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

David Harrison

I tried to reply yesterday but the server was down for more than an hour and this may be the wrong e-address.

My grandfather from Russian Poland came to England from Poland via Berlin and Paris and whose documentation is a story of myth and invention all devised because of a belief in the power of a state Police Force.  Therefore I might suggest that a person going through Ellis Island might feel unable to argue with or change any name written oon a paper in a foreign language.  In these cases not only was the language different, but so was the character set.  Do not forget that in Czarist times (before 1917) Jewish men were leaving because they wanted to avoid 25 years in the Army. Some of them could escape, but most of the non-Jewish population were Serfs, not much better than slaves and in the Army as the quota from their owner.  I think that this far away in time some of you are forgetting the effective system at that time or any other time and do not use present day values,  I am 

aged 89 and remember well that because I passed an exam aged10, I did not leave school and start work aged 14 as had my parents.  But also I was allowed to come home alone from Boarding School into the London Blitz aged 10, the 60 miles in one train, cross London by Underground  (Railway) and then take another train 10 miles, before walking a mile home;  It would not be allowed today.   Later, aged 16 I travelled to France alone to visit a pen -friend and he later came over to me.

David Harrison, Birmingham, England 


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