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


Lee Jaffe
 

Thanks for moving the discussion to a new thread.  I have a name change case in my family and a more general related question.

My great-grandfather was born Mendel Stzejnsapir. In Bialystok in 1864  We found him in departure documents  traveling 1891 from Liverpool to NYC under the name Mendel Sapier.  We dont on't know when or how he got from Bialystok to England.  Once in the US he adopted the name Stein.  I have no idea about the  how of why of theses changes but I'm interested in knowing the mechanics of identity in crossing borders.  What kind of ID would a Jew in the Pale have and what would they need to cross borders?  I assume a passport was not an option.  If they left the Pale without papers, how could they purchase passage sailing to the US?  I assume that there'd be some leeway if you could show you were in transit to another destination but they'd need to have ID papers  of some sort at later stages of the crossing.  How did that work?

Lee Jaffe

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