Name changes before emigrating #names #romania

Nina Tobias

Hello again to everyone,

There is a story floating around my family that I would very much like to debunk or establish as fact. 

My great-uncle Max Swarttz was the first of my maternal grandfather's immediate family to emigrate to the United States. I have not yet found an arrival record for him but various other sources point to 1881, most likely in Philadelphia.

The story, according to a first cousin of mine, is that the name in Iasi was not Swarttz but Markowitz and that Max took on the name of some orphans he was traveling with. Max had great success in the clothing business (surprise!) and, in 1902, sponsored the emigration of his widower father and his much younger siblings, Leon (my grandfather) and Clara. According to the documentation from the Special Board of Inquiry, the family name for those about to travel was Schwartz - obviously a misspelling of Swarttz.

My question is this: if the family left behind in Iasi were indeed Markowitz, how easy would it have been for the Markowitz's to establish themselves as "Swarttz" to travel to the United States? Was there any formal documentation required when travelers purchased tickets?

With thanks,

Nina Tobias
Scottsdale, Arizona

Researching: HOROWITZ (Iasi, Romania; Odessa)
                      SWARTZ (Iasi, Romania; Philadelphia; Chicago)
                      TOBIAS (Rymanow, Galicia; Chicago)
,                     VOROBYEV, GOLDMAN, VERB (Russia; Chicago)

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