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Anglicised surname #unitedkingdom #ukraine #names

john robson
 

Hello,I am not Jewish but my father in law Abraham was. He was born in Bratslav in Ukraine in 1896, his father
was David and hi mother Frima, my wifes name. Father David was apparently a bandsman in the Russian army.
Abie with his mother and at least one more sibling came to England in 1900, David managed get out of Ukraine and followed in 1901. The family setled in Newcastle upon Tyne and assumed the surname WELSH. Is there a likely previous surname they may have simply slightly altered. The name Velsher has been suggested (which apparently means "stranger").
I have yet to see any mention of Bratslav in your group.
 
John Robson

Jill Whitehead
 

The answer is Yes and No. The migrant may have anglicised their name - in my family's cases Brin became Brown, Serwianski became Servian, and Guttenberg became Graham. However a significant number reverted back to their patronymic name. So again in my family's case, Ceglarski became Abraham and then Abrams after my great grandfather Nathan's father's first name Abraham/Abram.Yet others used names that related to occupation or bore no apparent relationship to anything. So my great grand uncle Baruch Serwianski became Barnet Servian and then Barnet Silverman - he made mirrors which required silvering - and later when he emigrated a second time from Liverpool to Chicago (after 40 years in Liverpool) he became Bernard Maxwell (after his father Mordecai or Max). My great uncle changed his name from Abraham Jacob Servian to Albert Lynam. We do not know where this name came from.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

jbonline1111@...
 

It's up to the individual what name to use.  In the US, one can use any name one wishes, as long as no fraud is intended or perpetrated.  My paternal grandfather's last name was Slonimsky, so it was easy for his sons to shorten it to Sloan.  On the other hand, I know another Sloan family whose original last name was Solomon.  At other times, only spelling changes, perhaps with a slight change to pronunciation.  So, for example, my maternal grandparents' last name Zlates became Slatas.  If you can pin down a range of times when your wife's ancestor came to England and with whom he traveled, you may be able to find him on a passenger list. 
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Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC