Métis Nation of Ontario
500 Old St. Patric St, Unit3
Ottawa, ON
K1N 9G4

Tel.: 613-798-1488
Toll Free: 800-263-4889
Fax: 613-722-4225

Change of Name

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The Archives of Ontario Research Guide 229 “Finding Change of Name Records In Ontario” prior to 1939 there was no legal process to document a change of name through the courts. People were able to adopt any name providing there was no intention to defraud.


Individuals could file a deed poll at the County or District level as the public declaration so the new name would be recognized in the community. The deed poll was sworn before a judge but the courts were not required to keep an official record. The person who changed their name retained the copy. Some deed polls from across Ontario have been retained and are now in York Supreme Court matter files in Ontario Archive. There is an index covering 1850s-1946.

1939 – 1979    County/District Court matter records

Following the passing of the Change of Name Act judges held formal hearing into proposed name changes. No one could apply to change their name unless they ere 18 years of age and a British subject, (which included Canadians.) Married women could not initiate a name change and a married man could only change his name if he changed the name of all other members of his family, all of whom had to give their written consent if they were more than 14 year old. A notice about the proposed name change had to be published in a local newspaper.

1948 – Divorced and Deserted women could apply to resume their maiden name
1972 – citizenship required Ontario residence

Change of Name Act applications were required to list the applicant's surname, first name(s), address, date and place of birth, occupation, proposed name, and the reasons for the name change. The application also contained details of any criminal record and outstanding court judgments or debts.

  • Check the local newspaper for the Change of Name notice for the date and name.
  • If the Change of Name document is not found in the court record a copy of the order was filed with the Office of the Registrar General and can be obtained for a fee.

Post 1979

These records are held at the Office of the Registrar General:

Office of the Registrar General
P.O. Box 4600, 189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay, ON  P7B 6L8
Tel: 1-800-461-2156    or (416) 325-8305

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