The Velvel comes from my Great Grandfather. He was born in Russia, and was an orthodox Rabbi. We’re pretty sure he was Hasidic, because he had a long beard, wore dark clothes, and smiled a lot, even when he wasn’t drinking Vodka. Velvel left Russia 100 years ago because his family was getting too much education. By day, he pounded wisdom into his children’s heads. By night, the Cossacks did the same thing, only with clubs. So Velvel traveled to America with his three sons and wife.
At Ellis Island, under the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, the Immigration official asked my great Grampa his last name. "Yussalovitch," Velvel replied. "Sounds like Silver," the official concluded. The man next to him, Rushevsky, became Diamond. Poppavitch became Goldberg. The logic? Who knows?