OT - today I learned my real last name

Nitwit

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Jul 18, 2001
8,405
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Pennsylvania
My Grandparents came to the USA in the 1880s from what we knew as Russia. I know my Grandfather didn’t want to serve in the Czar’s army so he switched identity with his younger brother, and as immigrants commonly did, found a ship to the USA with not much except what he could carry. When he arrived at the port at the age of 19, they asked him his name which he answered in Russian. They wrote down what they understood the English version of it was and for all generations since that has been our family name, although there was a suspicion that it was close but not completely accurate, which proved to be true. I’m not going to reveal here for privacy reasons. BTW my mother’s grandparents came from Belarus but at the time that was Russia too and we had better info about her family. They all considered themselves Russians.

Fast forward, my daughter found some records on Ancestry.com put together by a distant second cousin which has the real name - it was a fairly common name from the area of the Ukraine where my grandfather lived and elsewhere, and it was formerly part of Russia. So now in my old age I finally know what my real last name was and exactly where my Grandfather was from. BTW my Grandfather didn’t speak much English and although I visited him until he died at age 94, he didn’t talk much about the old county.

I think his family had a sawmill business there. He went on to build a furniture frame factory in Pennsylvania and was a successful and very hard working man. He would insist on running the lumber through the saws himself when he was 80 years old and my father and uncles who also worked at the factory had to talk him down feeling he would keel over. They died in their 50s and. 60s and my grandfather and his wife who was 10 years older both made it to 94. He had a good appetite and I remember he liked to eat 6 poached eggs with bread for his meal. He had a high forehead, a bushy mustache, and a broad smile and he always dressed up in a fancy suit and tie for holidays.

Anyway I’ll go to bed tonight with a certain sense of identity and satisfaction in learning my heritage. I’m sure as more investigatory work is done I’ll find out about distant relatives both here and abroad.

Thanks for indulging me by reading through this personal stuff. I’m sure others have stories of their found family histories.
 
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91Joe95

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2003
27,551
19,207
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My Grandparents came to the USA in the 1800s from what we knew as Russia. I know my Grandfather didn’t want to serve in the Czar’s army so he switched identity with his younger brother, and as immigrants commonly did, found a ship to the USA with not much except what he could carry. When he arrived at the port at the age of 19, they asked him his name which he answered in Russian. They wrote down what they understood the English version of it was and for all generations since that has been our family name, although there was a suspicion that it was close but not completely accurate, which proved to be true. I’m not going to reveal here for privacy reasons.

Fast forward, my daughter found some records on Ancestry.com put together by a distant second cousin which has the real name - it was a fairly common name from the area of the Ukraine where my grandfather lived and elsewhere, and it was formerly part of Russia. So now in my old age I finally know what my real last name was and exactly where my Grandfather was from. BTW my Grandfather didn’t speak much English and although I visited him until he did at age 94, he didn’t talk much about the old county.

I think his family had a sawmill business there. He went on to build a furniture frame factory in Pennsylvania and was a successful and very hard working man. He would insist on running the lumber through the saws himself when he was 80 years old and my father and uncles who also worked at the factory had to talk him down feeling he would keel over. They died in their 50s and. 60s and my grandfather and his wife who was 10 years older both made it to 94. He had a good appetite and I remember he liked to eat 6 poached eggs with bread for his meal. He had a high forehead, a bushy mustache, and a broad smile and he always dressed up in a fancy suit and tie for holidays.

Anyway I’ll go to bed tonight with a certain sense of identity and satisfaction in learning my heritage. I’m sure as more investigatory work is done I’ll find out about distant relatives both here and abroad.

Thanks for indulging me by reading through this personal stuff. I’m sure others have stories of their found family histories.

My last name has a similar story to it. My parents went through an old Ellis Island registry about 20+ years ago and found out our last name didn't even get the right first letter.
 
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NittPicker

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Jun 30, 2001
15,128
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Cool story. But if the original name was this, I'd hate to think what the name is now. 😳

images
 
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hereforthebeer

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Oct 13, 2016
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My Grandparents came to the USA in the 1800s from what we knew as Russia. I know my Grandfather didn’t want to serve in the Czar’s army so he switched identity with his younger brother, and as immigrants commonly did, found a ship to the USA with not much except what he could carry. When he arrived at the port at the age of 19, they asked him his name which he answered in Russian. They wrote down what they understood the English version of it was and for all generations since that has been our family name, although there was a suspicion that it was close but not completely accurate, which proved to be true. I’m not going to reveal here for privacy reasons.

Fast forward, my daughter found some records on Ancestry.com put together by a distant second cousin which has the real name - it was a fairly common name from the area of the Ukraine where my grandfather lived and elsewhere, and it was formerly part of Russia. So now in my old age I finally know what my real last name was and exactly where my Grandfather was from. BTW my Grandfather didn’t speak much English and although I visited him until he did at age 94, he didn’t talk much about the old county.

I think his family had a sawmill business there. He went on to build a furniture frame factory in Pennsylvania and was a successful and very hard working man. He would insist on running the lumber through the saws himself when he was 80 years old and my father and uncles who also worked at the factory had to talk him down feeling he would keel over. They died in their 50s and. 60s and my grandfather and his wife who was 10 years older both made it to 94. He had a good appetite and I remember he liked to eat 6 poached eggs with bread for his meal. He had a high forehead, a bushy mustache, and a broad smile and he always dressed up in a fancy suit and tie for holidays.

Anyway I’ll go to bed tonight with a certain sense of identity and satisfaction in learning my heritage. I’m sure as more investigatory work is done I’ll find out about distant relatives both here and abroad.

Thanks for indulging me by reading through this personal stuff. I’m sure others have stories of their found family histories.
👍🏻Cool story.
 
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rudedude

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Sep 28, 2002
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Fleetville, Pa.
My roots are in the Ukraine and I believe I also found the Ukrainian spelling of our last name. In fact Infound it by finding a Ukrainian basketball player who was a Memphis Grizzly draftee at one point.

Is this our cousin?

tenor.gif



Yu1FENh.gif
 

diontechristmas

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Sep 3, 2009
1,278
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Good stuff. My paternal lineage, best I can tell, is ethnically Lithuanian, but my ancestors lived in an area which is now in western Belarus. My surname was shortened by my grandfather about 75 years ago, but the original name seems to be somewhat common in Belarus to this day.
 

Midnighter2

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Jan 21, 2021
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My Grandparents came to the USA in the 1800s from what we knew as Russia. I know my Grandfather didn’t want to serve in the Czar’s army so he switched identity with his younger brother, and as immigrants commonly did, found a ship to the USA with not much except what he could carry. When he arrived at the port at the age of 19, they asked him his name which he answered in Russian. They wrote down what they understood the English version of it was and for all generations since that has been our family name, although there was a suspicion that it was close but not completely accurate, which proved to be true. I’m not going to reveal here for privacy reasons. BTW my mother’s grandparents came from Belarus but at the time that was Russia too and we had better info about her family. They all considered themselves Russians.

Fast forward, my daughter found some records on Ancestry.com put together by a distant second cousin which has the real name - it was a fairly common name from the area of the Ukraine where my grandfather lived and elsewhere, and it was formerly part of Russia. So now in my old age I finally know what my real last name was and exactly where my Grandfather was from. BTW my Grandfather didn’t speak much English and although I visited him until he did at age 94, he didn’t talk much about the old county.

I think his family had a sawmill business there. He went on to build a furniture frame factory in Pennsylvania and was a successful and very hard working man. He would insist on running the lumber through the saws himself when he was 80 years old and my father and uncles who also worked at the factory had to talk him down feeling he would keel over. They died in their 50s and. 60s and my grandfather and his wife who was 10 years older both made it to 94. He had a good appetite and I remember he liked to eat 6 poached eggs with bread for his meal. He had a high forehead, a bushy mustache, and a broad smile and he always dressed up in a fancy suit and tie for holidays.

Anyway I’ll go to bed tonight with a certain sense of identity and satisfaction in learning my heritage. I’m sure as more investigatory work is done I’ll find out about distant relatives both here and abroad.

Thanks for indulging me by reading through this personal stuff. I’m sure others have stories of their found family histories.

Wow, really cool. Thanks for sharing. Mine is a fairly common Americanization of an old Gaelic surname from about 10th century Ireland. I think family history is fascinating and Ancestry.com is amazing. Found my earliest relative came to America from England pre-Revolutionary War, and from there you can see the pattern of movement - from Virginia, to West Virginia, to Pennsylvania (following coal mine/steel mill work). Hoping to get to Ireland next year; our ancestors are in County Clare.

Na Zdorovie!
 

MikeDerukey

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Silver Member
Jan 4, 2021
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Sadly I believe this was a common practice when people immigrated to the United States during the 1800's and early 1900's. Often times names were spelled incorrectly on the official documents or just changed all together and whatever was written on the official forms became their official name. While it's a fictional movie the Godfather actually references this. Corleone was the village in Italy where I believe the Vito character was from and during the immigration scene whenever he was asked his name he replied Vito Andolini. They asked him where he was coming from and he said Corleone. So, Vito Corleone went on the document.
 

STPGopherfan

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Aug 10, 2001
12,931
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My roots are in the Ukraine and I believe I also found the Ukrainian spelling of our last name. In fact Infound it by finding a Ukrainian basketball player who was a Memphis Grizzly draftee at one point.

Is this our cousin?

tenor.gif



Yu1FENh.gif
And here I thought you liked Memphis because of the blues... ;-) Family history can be very interesting. It's cool when you discover new things later in life.
 
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91Joe95

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Aug 15, 2003
27,551
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Sadly I believe this was a common practice when people immigrated to the United States during the 1800's and early 1900's. Often times names were spelled incorrectly on the official documents or just changed all together and whatever was written on the official forms became their official name. While it's a fictional movie the Godfather actually references this. Corleone was the village in Italy where I believe the Vito character was from and during the immigration scene whenever he was asked his name he replied Vito Andolini. They asked him where he was coming from and he said Corleone. So, Vito Corleone went on the document.

As a little side note, one of my grandmothers was born in Italy. In her 50's she had to request her birth certificate for SS purposes from the town in Italy where she was born. Turns out everyone was celebrating the wrong year, and still no one knows the exact day either. Apparently they would collect all the births for a week or two and then submit them on the same day.
 

nittanyfan333

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Gold Member
Aug 30, 2010
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my grandmother did a lot of genealogy on our family. first relative came from a town with the same last name just N of the black forest region of Germany in 1756. Spelling has changed over the years to what it is now. Family started in York. One of the brothers stayed in West Virginia after he was "stationed" there during the revolutionary war, so there is extended family of mine in West Virginia. Agree with @Midnighter2 about family history being super interesting. really cool to see where you come from. Wife and I visited the town in Germany that my family comes from when were there for our honeymoon. Really cool stuff, and i'd suggest that if you know what town your family immigrated from, that you visit it when you have the chance.
 

Nitwit

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2001
8,405
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Pennsylvania
Wow, really cool. Thanks for sharing. Mine is a fairly common Americanization of an old Gaelic surname from about 10th century Ireland. I think family history is fascinating and Ancestry.com is amazing. Found my earliest relative came to America from England pre-Revolutionary War, and from there you can see the pattern of movement - from Virginia, to West Virginia, to Pennsylvania (following coal mine/steel mill work). Hoping to get to Ireland next year; our ancestors are in County Clare.

Na Zdorovie!
Been to Ireland twice, once for the Croke Park game. I’ve traveled a lot and believe the Irish were the friendliest people we’ve ever encountered. You can be looking at a map on the sidewalk and people will come up and offer assistance to help you find something. We had a cab driver talk to us about Irish literature and give us the recommendation for the best fish and chips in all of Ireland where they use starter for the batter that is 50 years old and they Fry in beef fat. Many of the pubs in small towns have local musicians come in around 9 PM and play traditional Irish music just for free beer.—. It’s a great atmosphere and a beautiful country.
 
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Obliviax

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2001
100,261
43,349
1
My Grandparents came to the USA in the 1800s from what we knew as Russia. I know my Grandfather didn’t want to serve in the Czar’s army so he switched identity with his younger brother, and as immigrants commonly did, found a ship to the USA with not much except what he could carry. When he arrived at the port at the age of 19, they asked him his name which he answered in Russian. They wrote down what they understood the English version of it was and for all generations since that has been our family name, although there was a suspicion that it was close but not completely accurate, which proved to be true. I’m not going to reveal here for privacy reasons. BTW my mother’s grandparents came from Belarus but at the time that was Russia too and we had better info about her family. They all considered themselves Russians.

Fast forward, my daughter found some records on Ancestry.com put together by a distant second cousin which has the real name - it was a fairly common name from the area of the Ukraine where my grandfather lived and elsewhere, and it was formerly part of Russia. So now in my old age I finally know what my real last name was and exactly where my Grandfather was from. BTW my Grandfather didn’t speak much English and although I visited him until he did at age 94, he didn’t talk much about the old county.

I think his family had a sawmill business there. He went on to build a furniture frame factory in Pennsylvania and was a successful and very hard working man. He would insist on running the lumber through the saws himself when he was 80 years old and my father and uncles who also worked at the factory had to talk him down feeling he would keel over. They died in their 50s and. 60s and my grandfather and his wife who was 10 years older both made it to 94. He had a good appetite and I remember he liked to eat 6 poached eggs with bread for his meal. He had a high forehead, a bushy mustache, and a broad smile and he always dressed up in a fancy suit and tie for holidays.

Anyway I’ll go to bed tonight with a certain sense of identity and satisfaction in learning my heritage. I’m sure as more investigatory work is done I’ll find out about distant relatives both here and abroad.

Thanks for indulging me by reading through this personal stuff. I’m sure others have stories of their found family histories.
That is awesome....the USA was a great place to go to escape despotism and integrate into a better way of life. Every generation aspires to leave a legacy where the next generation has a better opportunity than they did.
 
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Obliviax

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Aug 21, 2001
100,261
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My great grandfather had his name changed from Von Braun to Brown at Ellis Island.
I have a friend whose name (I don't want to name him on this board) was a color and then the word for foot in german. So coming over the authorities changed their last name to this color and the word foot. Let's say it was "Greenfoot". Fast forward and his employer is claiming him as a native American to satisfy govt compliance. There is a lot of irony in there!
 

Aardvark86

Well-Known Member
Jan 23, 2018
5,363
4,762
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My Grandparents came to the USA in the 1800s from what we knew as Russia. I know my Grandfather didn’t want to serve in the Czar’s army so he switched identity with his younger brother, and as immigrants commonly did, found a ship to the USA with not much except what he could carry. When he arrived at the port at the age of 19, they asked him his name which he answered in Russian. They wrote down what they understood the English version of it was and for all generations since that has been our family name, although there was a suspicion that it was close but not completely accurate, which proved to be true. I’m not going to reveal here for privacy reasons. BTW my mother’s grandparents came from Belarus but at the time that was Russia too and we had better info about her family. They all considered themselves Russians.

Fast forward, my daughter found some records on Ancestry.com put together by a distant second cousin which has the real name - it was a fairly common name from the area of the Ukraine where my grandfather lived and elsewhere, and it was formerly part of Russia. So now in my old age I finally know what my real last name was and exactly where my Grandfather was from. BTW my Grandfather didn’t speak much English and although I visited him until he did at age 94, he didn’t talk much about the old county.

I think his family had a sawmill business there. He went on to build a furniture frame factory in Pennsylvania and was a successful and very hard working man. He would insist on running the lumber through the saws himself when he was 80 years old and my father and uncles who also worked at the factory had to talk him down feeling he would keel over. They died in their 50s and. 60s and my grandfather and his wife who was 10 years older both made it to 94. He had a good appetite and I remember he liked to eat 6 poached eggs with bread for his meal. He had a high forehead, a bushy mustache, and a broad smile and he always dressed up in a fancy suit and tie for holidays.

Anyway I’ll go to bed tonight with a certain sense of identity and satisfaction in learning my heritage. I’m sure as more investigatory work is done I’ll find out about distant relatives both here and abroad.

Thanks for indulging me by reading through this personal stuff. I’m sure others have stories of their found family histories.
Cool story. Funny how the immigration system can work. My maternal grandfather and his siblings, who came from Croatia, all have different spellings of their last name on their entry records.

On my paternal side, my grandfather came from near Lvov (Ukraine/Polish border), and there is a legendary family story about him spitting tobacco into his urine sample to avoid conscription into the Austro-Hungarian army. For a long time, that was about all we knew about my paternal side. But when the wall came down, we got a letter from a guy in Ohio claiming to know someone who might be our relatives. We were very cautious about engaging with him, but after a very deliberate and staged approach, they sent a picture, and I'll be damned if it didn't look my cousins staring back at me. Imagine (re)connecting with people in that particular part of the world, after that particular 70 years or so of history (Xolodomir, WWI, WWII, Cold War) ruled by that particular regime.
 

Tom McAndrew

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Staff
May 29, 2001
54,406
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My grand parents told me that their name was changed from Vardz____ to Wardz______ at Ellis Island.

My great grandfather had his name changed from Von Braun to Brown at Ellis Island.

That's a common perception. However, there's more nuance to what took place than most folks realize.

Hollywood has depicted many scenes of immigrants approaching the immigration window at Ellis Island, the US official not understanding the name the immigrant says, and creating a new last name for the immigrant. The reality is that that's not how things happened at Ellis Island.

The name changes took place overseas. Every immigrant had to be listed on a ship's manifest/passenger log. The shipping agents would listen to the names of the individuals they were shipping to the US, and record them however they wanted. At Ellis Island, the ship manifests/passenger logs were turned over to the US officials. The immigrants would go through a processing at Ellis Island, but the last name they received there was what was written on the manifest/log.

I had an ancestor that went through Ellis Island. Fortunately for me (and my family), I was a history nut at a young age, and I interviewed this ancestor when I was relatively young, and wrote down what they told me about their experience at Ellis Island. It was pretty fascinating.
 

step.eng69

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2012
11,750
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North East PA, Backmountain area, age 72
That's a common perception. However, there's more nuance to what took place than most folks realize.

Hollywood has depicted many scenes of immigrants approaching the immigration window at Ellis Island, the US official not understanding the name the immigrant says, and creating a new last name for the immigrant. The reality is that that's not how things happened at Ellis Island.

The name changes took place overseas. Every immigrant had to be listed on a ship's manifest/passenger log. The shipping agents would listen to the names of the individuals they were shipping to the US, and record them however they wanted. At Ellis Island, the ship manifests/passenger logs were turned over to the US officials. The immigrants would go through a processing at Ellis Island, but the last name they received there was what was written on the manifest/log.

I had an ancestor that went through Ellis Island. Fortunately for me (and my family), I was a history nut at a young age, and I interviewed this ancestor when I was relatively young, and wrote down what they told me about their experience at Ellis Island. It was pretty fascinating.

#13- on the STUTTGART's manifest, 4-10-1924
Vardzel is listed on the inventory, I'm wondering if he changed the name to Wardzel later in the courts. I know he would not have the money to have his name changed. My grandfather was born in America - western PA. No one left in the family to find an accurate account of the name change.
JOHN-WARDZEL-Model.png

JOHN-WARDZEL-2-Model.png
 

Nitwit

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2001
8,405
6,992
1
Pennsylvania
That's a common perception. However, there's more nuance to what took place than most folks realize.

Hollywood has depicted many scenes of immigrants approaching the immigration window at Ellis Island, the US official not understanding the name the immigrant says, and creating a new last name for the immigrant. The reality is that that's not how things happened at Ellis Island.

The name changes took place overseas. Every immigrant had to be listed on a ship's manifest/passenger log. The shipping agents would listen to the names of the individuals they were shipping to the US, and record them however they wanted. At Ellis Island, the ship manifests/passenger logs were turned over to the US officials. The immigrants would go through a processing at Ellis Island, but the last name they received there was what was written on the manifest/log.

I had an ancestor that went through Ellis Island. Fortunately for me (and my family), I was a history nut at a young age, and I interviewed this ancestor when I was relatively young, and wrote down what they told me about their experience at Ellis Island. It was pretty fascinating.
Tom, would this have been the same at other ports? I believe my Grandfather sailed into Philadelphia (or perhaps Baltimore) from either Germany or England. He did not go through Ellis Island. Thanks
 

LionJim

Well-Known Member
Oct 8, 2003
36,864
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Levittown, PA to Olney, MD
That's a common perception. However, there's more nuance to what took place than most folks realize.

Hollywood has depicted many scenes of immigrants approaching the immigration window at Ellis Island, the US official not understanding the name the immigrant says, and creating a new last name for the immigrant. The reality is that that's not how things happened at Ellis Island.

The name changes took place overseas. Every immigrant had to be listed on a ship's manifest/passenger log. The shipping agents would listen to the names of the individuals they were shipping to the US, and record them however they wanted. At Ellis Island, the ship manifests/passenger logs were turned over to the US officials. The immigrants would go through a processing at Ellis Island, but the last name they received there was what was written on the manifest/log.

I had an ancestor that went through Ellis Island. Fortunately for me (and my family), I was a history nut at a young age, and I interviewed this ancestor when I was relatively young, and wrote down what they told me about their experience at Ellis Island. It was pretty fascinating.
Very cool. Oral histories, very very important. Thanks for sharing.
 

Midnighter2

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2021
1,452
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#13- on the STUTTGART's manifest, 4-10-1924
Vardzel is listed on the inventory, I'm wondering if he changed the name to Wardzel later in the courts. I know he would not have the money to have his name changed. My grandfather was born in America - western PA. No one left in the family to find an accurate account of the name change.
JOHN-WARDZEL-Model.png

JOHN-WARDZEL-2-Model.png

May have to do with pronunciation; Germans/Europeans pronounce 'W's' as 'V's' and vice versa. So, 'Volkswagen' is pronounced 'Wolkesvagen' in Germany.
 

Nittany Ned2

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Dec 16, 2005
7,622
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Tom, would this have been the same at other ports? I believe my Grandfather sailed into Philadelphia (or perhaps Baltimore) from either Germany or England. He did not go through Ellis Island. Thanks
FWIW, my ancestor arrived in Philly in 1775 and signed an indentured servants contract. The name or spelling is not how they spell it in Germany. Spelling in colonial times was a fairly flexible thing. Just read any colonial document or newspaper. I have seen revolutionary war documents that relate to my ancestor and the spelling is not consistent. I think that there are many reasons why names change.

My family was even approached by other people with a different spelling of our name and they proposed remarking the ancestor's original grave changing the spelling to the German version and we opposed it.
 
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ouirpsu

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Jan 24, 2018
1,380
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North Carolina
my grandmother did a lot of genealogy on our family. first relative came from a town with the same last name just N of the black forest region of Germany in 1756. Spelling has changed over the years to what it is now. Family started in York. One of the brothers stayed in West Virginia after he was "stationed" there during the revolutionary war, so there is extended family of mine in West Virginia. Agree with @Midnighter2 about family history being super interesting. really cool to see where you come from. Wife and I visited the town in Germany that my family comes from when were there for our honeymoon. Really cool stuff, and i'd suggest that if you know what town your family immigrated from, that you visit it when you have the chance.
Unless your name is Clark W. Griswold.
 
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nittanyfan333

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Aug 30, 2010
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Been to Ireland twice, once for the Croke Park game. I’ve traveled a lot and believe the Irish were the friendliest people we’ve ever encountered. You can be looking at a map on the sidewalk and people will come up and offer assistance to help you find something. We had a cab driver talk to us about Irish literature and give us the recommendation for the best fish and chips in all of Ireland where they use starter for the batter that is 50 years old and they Fry in beef fat. Many of the pubs in small towns have local musicians come in around 9 PM and play traditional Irish music just for free beer.—. It’s a great atmosphere and a beautiful country.

I'll second and third not only this bolded part, but also how nice the Irish are. Wife and I spent a week in Dingle in February 2019. went to O'Sullivan's Courthouse Pub. Talked to the owner and he told me that the off-season is the best time to go, because all of the "world renowned" musicians from Dingle tour from spring to fall, so they're home during the winter and they get together and "jam" at the local bars. The night we went, it started with 2 musicians, and before we knew it there were 7. not to mention, real guinness, which IS different. i've wanted to go back ever since.
 

TheGLOV

Well-Known Member
My Grandparents came to the USA in the 1800s from what we knew as Russia. I know my Grandfather didn’t want to serve in the Czar’s army so he switched identity with his younger brother, and as immigrants commonly did, found a ship to the USA with not much except what he could carry. When he arrived at the port at the age of 19, they asked him his name which he answered in Russian. They wrote down what they understood the English version of it was and for all generations since that has been our family name, although there was a suspicion that it was close but not completely accurate, which proved to be true. I’m not going to reveal here for privacy reasons. BTW my mother’s grandparents came from Belarus but at the time that was Russia too and we had better info about her family. They all considered themselves Russians.

Fast forward, my daughter found some records on Ancestry.com put together by a distant second cousin which has the real name - it was a fairly common name from the area of the Ukraine where my grandfather lived and elsewhere, and it was formerly part of Russia. So now in my old age I finally know what my real last name was and exactly where my Grandfather was from. BTW my Grandfather didn’t speak much English and although I visited him until he did at age 94, he didn’t talk much about the old county.

I think his family had a sawmill business there. He went on to build a furniture frame factory in Pennsylvania and was a successful and very hard working man. He would insist on running the lumber through the saws himself when he was 80 years old and my father and uncles who also worked at the factory had to talk him down feeling he would keel over. They died in their 50s and. 60s and my grandfather and his wife who was 10 years older both made it to 94. He had a good appetite and I remember he liked to eat 6 poached eggs with bread for his meal. He had a high forehead, a bushy mustache, and a broad smile and he always dressed up in a fancy suit and tie for holidays.

Anyway I’ll go to bed tonight with a certain sense of identity and satisfaction in learning my heritage. I’m sure as more investigatory work is done I’ll find out about distant relatives both here and abroad.

Thanks for indulging me by reading through this personal stuff. I’m sure others have stories of their found family histories.

Great story sir!
 

LionJim

Well-Known Member
Oct 8, 2003
36,864
17,808
1
Levittown, PA to Olney, MD
I'll second and third not only this bolded part, but also how nice the Irish are. Wife and I spent a week in Dingle in February 2019. went to O'Sullivan's Courthouse Pub. Talked to the owner and he told me that the off-season is the best time to go, because all of the "world renowned" musicians from Dingle tour from spring to fall, so they're home during the winter and they get together and "jam" at the local bars. The night we went, it started with 2 musicians, and before we knew it there were 7. not to mention, real guinness, which IS different. i've wanted to go back ever since.
I could totally dig that bar vibe.
 
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