Author Topic: Info: Immigrants from Eastern Europe - changing names  (Read 18892 times)

Offline wearyprincess

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Info: Immigrants from Eastern Europe - changing names
« on: Sunday 12 November 06 13:29 GMT (UK) »
Most immigrants had their names changed upon arrival in England, so I thought, how about starting a list of original surnames and the area and country of birth.

Mine is  the family WINOGRON ( Grapes ) from Plock in Poland arriving circa 1890 in London.

Name changed to Weinthrop, Wintrop, Weintraub, Weintrop.

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Offline kismet

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Re: Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 25 February 07 11:14 GMT (UK) »
I'm with you on this one.

Mine is the family of Klein, also from Plotzk (now Plock), and also arriving in about 1890.  Eventually changed to Keene.

Also I have Blumenthal, but unable to establish so far where from.  Could be Posen (Poznan) (some census say Tosen, Germany, another says Karpan, Russia).  Name changed to Dale.
Parker:  Bath, Birmingham, Reading & London
Packer: Bitton, Glos & Birmingham
Webb:  Towcester & London 
King/Collett:  London
Young:  Goxhill, Lincs
Olds/Hopes:  Bitton, Glos
Blumenthal/Dale:  Germany, Liverpool, Bournemouth & Southampton 
Klein/Keene:  Liverpool, Swindon & Reading
Fasser/Fiszer & Berliner:  Poland & Liverpool
Suffolk:  Lutterworth

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Offline timetraveller

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Re: Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 07 March 07 14:12 GMT (UK) »
I'm not sure if my ancestors changed their surname, though family keep telling me they are not sure if it is the right surname.

The surname I am researching is Loffman.  My ancestors came from Russia or Poland. 

timetraveller

Offline Berlin-Bob

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Re: Immigrants from Eastern Europe - changing names
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 07 March 07 16:42 GMT (UK) »
I've changed the title to make it more general.

here are a couple of items from
Topic: Sharing Useful Tips: GERMANY and E. Europe
http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,11860.30.html


Just helped somebody out with this and thought it would be useful to others:

What were they called:

Many people emigrating to a new country have changed their names
- to avoid political repurcussions,
- to "disappear" from view, as far as the "Old Country" was concerned
- "new country, new start in life", trying to fit in
- the old name was hard to understand, so the name was anglicised, either voluntarily, or, in some cases, arbitrarily by immigration officials

Whatever the reasons, it makes life difficult for us, unless we know both the  "before & after" names.

Here a some of the simpler name changes:

1) straight translation. the name looks similar and has the same meaning
e.g. Braun => Brown, Schmidt => Smith, Grun or Grün => Green, Müller => Miller, -feld => -field, etc

2) losing the umlaut vowels (pronounced: um-lout)
the official, alternative spellings for ä,ö, ü, ß are ae, oe, ue, ss.  But on emigrating, many just dropped the umlaut => a, o, u,
e.g. Gröbener => Groebener or => Grobener
But: ä can be pronounced 'ay' as in Hay or 'e' as in hedge, so Bäcker might become Becker (soundex) or Baker (translation) or Backer (lose the umlaut)

Any other suggestions ??

p.s.
The exception confirms the rule:
Looking through the Susser Archive: http://www.eclipse.co.uk/exeshul/susser/dentists.htm I found this sentence, which I just have to share with you:

".. Abraham ben Isaiah, otherwise known as Moses Abraham Groomsfelt, or Jones,
a silversmith .."

I found the idea of changing his name to JONES amusing.
I could understand GROOMFIELD or something similar, but JONES !! 
--- the mind boggles. There has to be a story there !

Edited: 02.04.2005
cell has just posted a "searching for " story on http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,47221.0.html
Her ancestor changed his name from Karlson to Carlson !!!!

and

Anglacized names in my tree:

Albrecht = Albright/Allbright
Kirchner = Carkner

Certainly liked the Groomsman to Jones one? ;)

Lauraine
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Offline Berlin-Bob

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Re: Immigrants from Eastern Europe - changing names
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 07 March 07 16:58 GMT (UK) »
Here's another useful topic:
Topic: Name Anglicization Site
http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,49283.0.html

I also read an account recently, in a family history book, of two brothers Frank Charles DEGENHARDT and Walter DEGENHARDT, who, at the turn of the century, decided their names (their father was a german immigrant) were TOO german:

Walter DEGENHARDT became Walter HART, and
Frank Charles DEGENHARDT became Frank CHARLES  !!

Bob
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My research interests (and data found) can be seen on my website:   http://www.margulies-chronicles.com/

Offline kismet

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Re: Immigrants from Eastern Europe - changing names
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 07 February 09 11:00 GMT (UK) »
Hi Bob

This is a good idea.  How many of us who are not Jewish, I wonder, have Jewish ancestors from Eastern Europe whose given names are a mystery to us and frequently bear no relation to the names they were known by in England?  They are also impossible to interpret as male or female.

On his naturalisation papers, my paternal grandfather (Israel Klein) states that his parents were Abraham Isaac Klein and Joyce Berliner Klein (Russians) from Plotzk in Poland.  I have searched and searched without success.

But, just recently I came across an old photograph of a headstone in Hebrew which was amongst my late father's papers (died 1986) and wondered why he would keep such a photo.  Translated it emerged that it was the grave of one Simcha, daughter of Benjamin, and the epitaph read "deeply mourned by her son, daughter-in-law and grand-sons".  As my grandparents only had two boys I immediately assumed this was them - therefore the grave would belong to my great-grandmother, Joyce Berliner Klein. 

I contacted a friend who speaks Hebrew and who is an archivist, who established the location of this grave and that the burial records show that the lady buried in it was a Sophia Fasser who died in early September 1925.  Armed with this information I ordered the death certificate.  This shows that she was the widow of Abraham Fasser and that the informant was her son, Cyril Keene - this is the name my grandfather took on naturalisation - so it is definitely my great-grandmother.

Wonderful, I thought, now I might be able to get somewhere.  Not so.  I have searched Jewishgen for Fassers with the right given names - nothing.  I have, though, found an Abram Icek Fiszer and am wondering.

I had also previously noticed that my great grandmother's middle name, Berliner, had come up on my grandparent's marriage certificate - a Harry Berliner - as a witness.  So I tried Benjamin Berliner - and found one (of only two) with a daughter called Sima Boruch Berliner - but I have no way of knowing whether this IS the right person.  Could Sima have been "shortened" to Simcha? 

I don't suppose I will ever know for sure - and, of course, there's absolutely no one left alive to ask.

Kismet
Parker:  Bath, Birmingham, Reading & London
Packer: Bitton, Glos & Birmingham
Webb:  Towcester & London 
King/Collett:  London
Young:  Goxhill, Lincs
Olds/Hopes:  Bitton, Glos
Blumenthal/Dale:  Germany, Liverpool, Bournemouth & Southampton 
Klein/Keene:  Liverpool, Swindon & Reading
Fasser/Fiszer & Berliner:  Poland & Liverpool
Suffolk:  Lutterworth

Offline wearyprincess

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Re: Immigrants from Eastern Europe - changing names
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 07 February 09 11:39 GMT (UK) »
Try PLONSK in the Plock area of Poland, N.W. of Warsaw. This is the area of my great grandparents.

Sima  (given name)  would have been Simcha ( Hebrew name )

wearyprincess

Offline dollylee

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Re: Immigrants from Eastern Europe - changing names
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 07 February 09 11:51 GMT (UK) »
For those of you with Jewish roots have you tried www.jewishgen.org?  Many people submit the original Jewish name followed by what it was changed to.  There is also a "soundex" section.....often names were just spelled differently to Anglicize them but sounded the same.

My in-laws both had their family names changed when the families immigrated, which is bad enough, but different siblings decided to change it the way they wanted and not as immigration had done.  In one case we have four different spellings of the name for siblings in the same family.

dollylee

Offline kismet

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Re: Immigrants from Eastern Europe - changing names
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 07 February 09 12:49 GMT (UK) »
Thanks, wearyprincess, for confirming what I thought about Sima/Simcha.

Thanks too, dollylee - I've been a member of Jewishgen for the past two years. 

What threw me completely was that we had always been told that the name was Klein which had been changed to Keene and then to find that my gt.grandmother's married name was actually Fasser - well!!


Kismet
Parker:  Bath, Birmingham, Reading & London
Packer: Bitton, Glos & Birmingham
Webb:  Towcester & London 
King/Collett:  London
Young:  Goxhill, Lincs
Olds/Hopes:  Bitton, Glos
Blumenthal/Dale:  Germany, Liverpool, Bournemouth & Southampton 
Klein/Keene:  Liverpool, Swindon & Reading
Fasser/Fiszer & Berliner:  Poland & Liverpool
Suffolk:  Lutterworth