y paperwork that I have ordered from all over the US comes pouring into my mailbox. I am excited - maybe this won't take so long. Everyone seems to be quite responsive to my inquiries. Little did I know what awaits me.
There were, of course, a few small problems along the way – a death certificate from Florida was sent/ordered as a short form and I needed the long form. Except there was also a strong hurricane that hit the state so it was a few weeks before they were able to send it out. Another death certificate was apparently ordered for the wrong person because he had the exact same name, same birthday (or very close), lived in the same area, and died around the same time as my relative. I had to do a little more genealogy research to find my correct ancestor.
After I would receive some number of these documents, I would scan them and send them off to Peter for guidance. This one would need my middle name added. This one has only a middle initial and needs to have the entire name. Oh, this one needs a middle name for my father added. You see, ultimately, I would have to check all my documents to make sure that there are no discrepancies in the names, dates, and places of birth. If there are major discrepancies (small ones are allowed) in last names, dates, ages, and places of birth these variations or errors must be corrected with an official “affidavit to amend a record.” Of course, this would add weeks (perhaps months) of time on to my assembling of the document portfolio. But I was getting closer…
…and then came California.
An issue with my marriage certificate – in addition to middle names, an issue with my father’s name. I have the wrong name. I was adopted by my step-father when I was 8 or 9 but my birth certificate (that I have been using for the past 40 years) was issued before the adoption and, therefore, has by birth father listed. Filling out this for, I put my birth father’s name, not knowing my father’s name had been legally changed with the adoption. This is a big drama as I was accused of fraud when I called to see how to get this corrected.
Apparently, some states don’t allow anyone to amend a vital record without a court order. In these cases, the only remedy is to take your claim to court with the the justification that the state’s refusal to amend the record has caused you personal harm, in that you cannot claim Italian dual citizenship without it. This would effectively stop my application process until I could get this corrected.