So…I grew up with the last name of Bennett (along with all my siblings.)
Since my sisters and I all married and took our new husband’s last names, and my brothers would not be having children…I decided it was up to me to save the “Bennett” family name from extinction.
I gave both my children “Bennett” as their middle name. Brilliant – right?
Not even close!
Through extensive research on Ancestry.com for my first book: Bosses and Blackjacks, I discovered my paternal grandfather had changed his last name when he entered the Marines in the late 1800s.
David Steinberg became David Bennett.
Who knew? Obviously, not me!
So, my Ancestry.com research took a very sharp turn and my kids are preserving a false moniker!
(But, it does give them a funny story to tell their friends about their crazy mother and her obsession with ancestral connections!)
2 thoughts on “BARKING UP THE WRONG (FAMILY)TREE!”
Hi Linda! I wonder how many others would find that their names had been changed up in entering the US! A lot, I bet! I’ve heard stories of people with long, complicated or very ‘ethnic’ sounding names having their names changed for them at the entry port. We’re pretty sure ‘Sorick’ isn’t the original family name. It is more likely Surick or Surich. Heavily accented speech or poor penmanship in signing the surname probably caused the confusion!
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Meg – From my research I learned many people changed their own names to sound more American so they could find work when they arrived! But, if you’ve ever looked at an early census, a lot of errors were made by those census takers themselves (they just wrote down names the way they heard them.)…makes tracing family names even more difficult.