Name change documents, 20th century ?New York #general


Deborah HOLMAN
 

Where would I search to find proof of a name change? My grandfather
born Aaron Edgar SAMUEL (b. 1905 Brooklyn, NY) apparently changed the
order of his first and middle names as he thought it sounded better
(according to my aunt!)

Deb Holman

Searching: SAMUEL, BYK, KESNER, LICHTENTHAL, SPIEGEL, WEISS, OSTERMANN,
WOLFF, GOLDSCHMIDT, DAVIS, FALK, BERGER, SCHOEN, PASSAUER in England,
Germany, Austria, Romania, Hungary, USA


Bob Wexler
 

Deborah...

Be prepared to *not* find any proof.

Before Social Security a person may have just started using a different
name with no need to file any legal papers.

Some of my GREENBERG family merely just started using TRAEGER as their
last name as they thought it was the original family name back in
Russia. One member told me he changed his name when he moved from
Western NY to California. On the other hand, one of his brothers, an
optician, did file such change of name papers in a court.

In another family, one of my mother's uncles named Saul SIMON became
George SIMPSON after some 'unpleasantness' removed himself >from the
family and was seen just once again in 1941. I'm still trying to trace
him.

--- Original Message ---
From: DEBORAH HOLMAN <deborah.holman@...>
Date: Sat, January 02, 2010 7:13 pm

Where would I search to find proof of a name change? My grandfather
born Aaron Edgar SAMUEL (b. 1905 Brooklyn, NY) apparently changed the
order of his first and middle names as he thought it sounded better
(according to my aunt!)


Ira Leviton
 

Dear Cousins,

Deb Holman asked where to find proof of a name change in New YorkCity.

In New York State, name changes can be done in either the civil or
criminal divisions of State Supreme Court. In the Civil Division in
Manhattan at 111 Center Street in room 118, I remember the ledger or index
books being thin, with only one or two years of name changes in each, and
they must be requested at a window, so the procedure is somewhat
cumbersome. At the Criminal Division at 60 Center Street in room 103B,
it's easier because many years are in much thicker ledgers. In Kings County
(Brooklyn), the situation is similar, with indexes in both court divisions.
Estelle Guzik's book "Genealogical Resources in New York" clearly explains
where the indices and the records are located.

However, it should be noted that the name change process is time-consuming
and costs a few dollars in notary and court fees that our immigrant
ancestors may not have had. It was cheaper and more convenient to
change a name just by calling oneself something different, and then,
of course, there's no documentation. Decades ago one didn't have to show
a driver's license, social security card, or birth certificate to open a
bank account or do other 'official' business, so formal name changes
weren't required like they are nowadays. Judging >from what is probably
millions of people who were born in Eastern Europe but lived in the U.S.
with names like Morris, Phillip, Frances, and Sadie, without evidence of
a name change, I suspect that the informal method was done far more often.

Ira
Ira Leviton
New York, N.Y.


Peter Zavon <pzavon@...>
 

"Ira Leviton"wrote
In New York State, name changes can be done in either the civil or
criminal divisions of State Supreme Court.
snip...

For those not familiar with the idiosyncrasies of New York State, it may be
worth pointing out that the "State Supreme Court" is in fact the supreme
state court in each county. There is a New York State Supreme Court for New
York County (which is Manhattan) a New York State Supreme Court for Kings
County (which is Brooklyn), etc. Each maintains separate records so you
need to go to the county seat for each such court.

Peter Zavon
Penfield, NY

PZAVON@...