In a message dated 9/25/00 4:49:29 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< An Immigration Officer would be hard pressed to
copy the correct name much less understand the person in front of him. So
yes, names were changed at Ellis. Not on purpose of course, but changed
nonetheless. A case in point are my wife's Grandparents. I have the manifest
showing their correct names when they landed at Ellis and proof that when
they left Ellis for the Lower East Side, they had a similar but different
name which stayed with them for 15 years until they Americanized the name. >>
Bureau of Immigration By laws prohibited an immigration officer >from actually
writing on a manifest. Your proof is no indication that the change of name
actually took place on Ellis Island. There is absolutely no form or vehicle
built into the process permitting an immigration officer to change a name.
With thousands of stories about name changes, there is absolutely no proof
that a name was ever changed on Ellis Island.
Yes, it is possible that an immigration officer may have mispronounced the
name when your ancestors were called up to the immigration desk for "manifest
Being in awe of the large building and people in uniform your ancestors may
have misinterpreted the B.O.I. officers mispronunciation as an imperative.
More likely, they changed their name when they got a bank account, answered a
census taker, registered for school, applied for a job, etc. I do not mean to
demean the wonderful stories passed down >from our ancestors, but just
because a "Bubba Miese" is repeated 10,000 times doesn't make it any less a
Bottom line - Ellis Island read manifests, did not touch them or mark them
except under the most extreme cases for administrative reasons and then only
by a supervisor, and no document exists in the system for name changes.
MODERATOR's NOTE: This thread has been thoroughly explored, and is now closed.