Thats very interesting that you say that, since something similar, thought probably not on a Census level, happens with my cousin. Her name, (for sake of privacy and use) is legally registerd as Rajala, a form of my grandmother's name. Her middle name is registered as my uncle's first name (altered for privacy) Sundar
, and her last name is M*********. However, all through her family, she is known by another name, also beginning with S, (altered) Sushmila, to differentiate her from my grandmother. As a result, she was always Rajala S. M******. Her middle name was her father's name because in India
, where she was born and lived for one year, the father's name is the child's last name. However, she was never aware of this, and for a long time presumed her middle name S. stood for Sushmila, and until age 16, signed off as such, until things went haywire with her standardized testing; herein, she realized what the S. in her name *really* stood for.
Ancestry.com is undoubtedly valuable. However, it has never been of much use to me, since it only has my parents ;-) In fact, my father doesn't even have a birth certificate in India
. If I were to return home and dig up my genealogy, I'd run into hectic naming problems (similar to the one I discussed above) because of the chaotic name practices in India
. That, and the lack of written records.