December 04, 2003

American names

Mark Liberman's reference to David Beaver's story about the orgin of his family name reminds me of a story told my grandmother. Her family knew a family of Russian Jews originally named Chorny "black". After immigrating to the United States, or more accurately, New York, and somehow having kept their name intact at Ellis Island, they decided to Americanize it. Since their idea of a good American was a German Jew, they changed their name to Schwartz.

Posted by Bill Poser at December 4, 2003 09:47 PM