There is a persistent story in a lot of American families that their last name was changed at Ellis Island, garbled by an agent who simply wrote it down incorrectly. Now, it's possible that the name really was changed at some point, but it didn't happen at Ellis Island. Here's why.
ellis island c1900 Do immigrants from south of America come through something like this today? I understand they would have to be willing--otherwise they cross illegally. What's changed? This is where my grandparents came to the U.S. from Europe.