I've been looking at the manifests of the Hamburg-Amerika steamer Pisa, which
arrived at Philadelphia on 2 Mar 1912. They seem to have been filled out by whoever
did the corresponding Hamburg passenger list--very similar handwriting, very few
spelling variants--but they also contain more than the usual number of changes,
especially to names.
These are not name changes entered at the time of naturalization--they're all in
the same hand. They're not major changes: Meische and Mosche become Moische;
Chayem becomes Chaim; Pietruschka becomes Petronella; and RUBASCHKIN becomes
RUBASCHKINE. In each case the name is struck through and rewritten.
These changes occur on only two pages of the manifest: images 17-18 and 19-20 at
the pay site. Other things are also changed--a few occupations, for instance.
Now, why would this happen? Was an inexperienced inspector given these pages to
work? They don't seem to be signed off by an inspector,the way other pages or group
of pages with similar handwriting for the notes are.
Or could the ship's doctor have gotten bored? The passage >from Hamburg took an
unusually long time, >from Feb. 7/8 until Mar. 2, and there's no indication that the
ship put in at any other port during that time.
Finally: would someone >from Vitebsk have been more likely to pronounce the given
name Moshe as Moishe or Meishe? I associate the former with Polish Yiddish,
the latter with Lithuanian Yiddish; but this is certainly not my field.
(My people would have said Mausche.)
Princeton, NJ USA