More surname mysteries: RABINKER -or- BOBRITSKY #general


S. Brearey <sbrearey@...>
 

The recent discussions about family members with different surnames reminds
me about my own family mystery. While it is not the same situation, a totally
unfamiliar surname is used -- only once. My maternal GGF's passenger list record
shows an unknown surname, yet, when he was naturalized, there is no indication
that the name had been changed.

I have the naturalization paperwork of my great grandfather, Itzik BOBRITSKY,on
which it was stated that he was born in Tagantza, Russia. His wife,Feige(Fanny)
was born in Kanev. Their three sons were said to be born in Ekaterinaslav
(Dnipropetrovsk). These are all, of course, in the Ukraine.

I had previously searched the Baltimore passenger lists at NARA for the family's
1906 arrival (on the Gneisenau), but I was unable to find them. I had searched
all 70+ pages, quickly passing by the blocks of Magyars >from Hungary, Germans
from Germany, etc. I suppose that I was unable to find the family at that time
because I was concentrating on finding BOBRITSKY -- or something very similar.

I recently searched that specific Gneisenau passenger list again, and on page
nine I found: Itzik (transcribed as Hzik because of poor handwriting) --- get
this --- RABINKER, with wife Feige, and sons Michel ("Myer"), Jankel ("Robert
Samuel"), and Schome ("Morris"; my grandfather). This has to be the correct
family, as the ages are very close, Itzik's last residence is Taganza, "Russia,"
and on both the passenger list and the naturalization paperwork, Itzik is
described as having a physical defect of his left eye. (Coincidentally, the
person he listed as his US contact [his uncle] was a witness for Itzik's
youngest son's future father-in-law's naturalization.) Just to be sure,
I _did_ look at all the rest of the pages. I'm convinced that this is the
correct family.

I'm confused, however, because there are usually notations written on the
passenger list when one is naturalized, which would indicate that the arrival
was verified. Itzik's record had no such notations. Additionally, his
naturalization (in Philadelphia, in 1912) does not indicate that his name
had been changed *to* BOBRITSKY. In fact, that portion of the form is
specifically crossed out.

So, how did they get >from arriving as RABINKER, to naturalization as BOBRITSKY,
with no indication of a name change? Feige's maiden name was supposedly
KALLOW / KALLOWSKY (or something similar; perhaps KALOVSKY?), so they didn't
travel under her family name. Since Bremen passenger lists during this time
period no longer exist, I can't verify the name under which they sailed.

As for the name RABINKER: the handwriting on the passenger list is pretty clear,
although it looks as if the second letter was originally written as "U". However,
I can't find this name anywhere else. (I see that there is someone searching
RABINKE and I'll contact her.) Could it have been a misunderstanding of the
pronunciation; the passenger said "RABINKE" and the official heard "RABINKER"?
I searched http://stevemorse.org/phonetics/beider.php and found no matches for
RABINKER. Close matches for RABINKE were RABINKIJ, RABINKO, and RABENKO. When
I can get to the Library, I'll search Beider's book.

This BOBRITSKY family was eventually known as FRANKEL, but the prior RABINKER
has me thoroughly confused! I'm wondering if I should add RABINKE / RABINKER
to my research (as if I need more mysteries). Suggestions on where to go >from
here would be appreciated.

Many thanks,
Sharon SWERSKY Brearey
Philadelphia, PA

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