BC correction of deceased person - PA.

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.
User avatar
zsnyder
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 31
Joined: 07 Jun 2010, 23:49
Location: San Francisco

BC correction of deceased person - PA.

Postby zsnyder » 12 Apr 2011, 01:13

I've collected all of the required documents for my appointment next January and discussed inconsistencies with the San Francisco consulate. Everything satisfies the consulates needs with the exception of my grandfathers birth certificate.

On it both of his parents names are misspelled along with his and I'll need to file suit with the State of Pennsylvania to have this information corrected.

Birth certificate shows:

GF: Natal Mendo - should be Natale Mento
GGF: Antonio Mendo - should be Antonio Mento
GGF: Margarite Faffbletta - should be Margherita Farfalletta

I should also note that his DOB is listed as 12.20 with a file date of 12.22 but he used 12.23 as his DOB on all later documents.

I have his parents birth certificates and marriage certificate from Italy, his fathers death certificate from the US and could get his mothers if need be. So correcting their information wouldn't seem to be a problem.

However my grandfather never used his given name listed on his birth certificate. Even the 1920 and 1930 census has him listed as "Christmas" - the direct translation. To make matters worse, he somehow enlisted in the Navy, married, acquired a social security card and pension by just telling everyone his name was "Chris". No document exists at the state level showing that he legally changed his name.

So how do I prove to the court that Chris Mento is the same person as the misspelled Natal Mendo? Is proof to change a deceased persons name as riguorous as a criminal proceeding? Would it help at all if my mother (my GF's daughter) appeared in court as witness?

User avatar
NOLATom
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 27
Joined: 09 Jan 2011, 17:37

Re: BC correction of deceased person - PA.

Postby NOLATom » 12 Apr 2011, 05:51

I had a similar problem. With all of my ancestors, Father, Grandmother, G-Grandfather, and GG-Grandfather all having passed away, I had no one to help solve the discrepancies. Further more, the one document that I thought could clear it up, was never found. I looked through almost every single page in the 1920 census, but never found his street at the time listed anywhere this would have validated his military enrollment records. Basically my gg-grandfather's mother's last name was wrong on his marriage certificate. It looked like the priest, who was spanish, wrote it phonetically in spanish, which is quite possible considering my ancestor could not read and write. I found his obituary from 1930 which gave me further information. The names of his two brothers, his sister and his wife. His wife's name was the only such name at the time I can find on any records in New Orleans, so even though there were three other guys with the same name at the time, I was fairly sure I had the right marriage certificate. I then ordered his brothers' and sister's marriage certificate from the archives. All three of them had their mother's last name spelled as it should have been. His sister married a man who had a surname which was also rare. It only appears twice in any documents I searched. Once on the marriage certificate and then on the obituary for my ancestor. This really narrowed it down. So even though dates are not accurate when it comes to birthdays on documents, I was able able to pinpoint the family in Sicily based on my ancestor's siblings' information and eventually found his birth certificate. It then led me to further information. I would think out of the box and gather as much substantiating information as possible and do have your aunt testify. With enough info, the consulate may let it through without a change in court, otherwise, go to court, it will go easier than you think. Don't give up now. Every time I thought I hit a roadblock that couldn't be passed, I just kept researching for months at a time until I would find something that gave me hope again.

apple0202
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: 12 Apr 2011, 07:02

Re: BC correction of deceased person - PA.

Postby apple0202 » 12 Apr 2011, 07:09

I will soon make my application for citezenship via my grandfather but need to find out if anybody knows sombody or company that can review all my documents and package before making a appointment at a consulate, one item of concern is the certificate of naturalization I have the petition for naturalization but not the certificate also grandfather marriage has a I at the end of name not a O is this aproblem

Carboni
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: 14 Apr 2011, 14:48

Re: BC correction of deceased person - PA.

Postby Carboni » 15 Apr 2011, 02:25

Zsnyder,

I am about to undertake this process myself in PA. Can't speak from experience yet, but I can tell you what I know based on my research. I'm assuming you are going through the Orphan's Court (or Philly's Family Division)

The standard of proof in a civil matter, like amending a BC, is preponderance of the evidence. This means the judge has to believe your story is more likely than not the accurate version of events. Think of it this way; you have to prove your story is at least 51% likely.

This is much less than the standard for a criminal proceeding, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. That means your story has to be 99% likely (in theory, at least). Not what you are facing here; you have a much lower standard of proof.

Being a state-issued record, there is a presumption that the birth record is correct, and you have to overcome that. Fortunately, I don't think it's too difficult. You can point to the Italian records you have and how mangled the parents' names are on the birth certificate. This will cast doubt on the accuracy of the birth certificate from the beginning, since you have proof the parents' names are incorrect. Point to other things that support your story; the age of your ancestor at certain events matching up with the birth record, the fact "Natale" translates as "Christmas" in English, etc. All you have to do is show it's more likely than not the birth certificate is inaccurate. Given the rather egregious errors on it, I don't think you will have a hard time.

As for bringing a witness - it can't hurt, although I doubt a civil hearing to amend a birth certificate will require that level of involvement. The judge will likely question you on your proofs, but all you have to do is answer honestly, and I think that will be sufficient.

Hope this is helpful and good luck!

User avatar
zsnyder
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 31
Joined: 07 Jun 2010, 23:49
Location: San Francisco

Re: BC correction of deceased person - PA.

Postby zsnyder » 15 Apr 2011, 22:30

Thanks, Carboni. This is the information I needed to put myself at ease.

There was very informative post by jschotz a couple years back that I had saved for future reference. When the board updated the link broke but I found it again:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=11562&p=84717#p84717

He took on the process himself so maybe it'll help you too.


- edit: looks like his original post was truncated in that link or it could be an issue with my browser.

User avatar
zsnyder
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 31
Joined: 07 Jun 2010, 23:49
Location: San Francisco

Re: BC correction of deceased person - PA.

Postby zsnyder » 15 Apr 2011, 22:48

apple0202 wrote:I will soon make my application for citezenship via my grandfather but need to find out if anybody knows sombody or company that can review all my documents and package before making a appointment at a consulate, one item of concern is the certificate of naturalization I have the petition for naturalization but not the certificate also grandfather marriage has a I at the end of name not a O is this aproblem


Depending on the consulate you may be able to clear up your questions by emailing them. If you can't, don't sweat it. It's not uncommon to have to go back for a second or third meeting (your wait time won't be like your initial meeting) or they may ask you to mail the corrected documents to them.

I too only have the Petition from the local court as my GGF went to prison a few months after filing. The SF consulate is ok with that so long as I provide a certified letter of non existence from NARA, USCIS and certified copy of the 1920 and 1930 census. Your consulate my have different requirements but they should all be spelled out on their website.

Carboni
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: 14 Apr 2011, 14:48

Re: BC correction of deceased person - PA.

Postby Carboni » 16 Apr 2011, 03:30

No problem - JScotz actually helped me get some of my info together not too long ago. I've worked for a judge before, so I have some insight into their thought process.

One thing to keep in mind is, if you go to the trouble of filing a petition, gathering the evidence, and jumping through the procedural hoops to get into court, the judge is likely to give you the benefit of a doubt here. Not many people would care that much to change their ancestor's birth certificate unless there was good reason for it. It is also unlikely that someone of nefarious intent would try to use the judicial system to affect that goal. Most identity thieves would simply alter the physical document itself. The judge knows all of this (or should know, anyway) and wants to reach the right result.


Return to “Emigration, Immigration, Naturalization and Italian citizenship”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests