Individuals who have multiple middle names and who used more than one last name can create research headaches. The main reason is that they could appear in a record in any one of a number of ways. It’s important not to omit any of those name possibilities.
Johann Christian Valentin Hess was born in 1827 in Wohlmuthausen, Thuringen, Germany. His parents, Ernestine Trautvetter and Kaspar Hess, were never married. His sister when she married in St. Louis, Missouri, used the last name of Trautvetter. It’s possible Johann Christian Valentin did as well.
Of course, many Germans in the area where the Trautvetters were from did not use the “first name” they were given. Their “call name” was one of their “middle names.” That does not mean that they never occasionally used (or were referred to by) their “first name” in a record.
For this reason, I need to keep a list of the names Johann Christian Valentin Hess could have been called:
- Johann Hess or Johann Trautvetter
- Christian Hess or Christian Trautvetter
- Valentin Hess or Valentine Trautvetter
And of course Johann could be written as John and Christian could be written as Chris. When searching for this individual, I have a list of the name options so that one does not get omitted.