Surname Variations

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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brentini
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Surname Variations

Postby brentini » 24 Jan 2011, 14:38

I am trying to get some information concerning name variations. I am investigating Italian dual-citizenship tracing lineage through my wife’s maternal grandfather. He emigrated from Italy around 1909 and seemingly was never naturalized.

The original surname and an alternate were used by the maternal grandparents and their children in the U.S. at various times. Of the few living relatives we have contacted, the occasional use of the alternate surname is a mystery. As far as we can tell: the alternate surname was not an Americanized version of the original surname, it is not an obvious misspelling of the original, and it was not changed at Ellis Island. The original surname appears:
• on all ship manifests at Ellis Island (for multiple arrivals)
• death certificates of mother and grandparents
• marriage records for mother and grandparents
• Italian birth records of grandparents
• Grandfather’s WWI Draft Registration
• Some obituaries and public records
The alternate name appears:
• Mother’s birth certificate (for both child and parents)
• 1930 Census
• some obituaries and public records

Although I can make what I consider to be an obvious linkage between the surnames, I fear the New York Consulate may not look at it the same way. How do I document or prove to the consulate that these are two surnames for the same people? Is this a serious enough problem to consider terminating this quest? My wife has an appointment at the New York consulate scheduled for early October.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thank You

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ForzaItaliaPgh
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Re: Surname Variations

Postby ForzaItaliaPgh » 24 Jan 2011, 15:03

Each consulate might handle this differently, but the Philadelphia consulate requires a signed affidavit attesting that these are the same people. You'd be surprised how many people used an alternative spelling.

At most, they will require the documents to be amended to all read the correct surname.

Your best bet would be to contact the consulate, if possible (we can no longer speak to the consulate in Philly).

If you cannot reach the NYC Consulate to find the process that they will require, your wife ought to keep the appointment. If the name issue is a real problem, it will be addressed at the appt and a second appt scheduled with enough time to fix the issue.
Researching BARONTINI family from Tuscany

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sceaminmonkey
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Re: Surname Variations

Postby sceaminmonkey » 24 Jan 2011, 15:32

You need the documents corrected, there is no doubt about that ! Consider reading the recent Post by javaislife and I hope your documents are NYC documents . For records that's can't be amended such as naturalization records etc you should get a positive negative letter from the commune in Italy where the ancestor was born saying that there is no one in that commune with that name ad they did a search etc.


Best of luck to you,
Dave

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brentini
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Re: Surname Variations

Postby brentini » 24 Jan 2011, 20:54

As a couple of you suggested, I read the recent thread by Javaislife (which proved to helpful, if not depressing). In addition, I also talked to people at the NY and Boston Consulates. I was quickly told by the NY Consulate that I would need a certified letter from a court explaining the discrepancy. The person I spoke to in Boston took much more time to consider the case I was presenting over the phone. As he saw it, my wife's mother's birth certificate was the focal point, since it was the only vital record which used the alternate surname. He did not understand why the birth certificate was issued with such a "mistake," but neither do we. Ultimately, his suggestion was to use the correct birth, marriage, and death records which used the original surname to try to get the my wife's mother's birth certificate amended. Interestingly, he did not seem to think documentation from a court would be of any use.


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