Many Kusters on this site will come from the same branch of Kuster of Westfalia I do;however, I hear often from people who have no idea whatever of German history and, some is needed for understanding German genealogy: Germany has not always been the modern country of "Germany" as we know it today. When I was a child it was East Germany and West Germany but, young adults today don't remember that it was ever divided. Until the early 1800s it was the "First Reich" or Heilige Romische Reich and consisted of 314 independent states + 1,475 estates held together by the absolute rule of the emperour and his troops. But, the emperours back then weren't strictly hereditary: it was electorate among several royal families of Electors. In the 1870s, when the Second Reich was formed to replace the First, which, had been dissolved about sixty years earlier, the Electors of Brandenburg (=Hohenzollern kings of Prussia) became the strictly hereditary Kaisers of the Second Reich. So, when researching Kuster and other German families, relaise what time-frame you are in as that can make a difference;also,thee may be families or branches of families in other German states, which, may have been seperate independent kingdoms from one another!