Re: When did spelling of names become important? #germany

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

Germany was much better than the US about consistent spelling in the
19th and early 20th centuries. But names are not the same as other
words, especially Jewish names.

My gg grandmother, in a tiny town in Nassau, had 20 kids whose births
were registered. On the registrations, her name is listed 20 different
ways: Rachel, Regina, Reis, .... The spelling is not the problem, but
the fact is that the Jews used different names and diminutives in everyday

Today, if somebody spelled my name Salley or Sallie, I would object,
but back then I don't think that mattered to people, so long as the name
had the same sound, and that the name was among those the person used.
Certainly Elli and Elly are the same name, spelled differently.

Even the daughter of Rachel, Regina, Reis, above, who was mostly known
as Rachel, was Regina on her marriage record. Go figure. When I
searched by mail, decades ago, at the NYC Municipal Archives, they
couldn't find the marriage record; but when I went to NYC, I found it
right away. Her husband, Bernhard most of the time in NYC, was Barnett
on one page and Baruch on the other. But his last name was very odd.
His birth record in Amsterdam said Baruch, and his name in London was Barnett.

People just didn't have the same attitude towards their names.
In the US, spelling was quite variable, but that was not the biggest
problem for genealogists.

Sally Bruckheimer, Princeton, NJ sallybruc@...

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