Re: Name Changes #general

Mike Posnick

In her Litvak SIG message of Sat, 1 Jan 2005, Cindy Gerstl
<cindygerstl@...> wrote:

I'd like to suggest that despite -- or because of -- their instructions,
some officials made similar "suggestions". Unfortunately, those of us
who have worked for bureaucracies know how officials can sometimes bend
rules and regulations.

It may be that some immigration officers made such suggestions, although I
believe that Dick Plotz's explanation is closer to the truth. If I
remember Marian Smith correctly, federal law, and not rules or regulations,
prohibited alteration of the passenger manifests by the immigration officers.

And in his Litvak SIG message of Sun, 02 Jan 2005, Mike Berger
<smberg@...> wrote:
[T]he U.S. Government passenger arrival records (found via the Ellis
Island web site for example) were completed on the "rag ships" en route
to America . . . .

My recollection is that the manifests were prepared at the time of
embarkation and not after departure. The steamship companies were
responsible for the cost of returning ineligible immigrants to the ports
from which they departed. Their practice, therefore, was to examine the
passengers before permitting them on board.

German-speaking ship's officers likely would have understood
Yiddish-speaking passengers. They would, however, have transcribed names
that were originally rendered in Cyrillic or Hebrew script into Latin
characters according to the phonetic usage common in German.

Mike Posnick
Minneapolis, Minnesota

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