If your ancestor moved to a country or region where a different language was spoken, was his name translated before it was entered in various records?

It could explain your difficulty in finding him.



3 Responses

  1. My grandmother Giovaninna (from marriage record in Italy) became Johanna (1920 census) and then Jennie (1930 census). Her gravestone reverts to Giovaninna. Carlo became Charlie, Giovanni became John, Purisima became Josephine, etc. These Italians really wanted to fit in and be American! So much so that I wasn’t taught any Italian, much to my sorrow, but most of them lost their accents.

  2. My grandmother, Louisa Phadelia Kelly was born in 1887. Her mother was French-Canadian and her Dad was Irish-Canadian and she was embarrassed because she thought her names sounded too foreign. When she married she called herself Louise Frances on her wedding application. Her young husband thought his name Alfred was boring so he put Albert (as in Prince Albert) on the application. Ahhh sweet love! They both changed back to their birth names but when her son found her marriage certificate he put her middle name as Frances although she had only used it a couple times.

    My other grandmother, with Colonial ancestry, thought that her name, Mary Edith sounded old-fashioned so she became Edith Marie because she wanted to sound “Continental”. Go figure!

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