Thank you to the many Ukraine SIG members who responded with info and
suggestions about my original query. They were all very helpful and I will
reply to each person with thanks. May I ask your indulgence by asking a
general-interest follow-up question about this travel episode?
According to the ship's manifest, my great-grandmother Reise Goldfarb
and the three girls, Sore, Basse and Chawe all traveled under the last name
of Czernitzer, not Goldfarb; and the manifest also states that the person
back in Kiwrotzi, Russia who knows them was "father, Berel Czernitzer".
Complicating matters, when they arrived at Ellis Island, they were all
detained for a short while until the "husband, Morris" (no last name noted
on the detention form), showed up. He must have been Morris Goldfarb because
only three years later, in 1915's NY State Census, they are all living
together in Brooklyn with Morris, but under the name of Goldfarb, not
Czernitzer. And later, when the girls all applied for US citizenship,
hey acknowledged that they arrived under the name of Czernitzer (which
is why it took me ten years to find their arrivals info), but their
applications all list their current last name as Goldfarb.
Can anyone help explain what I am looking at? It is a total mystery.
No one in my family had ever heard of the last name Czernitzer until I came
across it in the above documents. Did Reise, whose maiden name was Berman
per her NYC death certificate, have two husbands; did rabbinical and civil
laws in Russia conflict in terms of recognizing one or both marriages; or
did Morris and Reise change their last names once they were united, perhaps
because of a legal or other sensitive matter? I know I am missing a few
critical pieces of this puzzle, and I may not get to the full truth, but I
feel confident that my situation is not unique and that others may have
seen similar cases in their family histories. Any ideas that may help
explain what I am seeing will be most appreciated.