Re: Dilemma - names I'm searching keep changing! #general


In a message dated 2/17/2003 2:54:22 PM Eastern Standard Time,
mdtaffet@... writes:

<< Nobody in my husband's family remembers what the g-grandmother's maiden
name was, so that is not a source of confusion. Instead, the source of
confusion lies in the maiden name as found in various written records.

I have NYC birth certificates for 4 of the children born to this
particular couple. The father's name is listed consistently on all
records as TAFFIT.
The mother's maiden surname is listed inconsistently on these 4 records.
I shows LANGER, two show LONDON and one shows LANDAU. These are the
earliest records I have -- all between 1890 and 1900.

Then in 1919, on the marriage license for one of her sons, her maiden
name is listed as SILVER.

In 1936, the SS-5 (application for social security number) filed by one
of her daughters shows her maiden name as LANDOW. Sometime later (don't
have the year with me), the SS-5 filed by another son listed her maiden
name as GOLD.

The preponderance of the evidence points to LONDON or LANDAU/LANDOW as
the most likely maiden surname, but I have trouble figuring out how SILVER
and GOLD fit into the picture. So, if you get good advice on your
situation that would be helpful for me too, I'd love to hear it. >>

==I decided not to get involved with the first of these puzzles, but
you've asked for advice, so I will throw in my guess.

==I'd agree, her maiden name was probably LANDAU (LANDOW as an
Americanized spelling, LANGER as a mis-memory) or it may have been LONON
(and may have originated as LAMDAN to add to the confusion). Whatever it
was, it does not seem to have been very important to her, in her specific
culture, surnames may have been largely irrelevant, She was the daughter
of Tevye, der Milchiger (the dairyman), to everyone. At some point, in
America, she realized she needed a maiden name and searched her memory.
Something beginning with LAN, she's sure, perhaps she'd discussed this
with a sister or a cousin, and they all think yes, something like that.

==Along comes her son, he's getting married. He didn't expect to be asked
a stupid question about his mother's maiden name, and she'd never
mentioned it to him. So, in the offices of the marriage registrar, he
boldly writes what he thinks is a plausible and nicely American-sounding
name, SILVER (perhaps the celebration of his parents' 25th wedding was
fresh in his mind).
Twentyfive years later, another son, at the SocSec office, has to ponder
the question. Calls his brother to ask. "I'm not sure. I had that
question once, too, and I filled it out with some precious metal, no, not
platinum, might have been gold or silver, I know I was thinking of their
wedding anniversary . . . .

==There all kinds of alternate possibilities: her father changed the
specific form of the name occasionally; for a while she used the name of
her stepfather or her sister-in-law or her uncle (e.g. for comig to the

==That's what makes genealogy so interesting; imagine if we just had to
look up an ancestor's on-line listing and found everything annotated,
cross-referenced and documented for ten generations back; you'd have to
go back 12, 12, or 13 gens to find something challenging.

Michael Bernet,
New York

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