Dear Ms. Bauer,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
Laws governing name changes depend on the state and time period. Requirements at the beginning of the 20th century may be vastly different than toward the end. We suggest you contact the state government where he lived to determine what laws governed name changes during that time period.
For reasons to change a name, please read these unofficial articles:
- Immigrant Name Changes
- Why Your Family Name Was Not Changed at Ellis Island (and One That Was)
- New Life in U.S. No Longer Means New Name
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!