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


karen.silver@juno.com
 

Hi Peter,
 
Thank you for your input, but I think this discussion needs to come to an end.  Part of genealogy research is finding out the truth about your ancestors.  This search inevitably reveals information that was withheld from the descendants of the original immigrants.  My great grandparents and grandparents came between 1900 and 1905 and were very secretive.  I won't go into everything that I found out, but will assure you that both my parents, first generation Americans, were astounded by what they didn't know.
 
As for name changes, let the experience of my family serve as an example against making assumptions.  My maternal grandparents came in 1903-1905 under the name Pochinke and Poczinker and changed their name to Pachilkin and later to Pochilky.  They never told their children the original name and no it was not changed at Ellis Island.  I have found records confirming the original name on Jewishgen.org.  When my eldest uncle married in 1934, his wife objected to the name Pochilky.  She chose the name Perrin and everyone's name was legally changed in 1937.  Over the years I heard that the name came from Lee & Perrin's Worcestershire sauce.  It seemed logical since my uncle's wife's name was Lee.  Other people believed the name came from Perrineville, NJ where a relative lived.  The truth according to my Aunt Lee was neither.  She just liked the name.  I had the opportunity to ask Aunt Lee; most people today don't.  And because of that we must be careful not to over-generalize or make assumptions.

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