Re: Legal name change? #general

Warren Blatt <wblatt@...>

Shoshana Arnold <darnold@...> wrote:

My great-grandfather's name was listed on his Certificate of Arrival
(>from Russia) as being Peisach Arschinow. However, on his Declaration
of Intent, Petition of Naturalization,Oath of Allegiance, etc.
it lists his name as Phillip Arshinoff.

The same is true of my great-grandmother. Her Certificate of Arrival
(>from Russia) says Cirle Arschinow, but all the other papers say Sylvia
(or in some cases, Celia or Sillia). I knew her briefly when
she was alive and everyone called her Sylvia.

So my question is, would they have had to undergo a legal name change
to do this? Or did they just anglicize their names? Or perhaps both
names were legal (ie. Peisach, obviously a Hebrew name and Phillip
being his English name,etc.)?

If they did do a legal name change, where would I find these records?
The vast majority of immigrants did not undergo any legal process
to change their names... they just started using new "American" names,
soon after their arrival and assimilation. Only a tiny handful went
to court to legally change their names.

There is no official documentation of these other name changes,
other than the naturalization records which you have located.

Note that the "Certificate of Arrival" is simply a transcription
of the entry that appeared on the ship's passenger manifest.
Each "Certificate of Arrival" was created by the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS) after the immigrant applied for
citizenship, as part of the INS' verification procedures.

The ship's passenger manifest was written on board the ship,
before arrival, and therefore contain the European, pre-Americanized
name. See the JewishGen FAQ and the most recent issue of "Avotaynu"
for more information.


Warren Blatt
Boston, MA

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