Yitshaq Neiman <yneiman@...>
** Reply to message >from marciak <email@example.com> on Tue, 03 Sep 2002
I have been following this discussion of surnames/Soundex/pronunciation withIt is indeed one of the most popular of urban myths. That doesn't turn fiction
Island, some changes subtle and some, not so. I imagine it's possible that anYou are misinformed. The immigration official did not get the name >from the
passport, but >from the passenger manifest -- a document that was created by the
ship's purser or the shipping company to reflect who was on board.
Cyrillic has nothing to do with it; passenger manifests were written in Latin
characters, for many reasons, one of which was that most ships were German,
Dutch, English, French, etc.
his/her name, no? (And in the early years of the 20th C, Polish was alsoAgain, you are misinformed. Polish has never been written in Cyrillic
characters. What you have seen are documents written in Russian, concerning
life events that occured in parts of Poland that belonged to the Russian Empire.
And if the inspectors got the names >from the ship's manifest, even worse. IBoth my grandfathers retailed this story too, to explain why their respective
surnames were different >from the ones they were born with because of a whim of
an official at Ellis Island. They recited this tale because it amused them;
they never knew each other, so it was not a conspiracy. Only in the past four
years have I learned what the real reasons were -- that had nothing to do with
Ellis Island. Mistakes, of course, can always happen. But there is no way
whatever that ALL those Jews had their identities switched because of the
malice or indifference of a Civil Service employee, or even the execrable
handwriting of ships' pursers.