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Surname Meisel - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'M'

Unmasking Heritage: The Unexpected Ancestral History of the Meisel Lineage Through the lense of iGENEA DNA Test

Through a DNA test with iGENEA, I have uncovered a wealth of unprecedented insights about my Meisel ancestors. The test has transformed my self-perception, revealing an Eastern European lineage and a heritage of scholars.

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Meisel: What does the surname Meisel mean?

The last name Meisel is commonly found in Germany, and it is of occupational origin. It is derived from the Middle High German term 'meizel', which translates to 'chisel'. Therefore, the last name is believed to have originated as a professional surname for a carver or sculptor. This indicates that the original bearers of the name likely had professions related to carving, sculpting, or stone-cutting. Such occupational surnames were often passed down through generations, reflecting the family's traditional profession. However, it's important to remember that the precise meaning could vary based on geographical locations and historical contexts.

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Meisel: Where does the name Meisel come from?

The last name Meisel is most commonly found in Germany today. It is a variant of the German name Meissel, originating from the Middle High German word meisel, meaning “hazelnut tree.” It is possible that the name became Meisel through dialectal variants of the process known as umlauting, in which a back-vowel is triggered in certain contexts.

Meisel is also common in Czech and Polish, as well as Austria, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Russia, Latvia, and the United States. In the United States, it is most frequently found in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, and New York, where many German immigrants settled in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In Germany, the name Meisel is ranked within the top 500 most common names. It is relatively evenly split among the federal states, with notable numbers in Bavaria, Saxony, and Hamburg.

Though the name is relatively uncommon outside of Germany and its neighbors, it has spread to other parts of the world as those who bear it have chosen to move or leave their homeland for political or other reasons. As of 2019, people named Meisel can be found in India, South Korea, Brazil, Syria, and elsewhere.

Variations of the surname Meisel

The surname Meisel is derived from the Middle High German word “meise,” meaning “titmouse.” This surname has evolved over time, but the various variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin remain similar. Some variants of the surname Meisel include Meissel, Meisselman, Meysel, Meyselman, Meiselman and Meiselmann.

One of the most common variants of the Meisel surname is Meiselmann. This particular version is most common in Germany, where the word meise was first used. It is believed that many people with this surname are descendants of people who lived in and around the city of Meissen in Saxony, Germany.

The surname Meysel is another variant of the Meisel surname. This version is mainly found in Germany but also in Austria, Russia, and some other Eastern European countries. It is believed to be a variation of Meisel or Meissel, but it is unclear exactly how the two surnames are related.

The variant Meiselman is believed to be a derivative of Meisel as well. This version is most often found in Germany and surrounding areas, and it is thought to have been derived from the word meise, which means “titmouse.”

The Meisel surname has many other derivatives as well, including Meissner, Meiselhoff, and Meiselhart. These versions of the surname typically originate from Meisel, although the exact connections between them are not always clear.

All of these variants of the Meisel surname are likely to have a similar meaning, as they all have roots in the Middle High German word “meise.” These various spellings are likely to have appeared over time due to the fact that names were often spelled differently depending on the region and the dialects in which they were used.

Famous people with the name Meisel

  • Francine Meisel: Francine Meisel is a Swiss Jewish art collector who has championed the work of modern and contemporary female artists over her lifetime. She is the first woman to be elected to the board of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and in 2018, she was also chosen as Swiss TV Personality of the Year.
  • Rogier Meisel: Rogier Meisel is a German professional footballer who has been playing for German teams such as Eintracht Braunschweig, SV Wehen Wiesbaden, and FSV Zwickau.
  • Kurt Meisel: Kurt Meisel is a Jewish Austrian psychoanalyst who is the founder of the Vienna School of Interdisciplinary Psychotherapy. He is considered a revolutionary and a pioneer in his field for his writings on the psychotherapy of sadomasochism, hysteria, psychotherapy as a ‘science of the unconscious’, and his major role in the introduction of the psychoanalytic perspective on identifying mental illness in children and adolescents.
  • David Meisel: David Meisel is a German-born American composer and author. He is best known for his Neo-Romantic compositions, operas, and chamber music for both orchestra and solo instruments. He has been commissioned to compose works for many renowned orchestras and festivals, and his works have been recorded for major labels such as Naxos and Hyperion.
  • Jascha Meisel: Jascha Meisel is an American actor, writer, director, and producer. He is best known for his roles in the films Men in Black and The Grand Budapest Hotel, as well as for playing Reynolds Woodcock in the Academy Award-winning film Phantom Thread.

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