What a mess!
My husband's maternal grandad changed his name by deedpoll on the 7th April 1919 to James Leopold Gilbert. Prior to this he got married in 1900 to Jane Hanewell and was known at this time as Leopold Gerlach (age 21). His service record also gives his name as Leopold Gerlach with a birth date of 1879.
Now Leopold had a brother called Otto Gerlach, dob 25 Aug 1879. This birth Certificate shows Otto's father as Philipp Gerlach and mother as Louise Gerlach formerly Gerlach.
According to the London Gazette for the 2nd May 1919 it starts off Notice is hereby given that James Gilbert heretofore called and known by the name of Otto (but more commonly Leopold) Gerlach of 15 Langdon Road, Highgate, a natural born British Subject and lately serving in France as Private Leopold Gerlach etc etc............
I have Otto's birth certificate and it shows that it was used as an exhibit for the change of name. The real Otto didn't die until 1934.
The 1881 census shows Otto as being 10 and Leopold 11 but even this census form is strange as it shows the male and female boxes as being crossed off for them.
Has anyone got any ideas why it appears Leopold used his brothers birth certificate? I certainly can't find a birth certificate for Leopold. It has been suggested that Leopold was actually quite a bit older. Why wouldn't he have a birth certificate.
I'm sorry if this has left everyone confused but Leopold has really made my tree look a mess!!!