Re: Changing of Last Names On Way to England from Russia #general

Molly Staub

Hi David,

Where did you find the list in Liverpool? Several of my ancestors embarked

By now you've probably read about the variety of names our ancestors used on
various documents. It can be very confusing if you're looking for one name,
and somebody else's name appears. You have to coordinate dates, siblings,
etc. I located my own maternal grandfather listed under five different

Now, about getting to Liverpool: In 2013, as a journalist I was sent to
Antwerp, Belgium to cover the opening of the Red Star Line Museum. We were
told -- and shown photos -- of the agents representing the ship lines who
came to the various towns >from where people wanted to leave. They bought
their ship tickets >from this agent. As I understand it, the cost included
their *train* fare to the point of embarkation. That's how most of them got
from their homes to Liverpool, Hamburg, or wherever. My father and his
family sailed >from Le Havre, France, so I guess the agent in their Romanian
town represented the French line that left >from France.

The person buying the tickets gave his name as he used it; it might have
been Yiddish, a nickname, Russian, or whatever. The agent wrote *what he
heard*, which may have sounded different for cousins, for instance. The list
with these names was written on the manifest. When the passengers arrived in
Ellis Island, Philadelphia, Boston, or Galveston, their names were simply
checked off the manifest. American names were taken by the people themselves
(genealogists know they were not assigned at Ellis Island), and usually
appear on the forms they filled for Naturalization papers.

Happy hunting, Molly

Molly Arost Staub
Boca Raton, FL

-----Original Message-----

From: "David Goldman" <>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2018 15:32:15 -0400

I just realized that the solution to the mystery could lie in the very fact
that these relatives also used *English* first names on their records of
arrival into Liverpool. They used the names Bessie, William and Morris,
which are not Russian or Yiddish names but are the equivalent of Pessya,
Velko/Velvel and Moshko/Moyshe, and they certainly did not have these
English names in Nova Ushitza or have any Russian documents issued with such
names. So this would suggest that something happened after leaving Nova
Ushitza and boarding the ship which enabled them to easily have
identification with new first *and* last names, creating no legal

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