The origin of the surname Turkel   Learn about the family roots of the Jewish Turkel Tribe  [webSite map]

We urge all the Türkel related folks to join us, regardless of their religion or faith.
So far we got to know mostly Jewish Turkel individuals from Galicia


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The surname Türkel has been written with u umlaut i.e. .. two dots over the u.
The pronunciation is something between ooh and eh, e.g.  Tuerkel.
This name was occasionally written with variations, for example
Terkel, Tirkel, or Tyrkel in Poland and Palestine

I am a Palestinian , (because I was born in Jerusalem)
but also a Zionist because I was born in Zion - Eretz Yisroel !

Until the late 19th century, my Jewish parents and at least five generations of their extended family had lived in Central Europe - what is nowadays (2023) Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic/Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Baltic states, and the Low Countries. Many of us have immigrated (1880-1920) to the United States, Canada, Australia, as well as to other countries.

"The Türkel tree is stretching like Strudel dough" wrote in 1991, late Henry Turkel from Jerusalem, Israel, to William Charles Turkel in Darien, CT.  The pressumed origins of this magnificent Jewish family are currently traced back to the 18th century, in Central Europe - parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, including Galicia (Galizia/Halichnia), Poland, Romania, Ukrine, Slovakia, Czech, etc.
Following WWI it was occupied by Poland and since WWII eastern Galicia has been occupied by Ukraine.

So far we have managed to reconstruct about seventy-five (75) "dynesties" and additional smaller branches. The largest five dynesties [9], [10], [11], [13] and [18], commence in the first half of the 19th century.

We haven't solved yet the puzzle - why Jewish Türkel individuals from Galicia are affiliated with a Turkish surname Türkel - meaning the hand of the Turk, or the land of the Turk. However we tend to believe that this name is connected with the following stories

  • According to a legend, our family's surname - Türkl - was adopted (ca. 1760) by Perez, son of R` Shlomo nicknamed "Terk`l".
  • We also found another clue explaining our surname. A Jewish fellow named Itzhak Tirkel of Lwow (Poland) had been killed in June 1596, while he was on his way from Yas (Romania) to Eretz Ha`Yishme-elim (the Land of the Muslims, i.e. Turkey).

    According to Israeli Sup. Ct. Justice, Jacob Türkel, the origin of the name was written Yidish Terk'l, meaning little Turk.  It's not too far from the Turkish meaning of Turkeli, which is the land of the Turk, or referring to someone who came from Turkish lands.

    ABC list of Shtetl's in Eastern Galicia where Türkel families were residing in
    Legend: see Mapmap of area   JRI search resultsTurkel search in JRI   Turkel BranchTurkel branch on this website
    Lat. / Long
    North / East map  found  branch Shtetl name (abc sorted)
    49°04' 23°52' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Bolechow between Stryj and Stanislawow in Lwow region
    53°08' 23°09' see Map JRI search results Boryslaw (see Stryj)
    49°27' 24°56' see Map JRI search results Brzezany
    49°05' 25°24' see Map Turkel Branch Buchach (Buczacz)
    49°14' 25°55' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Chorostkow
    49°01' 25°48' see Map Chortkov (Czortkow)
    49°21' 23°30' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Drohobycz
    49°21' 26°10' see Map Grzymalov
    49°05' 24°50' see Map JRI search results Halicz
    49°04' 26°13' see Map Husiatin (Husiatyri, Gusiatyn)
    50°10' 26°30' see Map Turkel Branch Jampol
    48°32' 25°02' see Map JRI search results Kolomeya (Kolomyia)
    49°06' 25°56' see Map JRI search results Kopyczynce
    53°13' 23°47' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Krynki Bialystok/Grodno
    50°05' 19°55' see Map JRI search results Krakow (Crakow)
    49°50' 24°05' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Lemberg before 1918 Lwow 1918-39 L`vov 1939-91 L`viv 1991)
    49°24' 25°36' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Mikulince (Mikulintsy)
    48°38' 24°34' see Map JRI search results Nadworna
    49°34' 24°55' see Map Turkel Branch Vishnevchik (Nizniów)
    49°16' 25°08' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Podhajce / Pidhaytsi Podgaytsy
    49°32' 26°09' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Podwoloczyska (Voloczyska)
    49°40' 25°07' see Map Turkel Branch Pomorzany(Pomuran)
    49°47' 22°47' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Przemysl
    49°25' 24°37' see Map Rohatyn (Bohatyn, Rogatin)
    49°28' 24°04' JRI search results Rozdol
    49°31' 23°12' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Sambor
    49°10' 23°30' see Map Turkel Branch Schodnitza (Yedintsy)
    49°26' 26°09' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Skalat
    48°51' 24°50' see Map JRI search results Stanislawow
    50°33' 21°10' JRI search results Staszow
    49°15' 23°51' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Stryj (Stryjj, Stryy, Strei)
    49°20' 25°37' JRI search results Stusow
    49°33' 25°35' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Turkel Branch Turkel Branch Turkel Branch Tarnopol (Ternopol)
    50°01' 20°59' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Tarnow
    49°18' 25°43' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Turkel Branch Trembowla (Terebovlyia) see info
    __°__' __°__' Trzebinia (Tschebin)
    49°08' 23°08' see Map Turka
    48°50' 24°59' see Map Turkel Branch Tysmenitsa (Tysmienica)
    49°47' 25°22' see Map JRI search results Zalozce
    49°48' 24°54' see Map JRI search results Zloczow
    49°40' 25°47' see Map JRI search results Turkel Branch Zbaraz
    49°15' 24°17' see Map JRI search results Zurawno

    Outside (however near) Galicia
    54°13' 19°07' JRI search results Nowy Dwor Warsaw
    52°48' 21°54' JRI search results Ostrow Warsaw
    52°15' 21°00' JRI search results Turkel Branch Warsaw
    52°36' 21°28' JRI search results Wyszkow Warsaw
    52°45' 22°08' JRI search results Zareby Koscielne Warsaw
    53°16' 20°54' JRI search results Chorzele Plock
    52°41' 20°28' JRI search results Sochocin Plock
    51°24' 19°41' JRI search results Piotrkow Lodz
    51°32' 20°01' JRI search results Tomaszow Lodz
    51°36' 19°33' JRI search results Tuszyn Lodz
    51°15' 22°34' JRI search results Lublin
    50°37' 23°28' JRI search results Komarow Lublin

    outside Poland
    Brun, Cz
    Turkel Branch Rousinov (New Raussnitz), Cz
    Hungary & Romania

    ShtetlSeeker Search for towns in Central and Eastern Europe

  • The Trembowla Türkels were "Chasidim".   Encylopedia of chassidut (Hebrew) brings an article about Eliezer-Lippa Turkel and a few others.  There are pictures of Eliezer-Lippa, Yaakov and Mordechai-Zeev-Wolf Turkel from Buczacz.   Many Turkels became secular intellectuals during the period, 1840-1940.

    Etymology and early references

    Non Jews having the name Turkel and its derivatives

    References to Türkl branches are illustrated below:
    this background is for branches
    with known direct descendants.
    this background is for branches
    with unknown direct descendants.
    The earliest known reference
    Issac Tirkel of Lwow (killed May 1596), is the earliest evidence
    to surname Türkel of a Jewish fellow. He had no descendants!

    Türkel founders born ca~1650

             Krakow, Poland => Rousinov, Cz
     |__Jakob Munian "The Sepharadi of Krakow" born ~1653 d.~1700
         + unknown wife
          |__ Salomo ben-Jakob Munian ha-Sepharadi aka "Terkl" b~1675 d.1750  captured1,2 by the Turks ~1682
              +unknown wife
               |__Perez ben-Salomo TüRKL  b:~1710  adopted the surname Turkl following his father1,2

    We believe that this is the root of ALL (or most of) the Jewish Turkel/Terkel individuals

    References: 1 The legend (courtesy Bill Turkel) 2 A German credible resource (courtesy Tomer Brunner)

    other Türkel founders born ca~1750

    Charles Türkle was born between 1750 and 1760. He was likely a Christian who moved from Denmark to Ireland during the invasion of Normandy. His Catholic descendants were considered " black Irish". They immigrated in 1818 from Ireland to Boston, USA then Ohio and Kansas and Indiana. Later they mixed with Kansas Indians in the 19th century. We are waiting for further information to be received ASAP from their descendants.

    Türkel founders born 1760-80
    Individuals named Türkel currenty unrelated as ancestors/descendants:

    Sindel Judah (Zindel Judas) Türkel born about Abt. 1758 and died 1828 in Zalozce, Galicia.

    Jacob Türkel born about 1760 and died 1840 in Zalozce, Galicia.

    Eliezer Turkiel or Tyrkiel born about 1750~60 and died 1828 in Staszow, Province: Kielce, Galicia.
    He had a grandson born 1829 named Eliezer, likely after him (we have no further info yet).

    Drezel Türkel born about 1766 and died 1831 in Zalozce, Galicia.

    Abraham Türkel born about 1767 and died 1831 in Zalozce, Galicia.

    Rivka (Rifka) Türkel born about 1768 and died 1830 in Zalozce, Galicia.

    Edel Freida Turkul born about 1779 and died 1842 in Zalozce, Galicia.

    Türkel founders born 1780-1810

    info based on Harvey Turkel's trip to Eastern Europe in 1995
    Shlomo (Pessach' father) is not
    the above Shlomo Ben Yaacov (1718-1750)
    but could be his grandson
    Shlomo Rousinov, Cz [3] Pessach (Philip) TüRKEL b~1764 | +Paulina | |__Moshe (Moses) 1806-1893 | |__Barabara 1817-? | |__Avraham 1819-? ?
           Europe (unknown place)
     |__Meir? TERKEL   b~1780-95
         |__Leibe b.1812-d.1905 NY
    ref. NY, Death Certificate #11047
    Birth Register of Jewish Community Rousinov We have no information about descendants however Rousinov, Cz [5] |__unknown TüRKEL b~1780-1803 +Sarah |__Jacob TüRKEL b:5/1/1821d/m/y Jacob could be the ancestor of tree [13] below

    Individuals named Turkel neither ancestors nor descendants are known

    Sure Freude born 1797, married a Turkel individual. She died 1885.

    Gnedla Tyrkiel born around 1800, married Israel Hersch Weiswoll in 1831, Stazow.

    Samuel (Shmuel Szmul) Torkiel estimate birth 1790-1805 had a
      son Itzhak (Idzko) Wolf Torkiel born 1825 in Zareby Koscielne, near Warsaw

    Notko Trokel estimate birth 1790-1819 had a
      son Wulf Trokel born 1828 in Solsk, Oshmiany, Vilno, Litvak

    Lewi Türkel born about 1800~20 married Ruchla had a
      daughter Gittel Sara born about 1838 married Aharon Schaje Lunge 1881 in Tarnopol, Galicia.

    Josel Terkel born about 1809 died 1878 in Zloczow, Galicia, Austria
      per information retrived from JRI-Poland / Zloczow PSA AGAD D1877-97.

    info based on a microfilm #995828 discovered by Bill (WCT)
    We have no information about later descendants
    Lemberg (Lwow), Galicia [6] |__Icek Elowicz TüRKEL b~1795-1800 +Fraydy Roie Gabryelow |__Ela b:1820
            intentionally left blank
            Should be a Meyer Terkl
            born approx. 1780-1820 
            died apporx. 1830-1837
            see the 5 Meyer cousins
    info based on another microfilm discovered by Bill (WCT)
    Mordechai could be a grandson of Perez tree [1]
    Is he the same person on the right? tree [9]
    otherwise they could be cousins
    Lemberg (Lwow), Galicia [8] |__Mordechai TERKEL b~1795-1805 +Bela |__Issac b:1822 Neither we have information about descendants of Issac, nor his siblings, nor Mordechai's siblings and parents
    info based on Shulamit Hackenbruch and others
    Mordechai could be a grandson of Perez tree [1]
    Is he the same person on the left? tree [8]
    otherwise they could be cousins
    Tarnopol & Lwow <=> Wien (Galicia) Termbowla, Buczacz, Podwoloczyska, etc. [9] Mordechai TüRKL b~1790-1797 d~1844 +wife? |__Israel-Menachem Alter b:1830 d:1892 | + Ester-Yehudit /maiden?/ (died young) | | | |__Mordechai Zeev Wolf [a few survivors in USA, Isarel] | | | |__Eliezer Lippa [a few survivors in USA, Isarel] | | | |__Binah (Bincie) Rose [a few survivors in Isarel] | + Gittel Altenberg | |__Yona [a few survivors in Isarel] | |__Avrum [a few survivors in Isarel] | |__Tzvi Hersch [apparently all of them perished in the Holocaust] webmaster is a grandson of Avrum.

    Turkel founders born 1810-50

    info based on Nessia Leichter nee Türkel/Sharf et al
    Tarnopol, Galicia [10] target="_blank">all descendants of Hirsch TüRKEL 1793-1865 Moshe TüRKEL b~1813 son/nephew of M [9] +Chava | |__Mordechai Motia | |_Meir David | [descendants in Israel] | |__Yechezkel Chaskel | |_Ester [descendants in Israel] | |_Pinio [descendants in Canada] | |_Jacob [descendants in USA] | |_Adolph [descendants in USA] | |__Hertz [descendants in Israel] | |_Joseph [descendants in Israel] | |_Yeshaia [descendants in Israel] | |_Fruma [descendants in Israel] | |__Shmuel [unknown living descendants]
    info based on numerous Turkel folks in the USA
    Wien <=> Tarnopol, Galicia [11] dynesty nicknamed SAMsters Schmel TüRKEL b~1820 son/nephew of M [9] +Nachamer? Krohl | |__Samuel 1853 Tarnopol | |_ [11 children; descendant in USA] | |__ Gretti 1860 Tarnopol | |_ [1 son; grandpa of Ann Turkel] | |__Bernard 1864 Tarnopol - "The Caterer" |_ [11 children; descendant in USA]
    info based on Tarnopol PSA AGAD Birth M. and Deaths
    [xx]     son/nephew of M [9]
     |__Moses Terkel b.1813 d.1898 Tarnopol
         +Eidel (Chava? unresolved)
         |__Samuel b.1850 Tarnopol
             +Rachel Mondschein
             |__Salomon      b.1869
             |__Estera          b.1872
             |__Meir David   b.1874 
             |__Henia Rivka  b.1888
    info based on Tarnopol PSA AGAD Birth and Deaths
    [xx]           son/nephew of M [9]
     |__?? Türkel 
         |__Samuel b.1845~55 Tarnopol
             +Alte Mondschein
             |__Meir David  b.1876
             |__Michael      b.1880
             |__Elias           b.1882
    [xx]           son/nephew of M [9]
            intentionally left blank
    info based on Judi-K Turkel et al
    [xx]           son/nephew of M [9]
     Chaim Eisig Türkel  b:~1810-25
         +Frima Sura ?maiden
         |__Juda Chaskla Türkel      b:~1830-40 d:~1881-85
         |   +Pesia (Pessie) Dikstein b:~1834    d:Bolechow
         |__Jossl Mendl Türkel          b:1845 Chorostkow
             +Miriam (Marjem) Steinbok  b:~1845-55 Skalat
    info based on Tarnopol AGAD Births 1866-1897
    Tarnopol, Galicia [12] |__Feivish TERKEL born~1800~20 +Rivka (Rifke) | |__Meir (Meyer) 1837-? +Pesia (Pessie) Zlatkes 1837-1889 | |__Moshe Michael 1868-? |__Abraham Baruch 1871-? |__Osias 1872-? |__Reisl Blimen 1874-? |__Joseph 1875-? |__Gittel Jenny 1878-? |__Hillel 1879-1881 |__Chuli 1881-?
    we have a speculation about this branch
    info based on Harvey Turkel, courtesy Bill (WCT)
    who are both descendants of this branch
    Podwoloczyska, Galicia [13] Jacob TüRKEL b. bef.1827 Is he Feivish? see left +Bela Silverman Was he married more than once? | |__Meir (Meyer) aka brother_X | +Pesia is it a coincidence 2 Meyer cousins married Pessia? | |__Chaim Charles 1845-1914 | +Channa Tauba Jampoler | |__Beryl 1845-1932 > USA ca~1900 +Ester
        info based on WCT
    unknown place in Galicia [14] |__Abraham TüRKEL b~1810~30 +Sophie Horeu |__Herman TURKEL b:1851 - d:1911 NY ref. NY, Death Certificate #8259
    Podhajce PSA AGAD Births 1890-93,96,98,99
            Podhajce, Galicia
     |__Juda TüRKEL         b:1810~30
        +Chaje Etia
         |__Rivka TüRKEL 
    Mikulince PSA AGAD D1874-84,86,91,92,95 Mikulince, Galicia [16] |__Josef TüRKEL +Genty |__Lipy TYRKEL
    info based on Yad Vashem, microfilm (year 1956)
    Arie Wiesman, Kfar Yehoshua, Israel
    We have no information about later descendants
    Stanislawow, Galicia [17] |__Dov Eliezer TIRKEL b~1830 +wife? |__Meir b:1860-1942[h] +Deborah Mintzer |__Tzvi Hertz 1885-1942[h] |__Lazar 1890-1942[h] |__Moshe 1891-1942[h]
        info based on Norman Turkel aka noony
        and David Howard Turkel
    Tysmienitca, Galicia [18] Schmaria TüRKEL b:1832 +Chaie |__Deborah |__Nachman |__Zechraia b~1862
    info based on Tarnopol PSA AGAD Birth and Deaths
     |__Sindel TERKEL   b.1836-d.1896
         |__Chaje Sara  b.1863 Tarnopol
         |__  Frime         b.1865 Tarnopol
         |__  Moses         b.1874 Tarnopol
    info based on Tarnopol PSA AGAD Birth and Deaths [xx] |__Seidel TERKEL b.1820~40 |__Hirsch Leib b.1861 Tarnopol
    info based on Tarnopol PSA AGAD Birth and Deaths
     |__Lane TERKEL   b.1820~50
        +Jacob Gutmann
         |__Israel Gutmann  b.1871 Tarnopol
    info based on Tarnopol PSA AGAD Birth and Deaths [xx] |__Dawid TERKEL b.1837-d.1879 |__Hirsch b.1864 Tarnopol
      info based on Andrew Tirkel
            Sambor / Lwow, Galicia
     Wolf TURKEL born ~1855 
        +unknown wife
         |__11-13 children
         |__Rachel         b:1877
         |__Israel           b:~1880 d:1942[h]
         |__Josel           b:1887
         |__Hencie        b:1889
         |__Samuel (Stasio) TIRKEL b:1894~95 d:1974
    info based on Sambor PSA AGAD Births 1862-98 [xx] |__Wolf TüRKEL b.1825~45 +Gelle |__Jakob TüRKEL b.1865 Bolechow +Taube Ester Schwartz b.1856 Drohobycz |__Markus b.1892 Sambor |__Henryk b.1894 Sambor |__ Pepi b.1897 Sambor
     info based on Peter, Joe, Mark,
    David Joseph Turkel b.~1830~45 see above
     Hersh Harry TüRKEL   b~1864 Lwow
        +Pesia (Bessie) Lyba Seifstein
         |__Joseph David  b.1891 Trembowla
         |__Abraham (Al)  b.1897 
         |__Sam               b.1898
         |__Benjamin       b.1899
         |__Pauline          b.1902 Mikulince
         |__Rose              b.1907
    info based on Jack Jay and Niki Lwow area, Galicia [21] unknown name TüRKEL b:1850~60 +unknown wife |__Jacob b~1866 |__Joseph Fata (Juer) b~1871 |__Dvosha b~1875
     info based on WCT
            Buczacz, Galicia
     Pessach (Philip) TüRKEL  1848-1924 (USA)
        +Zlata Rebeka (Lottie) KOFFLER 1849-1913 (USA)
        |__Eisig Joel (Edward)  1868-1924
        |__Bernard (Ber)        1869-?
        |__David                    1871-1922 (USA)
        |__Biele                     1873-?
        |__Israel Salomon (Sam) 1878-?
        |__Bessie Malke (Bertha Amelia) 1880-?
        |  +Herman TURKEL 1880-1939
        |__Sarah                1884-?
        |__Gertrude(Golde Gerti)1886-?
    ref. Death Certificate #8190 of David
    [25] info based on Baer and his cousin Laurie
     Aharon Yeroham Fischel TüRKEL  ~1842
        +Ruchel Leah
        |__David Baer TIERKEL 1875-1948
      info based on Stanley & Leonard
     Benjamin TüRKEL   b~1850-60 Stryj
        + Yeta
        |__Celia                                USA
        |__Nathan 1891-1966
    info based on WCT unknown place in Galicia [24] Joseph TüRKEL 1850-? +Miriam Mary SOFINBOEK | |__Albert 1873-1926 |__Bessie 1878-? |__Herman 1880-1939 +Bessie Malke (Bertha Amelia) TURKEL 1880-?

    We found many additional "unrelated" yet Türkel branches, the founders of which were born after 1850. Most of them are descendants of a branch listed above.

    All the persons that we know about (info based on this reasearch) are included in our database.
    Their names are presented online in the updated RootsMagic tree RootsMagic Website Generator

    You may link to the detailed descendant trees at "Türkel Dynesty." Partial data about those who immigrated to the USA is presented via "Claim Your Turkel Ancestors."

    This project does not include yet information from countries like Argentine, Brazil, etc.  There is a reason to believe that quite a few Turkel folks live in South and Central America.

    Last but not least, webmaster found that on May 1st, 1854, a ship named "Challange" arrived at NY
    and on board there was at least one person named Türkel.

    The above data is quite insufficient to resolve our puzzle. . .

    Do you have any idea, how to tie all these with your Türkel branch?

    A word of caution... read carefully before you respond the "contradictory theories" mentioned by David Bernard Turkel. If you have a different information, or if you wish to extend the above or make a correction, please email.  Our objective is to preserve the memory of our collective forebears.  We hope that you wish to learn more about your own roots, and meet persons who share with you common ancestors.

    We appreciate your time and effort reviewing these pages.

    On behalf of the TürkelBees© noony

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