New Find Raises Questions about Family Name: #poland #names

Gail H. Marcus

The Grossman branch of my family came from Lomza, Poland.  All U.S. records show the name Grossman.  But we never found immigration records.  Recently, an immigration record (attached) was discovered for a family that arrived about the right time (1895) to the right port (NY), consisting of a mother and 6 children, ALL 7 with names and birth order that match the Grossman family and ages that are consistent with the Grossman family.  Seems like more than chance.  BUT the family name shown looks like Penesuch!  I know that some people came over on false papers and some people changed their names here.  But which is it?  I thought if I could find any birth or other records under either surname in Poland, I could figure it out, but I'm having trouble finding anything at all.  I don't have much experience with the JRI-Poland records, so I wonder if I'm missing something.  Can anyone suggest anything that might help?

In addition to what is on the manifest, there are U.S. records that indicate that the oldest child (Wolf here, William in the U.S.) said  he was born in Ostraleka, and that the 3 youngest children said they were born in Lomza (and the youngest is actually Perl, not Berl).  The mother (Feige) and father (who traveled separately) were buried by the Wizner Society, which I know isn't absolute proof of place of birth.  U.S. records that give DOBs vary (of course!), but most are within a couple of years of the DOBs that the ages in this manifest suggest.  The other possibly useful pieces of information are that the father's Yiddish name was Beryl Leib (Dov Arieh in Hebrew, and usually Barnett in the U.S.), and Feige's maiden name was Schneider (possibly spelled Sznajder in Poland).  This manifest was for the ship "State of California," arriving from Glasgow on Aug. 27, 1895.

I'd really appreciate any help or suggestions to solve this mystery.

Gail Marcus

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