From the Ancestry Daily
He is on the 1906, too!
Initially, I was unable to find a 1906 manifest reference and due to a lack of time the item was put on hold. A sharp reader of the Daily News e-mailed me that Peter was indeed listed on a 1906 manifest viewable through the Ellis Island Web site.
The initial search was again conducted using the excellent alternate interface to the Ellis Island Web site created by Stephen Morse ( home.pacbell.net/spmorse/ellis/ellis.html). The following search parameters were used.
First name/initial: p
Last name (with "show both" clicked): v
Year of arrival: 1906
Age at arrival: 23 and 25 (based upon the 1914 manifest and other records)
The ability to use initials is an extremely powerful one and can be helpful when alternate spellings are plentiful.
There were not many matches. One, Panajottis Verichios, seemed to be the individual in question. On the surface, the pronunciation of "Panajottis Verichios" and "Panagiotis Verikios" seem fairly indistinguishable. It would however be a good idea to learn how the name "Panagiotis Verikios" is actually pronounced in Greek. The determination of the actual pronunciation of a non-English name is helpful for researchers with ancestors from any non-English speaking country.
The determination that the 1906 and 1914 entries are for the same person was not just made by name analysis. There are several known records for Peter and the information they contain should be compared to what is on the 1906 manifest. In this case the comparison confirms the 1906 individual is the same as the 1914 one who settled in Chicago.
There are several corroborating clues other than the name. Had the name been more common, the analysis of other factors would have been even more important.
The Peter of 1906 arrived in November aboard the S. S. Gregory Morch, with a destination of New York City. He lists a birthplace of Kato Escanthy, a residence of Santa Maura, and an age of twenty-three. The birthplace from the 1914 manifest is Kato Exanthia, clearly a spelling variant on the 1906 birthplace. Our "known Peter" was born in January of 1883, making an age of twenty-three on a 1906 manifest consistent with that year of birth. When the "known Peter" files his declaration of intent in Chicago, Illinois, in 1928 he indicates he was born in Saunta Maura, Greece. While this is different from the birthplaces listed on both manifests, it is the same place as listed as the residence on the 1906 manifest. To top it off, Peter's death certificate and obituary list a birthplace of Lefcadion, Greece. Some analysis of the locations is in order.
Aren't These Different Places a Discrepency?
On the surface, yes. However, there are a few comments worth noting even before an analysis is begun:
1) Peter's 1934 naturalization record clearly indicates he is the Peter from the 1914 manifest.
2) A map may reveal that all these locations are extremely close together.
3) A map may reveal one of these locations is a village and another is a larger political unit.
4) A map may reveal that one of these towns is an extremely small village and another is a larger, nearby town.
A little surfing located the following sites with additional information:
The Tourist Guide of Greece
What to See in Lefkada
The Columbia Encyclopedia
Bringing the Discrepancies Together
While I did not find Kato Exanthia specifically, I did locate a reference to Exanthia on the "What to see in Lefkada" site. In the process, I think I have resolved the apparent discrepancies. The birthplace of Lefcadion, likely refers to Lefkada, an island in the Ionian Sea. Santa Maura is an older name for this island. The birthplaces of Lefcadion and Santa Maura are referring to an island, not a specific village. Kato Exanthia appears to be a mountainous village on the island of Lefkada. It is not always possible to resolve discrepancies so easily, but sometimes what appears to be different on the surface is actually the same. Geographic finding aids can be extremely helpful in solving some problems. In my case, I typed in the places into Google (a search engine at www.google.com) and found the sites listed above. The continual problem with using the Web for geographic information is that Web sites usually use modern spellings and modern names. Unfortunately, genealogists do not always have that.
More on the 1906 Manifest!
Part of the reason I had not looked harder for the 1906 manifest was that I mistakenly thought it would not "tell me anything I did not know." This is a trap that a genealogist wants to avoid. While time- consuming, it can be helpful to track down as many record references to a specific individual as possible. Listed with Peter on the 1906 manifest are two other men with same surname as Peter, all headed for the same place in New York City. Coincidence? Likely not. The man, Theopilactos? and George Verichios, aged thirty-one and thirty-three, respectively, are listed. No relationship is stated, but there seems a good chance one exists. In fact when Peter immigrates again in 1914, he states he is going to live with a friend George Verikios in Chicago.
1) Even when you think you know everything, additional searching may increase your knowledge.
2) Geographic discrepancies can sometimes be resolved by the use of maps and other finding aids.
3) Alternate search techniques may work when traditional methods fail.
4) Obtaining the native-language pronunciation of a name may provide you with additional spelling variants.
Where Do I Go Next?
That is a good question. In my case, I'm going to try and locate all the men from the 1906 manifest in the 1910 and 1920 census. I'll start first with New York in 1910 and go from there.
Michael John Neill, is the Course I Coordinator at the Genealogical
Institute of Mid America (GIMA) held annually in Springfield, Illinois,
and is also on the faculty of Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois.
Michael is the Web columnist for the FGS FORUM and is on the editorial
board of the Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly. He conducts
seminars and lectures on a wide variety of genealogical and computer topics
and contributes to several genealogical publications, including Ancestry
and Genealogical Computing. You can e-mail him at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his Web site at:
www.rootdig.com/, but he regrets that he is unable to assist with