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I had the same problem. My family was Singman in NYC and Washington DC . They arrived in 1888 from Vilna as Schimkov but with the help of a native Russian who suggested the name Sinko I was able to find the many extended family using The All Lithuania Database from Gelvonai, Sirvintos and Jonava. I am now finding the living descendants of those who came to the US and now live in NYC, Memphis, Baltimore, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and more.
Unfortunately, even Yad Vashem produced results.
On Mar 18, 2021, at 4:20 PM, Adelle Gloger via groups.jewishgen.org <agloger=AOL.COM@...> wrote:
This discussion has centered around variant spellings of surnames. It isn't just spellings, it could also be pronunciation of that name.
My late mother-in-law who arrived in NYC in 1906 (8 years old) showed up on the 1910 US Census, and on her naturalization documents in the early 1940s indicating the name with which she entered the country was HAMSHANSKY. For years I searched that name, and came up empty handed.
Years ago on one of the JewishGen digests someone, in general, suggested repeating the name with, in this case, a Russian/Yiddish accent. I did just that and found, not only my mother-in-law and her brothers, but two older sisters who had arrived here several years earlier. The name was -- CHRAMZENKE. When I found the passenger list, that was the name listed. Incidentally, somewhere the family name became ORCHEN. Go figure!!
Adelle Weintraub Gloger
Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey