Wicelinus von Bergen
c. 1150 - 1198
( Wicelinus, Wetzelo, Wezelo, Wezel )
The town of Berg (Platz), Germany offers the story of the renowned Wicelinus von Bergen. In documents dating from 1150 to 1198, he is recorded as having sworn witness to many transactions pertaining to the royal court. » Knight Wezelo of Bergen served within the juristiction of Bishop Günter of the diocese at Speyer. » Documents indicate that Wezelo may have had close ties to both king Heinrich and king Friedrich I.
One document, in 1197, describes the town of Berg as “Burg Bergen des Wetzelo von Bergen" (the town of Bergen of the Wetzelo of Bergen), where the town derives its name from its higher elevation above the surounding area. Berg meaning 'mountain'.
In 1182, on May 27, it was Wicelinus von Bergen who witnessed the settlement of a grievence between King Friedrich I and the authorities of Speyer. It is within the many documents of this time period that he is referred to by several forms of the Latin name Wicelinus: Wetzelo, Wezelo, Wezel.
Actually, the use of Wezelo and its variations may have been more common than the use of Wizelin and its variations. Both are short forms of Wicelinus. The documents of Wicelinus von Bergen are only a portion of the existing evidence that clarifies the relationship between the surnames Witzel and Wetzel. It does not signify that Witzel is a variation of Wetzel, as many name researchers suggest; but instead, indicates that both names are variations of Wicelinus. Though Wetzelo may appear more often, Wizelin linguisticly proves to be more loyal. There is no explanation for the change of 'i' to 'e' except that Wicelinus is a result of a long evolution from the proto-Indo-European root *weid, meaning 'to see' and 'to know'. In both groups of Wezelo and Wizelin variations, the well-known German sound shift applies: z > c > tz as time progresses.