A. We have a moderator who can make the call if the post is wasteful or
not. I believe we should welcome new searchers and help them along as has
been the case on this site As I expand my search to my wife's family I
have found the other sites really cooperative, Romanaia for example,
where I am starting fresh.
I for one have made contact a cousin's brother in law and he has been a
truly great resource in teaming with me in my search.
B. This is not a flame but my grandfather's name and my father and GMs
names were spelled differently on their respective ship's manifests of
which I have copies. So at a minimum we know the shipping companies were
not models of consistency and certainly did not have standard approaches.
In the USA people registering our ancestors as you have said did not have
the "authority" to change names and according to what I was told were
often immigrants themselves. If you think there weren't misspellings and
mistakes, bad copying etc., purposeful or not,and if you think that the
average immigrant was going to challenge authority that could send them
back, it is simply not the case. So, bottom line, you're right no
authority to do so, but somehow it happened nevertheless, I'll blame
fatigue and human error. Sort of like what happens when you count votes