Had my interview with the consulate (Philadelphia) and everything went well. However, my grandfather and fatherâ€™s documents had variations in first names (Giovanni/John, Gugliemo/William) and last names (DiClemente, DiClemento, Clements). I was advised that I need a court order declaring that for example, Giovanni DiClemente, Giovanni DiClemento and John Clements were one and the same person. My grandfather was not naturalized and died in 1963; my father was born in America and died in 1988.
I went to Superior Court in New Jersey but all they provided was information on how to change my OWN name, which I donâ€™t want to do, nor do I want to change my deceased ancestorsâ€™ names! Has anyone obtained an order along the lines of â€œGiovanni DiBruno, b. 1/1/1880 in Naples Italy and John Brown, b. 1/1/1880 in Naples Italy and d. 1/1/1960 in Philadelphia are one and the same individualâ€
Thanks. Sounds like I only need to focus on the last names then, e.g. if one person used DiBruno, DeBruni, Braun and Brown. Some sources seem to indicate that I need to get the original source documents amended so that the surnames all match. Changing my surname is not an option and would solve nothing anyway since my ancestors have the discrepancies. Are there other options besides trying to amend all the old documents?
Mack, what isn't clear from your post, is whether or not you already attempted to correct any of the misspellings, which state these documents come from or if you attempted to use an affidavit to explain the errors at your appointment. Would you mind providing some background?
It may be possible to amend the misspelled surname on your ancestors' records, depending on the state having jurisdiction over the record. However, you mention that you will not change your own - is your surname also misspelled? Other than correcting the records, the only solutions that I can think of would be an affidavit (dichiarazione sostitutiva di certificazione), a court order, or a judge's finding of one and the same. The affidavit would have come in handy during your appointment though, but maybe you could go back with one and see if the consulate accepts it.
I have not tried to correct any of the misspellings (didn't know you could do that). In some cases they aren't misspellings as such. just anglicization or partial anglicization. My grandfather's birth certificate is from Italy, his marriage in Philadelphis, his death in New Jersey. My father's birth and death are in New Jersey, his marriage in Philadelphia. The most problematical doc is my father's 1913 NJ birth certificate, which has his first and last names wrong (Uglielmi for Guglielmo and DeClemento for DiClemente), and my grandfather's last name also wrong. Can a document that old be amended if the people are deceased? How is that done?
Knowing what I know about Italian sur names from the tri-state area of Philadelphia, I think the correct spelling of your name is Di Clemente. If Di Clemente is the name on the birth certificate from Italy, than this is the name you must go with and it must match exactly, so make sure there is a space between the two words. Without the space, you wouldn't even be able to find the name in the Italian phone directory -- that's how important the space is.
If you can't amend the documents to reflect that name, you would need to prove your grand-father is the same person as the ancestor from Italy who's birth certificate you have. The consulate already told you what to do. Get a court order declaring him one and the same. They didn't say anything about amending documents.
Thanks ... the consulate had no problems with the spelling of Di Clemente (i.e. the space or no space issue). The primary problem, I believe, was the "Di ClementO" on my father's birth certificate. The court order declaring Giovanni Di Clemente. Giovanni Di Clemento, John Di Clemente and John Clements to be "one and the same" person sounds EXACTLY like what I want and need, but I have no idea if that can be done -- or in what court -- in NJ. As stated I inquired with the state Superior Court in Camden County and all they say is I need to follow the name change process which seems to apply to living people only. The amended certificate would be a plan B if I can't get the order, since it would eliminate a major source of discrepancy.
mack1020 wrote:I have not tried to correct any of the misspellings (didn't know you could do that).
This is usually the first course of action, if the state having jurisdiction over the document allows it. Did the consular official ask you if you had tried to amend anything? Maybe they assumed that you had or that it wasn't possible, and therefore instructed you to get a court order.
I would investigate correcting the record before attempting to pursue any legal action (court order OR a finding of one and the same). If amendments to records for deceased individuals aren't allowed, then you're back to the legal solution. However, you could save yourself a bundle of money if the state allows those amendments.
Also...as jennabet previously noted, the main issue may not even be the first names, but your family SURNAME.
Why not research whether or not NJ has a procedure in place to amend records? Research online to see if anyone has been successful doing so - don't rely on just a response to a telephone inquiry because there is a chance that the person on the other end of the phone may give you the wrong information.
Plan B is pursuing a court order to amend the birth record of your father, or finding a judge to sign a finding of one and the same. Good luck.