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Thread: The LAST Name

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    620
    I find that at least in America, it is easier for a woman to take her husband's name. Not necessarily for the woman, but for everybody else. Example: a parent is setting up a playdate for their child and their child's friend, James Smith. So she logically asks to speak to Mrs. Smith, only to find out her name was never changed to Smith and instead she is Kenneth. Is she then Mrs. Kenneth? Ms. Kenneth? It's just plain awkward. I suppose that will change if less women take their husband's names in the future.
    Proud author of Kissimmee, Orlando, Mary, Adam, Mississippi, Micah, Georgette, Evelyn, Diane, Millicent, Maybeline, Prudence and so many many more

  2. #43
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    14
    I wanted to keep my maiden name, but I did not think it fair to give our children just one parent's surname. I also did not want my kids to be burdened with a hyphenated surname, and I thought it would be ideal for everyone in the family to share one surname so we could be referred to collectively as "the Smiths," for example. As a result, my husband and I chose a new last name, one that holds special meaning for us, and hyphenated it with our maiden surnames. The only surname the kids have is our new chosen name. People refer to our family collectively by our new chosen last name, but my husband and I have also maintained our pre-marriage identities. Works for us!

  3. #45
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Southern PA
    Posts
    376
    Ok, I'll bite... so how do you go about choosing a new surname if not taking your spouse's surname? Do you just squish letters together & make something up? Do you look through the phonebook for a spelling/sound that you like? What if you & your spouse give your family a whole new surname & you come across another family with that last name & they know everyone in their family & are surprised they don't know you because you have their last name? I wonder if they might have some negative feelings on that. Adoption being the exception, if I had met someone with my maiden name as their last name & once I asked them about their parents (to connect them to the family tree) & found that they did not have the blood rights to my maiden name & just stole it & claimed it as their own, I believe I would be rather offended & quite upset with them for claiming my maiden name when they have no blood rights to it. So, please, someone explain to me how "making a new surname" works. Although I did take my husband's surname, I still have pride in my maiden name as well as my married name.

    @ the person that said different cultures of different surname naming patterns - you are right & therefore a well seasoned genealogist will be aware of the country/culture they are researching & search appropiately to find a connection. I.E. my mother's maiden name is spelled different from what it was just 4 generations back (I think). This happened to ALOT of surnames when they came to America because of not knowing how to read or write & they were not able to say if the recorder was writing their name correctly & in some cases they didn't even know the proper spelling of their own names! :-)

  4. #47
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    184
    Quote Originally Posted by mrstrivette View Post
    Adoption being the exception, if I had met someone with my maiden name as their last name & once I asked them about their parents (to connect them to the family tree) & found that they did not have the blood rights to my maiden name & just stole it & claimed it as their own, I believe I would be rather offended & quite upset with them for claiming my maiden name when they have no blood rights to it.
    Have you never come across someone with your last name that you aren't related to? My last name is uncommon and I've never met anyone with it that wasn't in the family, but I wouldn't upset if someone else had it. Plenty of people share common last names. I think that getting offended is a bit of an overreaction--obviously they really like the name, or they wouldn't have chosen it.

    Though, I will admit, my family means little to nothing to me, so maybe I just don't have that 'family pride' that others do. That being said, when I do get married one day, I won't think twice about changing my last name, as long as it isn't something strange. I know a guy with the last name Gaylord, and I definitely wouldn't take that if I married him!
    Collecting, not expecting! Favorite names change frequently.

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  5. #49
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    153
    It's not actually the norm here in Quebec for women to change their names. Quite the opposite. They actually make it kind of a pain - and more expensive - to do so. (Though it may well go along with the ratio of common-law to legally married folk. The former way more common here than in much of North America). Furthermore, all health/hospital records, and a bunch of other bureaucratic/paper trails track people by way of their mother's maiden name. There are more and more children here being given their mothers' names rather than their fathers'. It's kind of neat to see that folks are making the choices that are really right for them, whatever they may be.
    Last edited by blueberrya; January 2nd, 2013 at 05:26 PM.

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