Further to Renate Rosenau and Tobias Kemper's posts, I've been inspecting
the dates on German birth, marriage and death certificates in my files.
It is evident that even if there was no law on the subject, "foreign"
spellings of first names were unacceptable to some officials who preferred
to apply strict 1901 spelling rules in every case.
Thus my great-grandmother, who was born a Caroline and married with
that name in 1862 died a Karoline in 1929. Similarly, my grandmother
was born a Louise in 1872 but became Luise on the 1902 birth certificate
of her youngest son.
My mother still obstinately signed herself Clara on her marriage
certificate, but on the 1932 document the officially sanctioned name is
Klara. She was born in 1900, and close inspection of the Familienregister
seems to suggest that Clara has later been manually altered to Klara, but
it's not clear at what date.
Josephs, too, later reappear as Josef.
In all these cases it wasn't a matter of illiteracy.
In my own case, of course, on migration to England, I chose to use the
spelling Caroline of my second name, originally Karoline after that same
great-grandmother. The German spelling just wasn't socially acceptable
when we were at war with Germany. And that's the name on all my school
qualifications, though for a number of reasons I reverted to my birth
version later on.
Eva Lawrence, St Albans eva.lawrence@...
Moderator note: Thanks to Eva for giving examples of how *** our own ***
names have changed for one reason or another. I'm sure we all have examples
like hers among ** contemporary ** members of our immediate families.