Bulgaria Names Personal

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Americanization of Names

A serious problem for some researchers is to determine the actual name of their immigrant ancestor. Some ancestors in their eagerness to be assimilated into American culture, traded their difficult foreign names for American names. This occurred often with given names and to a lesser extent with surnames.

Given names usually were simply translated to their American counterparts. Because some given names have no English translation, they were frequently changed to almost any similar sounding American name.

Some surnames very simply translated. In many cases the immigrant would choose an American name that sounded similar to foreign name. Some immigrants who were sensitive about the pronunciation of their names changed the spelling so that Americans could pronounce their names correctly.