efore I begin in the telling of the history of the name Witzel, I must first caution the reader of the many views held by the various authors who have written, at least in part, on the subject. Each author writes from his own personal perspective, often, it seems, without seeing too far beyond his own immediate purpose(1). This wide range of opinions forces, as a consequence, a search for a more meaningful resolution. I intend to treat each individual author with the utmost respect and will attempt to present their view as it was intended. I will also offer the results from my own research; so that, when all is said and done, the reader stands to draw from a treasury of information and then, drawing from his own intuition, can come to his own conclusions as to which aspects of this history hold best against the others.
In the hope of beginning in a simple way, I first offer this concise history prepared by the researchers at The Historical Research Center. This short definition serves to quickly outline the points that will be presented in the following sections. I often return to this history. Each time I find in it a refreshed insight into its implied and well stated definitions.
What is perhaps most key here is the linking of the name Witzel to the personal name Wizo. This early form of the name can be established through the study of biographies that tell of persons whose name is related to Witzel. Each story offers some evidence toward a better understanding of how the name changes over time. These studies serve then to broaden our view. And a strong linguistic understanding begins to become possible.
But first, I begin with a collection of biographies and articles that establish the first use of the personal name Witzel as a last name. Very quickly you will discover the validity of a Witzel homeland to be found in central Germany. Only slowly does the name move beyond the neighboring small German towns that are likely the homes of your family's first generations.
(1) For example, despite the reknown of a resource such as Duden's Familien Namen, it is not too difficult to see the lack of certainty in the suggested trail of definitions.