marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote in bookish,

A Rosenberg by Any Other Name

A Rosenberg by Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America by Kirsten Fermaglich

A study of name-changing, its patterns, its blame. . .

Things like how many of the petitions describe their old names as hard to spell, pronounce, and remember. Cites two petitions that explicitly say it's to avoid antisemitism -- both of them by Gentiles taken for Jews because of their names -- that was less cited by actual Jews. Family patterns, both group petitions and petitions that cite that other relatives have changed their names. How name-changing was used in literature, and how its use there differed from real life. "Application blanks" (forms we would say nowadays) that would ask whether you had ever changed your name, and for your mother's maiden, to ferret these out. How in the 1970s it became the thing to blame the officials at Ellis Island for name changes, which is very inaccurate. And more.
Tags: author: f, genre: non-fiction, review, subject: history

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