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Immigration mystery (Certificate of Arrival doesn't match name)

Replies: 7

Immigration mystery (Certificate of Arrival doesn't match name)

Posted: 1375879759000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Smith, Schmidt, Sitkowecki
My ancestor Louis Smith was a Russian Jew from Bershad, Ukraine, whose original birth name was Leizer Schmidt.

But on the Certificate of Arrival provided with his naturalization record, his name is given as "Elie Sitkowecki," arrived August 13, 1906. There's no indication of a name change. And I know from many other family records that "Sitkowecki" was never the family's surname.

Is it possible that my ancestor immigrated under a false identity? Or is it more likely that the mistake happened when the naturalization was being processed, with a clerk pulling the wrong record?

Here is the original manifest. Elie (line 25) has a similar birthdate and town name (Berszer), but his "uncle" in the U.S. is no one I've ever heard of, either.

This mystery has had me stuck since I discovered it last year. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Adam Goodheart
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
chechelnyk 1375879759000 
JoelWeintraub 1375921524000 
chechelnyk 1375922909000 
Robert Jerin 1376047421000 
chechelnyk 1376055307000 
Robert Jerin 1376094949000 
chechelnyk 1377697265000 
Robert Jerin 1377774243000 
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