Re: Name changes for immigrants #general

Linda <altmanlh@...>

On Mon, 22 July 2002, "Rich Lowenthal" wrote

.... I don't think the name change was any attempt to "Americanize"
the name. Even assuming that some immigration officer gave them a
new name, was there any rational reason for them to accept the
change, or was it just a reflection of an aversion to making trouble?

Rich Lowenthal
Most of our ancestors left their homes to come to America for a very
good reason. Some left for economic reasons, others for religious,
still others for the thrill of something new. But to pack up a family,
and leave, to go where you do not speak the language, to the unkmown -
there had to be some pressing issues. Maybe the name change was
Americanize the name. Maybe they wanted to be sure that they could not
be found by the "officials" >from the old country. I knew my
g.grandmother. She was terrified of being sent back to Poland and that
was part of the reason that she never gave completely accuracte
information to anyone. She was a naturalized citizen. It was the same
reason the the name was changed >from CYBULA to SMITH. Irrational as it
may seem to us, at least in my situation, they truly feared being sent
back. For very different reasons, my uncle Jack changed his surname
from KRIEDBERG to KRIEDE. He didn't think that KRIEDBERG sounded
appropriate for a musician. Jack was born in the US. So try not to
put your values or perceptions onto why they changed their names.
The only ones who knew for sure were the ones who changed it, and we
are left to try to piece the puzzle together.

Linda Altman - Raleigh, NC
ALTMAN, >from Russia to NY City. TYRNAUER >from Hungary. BERGMAN
from Warsaw & Sokolow-Podlaski, Poland to the UK, Israel and US.
CYBULA/CYBULKA/CYBULKO/CYBULKSI, Ostrow Maz., Siedlce,& Zambrow,
Poland to UK, and US. GOLDFINGIER, Sokolow-Podlaski, Poland. SINGER,
Russia to US. LIEBERMAN, Austria and Romania to US.

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