Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

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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Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby ericderrico » 20 May 2012, 15:37

I'm assembling all my documentation in order to apply for the Italian Citizenship. My Great Grandfather is my link to Italy and I have his naturalization and birth certificate. Problem is, he changed his name because apparently he wasn't actually born Pasquale D'Errico but Pasquale Svelto. His birth record shows Svelto, and his naturalization record is under D'Errico but the back records his name change.

My question is: Is the naturalization record which records his name change on the back sufficient enough documentation to show that Pasquale Svelto and Pasquale D'Errico are the same person?

http://derricogenealogy.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/pasquale-derrico-naturalization-certificate-certificato-di-naturalizzazione-front/

http://derricogenealogy.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/pasquale-derrico-naturalization-certificate-certificato-di-naturalizzazione-back/
Researching surnames: D'Errico, Bellotti (and other spellings), D'Avolio, Calvano, Marano
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Re: Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby JJ313 » 20 May 2012, 16:07

Yes, that is all you need. It is a legal name change and the consulate will accept it.
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Re: Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby jennabet » 20 May 2012, 16:49

Must disagree with your answer, JJ313. As the sur names are entirely different, a consulate should inquire as to why this type of name change was made and I would suggest the applicant, if not already informed of the reason, do some research to find out what's behind it. This could involve having to provide more documentation from Italy.
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Re: Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby ericderrico » 20 May 2012, 19:27

I'm not certain of the exact story, but my GGF's birth was a bit taboo in the family and so his supposed parents may not have been his actual biological parents. However, he was raised by his supposed parents as a son and even went by their surname (D'Errico).

So jennabet, are you saying I need to figure out the exact story and locate documentation to prove it? I have his birth certificate from Italy which is Pasquale Svelto. What other kinds of documentation would I need? Even if I figure out the exact story isn't it all hearsay anyway? How do you prove that kind of thing?
Researching surnames: D'Errico, Bellotti (and other spellings), D'Avolio, Calvano, Marano
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Re: Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby JJ313 » 20 May 2012, 20:02

You do not need any additional documentation or reason for why he changed his name. The certificate of naturalization document that you have is all the evidences you need to demonstrate a legal name change. It was and still is part of the naturalization process that an applicant can declare a name change and the name change is incorporated in the certificate of naturalization.
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Re: Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby ericderrico » 20 May 2012, 20:09

Thanks JJ313. While I could see them inquiring why he changed his name it seems those kinds of things may even be confidential to some people and unlikely to have much documentation in the way of reasoning. That being said, I'll make sure to have enough documents showing clearly they're the same person. Thankfully there weren't many Sveltos in Italy.
Researching surnames: D'Errico, Bellotti (and other spellings), D'Avolio, Calvano, Marano
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Re: Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby jennabet » 20 May 2012, 21:13

I'm not certain of the exact story, but my GGF's birth was a bit taboo in the family and so his supposed parents may not have been his actual biological parents. However, he was raised by his supposed parents as a son and even went by their surname (D'Errico).

I would start with the name on his Italian birth certificate to see if you can find out who his biological parents were. Italian citizenship is inherited by descendants by blood. If you don't have the blood of this ancestor, then you don't have a case for Italian citizenship. The consulate will most definitely question the discrepancy between name on birth certificate and name on naturalization papers. A legal name change on a naturalization certificate proves nothing with regard to a blood relationship.
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Re: Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby mler » 21 May 2012, 01:01

For citizenship purposes--and most everything else--the people who are named as parents on the bc are considered to be the parents. So, although you may have a genealogical interest in determining his parents, it's the names on the bc that will count.

If the naturalization record lists both names, it provides the evidence that the two names refer to the same person. This is exceptionally helpful to your case.
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Re: Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby ericderrico » 21 May 2012, 08:41

Well this is where things seem a bit tricky. I received his birth certificate (via email) from the consulate and it does not list anyone as his parents. This form is different from the ones you find on the LDS microfilms and I'm waiting the birth records microfilm to see if they contain more information about his parents.

I've read about cases such as adoption, bastards, etc... in Italy and it says they were often given a "fictitious" surname, as in just some random name because they needed a last name. Svelto doesn't appear to be very common at all in Italy (from a surname search) and I wonder if in fact Svelto is a made up name. Let's say he was an orphan or something of that nature where the parents are unknown, how would you prove Italian Citizenship? Certainly of one form or another he would have to be recognized in Italy as Italian? It's from that claim I should be able to show blood, even if his own parents are unknown, right?
Researching surnames: D'Errico, Bellotti (and other spellings), D'Avolio, Calvano, Marano
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Re: Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby mler » 21 May 2012, 12:44

I think you're still ok with this. Being born in Italy, in and of itself, does not prove Italian citiizenship, because Italy is not a jus soli country. However, having an Italian bc AND US naturalization papers that state he was renouncing his citizenship in Italy, should do the trick.

You would be tracing your line back to him since he was the Italian immigrant, so there is no need to go back another generation if the two documents together support your contention that he was born an Italian citizen who naturalized in the US and that he changed his name when he naturalized. It would be considerably more difficult for you if he never naturalized because it seems that his naturalization papers work to prove both.
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Re: Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby ericderrico » 21 May 2012, 12:49

Thanks mler,

Just to clarify, do I need a separate document other than the naturalization record that states he renounces his Italian citizenship?

Also, I have records showing my Great Grandmother who was born in the USA, had to reinstate her US citizenship as a result of marrying an Italian citizen. Would this help give credence? Based on the conversation I feel more confident with official records from Italy of his birth along with his naturalization records to present before the consulate. If they have an issue they have an issue and I'll go from there.
Researching surnames: D'Errico, Bellotti (and other spellings), D'Avolio, Calvano, Marano
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Re: Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby mler » 21 May 2012, 14:20

So they were married before the 1921 Cable Act.... Same thing happened to my grandmother; isn't it sad?

I don't think you'll need this, but it's never bad to be over prepared. Don't show I to them, though, unless they challenge his Italian citizenship (I don't think they will).

I'm assuming that you have his preliminary papers (declaration, petition, oath) certified from NARA. When I applied, this was enough, but today you may also need the actual Certificate of Naturalization, which you can obtain from the USCIS.
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Re: Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby ericderrico » 21 May 2012, 18:22

I have the actual naturalization certificate with a seal. It's quite old even as it was the one given to him when he was naturalized in 1944. I've thought of getting a copy to give to the consulate so they don't have my older one since it's a nice thing to have.

Are you saying in addition to my naturalization certificate I should have other documents to show his naturalization?
Researching surnames: D'Errico, Bellotti (and other spellings), D'Avolio, Calvano, Marano
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Re: Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby jennabet » 21 May 2012, 18:38

The consulate WILL question the discrepancy between the name on the birth certificate and the name on the naturalization certificate. What name was he using when he left Italy for America? Have you been able to locate the manifest? Who did he sail with? These are questions the consulate is likely to ask.
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Re: Documentation Requirements for Ancestor with Name Change

Postby jennabet » 21 May 2012, 18:42

Also, the fact that his parents names are not listed on his birth certificate does not prove any blood connection to the D'Errico family. Again, Italian citizenship is about blood. A legal name change on a naturalization certificate does not prove a blood connection.
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