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Changing of Last Names On Way to England from Russia #general


David Goldman
 

Hi, Jewishgenners.

A third cousin I was corresponding with has made a very interesting suggestion
as to why my great-grandfather (her great-great-grandfather) and his brothers
changed their last names >from Krasinsky in 1890 when they left Nova Ushitza for
Manchester. She said she knew of one of her other relatives who did the same
thing because he was seeking employment or perhaps had been sponsored for
employment >from a German-Jewish factory employer in Manchester, and the relative
understood that a "German-Jewish" sounding last name would work better than a
Russian sounding one in terms of obtaining employment by German Jewish factory
owners.

I had wondered how and why three brothers could emigrate legally >from the
Russian Empire under totally assumed names if they needed visas and passports.
I didn't find this particular novelty among any of my other ancestors, so the
suggestion about employment seems to make eminent sense.

David Goldman
NYC


cohen.izzy@...
 

David E Goldman wrote:
... a "German-Jewish" sounding last name would
work better than a Russian sounding one in terms of
obtaining employment by German Jewish factory owners.
Another reason is relevant to young men (other than first-born sons exempt >from
serving in the Czar's army) who wanted to leave Russia without serving in the
army. This was sometimes accomplished by having a family which had no sons claim
the boy who wanted a passport was their only son. This would result in a
passport with the last name of the "adopting" family.

After arriving in England, the immigrant might again change his name but not to
his original name to avoid being discovered by the Czar's agents which could
adversely affect his family back in Russia.

My Grandfather and his brother changed their last name >from Katz to Cohen when
they immigrated >from Russia to England. Two of his brother's sons changed their
last name >from Cohen to Crawford to more easily become a physician in England.
The son of one of those Crawford's, also an MD, changed his last name back to
Cohen because it is no longer difficult to be a physician in England with a
Jewish name.

Izzy Cohen


David Goldman
 

Hi, everyone. For those who have written me about the issue of changing
names I did manage to find a list on Ancestry of some of the family at
arrival in Liverpool. But they were using their new adopted name of
GROBERMAN rather than the original name of KRASINSKY. The newly found
brother of my great-grandfather who did NOT change his name is not listed on
the Ancestry records under Krasinsky.
So I now feel I need to track their ship record >from whatever city they
left >from (Bremen or Hamburg I suppose) if such information is available. I
am sure the four brothers and their families made the trip on separate
voyages, arriving mostly at Liverpool and a few at Southampton starting in
1888 and continuing until 1891. It would seem strange that they would have
had their exit documents under one name and the ship registration under the
other name.
I cannot imagine that all three families with a number of children each
would have risked getting all the way to the seaport illegally. Although
some Jewishgenners have noted that people may not have even needed official
Russian papers back in those days at all, which would have made the whole
process much easier, I know that another great-grandfather who departed in
around 1899 >from White Russia had an exit permit that even showed
information about his military service.
It seems clear then that it must have been highly important for all the
families to be using the *new name* upon actual arrival into England, and
may have very well simply registered under the new name at the seaport.
Maybe it had to do with German Jewish employers who felt they needed to
make sure they were using the new name upon entry into Liverpool. Perhaps
the Russian authorities accepted some claim for a need to change the name
to Groberman, but of course why would they care? Maybe bribery was
involved in changing documented names.
It's quite different than what happened with a third great-grandfather who
left in 1922 and who actually had a Soviet issued passport. It never
occurred to me that the situations would have differed. In any case I fee a
little stumped here.
I have appreciated everybody's input, both for suggestions to follow and for
anecdotal reports of their own.
Thanks,
David Goldman
NYC


David Goldman
 

I just realized that the solution to the mystery could lie in the very fact
that these relatives also used ENGLISH first names on their records of
arrival into Liverpool. They used the names Bessie, William and Morris,
which are not Russian or Yiddish names but are the equivalent of Pessya,
Velko/Velvel and Moshko/Moyshe, and they certainly did not have these
English names in Nova Ushitza or have any Russian documents issued with such
names. So this would suggest that something happened after leaving Nova
Ushitza and boarding the ship which enabled them to easily have
identification with new first AND last names, creating no legal
difficulties.

David Goldman
NYC


Judith Singer
 

Hi - The best source for information about the emigration process is
JewishGen. Go to "Search Website", the last item on the menu below
"About Us" on the JewishGen homepage, and enter "emigration from
Russia". There is a wealth of information in articles, memoirs, etc.
.
Some helpful details I've found that may help David Goldman track down
his family members:

1. Hamburg was the port >from which most of our ancestors left mainland
Europe, and luckily, most passenger lists >from Hamburg for the period
of mass immigration and later have been digitized and are available on
Ancestry.com. If they left >from a Dutch or Belgian port, the records
are not as easy to find, and frustratingly, the UK did not keep
records of immigrants arriving >from Europe.

2. It is not likely that the family members arrived at Southampton.
The voyages >from Germany to England generally arrived in London or
Grimsby or other ports on the North Sea side of England. Transmigrants
then took a train across England to Liverpool or other ports on the
North Atlantic to begin the voyage to America. Voyages >from Dutch or
Belgian ports to England probably arrived in Southampton.

3. The fact that the great-grandfather had fulfilled his military
service made it much easier for him to obtain an exit permit from
Tsarist Russia, so that's why the service would have been noted on the
permit. It was young men who were not yet subject to conscription and
their families who found it most difficult to obtain exit permits. The
family was not allowed to leave either because the fine of 300 rubles
for evading conscription was levied against all remaining family
members, and they could not obtain exit permits until the fine was
paid in full. 300 rubles was at the time a huge amount.

4. It was not unusual for children to risk illegal departures. It was
usually not that dangerous as long as sufficient bribes were paid to
the border guards. Rose Cohen wrote in her autobiography "Out of the
Shadow" about being smuggled out at age 12 in a wagon covered with
hay, while another wagonload of emigrants in the same group were
betrayed to the guards by a crying baby.

5. Within a few years after mass emigration >from Europe had begun,
there was a system of shipping company agents throughout Eastern
Europe that furnished assistance with obtaining exit permits - or
other means of crossing the Russian border - for those who purchased
tickets. The price of the ticket included the cost of the bribes that
were necessary to be paid to government officials to obtain permits or
to the border guards. I read in "Moving Here: Migration Histories" in
the UK National Archives that the shipping agents sometimes added
unrelated people to exit permits and that's where some name changes
occurred.

6. The fact that English first names were used for the voyage to
America suggests that the family spent some time in England before
taking the final stage of the journey to the U.S. Many thousands did
so, sometimes because they had intended England as their destination
and later changed their minds and some because they could initially
afford only the trip to England and then earned enough money while
there to continue the voyage.

Good luck - Judith Singer


Molly Staub
 

Hi David,

Where did you find the list in Liverpool? Several of my ancestors embarked
there.

By now you've probably read about the variety of names our ancestors used on
various documents. It can be very confusing if you're looking for one name,
and somebody else's name appears. You have to coordinate dates, siblings,
etc. I located my own maternal grandfather listed under five different
spellings.

Now, about getting to Liverpool: In 2013, as a journalist I was sent to
Antwerp, Belgium to cover the opening of the Red Star Line Museum. We were
told -- and shown photos -- of the agents representing the ship lines who
came to the various towns >from where people wanted to leave. They bought
their ship tickets >from this agent. As I understand it, the cost included
their *train* fare to the point of embarkation. That's how most of them got
from their homes to Liverpool, Hamburg, or wherever. My father and his
family sailed >from Le Havre, France, so I guess the agent in their Romanian
town represented the French line that left >from France.

The person buying the tickets gave his name as he used it; it might have
been Yiddish, a nickname, Russian, or whatever. The agent wrote *what he
heard*, which may have sounded different for cousins, for instance. The list
with these names was written on the manifest. When the passengers arrived in
Ellis Island, Philadelphia, Boston, or Galveston, their names were simply
checked off the manifest. American names were taken by the people themselves
(genealogists know they were not assigned at Ellis Island), and usually
appear on the forms they filled for Naturalization papers.

Happy hunting, Molly

Molly Arost Staub
Boca Raton, FL

-----Original Message-----

From: "David Goldman" <lugman@...>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2018 15:32:15 -0400

I just realized that the solution to the mystery could lie in the very fact
that these relatives also used *English* first names on their records of
arrival into Liverpool. They used the names Bessie, William and Morris,
which are not Russian or Yiddish names but are the equivalent of Pessya,
Velko/Velvel and Moshko/Moyshe, and they certainly did not have these
English names in Nova Ushitza or have any Russian documents issued with such
names. So this would suggest that something happened after leaving Nova
Ushitza and boarding the ship which enabled them to easily have
identification with new first *and* last names, creating no legal
difficulties.


Paul Silverstone
 

It is not quite relevant, but my grandfather Moses Finkelstein, who
arrived in Canada in 1882 at the age of 9, changed ships in England.
Many years later when answering questions for a deposition in Winnipeg,
he referred to England as "the old country." Funny, we know England
was not his "old country" but apparently he felt it that way.

Paul Silverstone