When did spelling of names become important? #germany


Lin <lin2@...>
 

We've spoken about that the Germans see not sticklers for spelling and
lack of standardized spelling long ago. I wonder when spelling may have
become more important for names.

My grandmother was born in 1895. Her name was Elly HUMBERG. When I
received a copy of her marriage certificate not long ago her name
spelled Elli twice on the document. But they also made a mistake on
my grandfather's birth year. I was beginning to wonder if perhaps
my grandmother changed the spelling of her name when she came to America.
But On the second page where my grandmother signed her name, she wrote Elly.

Today I received a copy of her actual first certificate. And on her birth
certificate her name is spelled Elli. The other documents I have seen where
names are not spelled consistently were >from the generation before my
grandmother. Every letter written to my grandmother that I've seen letters
from her sisters etc. all spelled her name Elly. Was spelling still not
important as late as 1895? I should say she was born in Klein Reken
in case that matters. Thank you so much

Lin Herz Palm Bay, Florida


Tobias A. Kemper <kemper@...>
 

Renate Rosenau answered to Lin Herz' question about the introduction of
rules for spelling in the German language.

It is right that an official standardization was introduced not before
the late 19th century. But the development of a standard spelling goes
back to the 18th century. The spelling of Goethe and Schiller is not far
from modern spelling.
But Lin asked for the spelling of names:

In Prussia the spelling of the names was fixed by King's orders in 1816
(30.10.1816) and 1822 (15.4.1822); in the western parts of Prussia
(Rheinprovinz, Provinz Westfalen) the names have been fixed around
1800/1810.

Lin Herz wrote:
"My grandmother was born in 1895. Her name was Elly HUMBERG. When I
received a copy of her marriage certificate not long ago her name
spelled Elli twice on the document. But they also made a mistake on
my grandfather's birth year. I was beginning to wonder if perhaps
my grandmother changed the spelling of her name when she came to America.
But On the second page where my grandmother signed her name, she wrote Elly.
Today I received a copy of her actual first certificate. And on her birth
certificate her name is spelled Elli."
The official spelling of a name is according to the birth record - in
this case: Elli. Because of this, the name is spelled "Elli" in the
marriage record, too. But for name like Elli, Willi, Toni ..., spellings
with -i and with -y were in use. In these case, it seems that the person
was used to write her name Elly, but in official documents it is Elli
according to the birth record.

Regards Tobias A. Kemper, Alfter, Germany ... tobias.kemper@...


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 life. 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


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
life.

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@...