On 27 March 1933 The Change of Name Act was proclaimed in Saskatchewan. This was the first legislation in the province to formalize the process of legally changing one's name. It allowed for anyone over the age of twenty-one years to apply for a change of name. However, certain restrictions applied. No married woman could, during the lifetime of her husband, change her surname as acquired from him; and no married man could apply to change his surname or the given names of his wife, or of their unmarried children under the age of twenty-one, without the wife's consent.
Formal application for a change of name under the 1933 legislation was to be made to the Provincial Secretary. The application was to state the full name of the applicant, the place of residence, and where necessary the full name of his wife as well as full names and ages of minor children, along with the proposed change of name(s). A notice of this application was then published in The Saskatchewan Gazette and a newspaper circulating in the district where the applicant resided. Once the name change had been approved, the Certificate of Change of Name was also published in The Gazette and the local newspaper. It should be noted, though, that the Certificate did not give the ages of minor children as the published notice of application did.
By an amendment to the Act in 1941, people who had lawfully changed their names in jurisdictions outside of Saskatchewan could apply to the Provincial Secretary for Saskatchewan to have that change registered here. That notice would then be published in The Saskatchewan Gazette. The Act was again changed in 1947 so that applications were thereafter to be made to the Director of Vital Statistics. The 1947 amendment stipulated that a married or widowed person over the age of eighteen years could now change his/her name as well. Also, the written consent of a child of fourteen years of age or older was required to change his/her name. As of June that year the Certificate of Change of Name was no longer published in The Gazette, so there is no way of knowing from that source whether or not the application was successful after that date.
The Saskatchewan Gazette is therefore an important, comprehensive source of information regarding all formal applications for changes of name in the province from 1933. However, it had also been used on an intermittent basis to give notice of changes of name as far back as 1917.
The index following this introduction appears in two alphabetical series: one by the original name and another by the new name, as they appeared in The Saskatchewan Gazette. This index will, we feel, be a useful genealogical tool for those who have lost contact with relatives moving into the province, where the name changed subsequent to the move, and for those who, not realizing there has been a change of name, are trying to trace the origins of their families. Researchers using the index are encouraged to consult the original entries in The Gazette in either office of the Saskatchewan Archives Board, since there is often additional information in the published notices, such as ages of minor children and street addresses for instance, that could not be included in the index. It should also be noted that notices of application for change of name continue to be published in The Gazette to the present day, even though this index (rather arbitrarily) stops at the end of 1950.
The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society in publishing this index wishes to acknowledge with thanks the assistance of D'Arcy Hande and the Saskatchewan Archives Board, Debbie Moyer of the Saskatoon Branch (SGS) and Rae Chamberlain of the Biggar Branch (SGS).
Copyright (c) 1993
Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Inc.
PO Box 1894
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3E1
No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher.
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