1 Pa.C.S.A.§ 1503 provides:
(a) English law.--The common law and such of the statutes of England as were in force in the Province of Pennsylvania on May 14, 1776 and which were properly adapted to the circumstances of the inhabitants of this Commonwealth shall be deemed to have been in force in this Commonwealth from and after February 10, 1777.
Laflin & Rand Co. v. Steytler, 146 Pa. 434, 442 (Pa. Ct. Com. Pl. 1892) states:
The legislature in 1852 provided a mode of changing the name, but that act was in affirmance and aid of the common law, to make a definite point of time at which a change shall take effect. But without the aid of that act a man may change his name or names, first or last, and when his neighbors and the community have acquiesced and recognized him by his new designation, that becomes his name.
In re McUlta (1911) states:
The Act of 1852 did not change the common law rule, but was passed in affirmance and aid of the common law. Without the aid of the Act, a man may change his name or names, first or last, and when his creditors and the community have acquiesced and recognized him by his new designation, that becomes his name.
This exception charges the bankrupt with fraud in obtaining the goods and merchandise purchased, in that he did not inform his creditors of his right name, and therefore he did not obtain title to the goods which he claims as exempt. We dismiss this exemption. A name is used merely to designate a person or thing. It is the mark or indica to distinguish him from other persons, and that is as far as the law looks. In re Snook, supra; Rich v. Mayer (City Ct. N. Y.) 7 N. Y. Sup. 69, 70. They are merely used as means of indicating identity of persons. Meyer v. Indiana National Bank 27 Ind. App. 354, 61 N. E. 596. There is nothing in the evidence to show that any fraud was committed by the bankrupt in purchasing the goods. They were sold to him under his assumed name (the creditors never knew until after the institution of bankruptcy proceedings and the adjudication, that the bankrupt was doing business under an assumed name;) and he took title of the goods and could have disposed of them under his assumed name and given a good title to the same. Credit in this case was given to the man—not the name -- and that man was J. D. McUlta.
Matter of Montenegro, 528 A. 2d 1381 - Pa: Supreme Court 1987 states:
Our legislature has determined that a person may at any time adopt and use any name, if such name is used consistently, nonfraudulently and exclusively (54 Pa.C.S.A. § 701(b)). This rule of law has its roots in English common law. In Falcucci, supra, the Supreme Court recognized that, at common law, no individual has such a property right to his name as to entitle him to prevent another from 103*103 adopting it, unless that person's doing had such a fraudulent purpose as would justify equitable restraint. The Court cited Lord Chelmsford's statement, "[t]he mere assumption of a name, which is the patronymic of a family, by a stranger who had never before been called by that name, whatever cause of annoyance it may be to the family, is a grievance for which our law affords no redress." Id. (Citing DuBoulay v. DuBoulay, , 16 English Reports 638.)
In re Harris, 707 A. 2d 225 - Pa: Superior Court 1997 states:
A change of name statute "is to be construed consistently with and not in derogation of the common law." Eck, supra. At common law, an individual is free at any time to adopt and use any name, if such name is used consistently, nonfraudulently and exclusively.
54 Pa.C.S.A. § 701(b) provides:
(b) Informal change of name.--Notwithstanding subsection (a), a person may at any time adopt and use any name if such name is used consistently, nonfraudulently and exclusively.