This has been an 18 year project. I do have a membership to ancestry and have traced the majority of all branches back to 1600-1700s. It is an amazing tool. I have also connected with many relatives along the way. However, the kotchavar side was such a "new" family to the US that any records would probably be located outside the US. Unfortunately, my teacher's salary does not allow for much travel expenses, so I am relying on web communication to help me with the journey. There are limited german records available online unless another family member has posted those.
Here is my connection: nancy nicholson (my mother), Imogene M. Kotchavar (grandmother), Ralph kotchavar (ggrandfather)', John S. kotchavar (gggrandfather) born in Holstein, married Harriett Surbeck (first of family born in US and family originated from Switzerland), and John Kotchavar (ggggrandfather) was the first to arrive in the US between 1865-1869.
As you can see, there were only two kotchavar members -in my line- born in the US. I will visit the sites you provided. Hopefully, I can find additional information soon!