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BigM

Was it common

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for Jews to make up false backgrounds? (I am assuming they were Jewish)

 

According to my Grandma, her grandparents left Germany "because it was getting bad with the war and all" and changed their name from "Hirschmann" (sp) to Harshman. I have their names (not GGma's surname) and birth dates from a family Bible and I think I found Grandma Ida (who died in 1914, when my great grandpa was 2). What I found is from the 1910 Census (I realize the war started later, but things were BAD BAD there way before then) and it says she was born in Kansas. ?? It has the correct spouse and my GGpa's sister. So now what? Is there a better way to know for sure? She is the ONLY Ida Harshman, there is also and Ida Hirschman, but her spouce had a different name.

 

As a side question, if I can confirm that they were Jewish, does that mean I'm Jewish? My understanding is that being Jewish isn't just about religion, but also about your blood line, akin to your race, is that right?

Edited by BigM

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I don't know much about the Jewish religion but I always heard that the Jewishness of the mother is more important as far as the religion of the children.

 

My hubby has a German last name which has changed several times because of misspelling and immigrants not knowing English. Many Germans did change their names around the time of the world wars which is understandable.

 

Usually a death certificate is a pretty good source of info since a close relative normally provides the data on the form.

 

Hope this helps a little.

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When my grandfather and his family came to the U.S. they changed their name from Beamenheimer to Beams. My grandmothers family is Salzberg...but in some papers Velvul is used so we're not sure if something was changed...we can trace them back to my great grandparents in Austria and Russia...but no further.

 

A person’s status as a Jew is completely dependant on the mother. According to what I've been told if you are born a Jew, you die a Jew.

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If your mother was a Jew, you are and your children are and your daughter's children and her daughters' children until the end of time.

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Ok, looks like GGpa came from Germany and married an American. I found the marriage licence and her parents names, but nothing on him yet. Everyone wants money to see passenger lists of immigrants.

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My dh's family says that Ellis Island changed their last name (my husband's grandfather).. seems like a lot of the time they spelled names how they thought it should be spelled rather than by asking people how to spell it.

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I know of a boy named Guidano whose family was advised, "The English for that is Thomas." And Thomas was written down.

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much of this was common for many reasons, the jewish to escape persecution. My own maiden name is in a shortened form now. my dad was born with the long version. He and his mother changed it for the family.

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