How can I find information about my ancestors changing our last name to Cochran?

+1 vote
It has been known to the family that our last name was changed to cochran in ga. No one knows what the last name was and when it was changed. We just know that it was changed to Cochran cause that was a popular name at the time. It had to be changed for unknown reasons. Please help. It was changed in north ga in pickins co. We think. WE KNOW THAT IT WASN'T CHANGE CAUSE OF MARRIAGE OR BEING ADOPTED. Thanks for reading this.
asked in Genealogy Help by Wendy Verostko G2G Crew (970 points)
edited by Wendy Verostko
I have an instance of Cockrum being changed to Cochran in my family, but it happened in Cherokee County, Oklahoma. Are you sure this happened in GA?
If you think they simply changed the spelling of the name, search the following alternatives. I have Cochrans in my lines and have found them under all of these variations.

















Hope that helps.
you say you have cochran in the family was any of them rachel cochran married to elkenny wolfe or canin wolfe or conin wolfe or L.K wolfe all who happen to be same guy according to his son milford wolfe death records on differnt tree sites.. they was married in 1850 in portsmouth ohio scioto county.milford was born 1851 died 1938.if not thanks for all the name change spellings
So far all of my Cochran/Cockram ancestors are in the North Carolina and Virginia area.  I futzed around on Ancestry with the names you gave me and found their marriage records but that was pretty much all I could find. I couldn't find either Elkenny or Rachel on a census report in Ohio at all. If you would like the copies of the marriage records, give me an email address and I will send them to you.

also consider the spelling Corcoran

2 Answers

+2 votes
I have a case in colonial New England that is similar.  Adrian Unknown married John Bland and had a son.  John died and Adrian married a man named Smith.  Smith died and Adrian married third, a man named Norcross.  

Adrian's son sometimes used the name John Bland and sometimes used the name John Smith.  If you know the a mother that re-married, you might look for the name of the previous husband.

Also, undocumented adoptions are a fairly common way of changing surnames.  As an example, in the wilderness areas an orphan was adopted and raised as one of the new family.  

There are usually good reasons for a surname change, you just have to find out the history.  I suggest a yDNA test to see if the genetic paternal line can be determined.
answered by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (464k points)
+2 votes
Does anyone in the family whose name was actually changed have an uncommon first name? You can use that name to search the census. When you find the earliest occurence of that name, robe the last name from the search.  Add a sibling that would have been alive as the othervperson. Search the previous census.
answered by Maureen Rosenfeld G2G6 Pilot (180k points)

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