Re: NYC Name Change #general

A. E. Jordan

Name changes are a little tricky. Yes they did happen and by the 1930s
mostly they did have to go to the court if they were changing their
family name. The earlier date-wise the more likely they either did it
as part of their naturalization or just did it by saying today I will

The good news though is if they did the change in a court there's a good
paper trail. First challenge is to figure out where they did it. There's
a name change bureau downtown Manhattan and people are still there doing
name changes there. They have ledger books with the records and the files.
I seem to recall they are filed under the old name or maybe both and by

But I think there were multiple courts where you could do it. I seem to
recall the State Supreme Court also has name change files and I assume you
could do it in most of the boroughs.

If the person changed their name in the courts they were required to put a
notice in the newspaper and supply a copy of the notice to the court. I
have seen them in the files. In theory if you could figure out which
newspaper you could search for them that way. Might try Fulton or other
online newspapers. Problem is it is rare it was The New York Times .... a
lot of times it was in the legal paper or a community newspaper.

The files only show the details of the name change .... they do not have
other genealogical info as I recall but it is a while since I retrieved one
of these files.

Allan Jordan

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott D Seligman

...she probably changed her name. I'm guessing this would
have occurred in New York City, but possibly in New York State, in the late
1930s. Are such records available for search? I'd be pleased to communicate
offline with anyone who has experience with them. And thanks!

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