On certain records for an ancestor it says Gessel or HesselI 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.
Professor of Law, University of San Diego
Author: Mastering Art Law (Carolina Academic Press 2015)