It appears I don't exist

Allow me to explain a few things.

I was born on the evening of December 20th 1941, at the time The Luftwaffe was bombing the shit out of Manchester in an attempt to knock out the docks.

They didn’t succeed but they did manage to bomb Old Trafford, Man. Utds ground (thank you Adolf, you did have at least one redeeming feature)

Anyway: During WW2 births had to be registered within 24 hours for obvious reasons, same with marriages and deaths.

My father was in the Western desert fighting the beastly Hun (all on his own apparently) and my mum had a bad time giving birth. The duty of registering my birth fell to my uncle Leonard who was home recovering from a slight wound.

So Lenny boy tootles down the the registrars office stopping on the way for a few jars of falling down water, the conversation at the office then went something like this:

LENNY BOY…“Leonard”
LB…“Oh wait, you mean the babies name?”
REG…“Of course, are you drunk?”
LB…“Well the name is Paul actually”
REG…“No it isn’t, it’s Leonard”
LB…“Bugger, she’ll kill me”

I must explain that during the war the first name given to the registrar was IT, no crossings out, that was that.

So I was named Leonard :smack:

Nobody EVER called me that, my name is Paul. Anyone that called me Leonard suffered torture and other indignities. :wink:

Just recently I applied for a photocard driving licence, paid my dosh and sat back and waited.

I just had a letter from DVLA telling me that my name is wrong, I’m not Paul I’m Leonard. As such they can’t issue me with a photocard DL. They did have the good grace to refund my payment


My passport, bank accounts,credit cards, and other stuff are all in the name of Paul…even my paper driving licence says PAUL.

In order to get a photocard DL I have to change my name by deed poll which will cost me about £50. After changing my name I have to notify about eleventymillion departments of this change :eek:

The really odd thing is, my state pension is paid to Paul, any tax letters are addressed to Paul, nothing is ever and has never been addressed to Leonard.

If anything Lenny doesn’t exist :smiley: whereas Paul is alive and kicking :smiley:

My current DL doesn’t expire until 2011 so I’ll try again nearer the time

A similar thing happened to my mother, born in 1942. Her name was to be Anette Wendy - the latter being a nickname for the new baby - the affectionate made-up name derived from “fwiendy” in Peter Pan, and not really a mainstream name at the time. My grandfather, in his high emotion, misspoke and forgot to mention the Anette part until after the registrar had written “Wendy”. He wrote “Anette” on the back of the form, but it wasn’t legally binding, so she has been Wendy ever since.

Your story puts me in mind of the mildly racist joke that I’m going to tell anyway, with the weak excuse that I’m part West Indian myself.

An Afro-Caribbean woman gave birth to twins - a boy and a girl - but fell into a coma while she was doing so.

Since the father of the babies had abandoned her, the job of registering the births was given to her drunken fool of a brother, who therefore also had to name them in her absence.

After two days, she came out of the coma, and was informed of the happy arrivals. When told by the nurse that her brother had had to handle the registration, she exclaimed “Oh no, what has that bumbaclot of me brother called me picknies?”

“Well,” replied the nurse, “he called the girl Denise.”

“Denise!” said the woman, happily. “Well maybe him not such a fool after all. That is not a bad name. And what did he call the boy?”


How have you managed to get a Passport and other official documents under a name not on your birth certificate?

My husband managed it. It only became too much hassel when we wanted to get married. That’s when he changed it by deed poll. It cost £13.

I’ve just asked him how he was able to open a bank account in a name not on his birth certificate. He says it was done through his school as a kid, so they used the name he was registered at school under. As for his driving licence, they accepted a letter from his mum!

It’s been so long that I don’t really remember how.

I do recall my employers giving me some letter way back in the dim and distant past.

This letter as far as I remember did confirm what I said in my OP

Last week, I got on the parking garage elevator at work with two other people. This is the conversation that transpired:

Guy: What levels are you going to?
KSO: Seven
Woman: Two
Guy: Oh, you must have gotten in early today
Woman: No, I went out at lunchtime and got married.
Guy and KSO: :eek:
Woman: Yeah, it turns out our marriage license was never filed. We’ve been married eight years

She got off the elevator and the guy and I just looked at each other…

Would that mean that to all intents and purposes they’d not legally been married for the last 8 years

My dad was named after his father. Only my grandmother was a little groggy when they asked for a name for the birth certificate. She said, ‘Bobby Jr.’ So they put Bobby Junior [Surname] on the birth certificate. Reasonable enough in Nebraska, I suppose. AFAIK he never legally changed it. He never went by ‘Bobby Junior’, but always Robert Newton [Surname] Jr. Didn’t stop him from getting a TS/Crypto in the Navy, or any other problems. But he once said he’d lived his whole life under an assumed name. :smiley:

My mom’s second husband came to the U.S. from Finland at the end of WWII. As a minor everyone assumed citizenship was automatic after his parents became citizens. He went to high school in the U.S., was in the Air Force (with a clearance, of course) in the '50s, had a civilian career, and married my mom. It wasn’t until his father died in the '90s and he tried to get a passport to take the ashes back to Finland that he found out he wasn’t a citizen.


I had a “lunchtime marriage”, too. We had a religious-but-not-legal ceremony in July, with the intent of having a “real wedding” a year later. The morning after our religious ceremony, we looked at each other and realized that was it, we were married in every way that mattered to us.

A month later*, sometime in August, we actually went to the City Clerk’s office and got the marriage license. 24 hours later (the soonest legal in our state), my boss, a minister, signed it for us during my lunch break. (She had performed the religious ceremony for us, as well.)

To this day, I’ve got to look up my marriage certificate on the (very few) occasions when paperwork requires the date I was married. I honestly have no idea what it is.
*I like to say that when the honeymoon was over, the real marriage began - literally! :smiley:

How was it resolved? Was it just a matter of filing some paperwork, or did he have to go through the whole naturalisation procedure?

I don’t know exactly what he had to do. Paperwork, of course. And ISTR he had to obtain school and service records to establish that he had been here legally. I think it took a couple/few months. He did officially become a citizen and got his passport, and they took his father’s ashes back to Finland.

chowder, all I know is that when we received a generous delivery of delicious British goodies mailed to our home, they came from Paul. I don’t know who this “Leonard” character is. He sounds kind of creepy, like the little brother your parents kept locked in the closet that you never knew about. :wink:

You have no idea how near to the truth you are.

Uncle Leonard after the war, during which he distinguished himself not at all, took to a life of crime.

He died in 1958 or thereabouts having spent most of his adult life as a guest of HM Gov’t.

My mum never forgave him for named moi after such a reprobate.

I lost your address, if you want more goodies email me

Not to all intents and purposes, just legal ones. Presumably they considered themselves married, and I expect that they filed their taxes as though they were, and the IRS didn’t audit them and so never noticed.

I also don’t exist.

I recently canceled a trial membership of I have an unusual name but have left the usual paper trail of life behind me. So I expected I would be able to find myself easily in their database.

But I wasn’t there.

My name is misspelled on my birth certificate and driver’s license (which actually means, technically, it is spelled correctly on those but I misspell it in day to day life). Since I am positive both my parents, both of them well educated and in fact spelling & grammar Nazis, could spell Jonathan (as evidenced by the fact they named me Jonathan and wrote my name that way), and by the fact my father was periodically obsessed with and named me for a famous Jonathan who spelled his name that way), I can only assume it was a mistake made by some clerk who either couldn’t read my father’s handwriting (very conceivable) or just spelled it the way s/he thought it was spelled, but on my birth certificate it’s Johnathon (or something similar :wink: ). I’ve never had it changed as a sort of pissy thing- it would cost exactly the same as if I were changing my name to Budapest Butterbean McGillicuddy-Hacienda and it’s the result of a mistake. (I was told that if my surname were misspelled they’d change it free of charge since that was clearly an error, but there’s no proof this was.)

Anyway, you wouldn’t think this would make any difference, but it has. I sometimes forget this and so in criminal background checks, transcripts, taxes, and vital records it usually pulls up nothing without my SSN (and even then it’s not always complete). I even routinely fill in the “other names you have gone by” line with the alternate spelling when giving permission to access records. Could be something like this that makes others not exist.

Which incidentally would be free, as I’d pay for you to do that in a heartbeat.

I can vouch for your existence; I’ve seen that Python sketch.

When I was 16 or 17 my mom changed her last name to nix dad’s last name. According to the SSA, her new name was perfectly legal for me to use, and use it I did. Later when I joined the military and got a Top Secret clearance I told them I had an AKA.

I’ve always wondered if I still have two last names I can choose from, because I never actually changed my name and except for a year or two, I’ve always used my original last name.

My dad had two birthdays. He was born in Ireland in November of 1922 or 1923 depending on the document. Even the days of the month don’t match. One document was the birth certificate recorded in the Cathloic church parish records, and one was a government birth certificate. I’ve seen both documents

He claimed he didn’t know which was right. He claimed by the time the conflict was noticed, no one was sure anymore which was correct. But Dad was always one to spread the bull, so…