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I'm rather proud of that, but I'm more proud of having identified more than 1,000 of his descendants in Hungary, the United States and South America!I'm not going to belabor this rather obvious point any more than necessary, but suffice it to say that, as I said above, your family members may know more than you realize.It's a lot easier to find documents confirming what they know and building on it than it is to start from scratch. "This used to be widely available for free, but concerns about identity theft have made this database less widely available and less useful.Talk to them repeatedly in the course of your research: you may find that some of what you discover triggers their memories. Most sources no longer include deaths after March 2014.This is one of the most widespread myths of genealogy, and many people lovingly cling to their family's quirky name-change stories even when confronted with the facts.Sorry to disappoint you, but nobody's name was changed at Ellis Island.My approach is intended to work from the present back, although you may find that you need to skip around and revisit some of these steps as you go along.
In addition, my father's brother and cousin had done ongoing research that I did not know about until long after I had started my work.But even if the name were recorded incorrectly at Ellis Island, it wouldn't matter, because you didn't have to use the name that was recorded at Ellis Island.In the days before social security cards, drivers' licenses, credit cards and all the other identification we rely on today, it was perfectly legal to change your name -- both first and last name -- any time you wanted as long as you didn't do it to avoid payment of your debts.Lists of passengers were compiled at the port of departure based on the name found in the ticket.The names given upon arrival in the United States had to match the name on the passenger list and on the ticket.