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We take so much for granted in our own time and space. In this world of easy ancestry research, one would think that everyone has a last name and has had so for generations. It appears that last names could have come into being by governments of times past in an effort to control the populations, give order to the populations and identify them, much like an ID card would attempt to do so now.

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However, the Jewish community resisted this move, that community lacking surnames prior to 1787.Prussia, Bavaria the Russian Empire and other states with large Jewish populations followed suit over the next century.Prussion and Russian Jews were denied citizenship if they did not abide by the rule.Delman says the Afghans can choose whatever surname they like.In 1849, Governor Narciso Claveria decreed that Filipinos be assigned hereditary surnames.It seems he wasn't a man of any great social or political importance, but a quintessential German immigrant with a dream of a better life. I am doing my family tree and my 3x great grandfather was William Bailey.

He must have known the value of a dollar though, as he retired from the police in 1871, when I believe they dropped the wages by sixpence! I have tried the Bathurst family history and Forbes family history but have not been able to come up with very much.

Delman claims modern-day Turks also have government-enforced surnames.

He says in 1934 the Turkish government introduced the measure to help build a modern, westernized nation out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.

But in that year, Emperor Joseph II of the Habsburg Empire decreed all Jews in all provinces be urged to adopt a constant surname.

The compulsory adoption of German surnames helped Joseph’s larger goal of controlling Jewish people for the welfare of the State in general, according to Delman.

John then changed his surname to Malvern (his mothers maiden name).