My ancestor's Jewish name #germany

Eva Lawrence

A researcher >from another site has just emailed me in confusion about
the name of one of my ancestors, whom different researchers have at
various times called Aaron GIMBEL and Jacob GIMBEL,.

Looking at the Napoleonic name-adoption register for Biedesheim bei
Goellheim, where he was born, I was able to sort out the confusion
up to a point.

His Hebrew name was in fact Gimbel ben Aaron., and because he had a married
son, Aaron (ben) Gimbel, with a wife and several children (one of whom
is listed as David GIMBEL, born 20 December 1792) , the grandfather had
to step aside and accept the new family surname. So he called himself
Jaques GIMBEL, and then became Jacob GIMBEL when Biedesheim was ceded
to Prussia.

Further, according to the same list, Aaron GIMBEL called himself Adam
GIMBEL after 1808.

According to my inherited family tree, David GIMBEL was the father of my
great-grandmother Amalia NEY geb.. GIMBEL, something I've never doubted.

Handed down in the family is what I imagine was the only letter David
ever sent to his daughter, written not by him but by a scribe. It is
signed both in German - D Gimbel and in Hebrew/Yiddish. The latter
looks to me like a very wobbly "David Sichel" - I can read Hebrew
script. Can someone who knows more about traditional naming usage
explain, please? Does it mean he was a Levite?

Eva Lawrence, St Albans, UK

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