View Full Version : Change of name when coming to USA

Kay Voth
20-11-06, 19:20
I have one great uncle , Simon Simonsson Stor who evidently changed his name immediately when entering the States from Kronoby, Finland. There is no mention of him back in the church in Kronoby about his death or anything. Does anyone know of any place one researches for a name change? What agency? Thank you in advance. Kay

Karen Norwillo
20-11-06, 20:12
Many emigrants changed their names on entering the US. Most of it was done without any legal documentation. They just picked a name they wanted to use and stuck to it. I doubt that many in the early years went to court to make it "official." I think this especially was true if their name was very difficult to say or spell, or they didn't want to be traced.

Kay Voth
20-11-06, 21:23
Thank you. I figured that may be it.

June Pelo
21-11-06, 01:25
I asked one of my relatives how they got their name Plogman which wasn't the family name in Finland. He said his emigrant relative was in the US and saw a truck go by with the name Plogman Piano Co. They liked the name, so they decided to change their name to Plogman - and they did. Just as easy as that.


Nyberg Ernst
29-11-06, 18:51
One reason why names were changed depends on that the characters å, ä and ö are missing in the English alphabet. I have recently helped a contact to find her grandmother in Finland. The contact was quite sure that the grandmother´s surname was Mattola. Actually it was Mättölä until she arrived in Ellis Island.

The Swedish author Dan Andersson has told a splendid story how Jakob Strömberg became Yokup Stromberg in America. Jakob thought that the americans pronounced his name Jäck Stråmmburg, so he started to write it in this way. Once an official asked "what is actually your first name"? Jakob answered Jakob. "Then write it in this way man", said the official. To be sure, Jacob asked the official to write it in the correct way. The official wrote Yokup. "Good damn, go to hell" Jakob said, but from this day he was Yokup Stromberg.

June Pelo
29-11-06, 22:29
Many years ago I translated an article about name changes which was interesting.