Date   

Re: "His name was changed at Ellis Island" #names

Jules Levin
 

On 6/25/2020 10:49 AM, JoAnne Goldberg wrote:
My Lithuanian ancestors arrived in the 1880s pre-Ellis, and since I
haven't found ship manifests I still don't know where they entered the
country, or under what name. However, family lore is that they had to
buy papers to travel from Lithuania to the United States, and could not
get their own so bought them from someone named Goldberg. Possible? And
if so, what became of the paperless Goldbergs left in Lithuania?
If Tsarist Russia was anything like the USSR, the paperless Goldbergs
could easily get replacement papers for the "lost" papers from a local
official for the price of a bottle of vodka.

Jules Levin






Curious
if anyone has a similar origin story.
--
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


Re: Kopyl (Kapule) #belarus

henrydneu
 

I, too, have an ancestral connection to Kopyl -- sort of.

I have very little documentation for my KIRZNER grandfather and his family.   In some U.S. documents he is listed as coming from Kletsk, a town about 20 miles (~32km) SW of Kopyl as the bird flies.  Family stories put his family on an orchard/farm outside of town.  I have slender information that this farm was in the direction of Kopyl, so I'm working on the theory that the family farm was about half-way between the two towns, and the family had connections to both towns.  Any KIRZNERs in Kopyl

A second mystery:  I'm also searching for a Jewish community in the same vicinity, based on a clue in the story of some refugees fleeing west to Kletsk in about 1924.  At that time, there was a roughly north-south running border between Kopyl and Kletsk.  They crossed secretly, at night, and struggled through the swamps along the border. They stopped at a synagogue just after crossing the border, then proceeded to Kletsk.   Was there a Jewish community in that area?  Contemporary Polish maps don't show any candidates -- but the maps often omit synagogues.

 Maybe someone descended from Kopyl knows, or can put me on the right path.   Anyone?

Thanks in advance!

Henry

Henry Neugass
Kletsk: KIRZNER
Wysokie-Litewskie: ZUBOV (or variant), GRYNFELD
Salem, Oregon USA


Re: "His name was changed at Ellis Island" #names

Jules Levin
 

Re why was this story perpetuated if there is no basis?

I would counter:  Do Italian-Americans, Greek-Americans,
German-Americans, Polish-Americans, etc, etc., have the same stories of
name changing?   Maybe the question is, why did specifically Jewish
families tell this bubbe  mayse?   My own theory is that many immigrants
were met at the dock by relatives who already were here and established
enough to invite siblings or cousins from the old country.  And the
first thing they heard was that "in America the family name is ......" 
All my cousins assured me that "Faivasovich" must have been changed at
Ellis Island to Morris.  When thru Jewishgen I found out that
Faivasovich was on the manifest, our founding greatgrandfather was
operating a business in Chicago 2 yrs after arrival with the name
Faivasovich, our grandmother was married in 1897 with that maiden name,
and ONLY in the census of 1900 hundred did Morris appear and Faivasovich
disappear!  Still they had believed the bobbe mayse. My own theory is
that the change on arrival by immigration officials (half of whom were
naturalized citizens themselves and among them spoke 40 languages) was
the least embarrassing and simplest to tell the children when they
started to ask about their names.

Jules Levin


On 6/25/2020 9:36 AM, peter.cohen@... wrote:

Smoke pours from the ears of veteran genealogists when they hear “his
name was changed by the immigration authorities”. Numerous analyses of
the experience of immigrants through Ellis Island and Castle Garden
offer convincing evidence that US immigration authorities used ship’s
manifests and the landing card pinned to the immigrant’s clothing to
determine their name and did not change anyone’s name.

So, why is the “my grandfather told me his name was changed at Ellis
Island” so widespread?  Either an entire generation of immigrants
conspired to lie to their children about how their name changed, or
SOMETHING actually happened.

Consider the case of my grandfather, who arrived via Castle Garden in
1891. All I know for sure is that his name was KEMAK on the 1891
manifest and COHEN on his 1895 marriage certificate. The story my
uncle told me was “when they asked his name, he gave his full Hebrew
name, including HaKohain and they wrote down Cohen.” My uncle would
have heard this directly from his father, who was the actual
immigrant. So where does the story come from?

A possibility:

The day he arrived, my grandfather was 19 years old, alone in a
strange country, whose language and customs he did not know.  It seems
likely to me that, when he left the immigration hall, tired and
bewildered, he would have been relieved to find a helpful Yiddish
speaker from an immigrant aid society (perhaps HIAS?) outside the
building. That person would have given him advice and direction. Part
of that advice might have been “no one here can pronounce your name,
your name should be _______.” It could have been as simple as the aid
society person writing down the immigrant’s name in Roman letters, so
that the immigrant would know how to write it. (Note that the stories
often say “they wrote down…”  Wrote down where? Apparently, immigrants
left the customs hall with no documentation from the US government.
So, if their name was written down and given to them, someone other
than a government agent did the writing.)  In my grandfather's case,
the name KEMAK was easy enough to pronounce, so that would not be a
reason to change it.  I lean in the direction of someone writing his
name in English, based on his Hebrew name and not his civil name. I do
not know who that someone was, but it almost certainly was not a
representative of the US government.

While we think of our grandparents as worldly and wise, at 19 years
old, they would have been neither, and could easily make the false
assumption that the HIAS person had some kind of government authority.


Re: "His name was changed at Ellis Island" #names

JoAnne Goldberg
 

My Lithuanian ancestors arrived in the 1880s pre-Ellis, and since I
haven't found ship manifests I still don't know where they entered the
country, or under what name. However, family lore is that they had to
buy papers to travel from Lithuania to the United States, and could not
get their own so bought them from someone named Goldberg. Possible? And
if so, what became of the paperless Goldbergs left in Lithuania? Curious
if anyone has a similar origin story.
--
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

 


Sapanta #romania

Saul
 

My father  was born in Sapanta(Spinka).

The family last name is David.


Re: looking for an email address for Todd Knowles #general

Barbara Mannlein <bsmannlein@...>
 


Googllng       “Todd Knowles” email address “

   1.  brings up the website of the Utah JGS.  
        that has an "about us “section which has  him listed as a Board member and  activities@... as an email for Todd.

   2. He’s also on Facebook…..


On Jun 25, 2020, at 9:17 AM, Trudy Barch <cousintrudy@...> wrote:

 

Recently I watched a webinar presented by Todd Knowles.   He gave his contact address at the end of his presentation and unfortunately, I can not find his address.

 

Does anyone have his email address?   Or can contact him and ask him to email me.     Thank you,
_._,_._,


Re: Cohanim and Levites #dna

Mikkitobi@...
 

Eva Lawrence I also suggest you Google the topic and you will be hard pressed to find any articles confirming your suggestion that name changes did take place on arrival by immigration officers.

See https://www.nypl.org/blog/2013/07/02/name-changes-ellis-island for a good, typical article from a reliable source.

Michael Tobias
Glasgow, Scotland


Dating photographs #photographs

Deanna Levinsky <DEANNASMAC@...>
 

With respect to dating photographs and making assumptions about the economic class of people
please consider that it wasn't unknown for the people being photographed to borrow clothing and jewelry
in order to look their best. In addition, photographers had props that they used in order to
stage the photos. Obviously, this would be most easily done in a portrait or small group picture.
--
Deanna Mandel Levinsky, Long Island, NY


Re: Seeking information on a village named Horodok, Vilna #lithuania

Alexander Sharon
 

As the addition to my previous message regarding Horodok near Molodechno, please refer to the entries in town’s 1921 statistical data as shown in 1929 Poland Business Directory at

 

https://www.jewishgen.org/databases/poland/1929/P2077.pdf

 

Jewish folks have been representing 70% of the total number of the local town residents, and nearly all economical positions.

Perhaps Bette Grienfield, who has initiated this thread, can forward data from 1929 Directory to Horodok, Belarus town’s folks who are working on town Jewish History to reproduce the names from the Directory on their site.

 

BTW Bette, two of the names that you are researching: A. Sznill (Haberdashing) and O. Szepszenwort (Flour) are shown in the Directory listing.

 

Alexander Sharon

JGFF editor


Re: Cohanim and Levites #dna

Mikkitobi@...
 

Eva Lawrence you misunderstood my posting. The clerks I was referring to were those who created the manifests on departure from Europe. 

I am not suggesting people did not change their own surnames around the time they immigrated, but the names were not changed for them and the names were not changed on arrival. No time frames or place markers are required.

Search the JewishGen archives and you will see that this subject has been discussed many times and the myth busted.

Michael Tobias
Glasgow, Scotland


"His name was changed at Ellis Island" #names

Peter Cohen
 

Smoke pours from the ears of veteran genealogists when they hear “his name was changed by the immigration authorities”. Numerous analyses of the experience of immigrants through Ellis Island and Castle Garden offer convincing evidence that US immigration authorities used ship’s manifests and the landing card pinned to the immigrant’s clothing to determine their name and did not change anyone’s name.

 

So, why is the “my grandfather told me his name was changed at Ellis Island” so widespread?  Either an entire generation of immigrants conspired to lie to their children about how their name changed, or SOMETHING actually happened.

 

Consider the case of my grandfather, who arrived via Castle Garden in 1891. All I know for sure is that his name was KEMAK on the 1891 manifest and COHEN on his 1895 marriage certificate. The story my uncle told me was “when they asked his name, he gave his full Hebrew name, including HaKohain and they wrote down Cohen.” My uncle would have heard this directly from his father, who was the actual immigrant. So where does the story come from?

 

A possibility:

The day he arrived, my grandfather was 19 years old, alone in a strange country, whose language and customs he did not know.  It seems likely to me that, when he left the immigration hall, tired and bewildered, he would have been relieved to find a helpful Yiddish speaker from an immigrant aid society (perhaps HIAS?) outside the building. That person would have given him advice and direction. Part of that advice might have been “no one here can pronounce your name, your name should be _______.” It could have been as simple as the aid society person writing down the immigrant’s name in Roman letters, so that the immigrant would know how to write it. (Note that the stories often say “they wrote down…”  Wrote down where? Apparently, immigrants left the customs hall with no documentation from the US government. So, if their name was written down and given to them, someone other than a government agent did the writing.)  In my grandfather's case, the name KEMAK was easy enough to pronounce, so that would not be a reason to change it.  I lean in the direction of someone writing his name in English, based on his Hebrew name and not his civil name. I do not know who that someone was, but it almost certainly was not a representative of the US government.

While we think of our grandparents as worldly and wise, at 19 years old, they would have been neither, and could easily make the false assumption that the HIAS person had some kind of government authority.


Searching KESSLER, Brooklyn, NY #usa

SANDI ROOT
 

Searching (probably Brooklyn, NY) family of Beatrice (COHEN) KESSLER, husband: Harold KESSLER.  They have 1 (known) child: Stuart KESSLER, b. 1949.  Beatrice is one of two daughters of my grandmother’s brother, my great uncle, Julius COHEN, w: Clara (OFFMAN/HOFFMAN) COHEN. Any help appreciated.

Sandi Root, 

 roadrunr2@...


looking for an email address for Todd Knowles #general

Trudy Barch
 

Hi genners,

 

Recently I watched a webinar presented by Todd Knowles.   He gave his contact address at the end of his presentation and unfortunately, I can not find his address.

 

Does anyone have his email address?   Or can contact him and ask him to email me.     Thank you,

 

Trudy Barch,  Florida


Re: ViewMate translation request - Hungarian #hungary #translation

Schonfeld.family@...
 

I have 2 remarks regarding the excellent translation posted on ViewMate:

jaras is district both Bator (Nyirbator) and and Nagykallo were districts in Szabolcs (and not Szabolc) county

The mother's birthplace is Bogat (Nyirbogat).

Jacob Shayzaf


Re: Seeking information on a village named Horodok, Vilna #lithuania

shimona@...
 

My grandfather came from a village in the region near Gorodok.  The village was called Trellisey.  My brother and I visited the whole area (including Gorodok) in 2008.  My grandfather, Shimon Soloveichik, was a student in the Volozhin Yeshiva and when he contracted typhus during the epidemic there he was sent to live with his cousin, Rabbi Nissan Broide, who  was rabbi in the town and with whom he continued to study for two more years. Hope this adds a bit of information.

We remember that at the time of our visit we met a local man who spoke of a museum which existed but was closed.  He also took us to the site of the massacre of the Jewish residents of Gorodok in a field outside the town.


Re: Geography mystery: Did any part of Polish Russia became German between 1880 and 1900? Specifically where? #poland #germany

Anna Doggart
 

My grandfather whose family came from Minsk, now Belarus, was put as a Pole on a letter to British Home office applying to come to live and work in Britain in 1931. As far as we were concerned, he was Russian. He was born in 1876 we think in Minsk. He lived for a short time in Orsha, also now Belarus but at that time, like Minsk, part of the Russian Empire. He spoke Russian. His sons when they applied to come to Britain recorded themselves as Russian. My grandfather left Minsk in late 1918 or early 1919. We think maybe the Poles were there around that time and he got papers from them? Once he had left, he like other emigres would have lost his Russian citizenship under Lenin’s decree that all those who left would no longer be Russian and so he would be stateless and presumably unable to apply to come to Britain as a Russian. Of course he only left under duress as he was told that he was I on a death list and frightened of pogroms. He took his wife and children to Bad Kreuznach in Germany, hoping to return home when things settled down but that was impossible so he went to Berlin. By 1930 he was applying From Berlin to come to Britain. The Kew records office provided us with copies of his letters to and from the Home office. He gained permission for himself, his wife and one son in 1932. His other 4 children were left behind in Germany. We’d love to understand why he wrote himself down as a Pole so like you we want to know if and when Minsk was ruled by Poles and if they did issue identification papers to Minsk residents and if so, why. By the way his other 4 children all managed to get out during 1930s and survived.
Thanks Anna Doggart


Re: What is an "instrument"? #general

Chana Bonn
 

If this information is from a transcription, perhaps the word should have been transcribed "interment".


Re: Tombstone Translation #photographs #translation

fredelfruhman
 

I want to thank Debbie Lifshitz (and Leya Aronson of Toronto, who posted a reply separately) for bringing up a possible reading that had completely slipped my mind:  b'sayvah tovah, meaning that someone had died of a "ripe old age".

I have not looked at life expectancy for those days, but it seems to me -- based upon my own family tree and relatives who died back then -- that 62 may have been considered a "ripe old age" in 1912.  That being said, I have seen this abbreviation immediately before the date of death even on stones of those had died at a much younger age.

It seems to me that EITHER interpretation -- "with a good name" or "at a ripe old age" -- might be correct, and we will probably never know which was intended.
 
Fredel Fruhman
Brooklyn, New York, USA


Re: Seeking information on a village named Horodok, Vilna #lithuania

Alexander Sharon
 

This town was entered into JGFF database as:  Haradok, (near Molodechno), and there are 134 entries by the Genners for this location in the system.

https://www.jewishgen.org/Communities/community.php?usbgn=-1943310


Re: Tombstone Translation #photographs #translation

Dubin, David M. MD
 

Hi all,
As to the abbreviation (bet-)shin-tav (ש״ט) I have an ancestor who died at age thirty who had this abbreviation on his stone. Therefore it does not mean “b’seiva tova (in old age). It means “b’shem tov”, that is, with a good reputation. 
David Dubin
Teaneck, New Jersey 

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