points of origins

You know those stories about immigrants having their names changed, not by their own choice, upon arrival at Ellis Island or other points of entry? I hadn’t given them much thought, but it turns out that most of the stories, at least in simplest form, are very unlikely to be true. As the U.S. National Archives blog points out, most of the arrival records for immigrants – passenger manifests and the like – were produced before departure; these records may have contained errors that were reproduced in the U.S., but they were not created by Ellis Island officials.

This is not to say that immigrants didn’t have their names changed, just that – as this article linked in the comments to the archives’ post explains in more detail – the stories behind those changes are more complicated.

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2 Responses to points of origins

  1. Lizzie Nolan says:

    Thanks for giving me another controversial topic bring up at Christmas! Congratz on finishing your first semester BTW.

  2. andrew says:

    If I can cause controversy around just one Christmas table, then I will know that this blogging has been worth it.

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