Name changes at Ellis Island #general


The museum at Ellis Island contains the ships manifests (passenger
lists) that were compiled in Europe before the ships
departed. The National Park Service gives tours of the Island and
details the proceedures used to move the immigrants along.

The agents would board the ships, and the first and second class
passengers were processed on board, and boarded ferries to
New York. Only steerage passengers went to Ellis Island. Before leaving
the ship, numbered tags were attached to their clothing,
corresponding to the passenger lists. When they came into the great
hall, they were asked their names, in many cases the agents
screamed the question, as they were looking for criminals coming in
under false names, or men deserting their familes.

After the formalities were satisfied, the immigrants were sent on their
final destination.

No names were ever changed at Ellis Island. Unfortunately the myth
never dies.

My own personal take on the name change is after a few months, and old
timer (someone who got to the US, 6 months before)
told the newbe, your name is too long, too Jewish or whatever, and name
changes were done more causually. In my own family,
an uncle Max (mendel) Krok changed his name to Rittenberg. Census
records show that there two other Max Kroks in Worcester,
Mass. in the early 1900's

Al Kaplan

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