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legal changed names - general

Trudy Barch
 

Our ancestors that immigrated to America, 1900-1920, came with their European name.   The spouse had the European spelling of the name as well as the children.   When husband/father naturalized and legally changed his name…  1) did his wife and children automatically became naturalized citizens?  2) did the wife and children’s spelling of the name legally change at that time also?  3) The American born children - would they use the European spellings until dad naturalized?   

Thank you,   Trudy Barch (FL)

 

 

Sally Bruckheimer
 

"Our ancestors that immigrated to America, 1900-1920, came with their European name.   The spouse had the European spelling of the name as well as the children.   When husband/father naturalized and legally changed his name…  1) did his wife and children automatically became naturalized citizens?  2) did the wife and children’s spelling of the name legally change at that time also?  3) The American born children - would they use the European spellings until dad naturalized? "

1) Up until Social Security and Drivers Licenses, anyone could call him/her self whatever they wanted. Obviously, if the man change Wojochowicz to Cohen at naturalization and named family members, they would be included in the name change - but they could call themselves whatever they wanted. 

2) Until WW I or so, women were automatically whatever nationality their husband was. If an American born woman married a Russian immigrant (not naturalized), she would become a Russian, and when he naturalized she would be too. A little later, women didn't lose their citizenship, and they had to naturalize separately. If he didn't naturalize until after the law changed, she would have to naturalize to get her citizenship back.

3) American born children (including the father of a friend of mine) were named whatever on their birth record. So a child born Sam Cohen, the son of Shlomo Wojochowicz was automatically changed. But it didn't really matter until after WW I.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

Herbert Lazerow
 

<Our ancestors that immigrated to America, 1900-1920, came with their European name.   The spouse had the European spelling of the name as well as the children.   When husband/father naturalized and legally changed his name…  1) did his wife and children automatically became naturalized citizens?>
   Before about 1922, naturalization of the husband also naturalized the wife because husband and wife were regarded as one in loyalties and that choice was viewed as the husband's. (Parenthetically, if a female U.S. citizen married an alien, she became an alien.) The children did not become citizens unless they were specifically listed on the naturalization petition.
  2) did the wife and children’s spelling of the name legally change at that time also?
   One must realize that at that time there were next to no official documents that our ancestors had.  Few had driver's licenses.  Social security does not arrive until 1935, and not until later for the self-employed. So there was little occasion to use a particular spelling of the name. Officially, the name change in the petition probably included wife and children, but it was doubtful that it had any practical significance.
  3) The American born children - would they use the European spellings until dad naturalized?   
     I would assume that everyone in the nuclear family tried to spell the name in the same way to avoid confusion, though in one of the families I am following, some siblings spelled it with a single M and others with a double M.
Bert
--
Herbert Lazerow
Professor of Law, University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego CA 92110 U.S.A.
(619)260-4597 office, (858)453-2388 cell, lazer@...
Author: Mastering Art Law (Carolina Academic Press 2015)

jbonline1111@...
 

My grandmother was included in her husband's naturalization around 1923 or so.  

It is still legal to use any name a person wishes, as long as it is not used for fraudulent purposes.  My father did so from at least the early 1940s until his death five years ago without legally changing his name.  When we children came along, we were given the last name my father used on our birth certificates.  Obviously, names can also be changed through legal requests for name change, as some people I know have done. 

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, spelling was rather fluid.  For example, my mother's birth certificate spells her first name as "Silvia" though she always spelled it "Sylvia."  Her last name also had a spelling different from the one the family used by the time I came along.   

I hope this is some help.