Subject: Re: Perils of taking census records as the gospel truth
Author: Lala   (Authenticated as lala)
Date: March 26, 2008 at 1:56:23 PM
Reply to: Perils of taking census records as the gospel truth by Cleveland Kent Evans
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.

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