NAME VARIANCES



3.1 Rule of Idem Sonans


Differently spelled names are presumed to be the same when they sound alike, or when their sounds cannot be distinguished easily, or when common usage by corruption or abbreviation has made their pronunciation identical. A greater degree of liberality should be indulged with the greater lapse of time and in the absence of circumstances causing any reasonable doubt as to the identity of the parties. 3.2 Use or Nonuse of Middle Names or Initials In all instruments or court proceedings the use on one occasion and the nonuse in another of a middle name or initial ordinarily does not create a question of identity affecting title, unless the examiner is otherwise put on inquiry. 3.3 Abbreviations, Derivatives, and Nicknames All customary and generally accepted abbreviations, derivatives, and nicknames of first names and middle names should be recognized as the equivalent thereof.

3.2 Use or Nonuse of Middle Names or Initials

In all instruments or court proceedings the use on one occasion and the nonuse in another of a middle name or initial ordinarily does not create a question of identity affecting title, unless the examiner is otherwise put on inquiry.

3.3 Abbreviations, Derivatives, and Nicknames

All customary and generally accepted abbreviations, derivatives, and nicknames of first names and middle names should be recognized as the equivalent thereof.


3.4 Recitals


In the absence of special circumstances creating suspicion, recitals with respect to names and identity in recorded documents should be relied upon without requiring additional proof.

3.5 Effect of Suffix


Although identity of name raises the presumption of identity of person, the addition of a suffix such as “Jr.” or “II” to the name of a subsequent grantor may rebut the presumption of identity with the prior grantee.

3.6 Variance Between Signature and Name in Body of Deed


Where the given name or names or the initials as used in a grantor’s signatures on a deed vary from their name as it appears in the body of the deed but the name as used in the signature is the same as that in whom record title then exists, the signature should be accepted as providing adequate identification.

3.7 Name Changes


Where a person’s surname is changed, such as through marriage, divorce or other legal proceeding, after the person has acquired title, and the person then conveys in the former name with the new surname added, such a recital is sufficient. A better practice, however, is to set out the new name and recite formerly known as the prior name. If the person’s new name does not include the old one, a recitation of the new name formerly known as the old name is sufficient.

3.8 Variance in Name of Wife


If the grantees in one instrument of conveyance are “John Smith and Mrs. John Smith,” and the grantors in a succeeding instrument in the chain of title are “John Smith and Mary Smith,” further evidence should be required to show that Mrs. John Smith is the same person as Mary Smith. The same conclusion should be reached if the grantees were “John Smith and Mary Smith” and the grantors in a succeeding instrument in the chain of title were “John Smith and Mrs. John Smith.” Conveyances should not be prepared using a wife’s name as “Mrs. John Smith” as there could be a former deceased or divorced Mrs. John Smith different from the party in the proposed conveyance.

3.9 Variance in Indication of Sex


If a recorded instrument contains one or more personal pronouns indicating that a person named therein is of a certain sex, and a subsequent instrument in the chain of title contains one or more personal pronouns indicating that such person is of a different sex, such variances do not make the title unmarketable.

3.10 Correct Name of Grantee


If the given name of grantee is changed in a subsequent instrument from the original grantor expressly purporting to correct an error in the given name in the original instrument, such a recital may be relied upon unless the corrected name is distinctly dissimilar to the original or where special circumstances put the examiner on inquiry.

3.11 Correcting Designation of Plat


An error in a conveyance with respect to the name or designation of a recorded plat may be corrected by a certificate of the Clerk of the Superior Court when the nature of the error is reasonably clear.

Comment: John Doe conveyed land describing it as Lot 1, Block A of Blackacres, Plat Book 5, Page 3 of Blank County, Georgia, instead of the correct description of Plat Book 5, Page 31. The Clerk of the Superior Court of Blank County may issue a certificate stating that the only plat of record in Blank County under the name Blackacres is one recorded in Plat Book 5, Page 31, of said county.

3.12 Indexing Notation


If at the end of any conveyance and following the execution thereof, there is set forth an “indexing Notation” which contains a recital identifying the surname of any grantor or grantee therein, such designation shall be used by the Clerk in indexing said conveyance and any title examiner shall only be obligated to search under such name. However, any ambiguity or confusion about the correct surname requires a search under all possible names.

Comment: This Standard is intended to address those situations in which the surname of the party is not the last name found in a group of names. For example, in the name Pi Yong Si, if Pi is the surname this Standard will assist in having the document indexed as Yong Si Pi.

3.13 Name Variances for Corporations and Partnerships


Corporations chartered under the laws of the State of Georgia and partnerships formed under the laws of Georgia are satisfactorily identified although their exact names are not used and variations exist from instrument to instrument if, from the names used and other circumstances of record, identity of the corporation or partnership can be inferred with reasonable certainty. Among other variances, addition or omission of the word “the” preceding the name; use or nonuse of the symbol “&” for the word “and;” use or nonuse of the abbreviations for “company,” “limited,” “corporation” or “incorporated” ordinarily may be ignored. Affidavits and recitals of identify are encouraged to explain variances and good practice dictates that they be recorded to assist future examiners. Comment: This Standard has been adopted to assist attorneys in dealing with the problem of name variances as to recorded instruments. It is recommended that greater care be exhibited in the use of the exact and correct name of the corporation or partnership in the preparation of instruments to be recorded so as to eliminate the necessity for this Standard as to such instruments.

This Standard is based upon original Standard 9.1, which was cited In the Matter of Neal Gray, 7 B.R. 535 (N.D. Ga. 1980).