Re: Name Variations (was: "His name was changed at Ellis Island") #names


Hi Jeremy,

Your Noodle case is quite a puzzle.  All I can tell you is the identifying information (like name) on the US manifest in 1935 had to match their travel documents.  To enter the US in 1935 they would require both a passport and a US non-immigrant visa (he'd have to show the passport to get the visa).  You say he wasn't naturalized in UK until the next year, 1936, so would the UK have issued him a passport in/before 1935?  Or would he still have an older passport with perhaps an "older" name?

That might explain the amended manifest, which could have begun with the name he gave when purchasing the ticket but was updated after he showed his US nonimmigrant visa to the SS Company (all before the ship sailed).

It is important to understand the role of those travel documents in preparation of the US manifests.  The name change story really doesn't apply after 1918 when the US began requiring passports, since the manifest name was to be based on the passport document.  Any variation should be a typo or similar error.  Beginning July 1, 1924, the manifest information came from the US immigrant visa which included a certified copy of their birth record.  Non-immigrant visas (like the Noodle's), as noted above, would reflect a name on a passport.  My point is these documentary requirements beginning 1918 ended the previous "free for all" game of telephone that generated earlier passenger list data.

Marian Smith

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