Re: "His name was changed at Ellis Island" #names

Barbara Mannlein <bsmannlein@...>

Have you ever known a government employee who didn’t generate paper?   

There is only 1 file backing up (sort of) the “name was changed at Ellis Island claim”  and that was of a woman traveling as a man.  The manifest was corrected  But she continued to use the male name after being admitted to the US.  If names were changed at ports of entry, wouldn’t you expect to see paper evidence?

The US gov’t also denies the story.  (see last item on list below.)

Names were NEVER changed at Ellis Island. Passenger manifests were created from the ticket registers containing the names used when tickets were bought. Names were checked off as passengers boarded. The departure manifest was then given to the Ellis Island officials who used it to create the arrival manifests copying **exactly** what was on the departure manifest.

Each passenger WORE A TAG giving his ship's name, manifest page # and line # (and hence his name). All the clerks did was to check the name off a manifest. The clerks did not write anything down at Ellis, they simply checked off the manifest.

It wasn't like a bus full of strangers arrived and officials asked what their name was. There was already a paper trail. EI clerks spoke 2-3 languages each. There was no reason to ask questions in English.

As for w or v, in Polish there is no "v":  "w" is pronounced "V".   My mom's maiden name was Weiser; pronounced Veiser in Polish.  Halpern is spelled Galpern in  Russian but pronounced Halpern.

As another researcher pointed out a few years ago, "if the Starbucks barista spells your name wrong on the cup, they aren't  forcing a "name change" on you, since there is no mechanism of enforcement."

1. "Ellis Island Isn’t to Blame for Your Family’s Name Change"

2. "They Changed Our Name at Ellis Island"

3.  "The Myth of Ellis Island and Other Tales of Origin"

4. "American Names / Declaring Independence"
      by Marian Smith, Immigration & Nationalization Svc Historian

5. "Why Your Family Name Was Not Changed at Ellis Island…. "

 6.  "Why Your Family Name Was Not Changed at Ellis Island"


 7. "The Ellis Island Name Change Myth"

 8.  "Jewish Americans changed their names, but not at Ellis Island"

 9. "Just How Were Passenger Manifests Created?"      (2009)
    [senior INS archivist Marion Smith, British genealogists Saul Issrof and Nick Evans.] 


10. "The “Ellis Island changed our name” myth" 

 11.   From the US GOVT:   (2013)

     “Immigrant Name Changes”

Barbara Mannlein
Tucson, AZ

On Jun 26, 2020, at 8:24 AM, YaleZuss via <> wrote:

I am fascinated by the assumption in many of these responses that I haven't done my homework.  No-one, including in a flurry of personal contacts, has mentioned an item that I hadn't seen already in my study.  I read each of them and then back-checked it; how many of you who cite these items have done so?
Jules, have you ever actually bothered to look at the data or think about your claims?  Do you know anyone who can speak 40 languages?  Does any of them work for the amount paid the immigration inspectors?  Has it ever occurred to you that there might be errors in government documents?
I started my study looking for the reasoning behind the meme, not to reject it, but as one claim after another proved to be wrong, based on faulty logic, or on methodological errors, I started wondering how it came about.  Then I heard from the USCIS Historians' Office that they didn't know where the meme came from.  I'm still working on that.  

Unless there is an actual proof that involuntary name-changes weren't possible, you cannot reject the name-change narratives out of hand.  Given the number of potential cases, around 37 million, and what is known about the operation of the immigration stations (it's discussed in the Congressional Record), the notion that involuntary name-changes were impossible because the immigration process operated flawlessly is simply absurd.
--Yale Zussman 

Join to automatically receive all group messages.