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What's in a name?

(26 Posts)
suzied Fri 04-Aug-17 17:46:22

My youngest DS has just got married. We like our new DiL and her family very much. A week or so before the wedding he announced he was changing his surname to hers. His surname is my OHs , (which I don't use.) In fact as I have 2 children from previous marriage and my eldest DD uses my surname my 4 children now all have different surnames. I am not sure how I feel about this I can't see the point of either of them changing names but it's up to them, whereas my OH is quite hurt. My view is names are just patriarchal anyway and I think he's chosen to change his because her surname is quite exotic and unusual whilst my OHs surname is quite common and run of the mill. How would other parents react?

RedheadedMommy Fri 04-Aug-17 17:56:04

If your son was a daughter there would he still feel the same?

suzied Fri 04-Aug-17 18:05:47

Probably not, but fewer women change their names these days and even fewer men.

Cherrytree59 Fri 04-Aug-17 18:09:56

I believe in Spain the woman keeps her surname.
The children however take the father's family name.
If making a booking then it would be called the 'family **'

In answer to your question it wouldn't bother me what name my DC choose.

My DD is not married to her partner so she uses maiden name.
However the children have fathers surname.
My sister hyphenated her maiden name with Her DH's surname.

The only problem I can foresee is when future generations maybe try to decipher their family tree

M0nica Fri 04-Aug-17 18:20:51

Back in 1968 when I married I would love to have kept my maiden name. I did investigate the possibility but it was not practical. As far as I can remember, legally, either my bank account or passport had to be in my married name so I took DH's name. 35 years later, when DS got married, my DDiL decided to keep her surname unchanged and I do envy her.

I think it is nice to keep to family surnames but, which one on which side doesn't really matter. In the past it was quite common at every level of society for men, in particular ,to change surnames when they inherited a distant relative's estate or took over their business. One of Jane Austen's brothers was, as a teenager, 'adopted' by a childless relative and changed his surname to his relative's - and inherited a wealthy estate.

Penstemmon Fri 04-Aug-17 18:20:52

I am married but do not use DH name. I use My mum's first name. My DD2 is not married to her partner. Her children have her family name not their dad's name. My DD1 changed her name to her DH family name when they married after 13 years together. As long as we know who we are talking about it doesn't really matter unless you are a genealogist!

trisher Fri 04-Aug-17 18:29:58

I wouldn't worry too much, it's becoming increasingly common for family members to have different surnames. When I was teaching I got used to getting parents with different names to their children. The combinations are endless. Your DS is taking an unusual step, but one he must have discussed with his partner. You should be proud of him. Your OH is probably more upset because there is no other family to carry on his name.

Riverwalk Fri 04-Aug-17 18:44:22

An American friend is of Welsh origin and has a surname that reflects this - her DH adopted her name on marriage.

He's an American of Italian origin with a rather 'notorious' surname, along the lines of Corleone/Capone and always felt that his name was a handicap growing up and didn't want his own children to suffer the same.

ginny Fri 04-Aug-17 21:23:18

Married for 41 years and I still wish I had my first surname. It was much nicer than my married name but too late to change now.

rosesarered Fri 04-Aug-17 21:30:27

Hmmn, not sure how I would feel if one of the DC wanted to do this.I like my married name, and DH would have been hurt I think if DS had decided to do this ( he didn't.)
A lot of married people now fuse the names together, making double barrelled names ( there are going to be a lot of these around.)

Deedaa Fri 04-Aug-17 22:33:40

When DD got married her husband took our surname. Our family is the only one in this country with this name and DD and DS are the only people left to carry it on. SiL is one of 13 children and has loads of relatives to keep their name going.

Lizkat Sun 06-Aug-17 10:25:01

Hope no one is interested in family history in the future.It could make it tricky.

ninathenana Sun 06-Aug-17 11:09:09

SiL has always kept her ex's surname which she took when they married. He was a wife beater and in her position I don't think I would have but she said at the time it was for her son's benifit. (he's now 40)
D on the other hand couldn't wait to dissasociate herself from her estranged husband and asked me to pay for the deed poll to revert to her maiden name as last years birthday present smile her two sons have their father's name. Times change, nobody cares any more.

fiorentina51 Sun 06-Aug-17 11:35:38

In the UK there has never been a legal requirement for a woman to change her name on marriage, it's just a custom that has evolved. I married in 1973 and was told this when I was filling in some legal documents.
The women in my Italian family all use their maiden names when dealing with official/legal stuff and one or two use their husband's surname for everyday situations.
I changed my surname as my maiden name was easily misspelled and the end result was often quite rude! 😨

M0nica Sun 06-Aug-17 11:59:39

Fiorentina51. In 1968, when I married, I was told by the passport office, that my passport HAD to be in my married name as this was my name for all legal purposes. I think the bank said the same about my personal bank account.

devongirl Sun 06-Aug-17 12:19:18

Things have definitely moved on, then; when I married at 40, I was advised by the registrar not to change my name as by then I had worked for a long time, had scientific papers with my maiden name on etc. I decided to keep my maiden name and have never had any problems at all.

fiorentina51 Sun 06-Aug-17 13:28:41

Things must have changed by 1973 then. I was told this by my solicitor and the clerk at the DHSS, or whatever it was called back then. A colleague at work married at the same time and she retained her maiden name.

M0nica Sun 06-Aug-17 15:16:19

I wanted to keep my maiden name, but decided in the end it was going to be just too difficult. It has always been one of the very minor niggles in my life. DDiL has kept her name and I really envy her.

paddyann Sun 06-Aug-17 15:59:32

my parents had four daughters so no one to carry the family name on.I was happy to take my husbands name and that as a family unit we all had the same name .If thats old fashioned then thats too bad.My daughter has married twice and changed her name twice and has children from both marriages ,both surnames begin with the same letter of the alphabet so they all have sweatshirts and t shirts with Clan B on it .Kind of makes tham all feel as if they belong to the same family..which they do but with different names its often assumed they dont

kezia Sun 06-Aug-17 16:12:54

I didn't change my name back in 1983 but was quite taken aback when both my D and DiL changed their names

TerriBull Sun 06-Aug-17 16:33:00

I just remember being a child and wanting a surname that wouldn't be mispronounced. My maiden name was foreign and I was always aware when the register was called at school, it wasn't pronounced correctly which made me feel self conscious and embarrassed, my mother had the same problem her maiden name which was French, reasonably straightforward but she told me some would still make a meal out of saying it properly. Then I married for the first time, non English husband, French surname but more straightforward than mine so I went with that. Second marriage I have an English surname now, although not a run of the mill one, we still have to slowly spell it out sometimes, although it's the same as a very famous personality, so we mention that when booking into hotels etc. with "same as so and so" but add "no relation" because that person is a bit of a knob!

M0nica Sun 06-Aug-17 22:45:53

I have yet to come across a surname that could not be misunderstood or mispelt. Even Smith or Jones.

Iam64 Mon 07-Aug-17 09:24:06

I married in 1967, took my husband's name against my mother's advice. We divorced (thankfully) 11 years later and I reverted my maiden/i.e. father's name, I considered taking mums maiden name but decided I'd return to being the me I was pre-marriage.
I re-married in the 1980's, we were both happy to keep our own names. The children have both names but not hyphenated. One married and took her husband's name. It's up to them. A friends son and dil made a new name from half of their original last names.
I don't mind what others do but I do feel its right that the issue of whose name is taken is discussed and not assumed.

devongirl Mon 07-Aug-17 09:55:33

I so agree, Iam64. I remeber going back to work and talking to a male colleague who was shortly getting married, and he was apalled at the idea that I wouldn't be taking my husband's name; I asked how he would feel about taking his fiancee's surname and he couldn't contemplate it as he would no longer feel like himself - exactly!

The choice of surname should be up to the person.

JackyB Mon 07-Aug-17 11:41:06

I moved to Germany before I got married and people were always pronouncing my (then) surname wrongly because it had an "ei" in it which is pronounced "eye" in German.

Then I married and my married, German, surname, has an "au" in it which is now wrongly pronounced by English speakers.

I can't get it right, can I?