In a message dated 6/3/2006 11:19:49 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
<< In some letters >from relatives no longer alive, they refer to a Baba
(grandmother?)Zeicel. In some places they refer to her as Jessie. I know
that the surname was DAVID.
<< Could Jessie be a first name for a Jewish woman in the early 1800's? Can
Zeisel be a first name or is it a surname? Or does Baba Zeicel simply mean
Grandma dearest? (sweetie or little one?) >>
==It would always help to know which country and what language and what time
period you refer to.
==I'll give a few disjointed responses
1. Suess, Suss, Zissel, Siessel, Suessel, Suesslein are all masculine
first names derived ultimately >from the German word suess, meaning sweet.
Common variants are Suesskind, Suessmann, Zisskind, Zissling, etc. Any of
these can be used as a patronymic and can therefore be used as a surname
2. Sweetie is a good "translation." "dearest" or "little one" are different
words with different sources though in the context of bestowing a name on a
loved one, they serve equally well.
3. With all the variant spellings and pronunciations in Hebrew, Yiddish,
German and the Slavic languages, Zeisel may well be a chosen spelling for one of
the above names.
4. Anyone, anywhere may have been named Sissel by someone as an endearment,
and the name could have stuck.
5. That may have been a name used for/by her mother, father, husband. As
such it may have been a first name or surname.
6. In England, Siessels were generally given the name Cecil (virtually the
same pronunciation). Similarly, Yisrael/Israel (Sril in Yiddish in many
areas) became Cyril in the UK.
That's about the range of it. It's up to you to figure out what fits
Michael Bernet, New York