Jose Gutstein <jmg-miami@...>
Seeking advice on name derivation:
My GUTSZTEJN (spelled in Polish) family tree goes back to the mid-18th
Century in Lomza Gubernia, Poland.
I've contacted almost every single Gutstein family listed in U.S. phone
directories, in Israel, and in several other countries where the name is
currently found. Total listings of about 250, not including Germany or
Austria. The actual number of different immediate families is obviously much
less, since many of the 250 are related to each other.
The overwhelming majority (easily over 90%) of these families (related to me
or not) have roots in Poland, and used the Gutsztejn spelling in the Old
Country. A few can be found in Lithuania (near the northern Polish border)
and a handful have roots to the south (in Galicia and Hungary). I suspect
that some of those families moved >from Poland to those areas at some point.
All have been Jewish.
What could I make of the 54 Gutstein listings currently found in Germany and
9 Gutstein listings in Austria? I suspect that the vast majority of those
are NOT Jewish, yet I've only had contact with 1 German named Gutstein who
contacted me first when he found my E-Mail address. The young man (20 years
old) told me his great-grandparents came >from a town which is currently in
Polish territory (Bytom and Chorzow, both are to the southwest of Kielce and
to the northwest of Krakow, near the German/Polish border). His surname was
Gutstein. Yet, when I asked him whether he knew if any of his Gutstein
ancestors were Jewish, I never heard >from him again.
Could a name that is considered "so Jewish" here in the states and
elsewhere, not be a Jewish name in Germany and Austria? Is it possible that
the name Gutsztejn in Polish and the name Gutstein in German are 2 distinct
names? The old Polish spelling is rarely seen these days. Only 2 families
that I know of use a variation of the old Polish spelling, one in Paraguay,
and one in the U.S. The other 99% have adopted the "English" spelling of
Gutstein. In other words, is it likely that the Gutstein's who today live in
Germany and Austria have Jewish ancestors if you go back far enough, like
from the western part of Poland near the German border?Any opinions on the Gutstein name in Germany?