Slim and Franke

Slim and Franke
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Monday, July 25, 2011


Should a woman keep her maiden name when she marries?

(See if this one question doesn't open a whole can of worms. Should the man take her name? Should the parents and children have a hyphenated name? Should the child always be given the man's last name? And what about same sex unions? Should everyone reaching the age of majority have the option to register their own chosen name at no charge? Should there be a law about uniform naming? Etc.,etc., etc.)

Personally, if I were a young person marrying for the first time, I would keep my maiden name and give the children the father's last name.


  1. I think people should have whatever name they choose. I've had a few different names during my life and my kids chop and change with their maiden names all the time.

    People get a bit precious about names I think.

  2. I'm from the old school where a woman took her husband's last name. I love sharing my name with my husband. When I divorced my first husband, I kept that married name so that I could have the same name as my children. When I remarried they were old enough to understand my name change. I think when getting married now, there should be a mutual agreement to what name the spouses will use and what names the kids will carry. As for hyphenated names, I deal with them every day. If kids with hypenated names marry someone with a hypenated name and they decide to hypenate...that's just too many hyphens.

  3. Old school here.
    No - names for me.
    When you look at the hundreds of thousands of unions it took to get to me, then it requires some pragmatism somewhere along the line. Writing your name could become like listening to the historian on the movie Roots.

  4. I guess I am rather the traditionalist here. I'd vote for taking the husband's name and none of that hyphenated crap. JMO.

  5. I think the way it has been for however generations is just fine and all the rest a lot of confusion.

  6. I took my husband's name when I was married, but took my maiden name back when I got divorced, primarily because it is a beautiful last name (I think.) I'd probably keep it if I got married again. If that happens again, we'll see.

  7. I'm totally with Bonnie.
    What I find difficult is when people live together and have children, which is fine, but then not knowing which surname to address the child's birthday card. Drives me nuts having to ask around.

  8. It seems like tradition is winning out here, with a few bumps. For anyone doing a search for ancestors it's definitely a plus that the women took their husband's names. One of my daughters married a man with a hyphenated last name and she took his name. When I introduced her to a co-worker, was confused because she thought the hyphenation was Sara's maiden name plus her husbands name. A minor point though. I can see a woman wanting to keep her maiden name if she's known professionally/artistically by that name - less confusion for her.

    Glad I found your throught provoking blog.

  9. I agree with Joey - people should pick the names they like. I should know, since I'm the only one in my family with my last name, and it's not Mr. RK's. :)

    I have to wonder, though - you know how some couples are now combining their names (if a Smith marries a Jones, they both become Smith-Jones)? What do their kids do when *they* get married? And God forbid they married another hyphenated-name person...

  10. kenju --
    Changes in the wind --
    Don't be shy. Give us your opinion. LOL

    Lynn -- What kind of a hassle was it for you to take back your maiden name? My maiden name wasn't all that beautiful and it was changed through the years by my Irish ancestors. If I changed my name I would go to the original name McGregor.

    Riot Kitty--
    LL Cool Joe --
    What would name selection do to genealogy researchers? Probably send them right over the edge. LOL

    Lucy --
    When a woman marries, she must change all of her records to the spouse's name. She has to notify Social Security, her bank, get a new driver's license, notify all her creditors and mail in documents of proof, etc. Men just get married after signing the marriage license. It looks like there should be a better way.

    Cliff -- What if a family name goes on the endangered list due to ending with female children, should/could the man then take the woman's surname?

    Pat -- That would be funny if it all boiled down to what is the best way to address cards and letters. LOL

    Pat McKenzie -- You're the only person who has mentioned the fact of established fame as a reason not to change one's name. That a big deal in Hollywood but it's doubtful anyone there knows their "real" name anyway.

    Thanks everyone for your comments.