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Name Changes and Place Name

Name Changes and Place Name

Posted: 27 Nov 2013 8:35PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: bernstein gascovitz
Hello, my paternal GF and GM were Thomas and Fanny Bernstein (Gascovitz) whom according to the 1901 Census were born in Cartigna (along with 4 of their children), Russia. I'd appreciate some thoughts on 2 issues, if possible.

I cannot locate a place called Cartigna and have concluded that they may be from Kretinga, Lithuania, the former Russian Empire. My logic for this is that there was a regular trade route (timber) between Kretinga and Hartlepool and there appear to have been many Bernstein families around the North East of England, Leeds and Liverpool. Without knowing for sure is it useful to work on this theory and if so how in what ways might I verify that without someone from the family telling m for sure?

Secondly, I'm presuming that their names were not Fanny and Thomas at birth and that these may have been their new adopted names on arrival. Again, is this a reasonable premis to work from and if so can anyone point me to any online resources that address the practice of name changing? How would I begin finding out what their birth names were? The familiy are Jewish but I have no contact with any living relatives on this side of my family so it's all a bit of a mystery.

I welcome any info/advice/guidance. Thanks.

Re: Name Changes and Place Name

Posted: 28 Nov 2013 1:30AM GMT
Classification: Query
With regard to names, I'd suggest some of the info files available at JewishGen: If you haven't already, you may want to explore the other resources available at JewishGen.

It's certainly reasonable to assume that they had other names at birth. One possible source for a clue is their headstones - their Hebrew names may be inscribed there. That won't exactly answer the question of what names they used in Russia, unfortunately - they may have used both a Jewish name (for interactions in the Jewish community) and a Russian version (for civil matters).

Good luck,

Re: Name Changes and Place Name

Posted: 29 Nov 2013 11:04AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hey, thanks for taking the time to reply... much appreciated. I'll certainly check out the resources that you mentioned.

I do have images of the headstones of where they are buried and there's some Hebrew on them so I'll see if I can get someone to translate it for me.

Thanks again :)

Re: Name Changes and Place Name

Posted: 29 Nov 2013 12:24PM GMT
Classification: Query
You can post headstone photos here, or use the ViewMate service at JewishGen: (you'll need to register, but it's free).

Re: Name Changes and Place Name

Posted: 1 Dec 2013 3:18PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hey Mitch, thanks very much for the sign posting... appreciated. Cheers.
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