The Error on the Envelope

The envelope from the drug store where my Mom had her photographs developed listed her with her maiden name. This was twenty-seven years after she was married and her last name was no longer Neill. The drug store clerk apparently realized the error and corrected the name, but did not change the initial under which the order was filed.

I already know that Mom’s maiden name is Ufkes from other records and the lifelong interaction I had with members of her family of origin. This drug store photograph receipt really does not prove anything and I certainly have a large quantity of items providing her maiden name that are of much higher evidentiary quality. The item does not purport to give her maiden name. It was intended to be the name at the time–1995. What I know, based on this document alone, is that the clerk realized an error had been made. For all I know, one of Mom’s many Ufkes relatives still bearing the name was in the store at the same time as she was and the clerk simply got mixed up. To be honest, given the probable age of the clerk, she could easily have listed my Mom’s maiden name as Grandma’s last name had she been friends with my Grandmother.

In other situations, this could have been a clue.

If you have a grandmother who was married seven times and you don’t have last name for all of those husbands, a record of this type would be very helpful and the researcher who has access to that grandmother’s personal papers should dig through every one for a potential reference to a different last name. That’s not the case here.