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Guenzburg

GUENZBURG

GUENZBURG (also Guensburg, Guenzberg, Ginzburg, Ginsburg, Ginzberg, Ginsberg, Ginzburger, Ginsburger ), family name common among East European Jews, especially in Russia. The first known Jews to call themselves by this name (after the beginning of the 16th century) came from the town of Guenzburg in Bavaria. Relatives of this family from neighboring Ulm who settled in Guenzburg used the name Ulma-Guenzburg, or simply Ulma. Abbreviated forms of Guenzberg, such as Guenz or Gaunz were also used. Some branches of the Guenzburg family later added Oettingen or Kliachko to form hyphenated names. When, early in the 19th century, the Russian authorities ordered the Jews to select family names, many in Poland, Lithuania, and Volhynia adopted the name Ginsburg, or a similar name, but these were not related to the emigrants from Guenzburg and their descendants in Bavaria.

The genealogy of the Guenzburg family has been traced back to Simeon Guenzburg (1506–1586), the grandson of Jeḥiel of Porto. The Guenzburg family produced numerous rabbis of note, including Aryeh *Gunzburg, author of Sha'agat Aryeh, in the 18th century, who, according to the family genealogy, was of the 11th generation to bear the name, and also the writer Mordecai Aaron *Guenzburg. The most celebrated branch of the family was that of the barons *Guenzburg.

bibliography:

B. Friedberg, Zur Genealogie der Familie Guenzburg (1885); D. Maggid, Sefer Toledot Mishpeḥot Ginzburg (1899).

[Simha Katz]

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