Hello, my paternal GF and GM were Thomas and Fanny Bernstein (Gascovitz) whom according to the 1901 Census were born in Cartigna (along with 4 of their children), Russia. I'd appreciate some thoughts on 2 issues, if possible.
I cannot locate a place called Cartigna and have concluded that they may be from Kretinga, Lithuania, the former Russian Empire. My logic for this is that there was a regular trade route (timber) between Kretinga and Hartlepool and there appear to have been many Bernstein families around the North East of England, Leeds and Liverpool. Without knowing for sure is it useful to work on this theory and if so how in what ways might I verify that without someone from the family telling m for sure?
Secondly, I'm presuming that their names were not Fanny and Thomas at birth and that these may have been their new adopted names on arrival. Again, is this a reasonable premis to work from and if so can anyone point me to any online resources that address the practice of name changing? How would I begin finding out what their birth names were? The familiy are Jewish but I have no contact with any living relatives on this side of my family so it's all a bit of a mystery.
I welcome any info/advice/guidance. Thanks.