Why the New York Times is Wrong – Using Basic Genealogy Tools and Methods to Show that Your Family Name Was Not Changed At Ellis Island.
There is a common misconception, call it an old wives tale or an urban legend, that family names were often changed at Ellis Island. Such myths gain a great deal of credibility when newspapers such as the New York Times, the country’s “paper of record”, perpetuates these myths by repeating them, in this case in obituaries.
When Kenneth saw one of these obituaries a few years ago, he wrote to the Times pointing out their error and suggesting sources that they could check to verify what he was saying. When they seemed to ignore him, he did the research on the family of the person named in the obituary and was able to show what the name was when the family immigrated and how the family name changed as they adapted to life in the United States. He sent all of the proof to the Times and was still ignored. Finally the Times responded. They were not g