Donald M Lance
lancedm at MISSOURI.EDU
Sat Jul 27 03:20:49 UTC 2002
There's a video out by an Alan Berliner who looked up other people with that
name and had a dinner in New York for 12 of them. He did lots of research
for the project, including interviewing people who actually worked at Ellis
Island. They simply took the names from the ships' logs, so the changes
were made before they got on the boat or after they had cleared through the
The video is "The Sweetest Sound (A film about Names)." It is marketed and
distributed by New Video, 126 Fifth Ave, 15th Fl, New York NY 10011. Alan
Berliner is a professional (free-lance) film maker.
on 7/26/02 8:54 PM, David Bergdahl at einstein at FROGNET.NET wrote:
> I've also heard that shipping clerks overseas were the ones writing out the
> tickets w/the name changes. I discovered the origin of my Swedish last name
> in H. L. Mencken who reports that when Scandanavians got last names in the
> early years of the 19th-century there were too many Johnsons, Andersons,
> Thomsons &c. based on the patronymic naming convention, so the Swedish
> equivalent of the Namenamt decided that people should use familar
> geographical terms--Berg, Kvist, Lund, Stro/m, Dahl, &c.--which is how we
> got to be "mt-valley" people.
> "Raffiniert ist der Herr Gott, aber Boshaft ist er nicht"
> --Albert Einstein
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