[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Name Changes

perry1121 at aol.com perry1121 at aol.com
Tue Jan 31 11:21:11 PST 2012


Although a formal name change through the legal system was possible, our immigrant ancestors were also allowed the option to change their names when they became naturalized citizens. And it has long been the custom for many women to change their names when they marry. You can certainly look for these formal, legal records. However, there are many documents on which phonetic spellings occur or from which indexes are created by people who can't read handwritten listings; ship manifests, immigration lists, census records, and even church records may all show spelling variations which were not intended by the persons using the names. These could not be considered "legal" name changes. They just happen to be the way the names were spelled by someone creating the listings. We all need to be aware of these inconsistencies when we search whether or not a particular name has a "standard" spelling. As was already pointed out, spelling standards are a recent invention. When people themselves didn't write and moved from one country to another, from one language to another, names were spelled by other people as they sounded--complete with dialect variations and phonetic spellings appropriate to various alphabets. Some of these changes remain in succeeding generations, but often they are just aberrations in random documents. You should make a note of them in your file, but not consider them a legal "name change."

Sigrid Pohl Perry
collecting variations on Pohl, Domres, Hapke, Mantei, Wolski, Scheffler,  Gatzke, Buettner, Kuehn, Ziemer et al



-----Original Message-----
From: Christine <chrissy36_nj at comcast.net>
To: ger-poland-volhynia <ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org>
Sent: Tue, Jan 31, 2012 9:26 am
Subject: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Name Changes

Hi List,

Now that more of my ancestors records have just become available on Ancestry
Via church records Pennsylvania my last name is spelled in so many ways
Dobberstein, Von Dobberstein or just plain old Doberstein. When my ancestors
came to America their names were changed to make them more American but is
there any place I can go to, to find those records of the name change..



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