Learning Original Surname #ukraine


CheriUnger@...
 

Hello,

I've just started to research my mother's family who came form (we think)
Fastov, Ukraine.
One of my major problems is that I have no idea what the family's original
name was.

It was "Americanized" to BELOFF when they hit Ellis Island and as of now,
they have no relationship to other Beloff's.

Can anyone give me some help in determining the original name?
Thanks,

Cheri Ungerleider
Searching: BELOFF Fastov, Ukraine

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Doug Cohen
 

Names were never never never changed at Ellis Island. Manifest forms were
filled out on board ship, and only checked off by the Ellis Island
personnel. Name changes usually took place as part of the naturalization
process, some 7+ years after immigration.

Find your immigrant ancestor's naturalization papers; they will tell you
the name under which s/he immigrated -- and the ship so that you can find
the immigration manifest.

Naturalization papers will be filed in the archives of the appropriate
court. Where did your immigrant ancestor reside? US Archives for that area
will have the naturalization papers.

Good luck.

Doug Cohen
Lexington, MA
DMC@...

----- Original Message -----
From: <CheriUnger@...>

I've just started to research my mother's family who came form (we think)
Fastov, Ukraine.
One of my major problems is that I have no idea what the family's original
name was.

It was "Americanized" to BELOFF when they hit Ellis Island and as of now,
they have no relationship to other Beloff's.

Can anyone give me some help in determining the original name?
Thanks,

Cheri Ungerleider


Rayvenna <rayvenna@...>
 

Cheri,
The "my name was changed at Ellis Island" story is almost always a myth.
There were frequently mistakes and mispellings, but the name was never
changed since they copied the name directly >from the ship manifest.
There are several ways to discover a "real" name.
1. Look at the ship manifest. If they definitely came through Ellis
Island, then the manifest an be read online. The easiest way to search it
is with Steve Morse's wonderful tools at:
http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/EIDB/. Once you find the family, I
strongly suggest shelling out the money to order a large paper copy from
Ellis Island. The large print makes names blurry details come out really
well; it's definitely worth it.
2. Look at the naturalization papers. These sometimes have original
names and can give you information on finding the ship manifest if they
did not immigrate through Ellis Island.
3. If they came through Canada, look at the Canadian Board Crossing
lists. Those can be found at the National Archives (of America).
4. Look at the Hamburg database. A lot of Immigrants came through there;
I've had success particularly with ancestors who passed through England on
their way to america:
http://www.linktoyourroots.hamburg.de/index/1,2709,JGdlbz0zJG9rPTE5MTA1JHVrPSQ_,00.html
5. Look at voter registration records in the county where the ancestor
settled. If the person changed their name as a part of obtaining
citizenship, then it will be recorded in the citizenship papers. However,
some immigrants had their names legally changed AFTER becomming citizens.
Voter records will have the name change (and better yet, information on
where the name change was recorded) on the voter registration card.
6. Trace your ancestor through the U.S. Census records. The originally
name was usually (but not always) something similar to the Americanized
version. If you have a large immigrant family, you can frequently use the
children, parents first names, and place of origin to find the original
name in the census once they "disappear" with the Americanized name. If
you're searching the census with ancestory.com, please keep in mind that
their indexing has large holes in it. You may want to check the soundex
at NARA (the US National Archives).
7. Trace your ancestor through city directories. This is definitely an
overlooked resource. Sometimes the directory will list spouses and
working children as well as the ancestor. This can be used to trace name
changes, particularly if the Americanized version of the name is similar
to the original name. You can also match the directory occupation to the
one(s) listed in the census, giving you a year-by-year picture of the
ancestor.
Happy hunting!
Mindie
http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/k/a/p/Mindie-J-Kaplan-MD/

On Mon, 6 Sep 2004 CheriUnger@... wrote:
It was "Americanized" to BELOFF when they hit Ellis Island and as of
now,
they have no relationship to other Beloff's.

Can anyone give me some help in determining the original name?
Thanks,

Cheri Ungerleider
Searching: BELOFF Fastov, Ukraine


Rayvenna <rayvenna@...>
 

I'd like to make a quick correction to Doug's excellent response;
the US Archives will have the naturalization papers ONLY if the immigrant
filed in a state court (in my experience, this happened more with later
immigrants). If they filed in County court, then the county archives will
have the records.

Mindie

On Mon, 6 Sep 2004, Doug Cohen wrote:
Find your immigrant ancestor's naturalization papers; they will tell
you the name under which s/he immigrated -- and the ship so that you can
find the immigration manifest.

Naturalization papers will be filed in the archives of the appropriate
court. Where did your immigrant ancestor reside? US Archives for that
area will have the naturalization papers.

Good luck.

Doug Cohen
Lexington, MA
DMC@...


Ida & Joseph Schwarcz
 

This is not necessarily so. My parents came with their baby as Kitaigorodsky
and two weeks later, when she died, she was buried as Norma Cohen. My father
told me that they took the name Cohen right after they came because the
relative who met them at Ellis Island told them Kitaigorodsky was not a name
for America.
Ida Selavan Schwarcz
Arad, Israel

Dr. Joseph M. Schwarcz
Dr. Ida Selavan Schwarcz
Tappuah 7/3, Arad
IL-89053, Israel

-----Original Message-----
From: Doug Cohen [mailto:DMC@...]
Subject: Re: [ukraine] Learning Original Surname

Names were never never never changed at Ellis Island. Manifest forms were
filled out on board ship, and only checked off by the Ellis Island
personnel. Name changes usually took place as part of the naturalization
process, some 7+ years after immigration. >snip<