The UK Deed Poll Office

Can I trace a person's name change?

We are often asked if it is possible to trace a person who may have changed their name. Unfortunately, because Deed Polls are not centrally registered, you may not be able to find any record of a particular name change.

You could try to locate the original Deed Poll, but it could have been prepared by an online company such ourselves or by one of around 10,000 firms of Solicitors in the UK. Therefore this would not be easy, and in any case the supplying firm/company would not be able to provide any information due to the Data Protection Act. Additionally, many firms will destroy a clients records after a period of around five years.

Therefore, you will only be able to trace a name change where the Deed Poll has been enrolled in the Royal Courts of Justice. However, very few Deed Polls are enrolled so the chances of finding the person/name you are looking for are low. If the Deed Poll was enrolled then a notice would have been published in the London Gazette (1914 onwards), you can search their archive via www.london-gazette.co.uk

You can also contact the National Archives who hold a record of all Deeds that have been enrolled in the Royal Courts of Justice, they can be contacted on:

www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
Bessant Drive
Richmond, Surrey TW9 4AD
020 8876 3444

If the name change you are looking for is more recent (circa 2001 onwards) then you should contact the Royal Courts of Justice directly on 020 7947 6656 as they keep a record of all Deeds for several years before transferring them to the National Archives for permanent storage.

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