Back in those days, it was quite normal to anglicize a Yiddish
or foreign name by using phonetics.
The joke going around many years ago was that a man named John Kelly applied for
membership at a local shul. The name, of course, made him suspect. Upon
talking to the man, who had a very obvious Yiddish accent, it turned out that
when he entered Ellis Island, the agent couldn't spell YANKELE.................so,
he made it John Kelly. It was a joke based on reality.