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Certificate of Arrival name change? Help with manifest!

Certificate of Arrival name change? Help with manifest!

Posted: 8 Oct 2013 3:18AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 8 Oct 2013 3:18AM GMT

So I have been stuck trying to figure out information on my great grandfather's immigration records, and would be grateful for some assistance.

I was always told that my great grandfather, Jacob Berkowitz, came to America via Ellis Island before 1910. However I have never been able to find his name on a passenger manifest.

I recently received his naturalization record from USCIS. It clearly indicated that he arrived on August 21, 1906 (see attached). However when one goes to the manifest on, there is no Jacob Berkowitz. USCIS also sent Certificate of Arrival, and a strange document.

This document simply says Elek Josipovics, and 8-21-1906. However Elek is the same age as Jacob. Now is when things get strange. If you search for Elek Josipovics on, there is no results. HOWEVER if you search for Elek Josipovics through Ellis Island's website, you do get a hit for manifest. For some reason (I have no idea why) this specific page is not indexed on, but you can get to it via a link ( Elek is on line 10.

I would like to try and figure out if Elek is Jacob. I have no knowledge that he ever changed his name, and cannot see the resemblance between Elek Josipovics and Jacob Berkowitz. What is more bizarre is there are 3 other members of the Josipovics family that come over. To the best of my knowledge he had no family in America.I have never heard of these people, and have doubts that they are members of my family. I can find NO other census or immigration records for the other people who traveled with Elek

If someone has any information on name-changes that would probably be very helpful. Furthermore if someone is able to read column 16 on the Manifest, that probably would help also.

Thanks in advance for ANY help you can give!

Re: Certificate of Arrival name change? Help with manifest!

Posted: 9 Oct 2013 12:10AM GMT
Classification: Query
Elek is transcribed as Elek Jonpovics .... looking at the manifest it is easy to see why the name was mis-transcribed


Re: Certificate of Arrival name change? Help with manifest!

Posted: 9 Oct 2013 12:39AM GMT
Classification: Query
JOSIPOVICS is a Hungarianized name of Slavic origins... CS ending has a CH sound... and J has a Y sound.... so the name would sound like yohseepovich.

But the name may also be spelled Josipowich or Josipovits or Josipovitz... these variants may also begin with Y

Based on this there is a burial record found as follows
Name: Joseph Josipovitz
Death Date: 18 Oct 1918
Burial Plot: Row 3, Lot 33
Burial Place: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Cemetery: Chofetz Chaim
Cemetery Address: Negley Road, Wilkins Township
Cemetery Burials: 124
Cemetery Comments: Negley Road Wilkins Township Pittsburgh, PA 15235 Synagogue: B'nai Emunoh Congregation 4315 Murray Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15217 Contact: Saul Spodek 4349 Murray Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15217

What about the name change? It was not uncommon for people to "share" passports, so it is not unusual to find such situations

Robert Jerin
Croatian Heritage Museum
Cleveland Ohio

Re: Certificate of Arrival name change? Help with manifest!

Posted: 9 Oct 2013 1:06AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Robert,

Thank you for your detailed response! Is there any way to determine from the attached certificate of arrival that Elek is Jacob? My understanding is that during the naturalization process, someone would cross check the manifest. How would this person know to look for Elek (rather than Jacob).

I gather from your message that it is not likely that he could have changed his name (as there is little resemblance between Elek and Jacob). So then who is Elek and who are these other people he is traveling with!
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