8 2017

JGSO: Ellis Island Name Change Myth And "Finding “Waldo” At Ellis Island

10:30AM - 12:30PM  

Congregation Ahavath Achim 3225 SW Barbur Blvd
Portland, OR 97239

Contact Barbara Hershey

$ Cost $ 5.00

Ellis Island Name Change Myth
The idea that inspectors at Ellis Island regularly Americanized immigrant names is a persistent myth. We will investigate the evidence that should exist (it doesn’t) to confirm the story as fact, and why name changing at the station was improbable given how immigrants were processed. The history of this immigration station, the types of people who passed through their doors, the legal documents (including their name) they came with, and station detention documents generated for about 1/6 of them, will be discussed with actual examples. Note: be prepared to avoid deportation by Inspector Weintraub.

Finding “Waldo” At Ellis Island
Using a case study, we will show how nine different strategies can be used to find the immigration record of an elusive immigrant to Ellis Island. For those who still cannot locate Ellis Island immigration records of their ancestors, this talk may provide some approaches you might not have tried. The difficulty of providing accurate indexes from transcriptions of ship manifests is a major problem associated with many of these strategies. We will see how well you do as a transcriber of manifest names.

Bio: Joel, a New Yorker by birth, is an emeritus Professor at California State University Fullerton and won awards for his science teaching. He volunteered for nine years at the National Archives and Records Administration. Joel created search tools for the U.S. and New York City censuses that are freely available on the Steve Morse "One-Step" website. He and Steve are currently developing locational tools for the 2022 release of the 1950 federal census. Joel has written and talked on NYC and Federal census research, immigration and naturalization, Ellis Island, biographical research, and Jewish genealogy topics.

Sponsor: Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon