Name changed in London before coming to US, searching for original name #names

Phil Goldfarb

I have a relative by the name of Barnett Mulmed who was born in Brest-Litovsk on July 17, 1879. He went to London and changed his name to Mulmed and arrived in the US on the SS New York on Feb. 25, 1906.

My question is: is there any on line site where I can find the record of his name change in London? I would imagine that this happened in late 1905 or early 1906 before he left. After several generations his original name is lost to the family.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Phil Goldfarb
Tulsa, OK

Jill Anderson <jill.anderson@...>


if the name was changed officially” by deed poll” there will be a record of that in the London Gazette.

Jill Anderson

Jill Whitehead

Before WW1 name changes were informal. Use of name changes by Deed Poll started to come in during WW1 (e.g. my Gutenberg's of Sheffield became Graham in 1915). This was not a legal requirement for all until about the 1920s.  So a name change in 1905 may be too early to be official.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK


In fact I think it depended a lot on "alien" status. 

The Alien Restriction act of 1914 was then amended and extended in December 1919. 

That placed an obligation on "aliens" to register name changes (personal and business)

The legislation is here

Bear in mind when reading that the 1919 legislation particularly was to a considerable extent specifically targeted at Jewish Marxist terrorists operating in and around London and causing considerable mayhem, murders and robberies in furtherance of their cause. 

The largest terrorist standoff on British soil remains the siege of Sidney street which resulted from the activities of these individuals who caused so much disrepute to our community and who drove this legislation. An earlier motivation of the Act (of 1914) was motivated by a fear of German spies (German Jews felt compelled to announce their support for Britain in 'loyalty letters' to newspapers).

An alien was I think defined as a non-citizen, and not all Jews would have fallen into that category.


To add to my above response: There was no restriction even after 1919 to informal name changes for non-aliens. That remains the case. In 2020 - it is completely normal and legal for anyone over the age of 16 to start using a new name at any time, and absolutely no registration is required, so long as they are not doing so for a fraudulent or illegal reason. It could be by a completely private Deed. 
Using a formal mechanism registered by the state (a Deed Poll) is and remains entirely optional. 

Aubrey Blumsohn
Sheffield, UK