Russian names #lithuania

Herbert Lazerow

On certain records for an ancestor it says Gessel or Hessel
(sometimes with only one 's'). But then we encountered records
that say Kushel. Could these three options be the same name/person?>
I think that Gesel and Hesel are the same name. There is no letter H
in the Russian alphabet. Things spelled with H are normally rendered as
G in Russian.
I would have thought that Kushel would be the same name also
because it sounds alike, but Alexander Beider in his A Dictionary of
Ashkenazic Given Names (2001) says that my untutored intuition may be
He says that Kushel is a variant on Ikusiel, while Hesel could be a
variant on Hese, a name borrowed >from Christians in the Rhineland, or
Yoshue (Joshua). At the end of his entry for Hese, he then says that
Hese and its derivatives might by a Christian-sounding derivative for
a Jewish-sounding name like Ikheskl.
My read of all this learning is that those three names probably
belong to the same person, but there is a shade of doubt about it.

Herbert Lazerow
Professor of Law, University of San Diego
Author: Mastering Art Law (Carolina Academic Press 2015)

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