¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 For the purpose of this study, we have defined a unique “formal name,” consisting of the biblical name, followed by the commonest moniker in parentheses, followed by the patronymic where available, followed by a family name where known or reconstructable, plus further discriminating attributes when necessary. For example, one of the most prominent Stühlingen Jews is known by the formal name Nathan (Sandel) ben Meir Weil. In other words, Nathan, the son of Meir, with the secular name of Sandel, belongs to the Weil family.7 Another colourful personage was Meir (Marum Dicker) ben Samuel Weil, i.e. the Fat, and yet another, Joseph (Lang Jossel) ben Samuel Gugenheimb.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 To be consistent, monikers were mapped to their corresponding religious names using the standard dictionary of Ashkenazic given names.8 Except for a few unusual situations, this method worked most of the time. One possible exception was the moniker Jegele. which, according to Beider, corresponds to the name Yechiel. But in the Stühlingen records it was used interchangeably for the same individual who usually was also called, “Jeckle,” “Jackle,” “Jäckele,” and “Jagglin,” all of which correspond to the name Jacob.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 The task of identifying distinct individuals from the stream of constantly changing moniker variations was made even more difficult by the recurrence of identical first names within a given family. For example, in the different branches of the Gugenheimb family there were at least six Josephs: (i) Joseph (Josephle) ben Jacob (1628–56); (ii) Joseph (Josel) ben Marum (1681–1718); (iii) Joseph ben Kalonymos (1693–1711); (iv) Joseph (lang Jossel) ben Samuel ben Seligman (1703–45); (v) Herr Joseph Guggenheim from Vienna (1700); and (vi) Joseph Guggenheim, Sandel’s (Nathan ben Meir Weil above) son-in-law (1703–40). The years in parentheses represent the first to last mention of a live person, rather than the years of birth and death. But many individuals were referred to many years after their death, particularly in estate matters.
7It appears that the spellings of the family name Weil or Weyl are equivalent.
8Beider, A Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names.