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Old 07-15-2013, 06:59 AM   #16
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I'm sure to some it would be some kind of sacred, but if I were that family I'd be opening up the 18th birthday letter for sure- now. If they wait and it contains valuable info, people who know the answers may be dead.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:15 AM   #17
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I'm sure to some it would be some kind of sacred, but if I were that family I'd be opening up the 18th birthday letter for sure- now. If they wait and it contains valuable info, people who know the answers may be dead.
I thought I read that the letter had been opened. It just talked about her wanting the little girl to remember the fun they had going out to tea, etc.

I wish the family would release some more photos (or maybe those are all there are??); it might make it easier to work from. There are so few of them.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:14 AM   #18
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What a fascinating story!! Like a pp mentioned, I love mysteries, but not when they're left unsolved!

The name DMIL gave DH is one that's normally a diminutive, but it's the official name she wanted. The nurse thought that was dumb, so she wrote the formal name. (Like Thomas, when the mom wanted to name the kid Tommy.) Because of that, DH's birth certificate and license are in the formal name, but his birth registration, his Social Insurance Number and credit cards are in the diminutive(which is the only thing he was ever called) and it's super frustrating. We've talked about just changing it all to the formal name for simplicity's sake, but we've never gotten around to it.

Just to complicate matters, when DS was born, we gave him DH's formal name as a first name, but only ever use his middle name. Sigh.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:36 AM   #19
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I thought I read that the letter had been opened. It just talked about her wanting the little girl to remember the fun they had going out to tea, etc.

I wish the family would release some more photos (or maybe those are all there are??); it might make it easier to work from. There are so few of them.
Me too...amazing story/mystery
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:20 PM   #20
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My FIL has a different first name than the one used in his birth certificate. He is Vincenzo on his birth certificate and James everywhere else. HIS father was Salvatore on his birth certificate and Thomas everywhere else.(that may have been an immigration thing, bc his name was Salvatore on the ship manifest)
My FIL's Social Security, school records, drivers license, financial records, medical records, even his army papers all have the name not on the birth cert.
His parents are the ones who started calling him something else from birth. Very odd.
Your FIL isn't Catholic by any chance? I know in some of the older Christian churches, you have 2 names. Your family name and your church name, which is usually a saint.



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Old 07-15-2013, 02:05 PM   #21
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We have some interesting stories in my family with both my grandmas. The first one was her mother named her Wanita but everyone in her school spelled it Juanita. She eventually changed the spelling. Other one was my 2nd grandmother had 2 birthdays. One from the hospital and one from her mother. The dr put the wrong date. The bad thing was all her documents had different bdays so anytime we did calls for her and had to give a bdate we had to guess which one she used cause some wanted the date on her birth certificate others just went by what she told them.
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:24 PM   #22
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I have a friend who has a long beautiful name, something like Anastasia, and has an old copy of her birth certificate where they list that name, but when she went to get her new birth certificate they listed her as "Jane". She's adopted and thought perhaps her birth name somehow got on there, but her birthname is a entirely different third name, like Michelle. (none of these are real, but they give a sense of how different they are, they aren't names you would really mix up). The only thing they could figure out is that when they typed the information into the computer to make the automated birth certificates, her info got confused with the person before or after.

Where I live and work we have many immigrants. Some of the African families give kids a name in their native language and then something easy for American ears, so a child might be Dagmawi and consistently called Andrew. In that case, Andrew wouldn't appear on the birth certificate at all. Many of the Central American families give their kids a family name as a first name, and then call the child 100% by a middle name at home to avoid confusion with Dad Grandpa when they get to school. What they end up at called at school varies. The parents generally register them with their legal first name and ask that we use that. Some kids are fine with switching to their "real first name". Some kids, especially those with older siblings who are using the middle name at school, the first name just doesn't switch and they end up with the last name, and some kids use the double barrelled name or a nickname.

So Miguel Antonio would be Antonio or sometimes Antony at home, and could be Miguel, Mike, Miguel Antonio, Antonio, or Antony at school.
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:59 PM   #23
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Your FIL isn't Catholic by any chance? I know in some of the older Christian churches, you have 2 names. Your family name and your church name, which is usually a saint.

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Old 07-17-2013, 04:38 PM   #24
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My FIL has a different first name than the one used in his birth certificate. He is Vincenzo on his birth certificate and James everywhere else. HIS father was Salvatore on his birth certificate and Thomas everywhere else.(that may have been an immigration thing, bc his name was Salvatore on the ship manifest)
My FIL's Social Security, school records, drivers license, financial records, medical records, even his army papers all have the name not on the birth cert.
His parents are the ones who started calling him something else from birth. Very odd.
Yeah, but at least y'all knew! We didn't know 'til my grandfather died, and now there's no one whom we can ask for the story of how this came to be! As he grew up, did he just seem to look like an R instead of an L? Or did the boy next door have the same name, and they changed it to avoid confusion? Or did mom read a novel in which L was the villain's name, and she could no longer call her sweet boy L? It's not a big thing in the long run, but I do wish I could know.

I don't think this kind of thing would happen anymore. Records are so much more strict nowadays.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:11 PM   #25
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This isn't nearly on the same level . . .

but when my grandfather died and my grandmother had to get an official copy of his birth certificate (so she could get a death certificate), we were all shocked to learn that the name he'd called himself all his life . . . wasn't his name! His last name was unchanged, of course, but apparently somewhere along the line he just decided to "pick up" a new Christian name, and he dropped the one given to him by his parents. His own children had no idea, and no one is left from the older generation to ask. His driver's license, wedding license and other official papers from various sources all listed the name by which we knew him. We can only assume that at some point (maybe when he obtained his first driver's license?) it was acceptable just to give one's name without formal evidence, and he chose to give the name he wanted.

I suppose it'll be a mystery in our family forever.
Both of my mothers parents were called names not on their birth records. My grandmother was always called Grace. When she went to file for SS in the early 90's my aunt went with her. Looking at all the legal paperwork it was discovered that her name was really Kathleen. She had never known it until then. My grandfather's birth name was Jacob. He told us he didn't like that name so when he started school he told the teacher is name was Odell (why he would pick that over Jacob I have no idea). From that time until the day he died he was Odell. Both of them grew up and lived all their lives in very rural areas. I don't know if that made any difference in how this could happen.

The original story is facinating. I would love to see a Dateline on ID show about it.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:04 PM   #26
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My father always said that my Irish great-great grandfather changed his last name. Gun runner that needed to go into hiding. Sure, dad! Then we found a death certificate where it listed him with both last names. Hmm. So now what do I do? Don't know if the gun-runner story is true, not sure I should try to find out!

I love a good mystery though.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:00 PM   #27
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This isn't nearly on the same level . . .

but when my grandfather died and my grandmother had to get an official copy of his birth certificate (so she could get a death certificate), we were all shocked to learn that the name he'd called himself all his life . . . wasn't his name! His last name was unchanged, of course, but apparently somewhere along the line he just decided to "pick up" a new Christian name, and he dropped the one given to him by his parents. His own children had no idea, and no one is left from the older generation to ask. His driver's license, wedding license and other official papers from various sources all listed the name by which we knew him. We can only assume that at some point (maybe when he obtained his first driver's license?) it was acceptable just to give one's name without formal evidence, and he chose to give the name he wanted.

I suppose it'll be a mystery in our family forever.
When my mother died we discovered that her name Mary Elizabeth was actually Elizabeth Mary. all her life she had been called Mary Elizabeth and it was that name on all her official documents except her birth certificate. Her brother was called by his middle name but the family all knew that fact.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:01 PM   #28
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My father always said that my Irish great-great grandfather changed his last name. Gun runner that needed to go into hiding. Sure, dad! Then we found a death certificate where it listed him with both last names. Hmm. So now what do I do? Don't know if the gun-runner story is true, not sure I should try to find out!

I love a good mystery though.
Death certificates back in the day were less. . .formalized. I've got an ancestress whose certificate has as her first name a female diminutive of her husband's first name - which was nothing like her name! Another one has her nickname "Dinky" and not her given name (which is STILL a matter of debate).

So it's entirely possible that, as your rogue of an ancestor was already dead and beyond man's justice, whoever provided the information for the death certificate gave both names and your father's story is true.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:32 PM   #29
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If they went out and found the strong box right after her death, why did they cremate her?

They knew something was wrong with her. I don't understand why they didn't have some sort of testing done. I'm sure they can diagnose some things post-mortem. They are a well to-do family, I doubt it was lack of funds.

And now I want to know the end!
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:53 AM   #30
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My godmother's birth certificate said "Baby Girl" Smith. Apparently her parents hadn't chosen a name when they left the hospital and never got around to making the change.

Was fine until she tried to get a passport. She had to go through the court system to legally change her name from "Baby Girl".
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