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Name Changes on Passenger Lists #general


Ada Glustein
 

To the best of my understanding, the original passenger lists were drawn up and handwritten by the pursers of the ship.  And I agree totally that they wrote down the names as heard by them.  In my own family's case, arriving in Canada on a ship that left from Antwerop, Belgium, I found my family's surname was written as "Gluckstein", perhaps a name familiar to the purser, at least moreso than Glustein.  The name originally was pronounced "Gluzshtein" (gluz-shteyn).  The children's first names also had the same "sound"; you could tell how they got to the name that was written, but not all the names were correct.  My own father's name was Israel, whose mother likely called him "S'ruel".  On the passenger list, he is marked as "Samuel", similar to what the purser must have heard.  Once in Canada, and as far as naturalization went, the spelling was as the family chose in Canada, and as recorded on the census and in the city directories, at first, Glushtein, and in later years, Glustein.  It's an evolutionary story!

Ada Glustein,
Vancouver, BC.

Searching:  GLUSTEIN (Kammenaya Krinitsa, Uman, Ukraine), PLETZEL (Ternovka, Ukraine)


jbonline1111@...
 

I am aware of at least three name changes in my family.  None happened at Ellis Island.  My maternal grandparents changed the spelling of their last names as did their extended family, probably around 1930.  My father and his brothers Anglicized their last name, presumably because it was easier for customers, but perhaps also due to discrimination against Jews. However, we moved to a small Southern town where we "knew everybody" so everyone knew we were Jewish.
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Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC


Marshall Lerner
 

Names that appear on passenger manifests (lists) were based on the information provided by the purchaser when a ticket was first acquired. Most of those purchasers did not speak English. That information was written down by the ticket seller whose first language was also often different from English and that's one explanation for the many variations in name spellings -- they are often transliterated. US Immigration Laws required those manifests to be prepared in advance of the ship's arrival + a physician had to attest to the health of the passengers and sign those manifests. As a result the names that people arrived with, when they immigrated, were the names from their tickets.

That said, the names on the passenger tickets can differ from the names people used after they settled in the US. Naturalization papers will frequently show both the "transit name" and the common name of the individual as well as the names of family members and their date of arrival. The extent of information in each case depends on the laws/regulations in force at the time. And those requirements changed as time went on.

Hope this helps.


Shelley Mitchell
 

With so many stories focusing on Ellis Island, one fact remains unspoken. You could always use any name you wanted. You still can, except to deceive creditors. When it came to Naturalizations, however, the name used on the passage was asked as was the name being used at the time. From these documents, a new name was born.

And don’t forget that many immigrants believed that countries like Russia could reach out and bring them back for conscription . Another reason to use modified versions of their name. We are too focused on the staff at Ellis Island. My own grandfather lied and told me his name was changed at Ellis Island. Not true.
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Shelley Mitchell, NYC    shemit@...
Searching for TERNER, GOLDSCHEIN, KONIGSBERG, SCHONFELD, in Kolomyya; PLATZ, in Delaytn; and TOPF, in Radautz and Kolomea.


Joel Weintraub
 

Were surnames changed at Ellis Island, either voluntarily or involuntarily by Immigration Authorities, and then used in the U.S. after going through that Immigration Station?  The current consensus is it didn't happen.  But lots of Jewish (and Italian, etc.) families have surnames different from their "old country" roots.  So what gives? Marian Smith came close in my opinion to the explanation for the legend by stating over two decades ago that the Ellis Island name change belief was an allegory of the immigrants felt experience in America which included pressures to adapt to their new culture, and outright discrimination and prejudice.  It actually started with the immigration process that weeded out immigrants that could not fit into the U.S. and could be “Likely Public Charges”.   That idea is called the "Ellis Island Experience".  But then why didn't those immigrants and their ancestors just say, we changed our name to fit in, and it wasn't an easy decision?  I think the answer may lie in a 2018 book by historian Kirsten Fermaglich:   "A Rosenberg By Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America" where she documents a pushback of some Jews against the name changers.  In that climate it would be easier to blame the system including Ellis Island then to take responsibility for the surname change.   I'll address part of this controversy on the JewishGen Webinar series next month by looking at immigrant documents used during their transit from their European origins through Ellis Island.  And I'll end with this Fermaglich quote from my submitted 55 minute video for the August 2020 IAJGS Virtual Conference: "I hope this book will replace mythical images of Hollywood movie stars [with name changes] and hapless Ellis Island immigrants with more nuanced portraits of American-born Jewish families escaping antisemitism at midcentury." 

Joel Weintraub

Dana Point, CA




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Joel Weintraub
Dana Point, CA


Susan&David
 

I made an error in the numbers- 18,000 ships.

Sorry

David

On 6/26/2020 9:37 AM, Susan&David wrote:

As a member of the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild (ISTG)   https://www.immigrantships.net/
I have seen thousands of ship's passenger list pages.  Check marks, BSI notations, X marks, brief notations of many kinds are ubiquitous.
The ISTG requires a transcription to include every dotted i and every crossed t, with explanations of anything unusual, e.g. a name was spelled one way on the manifest but another way on the Detained Aliens list. 
ISTG members have transcribed more than 180,000  ships, hundreds of thousand of pages.  On their website is a search box.  I entered "Name change" in quotes. and came up with 28 instances.  This one is from one of my own ships, arriving Seattle from Japan in 1941 with Sugihara refugees.  It is the one and only entry in the entire database with a name change notation on the manifest, and it applies to the given name.  There are a small number within the 28 with alternate spellings, probably as clarifications,  but not actual changes. 
Almost all the ISTG transcribers will submit manifests for their own family member's arrival. They add notes to explain name changes within there own family as they took place in subsequent years, never at the time of arrival.       

 

David Rosen
Boston, MA



On 6/25/2020 10:52 PM, Roger Lustig via groups.jewishgen.org wrote:
> Check marks were most of what the officials /did/ write on the > manifests, and they're generally quite large. What manifests are you > referring to? > > Roger Lustig Princeton, NJ USA research coordinator, GerSIGoger:  I agree with you. As a mw


Susan&David
 


As a member of the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild (ISTG)   https://www.immigrantships.net/
I have seen thousands of ship's passenger list pages.  Check marks, BSI notations, X marks, brief notations of many kinds are ubiquitous.
The ISTG requires a transcription to include every dotted i and every crossed t, with explanations of anything unusual, e.g. a name was spelled one way on the manifest but another way on the Detained Aliens list. 
ISTG members have transcribed more than 180,000  ships, hundreds of thousand of pages.  On their website is a search box.  I entered "Name change" in quotes. and came up with 28 instances.  This one is from one of my own ships, arriving Seattle from Japan in 1941 with Sugihara refugees.  It is the one and only entry in the entire database with a name change notation on the manifest, and it applies to the given name.  There are a small number within the 28 with alternate spellings, probably as clarifications,  but not actual changes. 
Almost all the ISTG transcribers will submit manifests for their own family member's arrival. They add notes to explain name changes within there own family as they took place in subsequent years, never at the time of arrival.       

 

David Rosen
Boston, MA



On 6/25/2020 10:52 PM, Roger Lustig via groups.jewishgen.org wrote:
> Check marks were most of what the officials /did/ write on the > manifests, and they're generally quite large. What manifests are you > referring to? > > Roger Lustig Princeton, NJ USA research coordinator, GerSIGoger:  I agree with you. As a mw