The oldest records containing this name date to the period of forming of Great Moravia. People who possessed excelled knife an axe handling skills referred to themselves as such. They were usually excellent hunters and feared warriors as well. Legend has it that a typical male of this name was able to kill, gut and cut into pieces a huge ox. We can also find information that a “man of the forest” wielding a battle axe and a short and heavy sword, called KVHHVN (or also CHOHHON), was able to defeat several robbers who attacked him. Suddenly the entire region was robber-free when the other robbers heard about the fate of these robbers. According to the legend, when they attacked the KVHHVN they told him to give them everything he had, otherwise they would kill him and his family that lived with him in the forest. This made KVHHVN so mad he literally massacred them all. It was impossible to determine which limbs and head belong to which torso. When other robbers heard about this event (and there were many of them in this region during this period) they would make sure to avoid this area. Ordinary people no longer had to live in fear of being robbed. This legend has remained alive for a long time, and it is still alive today.
The same form of this last name is recorded as late as during the 14th and 15th century, at which point various development changes started to occur, which includes the term kuchyňka that we know today.
The first mentions of the KUCHYŇKA family can be traced to the immediate vicinity of the Pernštejn Castle. Even today, visible from this amazing castle, there is a hill of this name. Even today we can hear stories of the service to the builders and renovators of the castle in good times and bad, when our ancestors would carry out orders of their masters (even though they were not really pleasant) thanks to their skills and bravery (some indices suggest that not everything was quiet and peaceful during the Hussite wars). In addition to a vast tangible property, the wealthy and powerful lords of the castle owned forests and ponds in South Moravia in the vicinity of Židlochovice, including the villages of Němčičky, Bořetice and Brumovice where our direct ancestors and modern holders of the name were brought to serve their masters...
The ruler of the land would usually visit his dominion several times a year, including the numerous hillforts of his loyal subjects, to praise their actions and especially to remind them, through his presence, of the inevitable obligation and importance to pay taxes and to let them know who the actual ruler of the land is.
The ruler’s visit, regardless of the part of the land, was a great honour. This event was usually associated with a great deal of ceremony, albeit often faked because the ruler was rarely genuinely interested in how his subjects live. These ceremonies always attracted large crowds, including traders, performers or gawkers but also individuals who have no idea what moral integrity is. Their visit was the perfect opportunity to put some extra thalers into their pouches without working.
On this day the man from the forest visited the hillfort as well. He walked across the forest where he lived with his family. He was making a living as a coalman and very skilled blacksmith. His father lived at, and used, this piece of land, just like his grandfather before him and his great-grandfather and other ancestors, as long as the memory of the family goes. All of his ancestors were hardworking and skilled people who made a living off the forest and the numerous copper (and later, iron) tools they made and sold. At the hillfort, the man sold knives, axes, hammers, as well as chisels, pry bars and nails. People knew that his knives don’t break, chisels don’t bend and axes can be used for the most challenging of tasks.
The day was no different for him. He visited the hillfort often. The only difference was that he knew there would be many more people, which is why he was carrying many more products, looking forward to nice earnings. It was a normal day. He met many friends and acquaintances; he greeted many wanderers. He enjoyed the lunch his wife had prepared for him. As usual, he sold everything he had brought to the market. However his journey home was not going as usual. Once he could no longer see the roofs of the town or hear the town dogs, he noticed some fast moving shades approaching him. He knew he was in trouble because he was aware of robbers who would move from region to region, leaving behind nothing but blood, pain and sorrow. He knew very well that nobody would help him. There was no point in running either because there could have been many other robbers around. Plus they could follow him to his house and his beloved family. His thoughts were interrupted by three robbers who were suddenly standing in front of him. Another two appeared on either side and, to make things even worse, two more appeared behind him. “What now,” the man of the forest asked himself. The robbers went straight to the point and asked him whether he was returning from the hillfort where he must have earned a lot of money. They added he surely didn’t want to die for some valuables. They ordered him to surrender everything he had, leave and forget it happened. But the man of the forest knew he had brought everything to the market that day. By surrendering his property he would be giving them everything. He also knew that he could not take seriously their words about “leaving and forgetting”. He answered: “What I have is mine. You are not getting what is mine and I am not moving”. He was following the tradition established by his ancestors – deviating from the path of honour was a path to hell. He continued: “That’s what my grandfather and my father did, and so do I”. This brave answer surprised the robbers, at which point he and them knew very well what was coming. As their last attempt the robbers tried to intimidate him. “If you give us what you have, we are going to spare your family”. – “How do they know I have a family? Do they also know where we live?” he thought. Some of these men know him; somebody is a traitor. At this point there was no turning back. It was evident that if he dies, his wife and children will die too. This thought was burning in his mind like a hot piece of metal against bare skin. He could not wait any longer. He was the first to attack. His battle axe whistled in the air and crushed the first robber’s skull like a walnut. At the same time his short heavy sword disappeared in the side of the robber as if his body was a chunk of butter. His intestines came out and steam was coming from them, as it was a colder evening. A third robber collapsed after a quick kick. Before he could stand up again, the battle axe crushed his skull as well. Its former contents were on nearby trees within seconds. The robbers standing on the sides as backup came to assist their accomplices. They were met with the same fate as their friends. One of them ran into the heavy short sword himself. The other one was knocked down by a flying axe. Seeing the fate of their friends, the remaining two robbers started running away despite the sudden weakness in their knees. They did not have a chance. A flying axe hit one of them in the head. The second robber did not outrun the flying sword. But it was far from over. The anger and fury did not leave the mind of the winner who was slashing and stabbing the corpses over and over. Blood was splashing and guts were flying in all directions, pieces of brains were stuck to the metal. Once the anger has subsided, blood and body parts of the robbers were everywhere. One arm was “hugging” a stump; one head was grinning like a mushroom growing in the forest for many years. It looked like a scene of an attack by very hungry and very vindictive wolves. He knew that his family was safe. He was out of breath and covered in blood. He knew that what he did was terrible, but necessary. Had any of the robbers survived, his family would never live in peace but in fear. Instead, he got rid of the problem once and for all. He left the scene of the encounter as it was and rushed to his wife and kids, knowing for sure they will be safe now.
Several days passed and the man was not seen at the hillfort and people were missing his merchandise. One of his friends decided to visit him. He knew the route the man of the forest would usually take. The terrible smell of the decaying bodies was noticeable from a great distance. Having walked past the horrific scene and arrived at the friend’s house, he heard the whole story. Amazed and with his jaw dropped he listened with a mix of admiration and understanding. He then returned to his friends to the hillfort and retold the story, with one exception. Instead of calling his friend “the man of the forest”, he referred to him as KVHHVN (“the one who butchered his envoys of death”). The man of the forest, henceforth known as KVHHVN, would once again attend the market days at the hillfort, taking a different route in order to avoid the tragic site.
This story spread out quickly, scaring all potential robbers. They would from now on avoid the region, believing that KVHHVN and the souls of the dead would not leave people like them alone, luring them to KVHHVN to be subject of his fury.
Ordinary people have been passing this story from generation to generation. It is widely believed that as long as the story is alive, the region is safe from fearful robbers who have been avoiding it ever since.