TESLER-L Archives

Archiver > TESLER > 1998-05 > 0894222445

From: Larry Tesler <>
Date: Sun, 3 May 1998 12:07:25 -0700

>From: "robert laughing wolf" <>
>To: "Larry Tesler" <>
>Date: Sun, 3 May 1998 07:11:27 -0400

>Hello Larry!
>Thank you for responding. I am researching my family tree. Our last name
>is TESZLEWICZ, but long ago, most of the family changed their name to
>TESSLER. Everyone did this except my grandfather, Stanley and his children.
>Stanley's father, Joseph Teszlewicz (1883-1955) and all of his children
>changed their name. I am trying to find out 2 things:
>1) where the name Teszlewicz comes from
>2) why the name change to Tessler.
>Thank you very much for any help you can give to me.


Welcome to the TESLER-L list. I don't know your family history. Perhaps
other subscribers do. But I have some reference books that provide clues to
your family name.

TESZLEWICZ looks to me like an alternative spelling of these Polish names:

CIESZLEWICZ/CIESLEWICZ (The S in the latter has an acute accent)
CIESZLOWICZ/CIESLOWICZ (The S in the latter has an acute accent)
TYSLOWICZ (The S has an acute accent)

Polish: Ciesla
Romanian: Teszler
Yiddish: Tesler, pronounced as if Tessler
Meaning in English: Carpenter/Woodworker

TESZLEWICZ would have been pronounced "tseshlewitch"

-EWICZ and -OWICZ can mean "son of [person]" or "native of [town]". In this
case, it is the former. One of Stanley's ancestors was probably the son of
a carpenter, perhaps an immigrant from Romania. If his given name was, say,
Avram, people would have called him Avram TESZLEWICZ.

In the 18th and 19th century, European governments required their citizens
to abandon patronymics and adopt a surname. Avram (or whatever his name
was) must have taken his patronymic, TESZLEWICZ, as his surname. Avram's
descendants, through Stanley, inherited that as their surname.

Those of us who are named TESLER/TESSLER had ancestors who chose to base
their surname on their occupation rather than their patronymic, or based it
on the patronymic but on the Hebrew (ben Tesler) not on a Russian
(Teslervitz) or Romanian (Teszlerici) interpretation of the patronymic.

Stanley's children probably shortened TESZLEWICZ to TESSLER to make it
easier to pronounce and spell, especially if they had left Poland by that
time. The first TESZLEWICZ to change his name to TESSLER may have known
that the origin of the name was TESZLER and/or may have heard names like

As for where your ancestors came from, my reference books don't list
TESZLEWICZ. But Alexander Beider's "A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from
the Kingdom of Poland" says that these similar surnames were found in
records from the listed towns:

TYSLOWICZ from Jedrzejow

Stopnica and Jedrzejow are towns near Chmielnik in Kielce gubernia
(district). I found this information on the web:


K-R SIG Journal, Issue 4 (Oct., 1997).

"Index of all surnames from voter lists and Yizkor books from the four
eastern districts of Kielce gubernia: Kielce, Jedrzejow, Pinczow and

Compiled by Alexander Beider, nearly three thousand surnames are given,
along with their sources: specific Yizkor books, and the number of voters
with that surname in each district. Major towns included in these districts
are: ..., Jedrzejow, ..., Stopnica, ....


STOPNICA: (I) US Comm. no. POCE000302
Stopnica is located in the Kielce region at longitude 50.27N,
latitude 20.01E, about 212 km from Lodz. The cemetery is located
on Kosciuszki Street. The present town population is 25,000-
100,000; no Jews.
The date of the earliest known Jewish community in Stopnica
was in the 15th Century. The Jewish population in 1921 was 1921,
about 75.6% of the total population.

It goes on to describe the condition of two cemeteries, but lists no surnames.


It says that local LDS Family History Centers, found at most Mormon
churches, can order from Salt Lake City a microfilm that you can view at
the Center. For Stopnica, there are birth, marriage, and death records from
1875-1884 on three reels.


Says that LDS recently aquired microfilms for Jedrzejow 1875-1884.


Says that Jedrzejow is also the name of a district, different from the town
in the Kielce district. References are listed.

If you have not done so already, I recommend that you check immigration and
1920 census records (at a National Archives branch) and social security
records (through http://www.ancestry.com/ssdi/advanced.htm) for family
members whom you know.

I hope this helps.

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