Re: Question re Polish parents' anglicised names on 1896 UK Naturalization Certificate #poland #unitedkingdom

Jill Whitehead

British Naturalisation certificates were based on information submitted by the applicant (always male in the late 19th century) either directly or through their agent. These asked for the names of the applicants' parents, so it would be up to the applicant or their agent, if they chose to anglicise them. The son of my great grand aunt Claude Isaac Michaelson born Edinburgh 1870 (and the first of his family to be born in the UK, and so educated here) was the agent for 40 Edinburgh worthies being naturalised in the 1890's and then the first decade of the 20th century, the first being his three uncles including my Great grandfather Benjamin Brown, and their cousin Arthur Brown. He used the first names of the applicants as they were known in the UK (e.g. Arthur rather than Abraham), but used the original first names for both their male and female parents, being Jacob and Rachel Leah, and Gershon Joseph and Rebecca, who did not migrate.

My great grandfather Joseph Servian (born Josiel Serwianski)  in Liverpool used Lynskeys, Jewish solicitors, for his naturalisation. He did the same as Claude Michaelson in Edinburgh in terms of names. 

In Hull and Grimsby my great grandfather Aaron Guttenberg applied for naturalisation three times before he succeded (there were quotas). His certificate gives his father as Levi Guttenberg , although on Polish records he is given as Leib. Leib lived in Rajgrod until he died aged 95. Aaron called his house Liondale after Leib, and various grandchildren were called Lionel after Leib. All these names were interchangeable. Names were pretty flexible then anyway - Aaron's wife was variusly known as Hadassah, Basha, Bertha, and Betsy.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

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