First off you were not allowed to change your name. But it may have been misspelled upon arrival, thousands of names were. So you need to check the passenger lists at Ellis Island or the port he arrived at for the name you have. Later on in life his named may have been shortened or changed slightly in the census records and other such documents, you just never know until you start checking.
Henryk PO Top Contributor
Joined: 05 Dec 2008 Replies: 292 Location: London ON, Canada
As for Kocanda I think there is also possibility that your grandfather's surname might be pronounced with Polish "ń" in the middle - Kocańda. You can use google translate tool to listen to difference in Polish pronunciation, click here: http://goo.gl/DQNy7 and click the "speaker" button in the right down corner of the text field.
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