This very unusual surname is of Russian origin, and is a metronymic of the given name "Kuzma", itself coming from the Greek "Kosmas", from "kosmos", order, arrangement. The popularity of the given name in the Middle Ages was largely due to the fame of St. Kosmas, who, together with his brother Damianos, was martyred at Cyrrhus in Syria. From the 5th Century their cultus became very extensive, and the revered brothers became the patron saints of Milan. In Italy, the name took the forms Cosimo, Cosmo, Cusum(ano), and Coccimano, and in Russia, the forms Kuzma, Kozmin, Kosmin, Kuzin, Kuzyakin, and Kuzem were adopted. Russian rivals Italian in the profusion of its pet forms and hypocoristic derivatives of given names, and Russian surnames are almost exclusively patronymic (occasionally metronymic) in form. Variants of the surname including Kuzminska, Kuzminsky and Kuzmich(uk) are well recorded in 19th Century Church Registers of Russia and Poland. On May 13th 1841, Aleksander, son of Yeremii Ivanov Kuzmichuk, was christened in Ovadno, Ukraine, Russia. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a red shield charged with a single silver rose, seeded gold and barbed green. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ludwik Kuzma, which was dated August 6th 1839, a christening witness at Koscielna Wies, Bydgoskiego, Poland, during the reign of Nicholas 1, Emperor of Russia, 1825 - 1855. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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