I just had a first for me.
In searching out an Ohio ancestor, I discovered as I followed his path through my searching that when he got his original Social Security Number back in the later 1930’s that he just up and changed his surname! I have learned the government was a bit more trusting back then and you did not need to provide proof of identity to get your social security number back then.
He was a Bohemian cousin and due to a run in with the law and a stint in the state mental hospital, I guess he was trying to start anew! Thank goodness he left a few clues behind!
While he did not like his surname and of all things picked the ubiquitous Miller instead, he kept his first name, his mother, and his birthday day and month. He also kept his father’s first name, but changed the surname to Miller.
What else clued me in?
When I was searching on this ancestor, I requested the file from the funeral home that I found on a hunch, following this new Miller name. When I got the paperwork, it turns out his good sisters claimed his body (he died out of state in Kentucky) and paid for his funeral and burial! Family, it seems, is thicker than surname!
So, if you have that lost relative out there, who you just can’t find, remember that this is an outside possibility!
No legal case, no name change on file, just the ‘say so’ of a citizen. No wonder they require proof now!
Really makes me think finding my great grandfather who disappears in 1911 might have just gotten a bit harder!
Onward To Our Past!