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Old 11-05-2013, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Texas
993 posts, read 811,159 times
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Hi, I am having some same issues for our Sicilian side, the name was D'aquanno.

As far as the stories of immigration agents getting names wrong there was an interesting article in the Italian American magazine I get that says that the amount of that happening was exaggerated and they now think more names were changed due to family themselves changing them. Sounds bout right for your family too.

Best of luck.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Texas
993 posts, read 811,159 times
Reputation: 1229
Not sure it is relevant but I dated a Gaglione here in Texas, Dallas area back in the 80's. I could get in touch with him if you want me to ask him something.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
7,265 posts, read 10,783,989 times
Reputation: 9159
Quote:
Originally Posted by creepy View Post
Hi, I am having some same issues for our Sicilian side, the name was D'aquanno.

As far as the stories of immigration agents getting names wrong there was an interesting article in the Italian American magazine I get that says that the amount of that happening was exaggerated and they now think more names were changed due to family themselves changing them. Sounds bout right for your family too.

Best of luck.
Exaggerated? More like fabricated. But I think the OP understands this - the question was not why the family changed the name themselves but why the change happened so long after immigration instead soon after immigration, when they would be settling in and adapting to society. Still, in my experience, this was also not uncommon, for the reasons I've already been through.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Canada
2,516 posts, read 1,687,755 times
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Is it possible your great-great-grandfather in Italy died in the 1940s and it was only after his death that your great grandfather felt comfortable changing his surname?
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
8,878 posts, read 5,960,805 times
Reputation: 23702
From what I heard from my Grandparents, the authorities who checked people in at Ellis Island would sometimes modify people's names because they couldn't understand what the people were saying, or they simply wanted to streamline the person's last name.

In my own family they rearranged a U and an A and spelled the name differently than it was originally. People back then just wanted to be more American sounding, so they did all kinds of stuff to their names.

Don
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:20 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
7,265 posts, read 10,783,989 times
Reputation: 9159
Quote:
Originally Posted by don1945 View Post
From what I heard from my Grandparents, the authorities who checked people in at Ellis Island would sometimes modify people's names because they couldn't understand what the people were saying, or they simply wanted to streamline the person's last name.
As we've just discussed this very topic, this is a myth.

Why Your Family Name Was Not Changed at Ellis Island (and One That Was) | The New York Public Library
Our Name Was Changed at Ellis Island - Dispelling the Myth of Ellis Island Name Changes
No, Family Names Were Not Changed at Ellis Island - Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
The myth that refuses to die:
Genealogical Musings: The "Our Name Was Changed at Ellis Island" Myth

Need I go on?

Quote:
In my own family they rearranged a U and an A and spelled the name differently than it was originally. People back then just wanted to be more American sounding, so they did all kinds of stuff to their names.
Again, the issue is not why they changed their name but why they changed it when they did, decades after immigration.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:43 AM
 
592 posts, read 454,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfish740 View Post
That makes total sense except that the name really wasn't Anglicized. "Leone" still sounds very Italian. Why change the name to something so similar? They could have changed it to something much more Anglo sounding than that but they didn't, which leads me to believe that wasn't the purpose. Also, Trenton was a heavily Italian city at the time and by the 1940s Italian-Americans held many prominent positions in business, government, and society in Trenton. I'm just saying that it still seems to not totally add up...

I think that Leone does not sound anywhere near as Italian as the original name.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:47 AM
 
592 posts, read 454,308 times
Reputation: 860
I think that it could have been for a social reason e.g. discrimination. I think that your parent/aunts/uncles must know something that they are either not sharing or don't realize is important. Don't worry too much about it. When I first read the post, I thought that you were unable to find anything out because of a name change. But that is not the case. You have a lot more information than some people do. Just work with what you have and one day you will find the truth where you least expect it. Perhaps when someone else is very old and is ready to talk.

I am very interested in genealogy and every time I do a search I hold my breath expecting to find out something terrible about my ancestors. The relatives that I know are a little shady so I don't expect that our greats and great-greats were aristocracy....
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
8,878 posts, read 5,960,805 times
Reputation: 23702
Ya know, you might be the nicest person in the world, but you sure don't come off that way in print. You might want to lighten up a little, you aren't addressing a bunch of morons here.

Don
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
7,265 posts, read 10,783,989 times
Reputation: 9159
Quote:
Originally Posted by don1945 View Post
Ya know, you might be the nicest person in the world, but you sure don't come off that way in print. You might want to lighten up a little, you aren't addressing a bunch of morons here.

Don
I'm perfectly lightened, I'm just straight forward. Did I call you a moron? Nope.
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