Genealogy: Another name change (ERLANGER)
Just a quick note, because I need to document this.
I've been looking into the ERLANGER family of Ichenhausen, and using the data from jgbs.org to reconstruct the tree. I had five men who looked (based on their dates of birth) like they should be brothers, but I couldn't find birth records for them.
Finally I hit on the idea of just looking for people born at about the right time with the right set of first names. And sure enough, I found three records that had the right first name and birth year, all with the last name MEZGER [sic] and the parents Gerson and Sara.
To cross-check, I found death records from Gerson and Sara Erlanger in 1847 and 1843, respectively.
If I assume that sometime between 1820 and 1840 the family changed their name from Butcher to People-From-Erlangen, then I have a complete family picture. No one before 1840 used Erlanger, no one after 1820 used Mezger or Metzger, and I have a consistent set of names and dates across the boundary if I assume that single change. (I may yet find records from those two decades that helps me narrow it down further.)
I consider that sufficient evidence to enter it with confidence into my database. (But I'm writing this quick note to document my process.)
[Edited to add: There were a few siblings still missing, but when I searched Ichenhausen for anyone with the parents Gerson and Sara, I got the remaining siblings, with last names like MOSES and MAYYER, which are clearly errors for MEZGER. I consider that final confirmation that my hypothesis is correct. There's also another family, Gabriel and Esther METZGER, who at least didn't butcher the spelling of the name, but which I have no evidence is at all connected.]