11, W, MN, 11 yrs, 0 mo, (resident in MN)
            Frida, F, 7, W, MN, 7 yrs, 8 mo, (resident in MN)
            Alma, F, 5, W, MN, 5 yrs, 3 mo, (resident in MN)
            Elsa, F, 3, W, MN, 3 yrs, 10 mo, (resident in MN)


      1910 U.S. Federal Census - Judson Township, Blue Earth County, MN


            Michael Kukuk, (spelled Michel), head, M, W, 52, M, 35, Germany,                     
                Germany, Germany, 1865 or 1885 (yr of immig), Al (alien), English, Foreman, Section Crew

            Augusta, Wife, F, W, 48, M, 35, 11, 11, Germany, Germany, Germany, 1885(?),___
            Martha, Dau, F, W, 20, S, MN
            Freda, Dau, F, W, 14, S, MN
            Alma, Dau, F, W, 11, S, MN
            Elsie, Dau, F, W, 10, S, MN

      1920 U. S. Federal Census - Lake George Township, Stearns County, MN

       There are three households of Kukuk relations:

       Farm #110:

            Schober, John, Head, M,W, 27, M(arried), (Immig) 1913, Na, (b.) Austria, Austria, Austria, Farmer, Rented Farm
            Alma, Wife, F, W, 21, M, MN, Germany, Germany
            Kukuk (mistranscribed Kuhn), Mike, Father-in-law, M, W, 65, Wd,1865(?), Na, Germany, Germany, Germany, (Work =) None
            Kukuk, Elsie, Sister-in-law, F, W, 18, S, MN

       Farm #111:

            Luckow, Albert, Head, M, W, 35, M, Germany,
            Frida, Wife, F, W, 23, M, MN
            Raveling, Jacob, Brother-in-law, M, W, 54, 1881, Na
            Raveling, Marie, Sister-in-law, F, W, 38, M, MN

       Farm #112:

            Kukuk, Fritz, Head, M, W, 36, M, MN
            Sophia, Wife, F, W, 33, M, 1884, Na, Halifax, England, England
            Anna, Dau, F, W, 5, S, MN
            Fred, Son, M, W, 3, S, MN

       1930 U. S. Federal Census - Lake George Township, Stearns County, MN


            Raveling, Jacob, Head, M, W, 69, M, 51 (age at first marriage)
            Raveling, Maria, Wife-H, F, W, 48, M, 24, MN
            Kukuk, Anna, Neice, F, W, 15, S, MN
            Kukuk, Frederick, Nephew, M, W, 13, S, MN
            Kukuk, Charles, Son, M, W, 7, S, MN
            Schoaeber, Lorrain, Dau, F, W, 4 9/12, S, MN
            Schoaeber, Dolores, Dau, F, W, 2 5/12, S, MN
            Kukuk, Michael, Father, M, W, 73, Wd, 24, Germany


Note: This 1930 census listing is on the same page as the listing for the Talk and Edith Raveling household, with five children.

Another, different record can perhaps shed more light on the Kukuk family origins. One family “cousin,” S. Davis, posted a listing on the Cousin Connect website in December, 2002. The text of that message is as follows:

 “Michael Kukuk, b. 1853, died 1955, buried Sunset Memorial St Paula, MN came to the U.S. in 1867 when 14 years old, Pough Keepsie Son of Michael and Ann Marie came to Pikeskill, Westchester Co., N. Y. came to Minnesota in 1872, Married Augusta Kontopp on Aug 15, 1878, Janesville, Waseca Co., MN. Children Mary, Art, Fred, Mike, Martha, Lena, Edith (Eda) Ravelings (sic) b. 1894 burial nov 2, 1967, Elvina (Ella) Lang, Frieda b. 9/11/1896 El Rosa, MN (my grandmother) Who married Albert Luckow, Alma, Elsie.” (1)

 Note that this record ties with census and other listings for grandma “Edith,” reflecting the name “Eda” or “Ida”.

 This listing reflects a variation in the spelling of great-grandma Augusta’s maiden name, shown as “Kontopp.” Research has uncovered several other Koentopp/Koentop families in both Waseca and Blue Earth Counties, where the Kukuk’s lived, but it has not been possible to verify how they are all related.

Anyone who has spent time working with census data knows how variable age reporting can be. And the records for Edith’s father Michael Kukuk is a great example of this. The Cousin Connect listing shows Michael’s date of birth as 1853. However, from census records, his age and year of birth have been recorded as follows:

Cen Yr - Age (imputed yr of birth)

                                      1895 – 38 (1857)
                                      1900 – 43 (1857)
                                      1905 – 51 (1854)
                                      1910 – 52 (1858)
                                      1920 – 65 (1855)
                                      1930 – 73 (1857)


A Minnesota Death Index record for Michael Paul Kukuk reflects a date of birth of 10 April 1853 and a death date of 17 Dec 1955 (102 years old, if DOB is correct!) Note that the 1900 census includes the month of birth, which was listed as April.

Another record for a Michael Kukuk is a “New York Passenger Lists” record for a young man aged 15 yrs, 3 months (would put year of birth at about 1858), arriving in the Port of New York with his mother and siblings on the ship Tuisko. The date of arrival is 13 Aug 1873. Note: This year of immigration agrees with “our” Michael Kukuk’s information as listed on the 1900 census. This is another area, however, that seems to vary in reporting from record to record. Michael’s year of immigration is listed in two places as what appears to be 1865 (unclear), and could be 1885 on another record. He is marked as naturalized on one record, as an “alien” on the next. One explanation for this is that the person working with the census enumerator may simply have been recalling information to the best of their ability.

 The Cousin Connect record states that Michael arrived in 1867, the son of Michael and Ann Marie. It goes on to say that Michael Jr. (assume with family) “came to Pikeskill, Westchester, Co., N. Y.” This ties with the “New York Passenger Lists” record, somewhat, in that this record shows the “destination” for passenger Michael Kukuk as “Pecksville or Peeksville.” The ship’s record, however, shows Michael Kukuk, age 15 yrs, 3 months, traveling with the following passengers (in 1873): 

            Rosine Kukuk       44 yrs, 9 mo (1829 approx yr of birth)
            Charlotte Kukuk   20 yrs, 6 mo (1853)
            Michael Kukuk     15 yrs, 3 mo (1857)
            Johann Kukuk         9 yrs, 6 mo (1864)
            Edward Kukuk        6 yrs, 3 mo (1867)
            Julius Kukuk            2 yrs, _ mo (1871)
            Helene Kukuk         2 yrs, “T”   (1871) 

In researching Michael Kukuk in Minnesota, families headed by Edward Kukuk and John Kukuk were also found in Waseca County. The Edward Kukuk family included Edward’s mother Rosena, or Rose over a period of years after she was widowed. It is very tempting to match “our” Michael Kukuk with this ship’s record and the family we find recorded there. Unfortunately, there is no way to confirm the family relationships.

Before exploring these families further, note one other “New York Passenger Lists” record for a Michael Kukuk. This passenger is age 52 (born about 1820), arriving in New York 7 May 1872. Put this information together with cemetery inscriptions for Waseca County for Edward Kukuk noting “sp. Emilie with Michael and Rose,” and a similar listing for a Michael Kukuk, born 1824, died 1894 noting, “sp. Rose, Grandpa” and one for “Rose Kukuk” born 1829, died 1917, inscribed “sp. Michael, Grandma.”

 The Cousin Connect notation said that Michael’s father was also named Michael, but said his mother was Ann Marie. This would lead to possible chucking the whole idea of making “our” Michael a part of this family of Rosena & Michael and son Edward, and possible John Kukuk.

Are you a Kukuk cousin? Perhaps you can help solve the mysteries! Contact Ann at [email protected] with further information.

Additional tidbits from research:

 An atlas listing for Waseca County, 1896 shows an 80 acre plot for Michael Kukuk in Alton Twp. He is in section 5, the far Northwest portion of the township. The township just to the north is Janesville, where Edward Kukuk has a  plot of 80 acres in the far Southwest of that township. Michael and Edward would be not quite adjacent, but close neighbors. A “reference directory” section in the atlas lists county residents, noting the length of time the party has been a resident of the county. Michael’s listing states that he became a resident of the county in 1894. A listing for “Edw.” Kukuk states that he has been a resident since 1882. 

A 1912 atlas from Lake George twp, Stearns County, shows a plot of 440 acres (could be 490) belonging to Michael Kukuk.