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 Post subject: Name Changing
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:55 am 
Spider Lady
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Location: Staffordshire
I have a person who was born during WW1, the entry for his birth reference gives his surname (obviously) plus the mothers maiden name. These are different. When this man married, he had changed his name to something completely different. I have my own theories on possible reasons for this but wondered what others thought.
Did the father HAVE to be present when a birth was registered in WW1 for the child to be able to use his name?
One suggestion that has been made is that the birth was maybe illegitimate or that the father wasn't around when the birth was registered. If this was the case, wouldn't the entry be different?
It was registered as Mar 1917 Smith John Jones Stoke ....etc. (I have changed the names as, although this man has passed away, he has family still living).
This tells me that his name was John Smith and his mothers maiden name was Jones so his dad had to be a Smith.
If the birth was illegitimate then wouldn't the name have been John Jones and nothing in the maiden name column?

As for the name change....well he became a Brown when he married and still Brown when he died. All of his kids are called Brown. So...although I don't yet know when this name change took place, would it have had to be done legally. If his mum remarried to Mr Brown, would an official adoption have had to take place....he couldn't just assume the name Brown could he? (Although I suppose people do!)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:23 am 
Computer Whizz
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You are right about the father having to be present, or give written authorisation for his name to be put on the cert. I found one which gives the mothers name, the childs name (same surname), but with the fathers name as the childs middle name. So John son of Mary Smith and Fred Bloggs, became John Bloggs Smith. Mary Smith was married, and in the maiden name column it gives her maiden name.
I wonder if your guy found out who his real father was and it wasn't the same as had been thought?? Or was your "mother" married and he eventually took her maiden name, as her married name would not be his---does that all make sense? I think the latter is the logical one, but do we know if she had been married?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:54 am 
Spider Lady
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Well, I have a marriage ref for Smith and Jones, a number of years before this John Smith was born. There are other children. One of my first thoughts was that he was a soldier in WW1 and maybe died in service...but he would possibly be in his 40's. Would he still have served, was he too old? He didn't serve in the Boer War.

Another theory I have is that the husband did a runner/they split up for whatever reason. I have found a death for Mr Smith, the dad and I have yet to find a re-marriage to this Brown chap for the mum to support a possible adoption theory. Don't you love it when there is lots to think about!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:08 am 
Spider Lady
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Having done more digging, I have found out that Mrs Smith (nee Jones) did not marry Mr Brown. I have found a death for her and she died as Mrs Smith.
I have also done a bit of digging into John Smiths siblings. There were 2 sisters and 3 or 4 brothers. I haven't found the boys yet but the girls births were both registered as Smith, but then the younger one of them changed to Brown! The older didn't. I will be looking for the boys this weekend to see if they changed.

So, if Mum didn't marry a Mr Brown, why did at least 2 kids become Brown?

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