Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Gonzales with an S

My first post should probably be "why my blog name?".  Probably because "Gonzales with an S" it is something that I must say almost everyday.  The funny thing is that some people think that it is significant in some way.  I probably would have as well, if I did not known exactly when our family name changed from a "Z" to an "S". 

My cousins who have the Gonzalez name all have a "z".  My grandmother always spelled it with a "z".  A "z" is on my grandfather and great grandfather's gravestones.  But all that changed for our family simply because the person that registered my father's birth and filled out his birth certificate placed an "s" where a "z" should have gone.  Now, my father always grew up as a Gonzalez.  But, when he joined the military they told him that Gonzalez was in fact not how he was to spell his name, but it will be Gonzales as his birth certificate states.  Besides for that, he also had to drop his middle name of Farias, his mother's maiden name, as that was not on the certificate either.

So, we are the Gonzales' in our family tree.  But not entirely.  That is one of the first things a learned about researching my family line; the way you spell your name today has nothing to do with who you are related to in the past.   Nor should you discount any records you come across because the spelling is not the same as yours.  Just like the registrar in the 1930's that misspelled my father's name, that has been repeated over and over again by county clerks, city civil registrar's and clergy recording vital records everywhere.  The spelling version of names in just my Gonzales line have been;
Gonz__z (abbreviated in Mexican church records)
so far....
I am sure I will find more.

I say this was one of the first things I learned.  Really, the first thing I learned was I had great grandparents and they had names!

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