How do I find out why my great-grandfather emigrated from Lithuania under an assumed name? #lithuania

Perry Shorris

My great-grandfather, born Mordkhel Eliash Shores, emigrated from Kovno to America in 1898 under the name “Jossel Flink” (the name on the ship’s manifest and referenced in his naturalization records).  There are several theories as to why he might have sailed under this name: (1) he used another person’s passport to leave Lithuania; (2) he used a ticket for the ship that was issued under the name Jossel Flink; (3) he was escaping some kind of danger; etc.  On the ship’s manifest, he indicated that he would be joining his “cousin” Sam Shores in Chicago, but Sam was actually his brother.  In March, I sent in an application to the United States Citzenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) on the offhand chance that his file includes a letter or affidavit explaining the name discrepancy (the Declaration of Intention and Petition do not contain any explanation).  I have not received a response yet, and based on the posts of many people who have gone through this process, do not expect to get a response anytime soon.  Does anyone have any other suggestions as to how I might find some evidence as to why he used an assume name, which he had never used in Lithuania and immediately ditched when he arrived in America?
Perry M. Shorris

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