JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: searching for name in Ellis Island Website #general


Peter Zavon <pzavon@...>
 

The commentary on this topic is generally true and suggestions are valid,
but the paragraph quoted below contains a significant error. The passenger
lists *were not* created by immigration officials unfamiliar with ethnic
names. They were created by the ships crew, officers who were reasonably
well traveled and in the case of a ship like the Vaterland, people who were
familiar at least with German and perhaps also French. Many of them would
have made numerous Atlantic crossings and become familiar with the common
range of names. So American style language ignorance in writing down the
names would have been less important than implied by Don's comments.

Peter Zavon
Penfield, NY

PZAVON@Rochester.rr.com

"Don Solomon" <dsolomon@post.harvard.edu> wrote in message

The Ellis Island site is notorious for names being misspelled.
Volunteers not familiar with 19th century handwriting and ethnic
names often guessed, and guessed wrong. Even if the volunteers got
it right, immigration officials even less familiar with ethnic names
often mistranscribed the immigrant's vocalization of his name.

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