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When a person (traditionally the wife in many cultures) assumes the
family name In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or community. Practices vary by culture. The family name may be placed at either the start of a person's full name ...
of their
spouse A religious marriage. A spouse is a significant other in a marriage in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally recognised union between people, called spouses, that establishes rights and obligations be ...
, in some countries that name replaces the person's previous
surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or community. Practices vary by culture. The family name may be placed at either the start of a person's full nam ...
, which in the case of the wife is called the maiden name (
birth name__NOTOC__ A birth name is the name of the person given upon their birth. The term may be applied to the surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or ...
is also used as a gender-neutral or masculine substitute for maiden name), whereas a married name is a family name or surname adopted by a person upon marriage. In some jurisdictions, changing one's name requires a legal procedure. Nevertheless, in some jurisdictions anyone who either marries or divorces may change their name. Due to increasing security and identification needs, even where it is legal, changing one's name without a legal procedure is now rarely accepted except (especially for women) at marriage. Traditionally, in the Anglophone
West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass. It is the opposite direction from east, and is the direction in which the sun sets. Etymology The word "west" is a Germa ...

West
only women change their names on marriage, but in some instances men may change their last names upon marriage as well, including
same-sex couples A same-sex relationship is a romantic or sexual relationship between people of the same sex. ''Same-sex marriage Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, is the marriage of two people of the same sex or gender, entered into in a c ...
. In the remainder of this article, birth name, family name, surname, married name and maiden name refer to
patrilineal surname Patrilineality, also known as the male line, the spear side or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship system in which an individual's family membership derives from and is recorded through their father's lineage. It generally involves the inheritance ...
s unless explicitly described as referring to
matrilineal surname A matrilineal surname or matrinameSykes, Bryan (2001). '' The Seven Daughters of Eve''. W.W. Norton. ; pp. 291–2. Professor Bryan Sykes uses "matriname", only, and states that women adding their own matriname to men's patriname (or "surname" as ...
s.


Canada

In most of Canada, either partner may informally assume the spouse's surname after marriage, so long as it is not for the purposes of fraud. The same is true for people in common-law relationships, in some provinces. This is not considered a legal name change in most provinces, excluding British Columbia. For federal purposes, such as a Canadian
passport A passport is a travel document, usually issued by a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be ...

passport
, Canadians may also assume their partner's surname if they are in a common-law relationship. In the province of British Columbia, people have to undergo a legal name change if they want to use a combined surname after marriage. Their marriage certificate is considered proof of their new name. The custom in Québec was similar to the one
in France
in France
until 1981. Women would traditionally go by their husband's surname in daily life, but their maiden name remained their legal name. Since the passage of a 1981 provincial law intended to promote gender equality, as outlined in the Québec Charter of Rights, no change may be made to a person's name without the authorization of the registrar of civil status or the authorization of the court. Newlyweds who wish to change their names upon marriage must therefore go through the same procedure as those changing their names for other reasons. The registrar of civil status may authorize a name change if: #the name the person generally uses does not correspond to the name on their birth certificate, #the name is of foreign origin or too difficult to pronounce or write in its original form, or #the name invites ridicule or has become infamous. This law does not make it legal for a woman to change her name immediately upon marriage, as marriage is not listed among the reasons for a name change.


English-speaking world

Due to the widespread practice of women changing their names at marriage, they encounter little difficulty doing so without a legal procedure in those jurisdictions that permit it. This process is expedited for newly married women in that their
marriage certificate A marriage certificate (sometimes: marriage lines) is an official statement that two people are married. In most jurisdictions, a marriage certificate is issued by a government official only after the civil registration of the marriage. In som ...

marriage certificate
, in combination with
identification Identification or identify may refer to: Art and entertainment *Identify (album), ''Identify'' (album) by Got7 *''Kill Command'', 2016 film, also known as ''Identify'' *Identify (song), "Identify" (song) *Identification (album), by Benjamin Ingr ...
using their married name, is usually accepted as evidence of the change, due to the widespread custom, but the process still requires approaching every contact who uses the old name and asking them to use the new. Unless the statutes where the marriage occurred specify that a name change may occur at marriage (in which case the marriage certificate indicates the new name), the courts have officially recognized that such a change is a result of the
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Black's Law Dictionary'' is the most-use ...
right of a person (man, woman, and sometimes child) to change their name. There were some early cases in the United States that held that under
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Black's Law Dictionary'' is the most-use ...
, a woman was required to take her husband's name, but newer cases overturned that (see "Retain the birth name" below). Currently, American women do not have to change their names by law. '' Lindon v. First National Bank'', 10 F. 894 (W.D. Pa. 1882), is one of the very earliest precedent-setting
US federal court The federal judiciary of the United States is one of the three branches of the federal government of the United States organized under the Constitution of the United States, United States Constitution and Law of the United States, laws of the fede ...
cases involving
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Black's Law Dictionary'' is the most-use ...
name change Name change generally refers to the legal act by a person of adopting a new name different from their current name. The procedures and ease of a name change vary between jurisdictions. In general, common law jurisdictions have loose procedure ...
. A woman who had changed her last name to one that was not her husband's original surname was trying to claim control over her
inheritance Inheritance is the practice of passing on private property, Title (property), titles, debts, entitlements, Privilege (law), privileges, rights, and Law of obligations, obligations upon the death of an individual. The rules of inheritance differ ...

inheritance
. The court ruled in her favor. This set forth many things. By common law, one may lawfully change their name and be "known and recognized" by that new name. Also, one may enter into any kinds of contracts in their new adopted name. Contracts include employment (see ''
Coppage v. Kansas ''Coppage v. Kansas'', 236 U.S. 1 (1915), was a US Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States of America (USA), common ...
'' 236 U.S. 1), and one can be recognized legally in court in their new name. In 1967 in ''Erie Exchange v. Lane'', 246 Md. 55 (1967) the Maryland Court of Appeals held that a married woman can lawfully adopt an assumed name, even if it is not her birth name or the name of her lawful husband, without legal proceedings. However, men encounter more difficulties in changing their last names. In the United States, only eight states provide for an official name change for a man as part of their marriage process, and in others a man may petition a court or—where not prohibited—change his name without a legal procedure (though government agencies sometimes do not recognize this procedure for men).


Common options


Use husband's family name

In the past, a woman in England usually assumed her new husband's family name (or surname) after marriage; often she was compelled to do so under
coverture Coverture (sometimes spelled couverture) was a legal doctrine in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue ...
laws. Assuming the husband's surname remains common practice today in the United Kingdom (although there is no law that states the name must be changed) and in other countries such as
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, smal ...

Australia
,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands, coveri ...

New Zealand
,
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, e ...

Pakistan
,
Gibraltar ) , anthem = "God Save the Queen" , song = "Gibraltar Anthem" , image_map = Gibraltar location in Europe.svg , map_alt = Location of Gibraltar in Europe , map_caption = United Kingdom shown in pale green , mapsize = 290px , image_map2 = ...

Gibraltar
,
Falkland Islands The Falkland Islands (; es, Islas Malvinas, ) are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scatt ...

Falkland Islands
,
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...

India
,
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republik ...

Philippines
, the English-speaking provinces of Canada and the United States. In some communities in India, spouses and children take the father's first name or proper name. Often there are interesting variations of name adoption, including family name adoption. In
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * T ...

Massachusetts
, for instance, a Harvard study in 2004 found that about 87% of college-educated women take their husbands' name on marriage, down from a peak before 1975 of over 90%, but up from about 80% in 1990. The same study found women with a college degree were "two to four times (depending on age) more likely to retain their surname" than those without a college degree. In the lowlands of Scotland in the 16th century, married women did not change their surnames, but today it is common practice to do so. Usually, the children of these marriages are given their father's surname. Some families (mainly in the USA) have a custom of using the mother's maiden name as a middle name for one of the children—
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician and attorney who served as the 32nd president of the United States The president of the United States (P ...
received his middle name in this way or even as a first name. An example from Britain is
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Isambard Kingdom Brunel (; 9 April 1806 – 15 September 1859) was an English civil engineer who is considered "one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history," "one of the 19th-century engineering giants," and "one ...
.
Spessard Holland Spessard Lindsey Holland (July 10, 1892 – November 6, 1971) was an American lawyer and politician. He served as the 28th Governor of Florida from 1941 to 1945, and as a United States Senator The United States Senate is the Upper house, ...

Spessard Holland
, a former Governor of
Florida Florida is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. Florida is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia (U.S. state), Georg ...

Florida
and former Senator, whose mother's maiden name was Virginia Spessard, received his first name in this way.


Retain the birth name

Women who keep their own surname after marriage may do so for a number of reasons: * They see no reason to change their name, much like men often see no reason to change theirs. * Objection to the one-sidedness of this tradition. Spender, Dale. ''Man-Made Language'' (1980), pp 24–25 of 1985 2nd Ed. * Being the last member of their family with that surname. * To avoid the hassle of paperwork related to their change of name. * Wishing to retain their identity. * Preferring their last name to their spouse's last name. * To avoid professional ramifications. The American suffragist and abolitionist
Lucy Stone Lucy Stone (August 13, 1818 – October 18, 1893) was a prominent U.S. orator, Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist, and suffragist, and a vocal advocate and organizer promoting women's rights movement, rights for women. In 1847, Sto ...

Lucy Stone
(1818–1893) made a national issue of a married woman's right to keep her own surname (as she herself did upon marriage) as part of her efforts for women's rights in the U.S. Women who choose to keep their prior names have been called "Lucy Stoners". In 1879, when
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st List of Unite ...
women were granted the franchise in school elections, Stone registered to vote. But officials would not allow her to vote unless she added "Blackwell", her husband's last name, to her signature. This she refused to do, and so she was not able to vote. She did not challenge the action in a court of law. The
Lucy Stone League The Lucy Stone League is a women’s rights organization founded in 1921. Its motto is "A wife should no more take her husband's name than he should hers. My name is my identity and must not be lost."“lucystoneleague.orgArchivedfrom the origina ...
, named after her, was founded in 1921 by Ruth Hale; it was the first group to fight for women to be allowed to keep their maiden name after marriage—and to use it legally.Stannard, Una (1977). ''Mrs Man''. GermainBooks, San Francisco. , the entire Ch. 15 = "The Lucy Stone League" = pp. 188–218. Ruth Hale challenged in federal court that any government edict that would not recognize a married woman (such as herself) by the name she chose to use. In May 1921 Hale obtained a
real estate Real estate is property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this (also) an item of real property, (more general ...

real estate
deed issued in her birth name rather than her married name, Mrs. Heywood Broun. In 1925
Doris Fleischman Doris Elsa Fleischman Bernays (July 18, 1891 – July 10, 1980), was an American writer, public relations executive, and feminist activist.Cook, Joan (July 12, 1980)Doris Fleischman Bernays Dead; Pioneer Public Relations Counsel.''New York Times'' ...
became the first married woman in the United States to receive a passport in her own name. But by the early 1930s the
Lucy Stone League The Lucy Stone League is a women’s rights organization founded in 1921. Its motto is "A wife should no more take her husband's name than he should hers. My name is my identity and must not be lost."“lucystoneleague.orgArchivedfrom the origina ...
was inactive. In ''People ex rel. Rago v. Lipsky'', 63 N.E.2d 642 (Ill. 1945), the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District did not allow a married woman to stay registered to vote under her birth name, due to "the long-established custom, policy and rule of the common law among English-speaking peoples whereby a woman's name is changed by marriage and her husband's surname becomes as a matter of law her surname." In 1950,
Jane Grant Jane Grant (May 29, 1892 – March 16, 1972) was a New York City journalist who co-founded ''The New Yorker'' with her first husband, Harold Ross. Life and career Jane Grant was born Jeanette Cole Grant in Joplin, Missouri, and grew up and wen ...

Jane Grant
and 22 former members restarted the Lucy Stone League; its first meeting was on 22 March 1950 in New York City. Grant promptly won the
Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people A people is a plurality of person A p ...
's agreement that a married woman could use her birth surname as her official or real name in the census. (''The New York Times'', 10 April 1950). In the 1950s and 1960s, the League widened its focus to include all discrimination against women in the USA; the League was a forerunner of the
National Organization for Women The National Organization for Women (NOW) is an American feminist organization founded in 1966. The organization consists of 550 chapters in all 50 U.S. states and in Washington, D.C. History Background There were many influences contribut ...
. In ''State ex rel. Krupa v. Green'', 177 N.E.2d 616 (Ohio 1961), the Ohio appellate court allowed a married woman to register to vote in her birth name which she had openly and solely used, and been well known to use, before her marriage, and held that she could use that name as a candidate for public office. In 1972 in ''Stuart v. Board of Elections'', 266 Md. 440, 446, on the question of whether a wife could register to vote in her birth name rather than her husband's last name, the Maryland Court of Appeals held, " married woman's surname does not become that of her husband where, as here, she evidences a clear intent to consistently and nonfraudulently use her birth given name subsequent to her marriage." In the 1970s the Olympia Brown League was founded to help women's name rights in
Milwaukee Milwaukee ( ) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, and the fifth-largest city in the Midwestern United States. The county seat, seat of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Milwaukee County, the city is located on Lake Michigan's southwes ...

Milwaukee
, in response to a court decision against women seeking to keep their maiden names upon marriage; had kept hers upon her marriage in 1873. Specifically, the case with that court decision was ''Kruzel v. Podell'' (1975), in which the Supreme Court of Wisconsin decided that a woman upon marriage adopts the last name of her husband by customarily using that name after marriage, but also stated that no law required her to. In 1975 in ''Dunn v. Palermo'', the Supreme Court of Tennessee held that "in this jurisdiction a woman, upon marriage, has a freedom of choice. She may elect to retain her own surname or she may adopt the surname of her husband. The choice is hers. We hold that a person's legal name is that given at birth, or as ''voluntarily'' changed by either spouse at the time of marriage, or as changed by affirmative acts as provided under the Constitution and laws of the State of Tennessee. So long as a person's name remains constant and consistent, and unless and until changed in the prescribed manner, and absent any fraudulent or legally impermissible intent, the State has no legitimate concern." A new version of the Lucy Stone League was started in 1997, again focused on name equality.http://lucystoneleague.org/history.html The League's official history. To access it from the League's homepage: First click on the tab "Who are we?", and then on ''its'' button "LSL History". The American laws and cases noted above do not include all the relevant American laws and cases regarding maiden names. Currently, American women do not have to change their names by law.


Join both names (hyphenation)

It is less common for women, especially in the US and Canada, to add their spouse's name and their own birth name.


Name blending

Although less common than name joining, a growing trend is the blending of two surnames upon marriage. This means adding ''parts'' of the two names. An example is
Dawn O'Porter Dawn O'Porter (born Dawn Porter; born 23 January 1979) is a British writer, director and television presenter. She was born in Alexandria ) , name = Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكن ...
.


Birth name as middle name

Examples are
Hillary Rodham Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at lawAttorney at law or attorney-at-law, usually abbreviated ...

Hillary Rodham Clinton
and Kim Kardashian West.


Children

In the United States, some states or areas have laws that restrict what surname a child may have. For example,
Tennessee Tennessee (, ), officially the State of Tennessee, is a U.S. state, state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. Tennessee is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 36th largest by area and the L ...

Tennessee
allows a child to be given a surname that does not include that of the father only upon "the concurrent submission of a sworn application to that effect signed by both parents."


Legal status of male name changes at marriage

In 2007, Michael Buday and Diana Bijon enlisted the
American Civil Liberties Union The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a ...
and filed a discrimination lawsuit against the state of
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the United States by population, most populous and the List of ...
. According to the ACLU, the obstacles facing a husband who wishes to adopt his wife's last name violated the equal protection clause provided by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. At the time of the lawsuit, only the states of
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European continent between Wester ...
,
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, located in the Pacific Ocean about 2,000 miles from the U.S. mainland. It is the only state outside North America, the only state that is an archipelago, a ...

Hawaii
,
Iowa Iowa () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states: Wiscons ...

Iowa
,
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * T ...

Massachusetts
,
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the Northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
and
North Dakota North Dakota () is a state in the Upper Midwest region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in ...
explicitly allowed a man to change his name through marriage with the same ease as a woman. As a result of the lawsuit, the Name Equality Act of 2007 was passed to allow either spouse to change their name, using their marriage license as the means of the change; the law took effect in 2009. In 2013, Florida resident Lazaro Dinh had his licence revoked by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles for adopting his wife Hanh Dinh's surname. Subsequently, the licence was restored and the Department acknowledged their error.


Feminism and preserving one's personal name

(Also see "Retain the birth name" above.)
The feminist
Lucy Stone Lucy Stone (August 13, 1818 – October 18, 1893) was a prominent U.S. orator, Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist, and suffragist, and a vocal advocate and organizer promoting women's rights movement, rights for women. In 1847, Sto ...

Lucy Stone
(1818–1893) made a national issue of a married woman's right to keep her own surname (as she herself did upon marriage) as part of her efforts for women's rights in the U.S. Because of her, women who choose not to use their husbands' surnames have been called "Lucy Stoners". The feminist
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815 – October 26, 1902) was an American writer and activist who was a leader of the women's rights Women's rights are the rights Rights are law, legal, social, or ethics, ethical principles of Li ...
took her husband's surname as part of her own, signing herself Elizabeth Cady Stanton or E. Cady Stanton, but she refused to be addressed as Mrs. Henry B. Stanton. She wrote in 1847 that "the custom of calling women Mrs. John This and Mrs. Tom That and colored men
Sambo Sambo may refer to: Places * Sambo, Angola, a commune in Tchicala Tcholohanga, Huambo Province, Angola * Sambo Creek, a village in Honduras Other uses * Sambo, botanist author abbreviation for Maria Cengia Sambo (1888–1939), Italian lichenolog ...
and Zip
Coon Coon may refer to: Fauna Butterflies * Coon, common name of the butterfly '' Astictopterus jama'' * Atrophaneura#coon, Coon, species group of the butterfly genus ''Atrophaneura'', now genus ''Losaria'' * Coon, common name of the butterfly ''Ps ...
, is founded on the principle that white men are lords of all." Later, when addressing the judiciary committee of the state legislature of New York in 1860 in a speech called "A Slave's Appeal", she stated in part, "The negro lavehas no name. He is Cuffy Douglas or Cuffy Brooks, just whose Cuffy he may chance to be. The woman has no name. She is Mrs. Richard Roe or Mrs. John Doe, just whose Mrs. she may chance to be." The feminist
Jane Grant Jane Grant (May 29, 1892 – March 16, 1972) was a New York City journalist who co-founded ''The New Yorker'' with her first husband, Harold Ross. Life and career Jane Grant was born Jeanette Cole Grant in Joplin, Missouri, and grew up and wen ...

Jane Grant
, co-founder of ''
The New Yorker ''The New Yorker'' is an American weekly magazine featuring journalism, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons, and poetry. Started as a weekly in 1925, the magazine is now published 47 times annually, with five of these is ...

The New Yorker
'', wrote in 1943 of her efforts to keep her name despite her marriage, as well as other women's experiences with their maiden names regarding
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or para ...

military
service, passports,
voting Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an Constituency, electorate, in order to make a collective decision making, decision or express an opinion usually following discussions, debates or election campaigns. Democracy, Democracies ...

voting
, and
business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit." Having a business name A trade ...
. More recently, the feminist 's opposition to name change for women who marry was published in ''The Guardian'' in 2013 as "Why should married women change their names? Let men change theirs", and cited as recommended reading on the
social construction of gender The social construction of gender is a theory in feminist theory, feminism and sociology about the manifestation of cultural origins, mechanisms, and corollaries of gender perception and expression in the context of interpersonal and group social in ...
in ''Critical Encounters in Secondary English: Teaching Literacy Theory to Adolescents'' by Deborah Appleman (2014). Filipovic married Ty Lohrer McCormick in 2018, and kept her last name upon marriage.


Use as security question

One's mother's maiden name has been a common
security questionA security question is form of shared secret used as an authenticator. It is commonly used by banks, cable companies and wireless providers as an extra security layer. History Financial institutions have used questions to authenticate customers si ...
in banking since at least the 1980s.


Spanish-speaking world

Spouses keep their original surnames. Following
Spanish naming customs Spanish naming customs are historical traditions that are practised in Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_ ...
, a person's name consists of a
given name Image:FML names-2.png, Diagram of naming conventions, using John F. Kennedy as an example. "First names" can also be called given names; "last names" can also be called surnames or family names. This shows a structure typical for English-speaking ...
(simple or composite) followed by two family names (surnames), the father's and the mother's. Any children whom a couple have together, take both first-surnames, so if "José Gómez Hevia" and "María Reyes García" had a child named "Andrés", the resulting name would be "Andrés Gómez Reyes". Law 11/1981 in
Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_ ...

Spain
, enacted in 1981, declared among other things that children, on turning 18, now had a legal option to choose whether their father's or mother's surname came first. If a family did not exercise an option to change the order of the names in their surname, the law defaulted to the father's surname as the first. Also in Spain, a 1995 reform in the law allows the parents to choose whether the father's or the mother's surname goes first, although this order must be the same for all their children. For instance, the name of the son of the couple in the example above could be "Andrés Gómez Reyes" or "Andrés Reyes Gómez". In some Spanish-American countries it is customary for women to unofficially add the husband's first surname after her own, for social purposes such as invitation letters or event announcements. The couple above may introduce themselves as José Gómez Hevia and María Reyes de Gómez. It is also common to name, in formal settings, the wife of a man as "señora de ", followed by her husband's first surname.


Portuguese-speaking world

Wives usually assume the family name of their spouse, although there is a recent trend of women keeping their maiden names. Following Portuguese naming customs, a person's name consists of a
given name Image:FML names-2.png, Diagram of naming conventions, using John F. Kennedy as an example. "First names" can also be called given names; "last names" can also be called surnames or family names. This shows a structure typical for English-speaking ...
(simple or composite) followed by two family names (surnames), the mother's and the father's. Any children whom a couple have together, take both second-surnames.


Other European countries


Austria

In
Austria Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a landlocked country in the southern part of Central Europe, located on the Eastern Alps. It is composed of nine States of Austria, federated states, one of which is Vienna, Austria's ca ...
, since 1 April 2013, marriage does not automatically change a woman's name; therefore a name change can only take place upon legal application. Before that date, the default was for a married woman's name to be changed to that of her husband, unless she legally applied to opt out of this.


France

In
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and Overseas France, several overseas regions and territories. The metro ...

France
, by executive decision since 2011 and by law since 2013, any married person may officially use their spouse's name as a common name by substituting or compounding it to their own. Before this it was common for married women to use their husband's name in everyday life but this had no legal recognition. A common name does not replace a person's family name as written on their birth certificate. From 4 March 2002 to 4 December 2009, children given both parents' names had to have them separated by a double dash (ex: Dupont--Clairemont). On 4 December 2009, the Conseil d'État ruled that a space can be used instead of the double dash. As a result, forms asking for the family name (''nom de famille'') do so on two lines ("''1ère partie'': ..... ", "''2e partie'': ....")


Germany

In
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , demonym = Germans, German , government_ ...

Germany
, since 1977, a woman may adopt her husband's surname or a man may adopt his wife's surname. One of them may use a name combined from both surnames. The remaining single name is the "family name" (''Ehename''), which will be the surname of the children. If a man and woman both decide to keep and use their birth names after the wedding (no combined name), they shall declare one of those names the "family name". A combined name is not possible as a family name, but, since 2005, it has been possible to have a double name as a family name if one already had a double name, and the partner adopts that name. Double names then must be hyphenated. All family members must use that double name.


Greece

Since 1983, when
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical region of Europe Europe is a continent A contin ...

Greece
adopted a new
marriage law Marriage law refers to the legal requirements that determine the validity of a marriage in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally recognised union between people, called spouses, that establishes rights ...

marriage law
which guaranteed
gender equality Gender equality, also known as sexual equality or equality of the sexes, is the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision-making; and the state of valuing di ...

gender equality
between the spouses, women in Greece are required to ''keep'' their birth names for their whole lives.


Italy

Spouses keep their original surnames. According to the Italian Civil Code (article 143 bis), a woman who marries keeps her surname and has the option of adding her husband's surname after hers. Non-Italian citizens getting married in Italy will not have their surname changed in Italy. However, brides or grooms can request their surname change in their home country.


Netherlands

In the
Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Dutch Caribbean, Caribbean. It is the largest of four Kingdom of the Netherlands#Constituent countries, cons ...

Netherlands
, persons who have been married in the Netherlands or entered into a registered partnership will remain registered under their birth name. They are, however, permitted to use their partner's last name for social purposes or join both names. Upon marriage or registered partnership, one may also indicate how one would like to be addressed by registering one's choice at the Municipal Basis Administration (''Gemeentelijke Basis Administratie'') (although the birth name does not change). One may choose to be called by one's own name, one's partner's name, one's own name followed by one's partner's name (hyphenated), or one's partner's name followed by their own name (hyphenated). Both men and women may make this choice upon registering to get married or entering into a registered partnership. If the marriage or registered partnership ends, one may continue to use the ex-partner's last surname unless the ex-partner disagrees and requests the court to forbid the use of the ex-partner's surname. Before the birth or adoption of a first child, married parents may choose the child's surname (mother's or father's but not both). If no choice is made, the child automatically bears the father's surname. Any further children will also go by this name. If the parents are not married, the children will automatically have their mother's name unless otherwise indicated.


Russia

There is a widespread, though not universal, custom for a newly married wife to adopt the husband's family name. However, as Russia is not a common law country, any name change requires a formal procedure including an official application to the civil acts registrar. As the same registrar also records marriages, for the convenience sake it is often done during the marriage proceedings, as governed by the Federal Law #143-FZ "On Civil State Acts", and the couple's marriage certificate has an option of having one common family name, or both spouses going by their original surname. However, the law is entirely gender neutral, and the couple may adopt either of their surnames (a husband adopting his wife's family name is an uncommon but by no means unheard-of practice, which is generally accepted and carries little to no social stigma), or even a completely different one. The law also recognizes the couple's right to use the combined family name, and for the either of the spouses to reclaim their original surname in the case the marriage is dissolved.


Asian countries


China

Traditionally, unlike in English-speaking countries, a married woman keeps her name unchanged, without adopting her husband's surname. In
mainland China Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopolitics, geopolitical area under the direct jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC) since Proclamation of ...

mainland China
a child inherits their father's surname as a norm, though the marriage law explicitly states that a child may use either parent's surname. It is also common for two children born to the same parents to take different surnames, one after the father and the other after the mother. It is also possible, though far less common, for a child to combine both parents' surnames.


Hong Kong

Due to British influence, some people in
Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) (), is a metropolitan area and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of the China, People's Repu ...

Hong Kong
have also adopted the tradition of women changing their English last name, or prepending their husband's Chinese surname to their own in official occasions or business cards but rarely on resident identification or travel documents. Amongst the Chinese diaspora overseas, especially in Southeast Asia, women rarely legally adopt their spouse's surname.


Iran

It became mandatory in 1918 to use surnames in Iran, and only in this time, the heads of families had the right to choose their family members' (including the wife) surname. It is stated in the article four of the law on Civil Registration in 1925, that "Everybody should choose his/her own name. The wife... maintains her family name that was called by." The same thing has been restated in the article three of the law on Civil Registration in 1928. There is not much difference in the article 38 of the law on Civil Registration in 1940, but there is another article (43) that says "If the couple separate legally, maintaining husband's surname is allowed if the husband allows, and if the husband has taken wife's family name, maintaining wife's surname is allowed if the wife allows." In the last related article (the article 42 of the law on Civil Registration in 1976) the same thing is said about wife's surname change, but it is silent about husband's surname change. Currently, it is very unusual that either spouse change his/her surname after marriage in Iran.


Japan

Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat = Golden circle subdiv ...

Japan
ese law does not recognize married couples who have different surnames as lawful husband and wife, which means that 96% of married Japanese women take their husband's surname. In 2015, the Japanese Supreme Court upheld the name-change law, ruling that it was not unconstitutional, noting that women could informally use their maiden names, and stating that it was the parliamentarians who should decide on whether to pass new legislation on separate spousal names.


Korea (North and South Korea)

Traditionally, Korean women keep their family names after their marriage, while their children usually take the father's surname. Korea used to be relatively gender equal as of inheritance and familial duties up until at least the late 17th century. Often, family genealogy books would keep track of the daughters and their spouses and offspring too. As such, it was the norm for women to keep their maiden name and they were considered to be part of the family even after marriage. Before modern times, people were very conscious of familial values and their own family identities. It is therefore traditional for Korean women keep their surnames after marriage, based on traditional reasoning that it is what they inherited from their parents and ancestors. Colloquially, Koreans consider the name of an individual as a singular entity, and changing the family name syllable would make the name sound strange with the other syllables of the given name. Nowadays, women still keep their names after marriage. Children can have either parent's surname, but it is customary to use the father's surname.


Philippines

The
Civil Code A civil code is a codification of private law relating to property law, property, family law, family, and law of obligations, obligations. A jurisdiction that has a civil code generally also has a code of civil procedure. In some jurisdictions w ...
provides several options for married women on what surname to take upon marriage: * keep her middle name (maternal surname) and add her husband's surname to the maiden name (e.g. ''Maria Isabella Flores Garcia-Dimaculangan''/''Ma. Isabella F. Garcia-Dimaculangan''); * take the husband's surname and make her maiden name the middle name (''Maria Isabella Garcia Dimaculangan''/''Ma. Isabella G. Dimaculangan''); * take the husband's full name, with a prefix to indicate that she is his wife (e.g. ''Mrs.''/''Ms. Dimaculangan'') A woman may also keep her maiden name, as Philippine law does not require a woman to take her husband's surname at marriage. This is commonly done for professional reasons, as a woman may want to retain her name among her business contacts or audience. The Civil Code also states that children as the result of the marriage will take the mother's middle name (maiden surname) and the father's surname. To illustrate this, the children of a married couple named ''Maria Josefa Lopez Mañego-Luansing'' and ''Juan Candido Luansing'' will take the middle name ''Mañego'' and the surname ''Luansing'', so, one daughter with a given name of ''Juliana'' will be named ''Juliana Mañego Luansing''. Married women in professional circles (e.g.
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Maria Gloria Macaraeg Macapagal Arroyo (, born April 5, 1947), often referred to by her initials GMA, is a Filipino academic and politician who served as the 14th president of the Philippines The president of the Philippines ( fil, Pangul ...

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
, Korina Sanchez-Roxas,
Vilma Santos-Recto Rosa Vilma Santos-Recto (, born November 3, 1953) is a Filipino actress, singer and politician. She is known as the "Star for All Seasons" for her various roles in different genres of her films and holds the titles of Grand Slam Queen, Queen of ...
) typically join their maiden and married surnames in both professional and legal use (e.g. ''Maria Isabella Flores Garcia-Dimaculangan''/''Ma. Isabella F. Garcia-Dimaculangan''). This allows them to be identified as married, and keep track of their professional achievements without being confused for being two different individual (e.g. ''Maria Isabella Flores Garcia''/''Ma. Isabella F. Garcia, as against ''Maria Isabella Garcia Dimaculangan''/''Ma. Isabella G. Dimaculangan) An older scheme based on
Spanish naming customs Spanish naming customs are historical traditions that are practised in Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_ ...
add the particle ''de'' ("of") between the maiden and married surnames (e.g. ''Maria Isabella Garcia de Dimaculangan'' or ''Ma. Isabella G. de Dimaculangan''). This tradition is no longer common.


Taiwan

Taiwanese women generally keep their surnames after marriage, while their children may inherit either the father's or the mother's. It is, however, legal to take the spouse's surname. Some older women have the husband's surname tagged on to theirs, as was common in the early to mid-20th century.


Thailand

A Thai wife who adopted her husband's surname due to the old law requiring it, can also change back to her original surname.


Turkey

Since 2014, women in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the B ...

Turkey
are allowed to keep their birth names alone for their whole life instead of using their husbands' names. Previously, the Turkish Code of Civil Law, Article 187, required a married woman to use her husband's surname; or else to use her birth name in front of her husband's name by giving a written application to the marriage officer or the civil registry office. In 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that prohibiting married women from retaining only maiden names is a violation of their rights.


Genealogy

Genealogists often also make note of all surnames used by a person during their lifetime (such as those acquired from birth parents, those assigned at birth when the father is unknown or not acknowledged, those acquired at marriage, and those acquired at a remarriage). For example, an illegitimate male child abandoned at birth in Italy or in other European countries will receive no surname from either of his birth parents but, instead, will be assigned a surname—often invented from one of the three kingdoms of nature, e.g., mineral ("Pietra"), vegetable ("Rosa") or animal ("Leoni"), or otherwise according to custom within a locality, such as "Esposito" (meaning "abandoned") or "Casa Grande" (referring to the "Domo Magna," e.g., the ''ospizio'' where abandoned).See David I. Kertzer, ''Sacrificed for Honor: Italian Infant Abandonment and the Politics of Reproductive Control'' (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993), at pp. 55–56, 113–122.


See also

*
Double-barrelled name In the Western tradition of surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or community. Practices vary by culture. The family name may be placed a ...
*
Galton–Watson process Image:Galton Watson survival Poisson.png, 320px, Galton–Watson survival probabilities for different exponential rates of population growth, if the number of children of each parent node can be assumed to follow a Poisson distribution. For '' ...
*
Given name Image:FML names-2.png, Diagram of naming conventions, using John F. Kennedy as an example. "First names" can also be called given names; "last names" can also be called surnames or family names. This shows a structure typical for English-speaking ...
*
Lucy Stone League The Lucy Stone League is a women’s rights organization founded in 1921. Its motto is "A wife should no more take her husband's name than he should hers. My name is my identity and must not be lost."“lucystoneleague.orgArchivedfrom the origina ...
*
Matriname A matrilineal surname or matrinameSykes, Bryan (2001). '' The Seven Daughters of Eve''. W.W. Norton. ; pp. 291–2. Professor Bryan Sykes uses "matriname", only, and states that women adding their own matriname to men's patriname (or "surname" as ...
*
Matronymic A matronymic is a personal name based on the given name of one's mother, grandmother, or any female ancestor. It is the female equivalent of a patronymic A patronymic, or patronym, is a component of a personal name based on the given name of ...
*
Name change Name change generally refers to the legal act by a person of adopting a new name different from their current name. The procedures and ease of a name change vary between jurisdictions. In general, common law jurisdictions have loose procedure ...
*
Patrilineality Patrilineality, also known as the male line, the spear side or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although ...
*
Patronymic A patronymic, or patronym, is a component of a personal name Image:FML names-2.png, 300px, First/given, middle and last/family/surname with John Fitzgerald Kennedy as example. This shows a structure typical for the Anglosphere, among others. ...
*
Spanish naming customs Spanish naming customs are historical traditions that are practised in Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_ ...
*
Surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or community. Practices vary by culture. The family name may be placed at either the start of a person's full nam ...


References


External links


Why should women change their names on getting married?
– a history of name changing upon marriage in the UK and in the US {{DEFAULTSORT:Married And Maiden Names Surname
Names A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context. The entity identified by a name is called its referent. A personal ...
pt:Nome de batismo