GÜNZBURG (also spelled GINZBURG, GINSBERG, GINZBERG, GINSBURG, GÜNSBERG):
Family which originated in the town of GÜNZBURG. It is believed that the family went thither from the city of Ulm, Württemberg, and that for this reason the best-known progenitor of the family and some of his immediate descendants, as well as certain others, called themselves "Ulma-Günzburg."The Ulm, Ulma, and Ullman families are supposed to be branches of the Günzburg family. Kaufmann ("R. Jair Chajim Bacharach und Seine Ahnen," p. 45, Treves, 1894) proves that "Gunz" and "Gaunz" are simply variants of "Günzburg."
When, early in the emancipation period, the Jews of Russia and of Austria were ordered by their governments to adopt family names, it was natural that many of them should choose a name so respected and pleasing as that of Günzburg. There is on record a lawsuit instituted by Baer Günzburg of Grodno against a Jewish family of that city who had adopted the same name under the decree of 1804 (Maggid, "Toledot Mishpeḥot Ginẓburg," p. 239, St. Petersburg, 1899). The court sustained the right of Jewish families to adopt any name they chose, and the number of Günzburg families accordingly increased.
The following is a part of the genealogical tree constructed by Maggid in the work quoted above:
- Eisenstadt-Wiener, Da'at Ḳedoshim, pp. 198-212, St. Petersburg, 1897-98;
- Belinsohn, Shillume Emune Yisrael, Odessa, 1898;
- Ein Wort über die Familie Guenzburg, St. Petersburg, 1858. The chief source is Maggid's work, quoted above.