Thursday, July 2, 2009

Louise Wicker Long Identity Crisis 1970's

In the 1970's Mom needed to "get her Social Security in order". I think she needed a new card but also knew she would need a birth certificate to claim Social Security in the future. Mother had never had a birth certificate, but had carried this affidavit (above) all of these years.
So, Mother sent off for her birth certificate. Although she went by the name Louise, her name "at birth" was "Alice Louise". (See above)The state returned her money and said it wasn't on file. She tried again driving to Jefferson City, but still they couldn't find her birth certificate. Finally, she contacted her state representative (whom she'd known since the 1940's) to see if he could "pull some strings." He was able to locate her birth certificate, but it had two problems---first, there was no name other than "Baby Girl"; second the birthdate was wrong.
Mother found out she could correct one thing on her birth certificate, but to correct two things would require a lawyer. Even to correct her name, she needed to get certain documents.
First, she needed a certified copy of the census.
Then she needed school records---check
and check.
Finally, she needed an affidavit from a relative who was alive when she was born---her aunt Ruth Williams Ezell and her uncle James Ezell. They also told her that the reason she had no name was my grandparents were fighting over her name. Grandpa wanted to name her Catherine and Grandma would not have it----that was his old girlfriend's name. The only explanation Ruth could give on the birthdate being wrong, was that the doctor was a lazy drunk who had failed to register the birth. So, to save his butt, he made the date July 20.
So, she had her birth certificate corrected with the name---she didn't think the birthdate was that important. Actually, several members of the family preferred July 20 because July 1 was too soon in the month. But, for the rest of her life, individuals referred to her inaccurate birth certificate---if a birthday card was late, "Well, no one really knows when your birthday is anyway."
It's unfortunate that someone chose to put "Alice Louise" on her birth certificate---the documents she submitted clearly indicated she went by Louise, but I think Mom wanted it to match with Social Security so there would be "no problem." Guess again---the same situation happened again after 2001!

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