Sally Bruckheimer <sallybru@...>
The short answer is 'Yes'. ;-)
Actually, if his parents were married civilly, he would be named with his
father's surname - usually.
If his parents were married religiously but not civilly, he would be named
with his mother's surname - usually.
This is for civil records. What he called himself and what his neighbors
called him was different. And what he called himself after he left Europe
was some third thing.
However, sometimes men were registered with other surnames to avoid the
draft or for some other reason. Usually, among the Jews he would have been
known as 'Ovsei ben David' or whatever his and his father's forenames were,
with probably no surname. And in the US, he could have used any surname he
You need to look at the records >from the town he came >from (if you know it)
with an open mind. Check his first name and his father's first name and
whatever else you know. He might be Maurer or Bergstein or something else.
He might have been registered with his brother as one person (eldest son is
exempt >from draft, so only admit you have one son) or as somebody else's son
or not at all.
Actually, it seems amazing that anybody finds any record of their ancestors
in Russia, but amazingly they often do. Just be happy that there are
records to check, as my mother's mother's family come >from an area which has
no civil bmd records at all.