Where are you applying, because a minor first-name issue with someone in the non-Italian line should not be that big a deal?
If, however, they insist, you can easily resolve the problem (if your mother-in-law is still living) with a legal name change and amendment to her birth certificate. The name change may not be a bad idea anyway because all legal documents today should be consistent. It's a bit costly but not all that difficult. Honestly, though, it shouldn't be necessary.
You will need to submit her divorce papers to resolve the last name issue. When she married the first time, her name in the US was legally changed according to US custom, and the certificate for the first marriage and subsequent divorce papers document the connection between the two names.
Thanks very much for your reply. My husband's mother was widowed when she married a second time. Would her first husband's death certificate be sufficient to demonstrate she is the same person? Do I also need her first husband's birth certificate?
Sounds like quite a hassle. Hopefully some day, American women, particularly Italian-American women, will have gained enough dignity and self respect to keep their own names after marriage -- like the women do in Italy.
I don't think that will be enough for NY, but you never know. I think it's likely that you will need the marriage certificate from her first marriage because it will show a legitimate name change. Once they know she was previously married, you will need to show that she was legally free to marry again. This means a death certificate for her first husband. I'm not sure of the best way to address the first name discrepancy. Check with www.italiancitizenship.freeforums.org. I believe there are several people there who have had similar issues.
I would like to get a birth certificate, marriage certificate and death certificate for my mother n law's first husband. both deceased. The local vital statistics office tells me I cannot do it since my husband is not a relative. I know the dates of his birth and his marriage to my mother in law. But I can only estimate the year of his death which was somewhere between 1924 and 1926. Her second son was born in 1924. I also know in which city he died. In the local 1926 directory my mother in law was listed as widowed listing her first husband's name. I have consulted all the bases on Ancestry.com and did a search on the internet. He died at age 25 so Social Security has no listing. I consulted his church and the funeral home but they do not have records going that far back. Does anyone know whee I can find the date of his death? My husband will try to obtain the documents at the state level, listing his relationship as son of the bride. I hope it works. But I need the date of death of my mother in law's fist husband. A reply will be most welcome.
My advice would be to have your husband contact his half brother(s) and have them request the documents for their mother's first husband. Your husband is not going to be able to get these documents on his own, because like you said, he is not a relative of this man.
I am guessing you need documents via NYS. They do have a form that allows one to obtain documents of relatives trying to obtain dual citizenship with Italy. You will need to contact them and ask for them to email or send you the form. I used it to obtain my grandparents marriage and death certificates.
On the differences in the naming convention you will need to petition the Supreme Court to order a name change. It is a process that can be done - the success rate is not always guaranteed.
The last avenue to take is obtain a judge to examine all the documents and produce a letter that states they are one and the same. Now finding a judge that understands the request can be tough but it is doable. The letter should be on official stationary, notarized and appostiled.
I used a judge's letter to resolve the difference from an Italian spelling to what was used once the family landed in the USA. It took me 6 months and a lot of work to find a judge that understood what I was doing and to undertake the letter writing.
Do not give up --- the NYC Consulate can be a tough place to deal with and it will seem rules change at times but you can get things to the point that they will accept all your documents.
Good luck and I hope this helped. BTW it took me two appointments and a total of 30 months to get everything pushed passed the finish line.
You might also be able to find date of death from the cemetery. If you know the town and approximate date, there will only be a few Catholic cemeteries in the area. I've had good luck calling them up in NYC. They can give you date of death and the death certificate number (may also call it health department number). That should take you a little closer.
I had my GGF's DC which listed the cemetery and was able to find my GGM and then her death certificate by calling them. They also gave me the names and dates of many other family members who were there as well.
Some cemeteries (and genealogists) list the people interred there online. I found my other GF by doing a Google search, believe it or not.