Larry, there are many reasons why you might not find family members in
the Ellis Island manifests: changed name, garbled transcription of
name, etc. You've tried working with that already.
But in this case, I think it's the date that's off. I collected 10
pages of names of people coming through Ellis Island >from my
grandparents' town (Wisoko-Litovsk, Brest, Grodno) and there is not one
name between 1914 and 1920. World War I disrupted travel during those years.
Have you found naturalization papers for any of them? Those may give a
more accurate date and should also give you the name of the ship, which
would narrow down your search. You say you found them in a census.
Which one(s)? 1920? 1930? What year did they tell the census taker
I'm also having a little trouble with the locality you've given. Grodno
and Minsk are two different Gubernyas. Brest-Litovsk is in Brest
district of Grodno Gub., though I have seen censuses where the
census-taker inaccurately wrote Minsk for anyone >from the area, now
Belarus, that changed hands >from Russia to Poland in WWI.
Hope that helps.