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Quisdorf / Quistorf / Quistorff / Quistdorf / Qvistorf / Quistorp / von Quistorp are all variations of this surname. Our ancestors came from northern Germany, near the town of Eutin in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. This is where the name orginated. Just a few miles outside of Eutin is the small village of QUISDORF. Population of the Village in 1997 was 155. I visited the village when I was stationed in Germany 1990-1993 (no Quistorf's remain there). There is also a Quisdorfer Strasse (Quisdorfer Street) in the town of Eutin leading to the village of Quisdorf. Click on the links below to see a map of the area and photos of my visit.

Visit the Village: The Quisdorf village is also located in the Municipality of Bosau. )

History and Surname Origin:The area of east Holstein was Christianized after 1143. After wars in the middle ages, this area was virtually empty, however some Slavian people remained in the area. Graf Adolf the 2nd tried to get people from different regions to resettle this region. The area of Eutin was settled primarily by Dutch. However today we can still find villages in that area whose names originated with typical Slavian names, such as Eutin and Cutesdorp.

The original name of the QUISDORF village was "CUTEZTORP". Cutez was a Slavian chief in east Holstein in a period of time when Christian and Slavian citizens lived in this region, but resided primarily in separate villages and towns. The village name evolved over time: Cuteztorp - Cutesdorp (1256) - Quizsdorpe (1327) - Quizdorpe - Quidstorpe (1338) - Quidztorp - Quidzstorp (1342) - Quizdorp - Quistorpe (1353) - Quistorp (1372) - Quisdorp (1649) - Quisdorf (1856).

Naming Customs:Before surnames were the legal custom handed down from one generation to the next, someone who left his hometown added the town name as a surname. So if a person's name was Peter, and he moved to another area, they called him Peter von Quisdorf (Peter from Quisdorf). That is the reason we can find some unrelated Quistorf families in northern Germany and in Denmark. In most cases the "von" was eventualy dropped. -Special thanks to GŁnter Quistorf, Owingen, Germany, for providing the family name origin and historical information.

The Russian Quistorfs: In my research I have found a few Quistorfs/Quistdorfs who settled in Volynia, Russia. Volynia is a province of present day Ukraine. Many Germans ended up at Volynia during the reign of Catherine the Great, she requested skilled Germans to come to Volynia to populate the land.

American Quistorf's/Quistorff's:From my research I have also found that most Quistorf's / Quistorff's arrived from Germany to the U.S. between 1850 and 1870. They settled primarily in the mid-west: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa and in the west: Oregon, Washington, California and Texas.

The Quitzdorf/Quitsdorf Family: Although this family name is very similar to ours, it has another origin and our families are not related. Note that the "t" is placed before the "z" or "s". There is a large lake by the name of Quitzdorf and a small town by that name in northeastern Germany. More information can be found by conducting a search on

If you have any connections to this family name, please email me.

-William Sommers Quistorf


Family Links

August Quistorf & Surname Connections
Visit to the Village of Quisdorf
Family Military History
Military Map of Holstein from 1789
Ludwig Quistorf family of Iowa
Common Spelling Variations Today
Quistorp Family site (in German)
Pearl Harbor Survivor Howard Quistorf
Kewaunee, Wisconsin Cemetary Records
Website to the village of Quisdorf (in German)