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


Jules Levin asked:
Do Italian-Americans, Greek-Americans,
German-Americans, Polish-Americans, etc, etc., have the same stories of
name changing?
Oh, yes. In spades. _Everyone_ believes it, totally without regard to specific origins. I've heard the "name changed at Ellis Island" myth from Italians, Hungarians, Jews, Catholics, whites, blacks, and everyone in between.

It's enough for a family story to include the phrases "name change" and "Ellis Island" for people to jump straight to the myth. Even if the family story is specifically that the name _wasn't_ changed at Ellis Island, what the genealogical neophyte comes away with is the exact opposite. Confirmation bias, I think it's called.

Julia Szent-Györgyi
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