ADVANCED-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > ADVANCED-RESEARCH > 2007-02 > 1170543652
From: Linda Harrison <>
Subject: Re: [ADVANRES] name changes and identity
Date: Sat, 03 Feb 2007 18:00:52 -0500
Quoting from _A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Germanic
Ancestors_, "in Germany, what we call a middle name was really usually
the name people were called by . . . " You might find several siblings
in the same family with the same first name, but this was not the name
they were known by. For example, my Great-grandfather had brothers
named George William Charles Pairan and George August Edward Pairan.
They were known as Charles and Ed.
> What you have for Ernst being Henry is the passenger date match, plus the
> apparent lack of any Ernst in later census records (but absence isn't
> evidence of anything, maybe this Ernst didn't remain in the US).
> What argues against it is the naturalization record which carries more
> Unlikely that he was Ernst Heinrich Carl (any use of three names for his
> I'd suggest looking into the Meinzens, Meinsens, ---sons in Indiana too. At
> least one seems to also have a connection to Ohio (widow named Florence).
> There's a William in the 1910 Indiana, aged 70 with a son Ernest Henry,
> immigrated in the 1860s. Searching for relatives can sometimes shake out
> unexpected documents.
> So right now you can't rule out Ernst being Henry, but you certainly can't
> say he is without something directly proving it. But the passenger record
> isn't going to give you any more information than you already know, so it's
> not worth spending much time on it. You know his date of immigration from
> census and naturalization records.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Saturday, February 03, 2007 3:10 PM
> Subject: [ADVANRES] name changes and identity
>> I have some questions to ask and a situation to share. Since most of you
>> much more experienced than I am and I would welcome your insight and
>> Was there anything to prevent an immigrant from changing all or part his
>> name, either before leaving on the ship or after arriving in the U.S.?
>> Was there
>> a letter of introduction or other means of identification required when
>> passengers boarded ship or when they disembarked? Was there anything
>> "John Smith" from saying his name was "Adam Miller?" Or, in may case,
>> saying his name was Henry when it was really Ernst?
>> This is my situation:
>> According to his naturalization papers, my gggrandfather, Henry Carl
>> came to the U.S. in June, 1866. (Born 25 Jul 1837, hence he was 28 years
>> old.) He settled in Ohio - filed his declaration of intent in Belmont
>> received his final papers in 1871 in Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio.
>> His country of origin according to census reports was Prussia (1870),
>> (1880), and Germany (1900, 1910).
>> His occupations included work at the railroad (1870), laborer (1880),
>> gardener (1900), grocer (1910), and retired carpenter (1926 death
>> I have not yet located Henry Carl Meinzen on a passenger list.
>> HOWEVER, I have found Ernst Meinzen: carpenter; age 28; arrived 8 June
>> from Hanover; departed Bremen; destination Ohio. (The Immigrant Ships
>> Transcribers Guild index lists age as 28. The Ancestry index lists the
>> age as 21.
>> When I look at the image on Ancestry and compare the numbers to others on
>> page, the age looks to me like 28, not the 21.)
>> I have not found any information about a man named Ernst Meinzen in my
>> previous searches, either in Ohio or elsewhere.
>> Am I too far afield wondering if these two might be the same person and
>> changed his name to Henry (or Heinrich, as his naturalization signature
>> says)? Is this just hopeful thinking on my part? What have I missed?
>> What have I
>> not considered? Should I just completely dismiss this idea?
>> Thanks for any thoughts or direction.
>> Nancy M.
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