Thanks for bringing this up, Perry. I have wondered the same for years,
and still don't have a good explanation for the name changes.
In my case, multiple family members traveled from Lithuania to the US in
the 1880s after apparently buying papers that allowed them to change
their surnames. So my questions:
* What kind of documents did someone need to leave Lithuania in the late
* Who was able to get these documents? And why was it apparently so hard
for people to procure documents in their own name?
*What happened to the sellers of these documents? Without papers, were
they stuck in their home towns for the rest of their lives?
JoAnne Goldberg - Menlo Park, California; GEDmatch M131535
BLOCH, SEGAL, FRIDMAN, KAMINSKY, PLOTNIK/KIN -- LIthuania
GOLDSCHMIDT, HAMMERSCHLAG,HEILBRUNN, REIS(S), EDELMUTH, ROTHSCHILD, SPEI(Y)ER -- Hesse, Germany
COHEN, KAMP, HARFF, FLECK, FRÖHLICH, HAUSMANN, DANIEL -- Rhineland, Germany