[APG Public List] Newborn Given Temporary Name?

FamRSearch at aol.com FamRSearch at aol.com
Mon Aug 2 12:51:00 MDT 2010


We are so use to having our name assigned at birth and changing it taking a 
 lawyer and court costs.  I have found that prior to 1900 (and maybe even  
after) people changed their names for a whole lot of reasons.  
 
I know my grandmother's birth name was Diamond  but she did not like  that 
and used Opal and had her mother swear to Opal on a delayed birth  
certificate.
 
My uncle was named Harry Maine Coldren Jr. but after his father left the  
family, he used Harold Max.  As far as I have found there were no paper  work 
here.  I think he had his mother state that Harold Max was his correct  
name. 
 
I found a case in the manuscript file at NEHGS where A.A. Aspinwall  was 
writing trying to fit a man into the correct family in his Descendants  of 
Ezerkiel Mayne.  He was corresponding with the son of a man supposedly  from 
Rennselear County.  He wrote that he could find no record of a  "Robert 
Preston Maine" in Renneselear.  The man later wrote back  that he had talked to 
his father and that the father was really "Samuel  Deane Bishop" but when he 
moved to Albany [all of 50 miles from his  home] he did want to be associated 
with his family because they were  all drunkards.  So when he moved he 
started using a new name. There were no  court records.  [Names were not correct 
because I do not have the papers in  front of me.]
 
As for having a child nameless for a couple of months, sometimes they  
wanted to be sure it would live.  I have seen children listed as "baby" for  a 
while before a name shows up.  Cannot tell if they had the name all along  
and no one used it or if they could not figure out what to name the child and 
so  just waited.  This was especially true if families who went to churches  
that did not practice infant baptism so there was no hurry to name the  
child.
 
Julia Coldren-Walker
 
 
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