Re: How to Find a Name Change #poland #names


I have name changes on both sides of my family.  It is legal to change one's name without official documentation as long as it is not done to defraud.

On my maternal side, the spelling of both my grandfather's and grandmother's last names changed over the years.  I have no proof, but think this was to "modernize" or simplify the spelling.  I doubt there is any documentation in official records.  It is pretty much the same as first name changes.  For example, my grandmother also went from Baila to Bella and my grandfather from Yitzchak to Isidore.  

My father's first name was changed by his mother sometime before he was 3 years old, reasons unknown.  Later, he and his brothers changed their last names without going through official channels.  Therefore, when my father applied for Social Security his sister-in-law had to sign an affidavit stating that she knew him by both names.  Just to further confuse things, my father enlisted in the US Army under his later names--both first and last--while his brother enlisted using his birth name.  

In brief, you may or may not be able to find any official documents that explain name changes.  
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

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