Monday, December 6, 2010

Madness Monday

My dear Mother-In-Law passed from this life on July 5th, 2003. I was at her bedside as she drew her last breath.

Born 30 August 1930 in Kerrville, Kerr, Texas, she was the daughter of John Cornelius ROTGE  [1910 - 1983] and Ora Lee SPARKS [1914-1982].

However, there has been much speculation as to Betty's name. Her birth certificate states she is Betty Louise ROTGE. Yet throughout much of her life she is found listed as Betty Louise LANGFORD.

It appears that not long after Betty was born, her mother and father divorced. Betty was sent to live with her Grandmother, Laura May CLEMENTS [1890-1969].  Laura May was at that time married to her third husband, a man named Jack LANGFORD. Little Betty believed for several years that her Grandmother and Jack were her parents, and set about going by the only name she knew. LANGFORD.

In 1947, when she was only 16, Betty married Joseph Wright HENRY [1927-1993]. On this marriage record she gives her name as Betty Louise ROTGE. And when her first child is born in 1949, she states her maiden name was ROTGE. But by the time her second son is born in 1951, she again states her maiden name was LANGFORD.

It appears that Betty chose which name was her maiden name with the whim fo the moment.

I suspect many such incidents occurred throughout history for many individuals.

It behooves us to pursue every surname an ancestor might have used in order to locate them in records. Including a step-parents last name for children of blended marriages!

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