I have always believed that the original Lithuanian spelling of my surname was Leamontas. Furthermore, I believed that the Customs Agent “Americanized” my Grandpa’s name to Laemont, thusly explaining that odd “e”, which has plagued us all.
In exploring Ancestry.com in an attempt to add to our family tree, I stumbled across two astounding facts:
- BEFORE MY GRANDPA LAEMONT CAME OVER, his Dad (My Great Grandpa, Jonas Leimantas) came to the United States in 1911
- My Grandpa came over from Lithuania in 1912 (age 21) and was Naturalized in 1925. His name was changed from Jurgis Leimantas to George Laemont! Here’s his Naturalization card.
- My Dad, George II, came over a year later (this document shows his age as “about” 11 months, when his actual was 27 months! ) with my Grandma (Note Customs agent’s spelling of her name “Alybeta”, which I always thought was “Elizabeth”). They came through Rotterdam and then into NY. Note the ending “as” became “os”. It’s a miracle anything was spelled correctly back in those days!
- I’m not able to find out, nor did I ever know anything about, Great Grandpa Jonas. I’m afraid the various mis-spellings of the family name has clouded that information.