Topics

Name Variations (was: "His name was changed at Ellis Island") #names


collectorden
 

I was going to add this to  the "His name was changed at Ellis Island" thread, since one of the changes did occur at Ellis Island, but it was actually a correction.

As a gentile who has spent several years tracing my wife's Jewish ancestry (Thank You JewishGen and it's many great members), I've come to the conclusion that her ancestors were not as concerned about their surnames as they were about their patronymic names. 

My wife's great grandfather Samuel was born in Siauliu, Lithuania as Schmerl NUDEL.  He immigrated to Liverpool England where he married as Samuel NOODLE and had a daughter (her grandmother) born Fanny NODLE, they immigrated to Dublin Ireland (1896 - 1908) and used NOODLE on the census.  He immigrated to the US in 1908 as Schmerl NUDEL and after arriving became Samuel NADLE.  Fanny departed Londonderry for the US in 1909 as Fanny NADLE (UK Outward Passenger Lists). Her Arrival Passenger List shows her AS Fanny NODLE in route to her father Samuel NODLE.  Her name is lined out on the passenger list and over written with Fanny NOODLE, his name is changed from NODLE to NOODLE and his address is updated so I assume this was done on arrival at Ellis Island when they verified her destination. (She is on the detained passenger list.)  On the 1910 census she is Fannie NADLE.  She married Hersh MARCUS (formerly MARKUS) in 1915 as Fanny NADLE.  On the 1915 NY census she is Anna MARCUS. and from 1920 on she used Fannie MARCUS.

My Wife's great grandmother on the MARCUS side, born Pesa HIRSHFELD, married Israil MARKUS in Riga Latvia.  She departed Liverpool for the US as Pessie MARKUS (UK Outward Passenger Lists) and arrived at Ellis Island as Pessie MARCUS on the arrival passenger list.  She kept the MARCUS surname but alternately used Pessie, Bessie and Pauline for her given name.

Being of Irish descent, where you're surname represents your clan, it took me a while to absorb all the surname variations.

Dennis Donovan
Florida, USA


Jules Levin
 

I think you are right about the casual attitude to surnames. Many an
immigrant arriving in 1880-1900 might well have known a grandfather who
took the surname when it was first required.  Not only are patronymics
more important, but the naming customs are also important for
establishing relationships.  My father always said his father shortened
the name, but didn't remember the original.  When I learned the village
he came from, and his mother's name, I started looking for a
Levi-surname with a first name corresponding to my grandfather's
patronymic.  From the records I found a married couple Shmuel Levitan
and   Liba just the right age to bear a son who would emigrate in 1886. 
As additional evidence, my dad's oldest brother was named Samuel,
presumably named after his grandfather.  Unfortunately my dad was
deceased when I learned that the name was Levitan.  (There were no other
Levi- names that fit the time frame.)


On 7/9/2020 6:12 PM, collectorden wrote:
I was going to add this to  the "His name was changed at Ellis Island"
thread, since one of the changes did occur at Ellis Island, but it was
actually a correction.

As a gentile who has spent several years tracing my wife's Jewish
ancestry (Thank You JewishGen and it's many great members), I've come
to the conclusion that her ancestors were not as concerned about their
surnames as they were about their patronymic names.

My wife's great grandfather Samuel was born in Siauliu, Lithuania as
Schmerl NUDEL.  He immigrated to Liverpool England where he married as
Samuel NOODLE and had a daughter (her grandmother) born Fanny NODLE,
they immigrated to Dublin Ireland (1896 - 1908) and used NOODLE on the
census.  He immigrated to the US in 1908 as Schmerl NUDEL and after
arriving became Samuel NADLE.  Fanny departed Londonderry for the US
in 1909 as Fanny NADLE (UK Outward Passenger Lists). Her Arrival
Passenger List shows her AS Fanny NODLE in route to her father Samuel
NODLE.  Her name is lined out on the passenger list and over written
with Fanny NOODLE, his name is changed from NODLE to NOODLE and his
address is updated so I assume this was done on arrival at Ellis
Island when they verified her destination. (She is on the detained
passenger list.)  On the 1910 census she is Fannie NADLE.  She married
Hersh MARCUS (formerly MARKUS) in 1915 as Fanny NADLE.  On the 1915 NY
census she is Anna MARCUS. and from 1920 on she used Fannie MARCUS.

My Wife's great grandmother on the MARCUS side, born Pesa HIRSHFELD,
married Israil MARKUS in Riga Latvia.  She departed Liverpool for the
US as Pessie MARKUS (UK Outward Passenger Lists) and arrived at Ellis
Island as Pessie MARCUS on the arrival passenger list.  She kept the
MARCUS surname but alternately used Pessie, Bessie and Pauline for her
given name.

Being of Irish descent, where you're surname represents your clan, it
took me a while to absorb all the surname variations.

Dennis Donovan
Florida, USA


jeremy frankel
 

Dear Genners,

I hope that group members are not too exhausted with this thread to read about a variant of the "name change" story that I've just come across—one which I cannot yet offer an explanation. (Maybe someone else can?)

I'm researching a cousin's wife's family in London who currently go by the name DAVIS. It was changed both informally and legally in the UK from NEEDLESTITCHER, which itself was an Anglicization of the name Nudelsztecher.

A couple, Davis and Rachel NEEDLESTITCHER traveled to America on the SS Manhattan in 1935 to visit relatives in Houston, Texas. The UK outbound manifest clearly states (as it is typed) that the family name is Needlestitcher. This is not really a ship's manifest per se, but the UK Government's Board of Trade's record (formerly BT27) of outgoing passengers

Davis Needlestitcher had also begun naturalization proceedings in 1923, which were not completed admittedly until 1936. The UK National Archive online records show that he was using Needlestitcher as his last name.

Slightly more peculiar is his 1927 marriage record to the woman he was already married to (since 1892). And here again he is listed as Davis Needlestitcher. The 1911 UK Census record shows the family using this name, though it is spelled Needlesticher [sic]. Many other secondary records also list him as Davis Needlestitcher. (Even his 1908 bankruptcy record in the National Archives refers to him as Davis Needlestitcher.)

However, when inspecting the American in-bound (totally typed) manifest it can be seen that the name is crossed out with a row of x's and Nudelsztcher [sic] typed above it instead. Incidentally, on the same US manifest, the London contact was his son, listed as Michael Needlestitcher [sic]

Admittedly the manifest was prepared ahead of time; it does state on the manifest that the travel documents were issued on February 2, presumably in London where the couple lived, and the ship departed on March 14th.

But for the life of me I cannot explain why a couple who had been using the Anglicized form of their name for at least thirty years prior to their trip had their last name changed on the manifest to the name used when Davis' family lived in Poland in the 1880s.


Jeremy G Frankel
ex-Edgware, Middlesex, England
now Sacramento, California, USA

Searching for:
FRANKEL/FRENKEL/FRENKIEL: Gombin, Poland; London, England
GOLDRATH/GOLD: Praszka, Poland; London, England
KOENIGSBERG: Vilkaviskis, Lithuania; London, England; NY, USA
LEVY (later LEADER): Kalisz, Poland; London, England
PINKUS, Poland; London, England
PRINCZ/PRINCE: Krakow, Poland; London, England; NY, USA


Marian
 

Hi Jeremy,

Your Noodle case is quite a puzzle.  All I can tell you is the identifying information (like name) on the US manifest in 1935 had to match their travel documents.  To enter the US in 1935 they would require both a passport and a US non-immigrant visa (he'd have to show the passport to get the visa).  You say he wasn't naturalized in UK until the next year, 1936, so would the UK have issued him a passport in/before 1935?  Or would he still have an older passport with perhaps an "older" name?

That might explain the amended manifest, which could have begun with the name he gave when purchasing the ticket but was updated after he showed his US nonimmigrant visa to the SS Company (all before the ship sailed).

It is important to understand the role of those travel documents in preparation of the US manifests.  The name change story really doesn't apply after 1918 when the US began requiring passports, since the manifest name was to be based on the passport document.  Any variation should be a typo or similar error.  Beginning July 1, 1924, the manifest information came from the US immigrant visa which included a certified copy of their birth record.  Non-immigrant visas (like the Noodle's), as noted above, would reflect a name on a passport.  My point is these documentary requirements beginning 1918 ended the previous "free for all" game of telephone that generated earlier passenger list data.

Marian Smith


Diane Jacobs
 

As these are examples of spelling changes and not name changes, I would remind all
that the first rule of Jewish genealogy is
"Spelling does not count".  If you want to be successful, you need to cast a wide net.

Diane Jacobs 



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: collectorden <collectorden@...>
Date: 7/9/20 9:12 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@...
Subject: [JewishGen.org] Name Variations (was: "His name was changed at Ellis Island") #names

I was going to add this to  the "His name was changed at Ellis Island" thread, since one of the changes did occur at Ellis Island, but it was actually a correction.

As a gentile who has spent several years tracing my wife's Jewish ancestry (Thank You JewishGen and it's many great members), I've come to the conclusion that her ancestors were not as concerned about their surnames as they were about their patronymic names. 

My wife's great grandfather Samuel was born in Siauliu, Lithuania as Schmerl NUDEL.  He immigrated to Liverpool England where he married as Samuel NOODLE and had a daughter (her grandmother) born Fanny NODLE, they immigrated to Dublin Ireland (1896 - 1908) and used NOODLE on the census.  He immigrated to the US in 1908 as Schmerl NUDEL and after arriving became Samuel NADLE.  Fanny departed Londonderry for the US in 1909 as Fanny NADLE (UK Outward Passenger Lists). Her Arrival Passenger List shows her AS Fanny NODLE in route to her father Samuel NODLE.  Her name is lined out on the passenger list and over written with Fanny NOODLE, his name is changed from NODLE to NOODLE and his address is updated so I assume this was done on arrival at Ellis Island when they verified her destination. (She is on the detained passenger list.)  On the 1910 census she is Fannie NADLE.  She married Hersh MARCUS (formerly MARKUS) in 1915 as Fanny NADLE.  On the 1915 NY census she is Anna MARCUS. and from 1920 on she used Fannie MARCUS.

My Wife's great grandmother on the MARCUS side, born Pesa HIRSHFELD, married Israil MARKUS in Riga Latvia.  She departed Liverpool for the US as Pessie MARKUS (UK Outward Passenger Lists) and arrived at Ellis Island as Pessie MARCUS on the arrival passenger list.  She kept the MARCUS surname but alternately used Pessie, Bessie and Pauline for her given name.

Being of Irish descent, where you're surname represents your clan, it took me a while to absorb all the surname variations.

Dennis Donovan
Florida, USA
--
Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey


steverosenbach@...
 

Here's my name change story:

We arrived in the US in NYC on January 20, 1951, under the Displaced Persons Act. "We" means my mother and my two maternal grandparents, my Mom's younger brother Joe, and me. My biological father had died of food poisoning in September 1949, in Frankfurt, a few months before I was born. I was born in Amberg, in the American Zone of Occupation, and my family had been in Germany since 1946, having lived at DP camps at Hof-Saale, Degendorf, Regensberg, and finally in Amberg. 

We arrived aboard the troop ship General C.H. Muir. I caught measles on board, so Mom and I were quarantined for 10 days at Ellis Island, while the rest of the family disembarked normally at the West Side piers in NYC. HIAS housed and fed us for a few weeks in NYC, and then sent us by train to Baltimore, where our sponsor, Mom's Uncle Leo and his family, were waiting for us. 

Anyway, on to the name change: Even as a young child, I heard the name Przedborksi, and somehow knew that it used to be my grandparents' surname, which was now Preston. So I asked my Mom what happened, and she said "the man at Ellis Island changed it." So that was enough to satisfy a 7-year-old, and I didn't think about it for years.

Then, in my late 30's, at some family gathering, I related the story to a friend or relative, and Mom, overhearing me, said, "That's not what happened! I changed it."

So the real story is that we arrived in the US as Przedborski, and Mom, wanting to be a American, knew that this was not a "good American name." She picked up the Baltimore telephone book and looked for names starting with P-R-E (forget the "z", she said!) and once her eyes fixed on "Preston," she knew she had found her new name. So she went to court and had our name legally changed to Preston within the first few months of residing in America. 

In the late 50's, my Uncle Joe (my de facto big brother, just 5 years older than me,) and I used to watch "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon" on our enormous Philco tv with the diminutive screen, and we thought we were somehow related to the heroic title character. 




jbonline1111@...
 

Many families changed either the spelling or the entire name to Americanize it.  My father and his brothers switched from Slonimsky to Sloan sometime around 1940 or so.  However, one uncle entered the Army as Slonimsky anyway, while Dad used Sloan.  The other brother spelled the name Sloane.  I assume they forgot to tell him the spelling. 

BTW, there is no need to make a legal name change. Anyone can use whatever they wish as long as it is not for fraudulent purposes.  Neither Dad nor his brothers ever had a legal name change. For that reason, when he retired, my aunt had to testify for Social Security that she knew my father under both names. And it gets more complicated as his first name on his birth certificate is also not the name he used.  He didn't know why but in the 1920 census, his first name was already changed.  We surmised that he may have had the Spanish flu and that his mother changed his name to fool the angel of death, a not-uncommon thing.
--
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC


Sherri Bobish
 


Hi Jeremy,

I do not know why Davis would have his original surname that he hadn't used in 30 years show up on that manifest, but I can tell you that my husband's ggf who arrived in NYC in the early 1880's and had used the surname SOLON for 60 years, had the original surname SOKOLSKY used on his NYC death certificate.  On his tombstone both surnames were inscribed.

Why would a surname that he hadn't used in 60 years be used at that point in time?  It is a mystery.

Regards,

Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ

Searching: RATOWSKY / CHAIMSON (Ariogala / Ragola, Lith.)
WALTZMAN / WALZMAN (Ustrzyki Dolne / Istryker, Pol.)
LEVY (Tyrawa Woloska, Pol.)
LEFFENFELD / LEFENFELD (Daliowa/ Posada Jasliska, Pol.)
BOJDA (Tarnobrzeg, Pol.)
SOKALSKY / SOLON FINGER(MAN) (Grodek, Bialystok, Pol.)
BOBISH / APPEL (Odessa)


Debby Gincig Painter
 

Many times people used a last name for years but since it was never legal changed, their birth last name was used on official documents and gravestones.


Lee Jaffe
 

Thanks for moving the discussion to a new thread.  I have a name change case in my family and a more general related question.

My great-grandfather was born Mendel Stzejnsapir. In Bialystok in 1864  We found him in departure documents  traveling 1891 from Liverpool to NYC under the name Mendel Sapier.  We dont on't know when or how he got from Bialystok to England.  Once in the US he adopted the name Stein.  I have no idea about the  how of why of theses changes but I'm interested in knowing the mechanics of identity in crossing borders.  What kind of ID would a Jew in the Pale have and what would they need to cross borders?  I assume a passport was not an option.  If they left the Pale without papers, how could they purchase passage sailing to the US?  I assume that there'd be some leeway if you could show you were in transit to another destination but they'd need to have ID papers  of some sort at later stages of the crossing.  How did that work?

Lee Jaffe