Re: U.K. birth registrations #unitedkingdom

Jill Whitehead

Some first names could be double names and so either of the double names could be given e.g. Rachel Leah was given in my family as Rachel Leah, Rachel, Leah, and as an anglicization Lily. Names were quite fluid in the past unlike now. My great grandmother was known as Hadassah, Basha and Bertha (and sometimes Betsy). Surnames could also be changed at will and could be subject to many spellings e.g. Rubenstein and Berenstein were interchangeable (they mean the same thing red stone). And also the patronymic could be used instead of or as well as the given surname so my great grandmother Bertha (as above)  gave her birth surname as Plottnovsky (spelt many different ways) but also as Jacobs (her father's name) on several of her 12 children's birth records. During WW1, foreign sounding surnames were commonly Anglicized - my Guttenbergs became Graham legally by Deed Poll, but other more informal changes were made such as Abrahams to Abrams. Patronyms are things to look out for - for many years I could not find the death record for my great aunt Leah Servian Goldblatt when she died of typhoid in N. Wales in the early 1890s - her death had been registered as Leah Max, Mordecai or Max being her grandfather's name. You need to think outside the box.

Jill Whitehead nee Servian (Serwianski), Surrey, UK 

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