So THAT's why have my German relations have birth names like Eduard Gustav and George Charles but all the later documents say "Gustav" and "Charles" or "G. Charles." I have been very confused and found myself wondering (from time to time) if these men were really the men I was looking for.
While I'm on the subject, I do have something I'm thinking has got to have been a mistake along the same lines. I have a copy of my great great grandmother's death certificate. It gives her mother's maiden name as the same as her own while her father's name is different.
Great great grandmother: Martha Kurzenknabe (maiden name)
Her mother's name: Gertrude Kurzenknabe
Her father's name: Henry Rohrich
Now, shouldn't those two surnames be switched?