Thursday, September 18, 2008

Changing my Surname

I have been debating with this issue for some time. My fiancé and I intend on getting married in the near future. However, I haven’t decided whether or not to take his last name.

I have lived with mine for 30 years. Why change it because of marriage? Granted I do like the nostalgia of it, however, I don’t want my path lost. I am a Spence and do I really want to change my name to someone else’s surname? What about mine? Is my surname so unimportant that I have to get rid of it? I don’t belong to him. Marriage is such a partnership but most of the time, women is expecting to take on his last name. Let me stop before I get on my feminist soap box.

I didn’t have the foresight of giving my children my surname when they were born. I wish I had. However, they do have an Ethiopian middle name that will be my families naming tradition.

Back to the subject.

What do you think? Should a woman change her name to her husbands upon marriage?


  1. Keep Spence!

    I kept my name and have never regretted it. My children have my surname as their middle name - no hyphens for us! I always wondered - what do couples who each have a hyphenated name do when they marry?

    My husband always jokes that he refused to take my name. He was always comfortable with the decision. My father took a long time to get used to the idea but after he came around I think he was quite proud that his three daughters had kept his name.

    Identity is important, especially for someone with such a strong interest in genealogy. I've been amazed that the pendulum has swung back so far. It was much more common for women to keep their names back in the 1970s.

  2. I say keep Spence too! Legally, I hyphenated my name with his, but for most purposes (and professionally) I remain Koonce, for I too identify VERY strongly with my last name. To his chagrin I am sure :-)

    I never really considered giving my name to our daughter as the name will go on since there are several male Koonce's in our family.

  3. I like the idea of hyphenated names.

  4. First of all thank you for your welcome post on my site. I hit the reject button when I meant to hit publish. Sorry.

    Here's a different tack. Many people believe that names can determine our character and our fortune. If you are satisfied with things as they are, don't change your name. But you are beginning a new life. A new name could be part of that.

    Having said all that, it's up to you and your fiance. How does he feel about it? I changed my name because I never liked it. Now I think about going back to it because it is unique. However, my writing career took off with my married name. Could my name be the reason?


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