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Old 02-17-2013, 08:57 AM
 
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I was wondering if anyone had a relative or ancestor who was ashamed of their name. So therefore either only used their initials for a first or middle name or changed their name at adulthood. Also how would that the name be written down in a family tree?
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Pacific NW
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Ashamed? No. But I've had lots of relatives who didn't like their names, and used either initials or nicknames. And one (or only one I know of) whose name was only initials.

I had a great-uncle whose mother took a year to name him. And then named him Elbert. All his life, though, he went by a nickname. When I was little, and my great-grandmother told me the story, I asked her why, if she waited so long, she couldn't have given him a better name. She was offended. She liked it, and always called him by it. He didn't.

And then there was this one relative who had a real horrendous name (along the lines of a name like Ima Hogg's) and loved it. He played it up every chance he got, though he commonly went by his middle name.

How you record it is another thing. My genealogical program allows me unlimited number of names to be entered for one person. So I can add nicknames, initials, etc., and explain each. What I do in my Ancestry trees, since it doesn't really allow that flexibility, is to put the commonly-known-by name in quotations ... i.e. Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
Also how would that the name be written down in a family tree?
I would write the name down the way it would be shown in the official birth record but include in quotation marks the name by which the person preferred to be called. I do the same with nicknames a person favored in their lifetime even if they had no real issue with their legal name. For example: Elizabeth "Beth" Smith

Why lie about someone's name?
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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I don't know if ashamed is the right word but I've had plenty of ancestors who Anglicized their names in an effort to integrate into American society or simply didn't like their names so went by a middle name or nickname.

I put every name an individual went by into their profile as an alternate name or "AKA" - which one you choose as the default/display name is up to you really. If they legally changed their name, I usually choose their former name since that tends to be how they are remembered by their descendants/my family. If it's a nickname and then I may enter it in quotes after their first/middles names. For example, Anne "Nancy" Smith. If they went by their middle name, I just enter the full name and make a note that they went by their middle name.

I haven't had anyone that went by initials - keep in mind that some census records use abbreviations or initials but it does not necessarily mean that's what the individual went by, it may just have been what was quickest and easiest for the enumerator to record. But if you see their name consistently recorded the same way over several documents, that's probably what they went by. One of my ancestors is almost always recorded as Harry, though his real name was John Henry. Another is typically recorded as C Harold - the C stood for Chester but he went by Harold.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:11 PM
 
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I had a great grandfather who spelled his unusual Slovak name with an additional "l" in it. Why? The "l" was added after a big falling out with the rest of his family in the 1920's. Before the 1920's, everyone spelled the family name the same way. By 1930, my great grandfather added the "l" to set himself apart from the rest of the family. The change in his name spelling is indeed documented by all gathered sources.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:21 PM
 
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I have a grandfather who had three names. Birth name, Americanized name and a third which is very different. I add them as AKA under notes under his profile. His birth name is from ship manifest. The others from family members. Once I get them better verified I might end up with yet another.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:59 PM
Status: "happy again, no longer catless! t...." (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Cushing OK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
I had a great grandfather who spelled his unusual Slovak name with an additional "l" in it. Why? The "l" was added after a big falling out with the rest of his family in the 1920's. Before the 1920's, everyone spelled the family name the same way. By 1930, my great grandfather added the "l" to set himself apart from the rest of the family. The change in his name spelling is indeed documented by all gathered sources.
My great grandfather got in a feud with his brothers, and changed the spelling fo the family name. The charts list all the siblings with and 'eo' and his name with an 'i'. I assume later they reconciled, but the part of the family who retained the spelling had money, which suggests volumes.

Then there is my dad, who's middle name was Beauford. That was what the family called him. He went in the navy, saw the world, fought WW2, went into engineering, and went to visit. He no longer used Beauford, and just used it as an initial. He told them what to call him, they forgot and he wouldn't acknowledge that person.

I think it had more to do with his rejection of hard core southern beliefs than the name, but there were people in mom's family who didn't even know what the initial stood for.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
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I probably should write this name in here (you never know who's in the forum) but I once worked in for a large insurance company, and I encountered some mighty interest-sounding names. The worst: Crapizano.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:59 PM
 
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U.S. President / General Grant, supposedly was born Hiram Ulysses Grant, but changed his name to Ulysses Simpson Grant -- embarrassed that his initials spelled "HUG".
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:17 PM
 
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Yes, our great great grandfather did not like his, and changed it several times. going by initials then finally changing it to Richard.
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