Betty Lou Malesky recently wrote for the Green Valley News and Sun ...
“The main character, Ciro Lazarri, passed through Ellis Island on his way from
. The immigration officer
presented him with a list of names and suggested he select one for his American
surname. They included Smith, Brown, Jones, Hill and other simple English
names, but the inspector suggested changing his surname to Lewis since his
Italian surname started with an “L.” Wisely, Ciro refused to change. Italy
Island rumor just won’t die, and it’s sad to see it encouraged,
even in fiction. Genealogists will readily agree no immigrant had his name
changed at Ellis Island; certainly there is no
documented evidence of it...”
Read the full article.
Editor’s Note: I can tell you that in my family, though their name was NOT changed at Ellis Island they did change it within the 1st year of arriving in the
. They emigrated as Kujanpää from US in 1900
and with the birth of their youngest daughter in 1901 the surname became Acey! No one can accuse my ancestors of choosing an
American name or even a translation of their Finnish name! Finland
Did your emigrant ancestors change their name soon after arriving?
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