Thiel (or Theil ) Prussian
My gggrandfather listed himself as Thiel in the census, from Prussia (1840s). After his death, his daughters listed him as coming from Austria. It's way south of Prussia! Is Thiel a Russian name? BTW, he was a Catholic, if that means anything in this puzzle.
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You'll find the origin of Thiel at http://www.ancestry.com/facts/Thiel-name-meaning.ashx
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Thanks for the info. Do you think this counts as a last name explanation too?
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Every source I have confirms that it's derived from Dietrich. I don't know about the proposed Eastern German etymology, however.

This message was edited by the author 10/2/2009, 7:07 AM

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