Buying false papers


While doing a serious study of the "no involuntary name-changes on immigration" meme, I reviewed the Congressional debate leading up to the passage of the Naturalization Act of 1906 (HR 15442).  One of the reasons for this act was the perception that there was an organized business selling "copies" of documents necessary to immigrate to the United States that involved at least some Immigration personnel. Documents sold included those establishing that a person, who might never have been to America, was a citizen, and thus eligible to return regardless of whether he met entrance requirements established beginning with the Immigration Act of 1882.  People who bought these documents obviously had to pose as the person in whose name they initially had been issued; whether they subsequently used that name, after getting into America, is a key issue in the "no involuntary name-changes on immigration" meme.

In passing, let me mention that none of the claims made against the involuntary name-changes narratives stands up to scrutiny and that I have identified a mechanism that would lead immigrants to believe their name(s) had been changed involuntarily by the immigration process.  Needless-to-say, this conclusion has been met with stiff resistance from the genealogical establishment.

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