Lithuania SIG #Lithuania Re: Name Changes #lithuania

Mike Posnick

As many who read this list already know, the idea that names were changed
by immigration officials is simply wrong. Marian Smith, historian of the
former United States Immigration and Naturalization Service has debunked
this myth in several magazine articles, including at least one published in
Avotaynu, and in presentations given at several IAJGS International
Conferences on Jewish Genealogy.

Names were changed by the bearer (or their relatives), either before
migration or after. In many cases of post-migration name changes, the
change was adopted without any legal formalities.

Mike Posnick
Minneapolis, Minnesota

In her Litvak SIG message of 1/1/2005, Cindy Gerstl <cindygerstl@...>

Often, complicated, multi-syllabic names were changed or simplified and
made more "American" by immigration officials. Part of my family was
given a new name by immigration officials who couldn't understand the
original last name. The original name was (Shimon) Bablowsky. The new
last name was taken >from Uncle Simon's first name, so that Shimon
Bablowsky became Shimon Simon or Simon Simon. Later-arriving family
members took the name Simon when they came through immigration. .

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