Author Topic: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.  (Read 1884 times)

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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« on: August 24, 2012, 12:09:35 AM »

 Here in the US, this has been pretty standard for the last 100+ years.  Maybe longer.  I'm curious as to if other countries practice this or not.  Example;  Sally O'Brien marries Tommy McCarthy.  Now Sally is Sally McCarthy. 

 Also, is this a Christian Tradition? Big T or little t? 
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Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2012, 12:16:06 AM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


 Here in the US, this has been pretty standard for the last 100+ years.  Maybe longer.  I'm curious as to if other countries practice this or not.  Example;  Sally O'Brien marries Tommy McCarthy.  Now Sally is Sally McCarthy. 

 Also, is this a Christian Tradition? Big T or little t? 

In Ethiopian tradition, children take their father's first name as their surname, and when women are married they keep their original surname (i.e., their father's first name)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2012, 12:49:51 AM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


 Here in the US, this has been pretty standard for the last 100+ years.  Maybe longer.  I'm curious as to if other countries practice this or not.  Example;  Sally O'Brien marries Tommy McCarthy.  Now Sally is Sally McCarthy. 

 Also, is this a Christian Tradition? Big T or little t? 

In Ethiopian tradition, children take their father's first name as their surname, and when women are married they keep their original surname (i.e., their father's first name)
I noticed that with an Eritrean family in my parish directory.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 01:01:21 AM »

 Here in the US, this has been pretty standard for the last 100+ years.  Maybe longer.  I'm curious as to if other countries practice this or not.  Example;  Sally O'Brien marries Tommy McCarthy.  Now Sally is Sally McCarthy. 

 Also, is this a Christian Tradition? Big T or little t? 
Little t. The Arab woman keeps her family name.

In Spanish culture they join both names with "y" "and."

IIRC, in Scandinavia until recently (and still in Iceland) a woman still kept her patronymic.
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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 06:00:59 AM »
In Serbia and Poland there is the same situation as in USA. However, nowdays in Poland it's more and more popular that woman keeps her last name and after "-" there is her husband's surname.

As for Spain (I don't know about other Spanish speaking countries, I'm sure only about Mexico - that's the same as in Spain), they have two surnames. The first one is after father's first surname, and the second one after first mother's surname. Married woman keeps her original surnames.
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2012, 07:40:15 AM »
In Quebec, a wife uses the name on her birth certificate.

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2012, 08:59:11 AM »
My impression is that more often than not throughout human history, at least in the West (including Russia), women kept at least some marker of their father's family or clan name, just as they kept some kind of indelible rights to a paternal dowry.

The more important extended family/clan was, and the more marriage was seen as a social contract between two families, the more likely that a woman's name could never be subsumed by her husband's. Marriage was a unity of two houses, not merely two individuals.

Even today, though, where none of this obtains, I think it's safe to say that most (or at least a very large plurality of) women on Earth retain some marker of their father's house in their full name, particularly since the Chinese do so. This is true in the majority of Orthodox lands, e.g. Russia (patronymic), Greece (keep paternal surname), Middle East (keep paternal surname), etc., and also many Catholic ones.
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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2012, 03:07:56 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


 Here in the US, this has been pretty standard for the last 100+ years.  Maybe longer.  I'm curious as to if other countries practice this or not.  Example;  Sally O'Brien marries Tommy McCarthy.  Now Sally is Sally McCarthy. 

 Also, is this a Christian Tradition? Big T or little t? 

In Ethiopian tradition, children take their father's first name as their surname, and when women are married they keep their original surname (i.e., their father's first name)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
This is the same in Kerala culture, except Malayalee wives also usually take their husbands first name as their last name as well.

Offline mike

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2012, 04:20:08 PM »
In Serbia and Poland there is the same situation as in USA. However, nowdays in Poland it's more and more popular that woman keeps her last name and after "-" there is her husband's surname.

Or women stay with their own name.

On the other hand the children share father's name or two names joined with "-". They can't keep mother's name only if the father is known.

Offline Gorazd

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2012, 04:56:32 PM »
On the other hand the children share father's name or two names joined with "-". They can't keep mother's name only if the father is known.

If that is still the case, I guess we have a violation of EU law here. France was forced to change a similar law a few years ago.

In German law, the parents, if they have different last names, get to choose which of the names their children should have.

Offline mike

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2012, 05:04:59 PM »
On the other hand the children share father's name or two names joined with "-". They can't keep mother's name only if the father is known.

If that is still the case, I guess we have a violation of EU law here. France was forced to change a similar law a few years ago.

In German law, the parents, if they have different last names, get to choose which of the names their children should have.

I've checked it and actually it is more complicated.

Offline choy

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2012, 05:59:58 PM »

In Spanish culture they join both names with "y" "and."


The Philippines has an interesting case.  We adopted this from Spain after 333 years of colonization.  When the Americans came we started using the American way of naming, so the maiden surname of the mother now becomes the middle name of the children.  So my middle name is my mom's maiden surname and my children's middle name is my wife's maiden surname, this is despite my children being born in Canada.

Offline Alpo

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2012, 08:18:09 PM »
In Serbia and Poland there is the same situation as in USA. However, nowdays in Poland it's more and more popular that woman keeps her last name and after "-" there is her husband's surname.

This applies to Finland too. IMO this is fairly ridiculous. Women, please keep your names or take your husband's but please don't create those weirdo combinations of both.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 08:22:31 PM by Alpo »

Offline mike

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2012, 07:03:24 AM »
Women, please keep your names or take your husband's but please don't create those weirdo combinations of both.

Agreed.

Offline Kerdy

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2012, 07:48:12 AM »
I know very little history, but my wife took my last name.  It was not an option.  If I had to guess, I think it probably took when mass immigrants started coming to America, to keep record keeping easier.

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2012, 08:05:46 AM »
A further thought: It might actually be in *more* patriarchal cultures that women keep their paternal surname. It would be an insult to the authority of the father not to. In Rome, for example, most married women even remained under the legal authority of their father or grandfather after marriage.
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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2012, 08:23:55 AM »
So interesting (and complicated) about Philippines.

Women, please keep your names or take your husband's but please don't create those weirdo combinations of both.

Agreed.

I would like to keep my maiden name because in Poland it's quite original and I'm very attached to it because it's one of these things that shows my Serbian origin. And to show and feel more I'm married I would take also my husband's name. Only if I married a Serbian, I would take his name. I know personally some women with both names and for me it sounds cool :P
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Offline Gorazd

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2012, 08:37:51 AM »
I would like to keep my maiden name because in Poland it's quite original and I'm very attached to it because it's one of these things that shows my Serbian origin. And to show and feel more I'm married I would take also my husband's name. Only if I married a Serbian, I would take his name. I know personally some women with both names and for me it sounds cool :P

Maybe some names sound cool, but not all of them. For example, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the German minister of justice, has a rather weird sounding name. But I imagine, with one Serbian and one Podachian Belarusian name it could be cool, something Like Dominika Milošević-Łukaszenka  ;D

Actually, I guess Hyperdox Herman would take on the name of his wife.


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Offline Pan Michał

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2012, 08:56:18 AM »
And there's another advantage of having double-barrelled surname - they make you feel like a Roman emperor.

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2012, 09:17:49 AM »
I would like to keep my maiden name because in Poland it's quite original and I'm very attached to it because it's one of these things that shows my Serbian origin. And to show and feel more I'm married I would take also my husband's name. Only if I married a Serbian, I would take his name. I know personally some women with both names and for me it sounds cool :P

Maybe some names sound cool, but not all of them. For example, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the German minister of justice, has a rather weird sounding name. But I imagine, with one Serbian and one Podachian Belarusian name it could be cool, something Like Dominika Milošević-Łukaszenka  ;D


I beg to differ.  That is an AWESOME sounding name auf Deutsch.
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Offline choy

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2012, 04:46:43 PM »
So interesting (and complicated) about Philippines.

Not so much complicated, every legal form will ask for "Mother's Maiden Name" and that is automatically your middle name :D

Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2012, 04:07:52 PM »
I thought it had to deal with the daughter's father "giving" the daughter to the man.  The woman then submits to the man, under his name.

Really how it was done here is if you had a guy named

Jason Smith
and a gal named Maggie Johnson

Her name would be:

Mrs. Jason Smith

Seen old documents signed like that a bunch.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2012, 04:20:32 PM »
Here I will unveil my brilliant idea I've had forever that would make genealogies more easy to track, or so 2.3 seconds of thought once told me.

John X and Mary Y get married.

They BOTH become X-Y.

They carry both names and you know they are married in virtue of their name.

Their sons take X.
Daughters, Y.

Lotsa stuff get cleaned right up and made clear.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2012, 04:21:20 PM »
Women, please keep your names or take your husband's but please don't create those weirdo combinations of both.

Agreed.

I agree unless you are using my system, see above.
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Offline OrthoNoob

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2012, 04:22:03 PM »
Well, Orthonorm's idea is definitely superior to giving your daughters their mother's hyphenated name, only to have them hyphenate it again if and when they get married...
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2012, 09:36:50 PM »
somewhere-down-the-line-there-is-going-to-be-a-lot-of-hyphens.
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Offline OrthoNoob

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2012, 10:01:36 PM »
somewhere-down-the-line-there-is-going-to-be-a-lot-of-hyphens.

"Mom, Dad, I'd like you to meet my fiancée, Elizabeth Smith-Jones-Harrison-Steinbeck-Pavarotti-O'Donnell-MacMurray-Portokalos-Johnson-Baker."

But I doubt they thought it through that far when they started hyphenating stuff.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 10:01:57 PM by OrthoNoob »
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Offline Kerdy

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2012, 10:48:06 PM »
somewhere-down-the-line-there-is-going-to-be-a-lot-of-hyphens.

"Mom, Dad, I'd like you to meet my fiancée, Elizabeth Smith-Jones-Harrison-Steinbeck-Pavarotti-O'Donnell-MacMurray-Portokalos-Johnson-Baker."

But I doubt they thought it through that far when they started hyphenating stuff.
I usually ask which name they want to be called.  I never do hyphenated names.

Offline mike

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2012, 04:00:50 AM »
Two segments is the maximum (at least here) unless you are also a citizen of another one country that allows more.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 04:02:03 AM by Michał Kalina »

Offline OrthoNoob

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Re: Marriage question: wives taking on their husbans' last name.
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2012, 01:26:58 PM »
Two segments is the maximum (at least here) unless you are also a citizen of another one country that allows more.

I'm not aware of any laws about it in the US...but then I've never researched the topic.
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