To be clear, this is not a programing question. What is sought an example of set of rules, a government or a business (in an English speaking locale) uses to determine the acceptable character set of people's names.
I am not trying to limit names, but to understand what limits have been applied in English speaking locales.
[Edit 2018] I did find one about length:
Hawaiian Woman Gets IDs That Fit Her 36-Character Last Name: the state's cards will have room for 40 characters in "first and last names and 35 characters for middle names,"
Any other examples appreciated.
@Mark Beadles suggested addressing what problem would an answer help one solve. My primary interest stems from decoding old and new government/business records (death certificates, city directories, phone books), both typed and some hand written. How would various names using atypical letters get mangled, restricted and how that changed over time to accommodate? Yet much of that could interpretive and opinionated. Instead, I am looking for rules, preferable published, that specified what names could be published in some English speaking locales.
Obviously the letters A-Z (upper and lower case) are used in a person's name.
Last names like "Smith-Brown", "Van Buren", "O'Brian" also use
Historical ÆLFRÆD and novel names like "Number 16 Bus Shelter and Violence" push the range of acceptable characters.
I am looking for a modern example of some English speaking country or business (like a phone directory publisher) published rules that define acceptable/non-acceptable characters of a name of more than just the usual A to Z.
What non-alphabetic characters are valid in English spelling? discuses English words, but
I suspect names have a broader range. I suspect acceptable characters used in names in English speaking lands have a wider range characters than the rest of the language.
Any other letters lost besides thorn, edh, and yogh? discuses early words.