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Old 07-06-2011, 07:24 PM
 
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Would you change your surname if you hated it? Or just got tired of having it mispelled constantly, or mis-pronounced constantly?

Just curious - and how would it mess up genealogy research if this was done. I have never found any in my lines or spouses lines that changed theirs.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:53 PM
 
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I have a branch of my family that was Stewart, but back in the mid 1800s, when someone got married, the court clerk spelled it wrong, as Stuart. Since people used to spell it incorrectly that way all the time (plus many couldn't read or write) the couple decided to just keep it as Stuart.

I would have fought to keep my original name, but I'm someone who thinks that's really important. I even hate when people spell my first name "Tracey."

Evidently these relatives didn't care either way, so just went with it.

I've known several people over the years with very short "nice" last names, like Snow, Carr, White, etc, but they had been shortened from very long Polish, Italian, or Jewish/German names generations before. I guess in the early 20th century, a lot of people tried to cover up ethnic-sounding names.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Free From The Oppressive State
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
Would you change your surname if you hated it? Or just got tired of having it mispelled constantly, or mis-pronounced constantly?

Just curious - and how would it mess up genealogy research if this was done. I have never found any in my lines or spouses lines that changed theirs.
Yes, I would. In my case, however, it wouldn't mess up much of anything since I was adopted.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:47 PM
 
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I think I would. I do know of a family whose last name was another language that was continually mispronounced as a swear word by americans. They changed it. I have ancestors who changed their first names to an american sounding names. Something to look out for in your genealogy searches.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:54 AM
 
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My sister almost did, after a very painful divorce. She stopped when she found out how much money it would cost. She even picked out the new name, and I know I approved.

She said she didn't feel like she was "hisname" anymore, and she wasn't "ourfamilyname" either.... so picking a new name made sense. And nowadays, with remarriages and divorces common enough, no one would question why she wasn't "hisname" or "ourname"....
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:04 AM
 
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Actually it would save a lot of genealogical hassle (and public records) if women did NOT change to their husband's name for public record purposes. I know when you apply for ID it takes longer for them to process a woman than a man, because if you are married, you have an "alias".
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:44 AM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
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Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
My sister almost did, after a very painful divorce. She stopped when she found out how much money it would cost. She even picked out the new name, and I know I approved.

She said she didn't feel like she was "hisname" anymore, and she wasn't "ourfamilyname" either.... so picking a new name made sense. And nowadays, with remarriages and divorces common enough, no one would question why she wasn't "hisname" or "ourname"....
Generally, people can file their own name change papers for a fraction of the ridiculously high fees attorneys charge for simple matters.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:45 AM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
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There are some sources of historic name changes. I've seen books titled Name Changes in Early New England or some such.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Center of the universe
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I have wanted to change my name for years, because I believed it was not my ancestral name. Now I am not sure if it is or not, but I haven't found and probably will not be able to find out what my name actually is. So I am resigned to having a last name that I'm stuck with.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
My sister almost did, after a very painful divorce. She stopped when she found out how much money it would cost. She even picked out the new name, and I know I approved.

She said she didn't feel like she was "hisname" anymore, and she wasn't "ourfamilyname" either.... so picking a new name made sense. And nowadays, with remarriages and divorces common enough, no one would question why she wasn't "hisname" or "ourname"....
I agree with you, but I have always felt that when a marriage is dissolved by divorce or anulled that the woman's surname should automatically revert to what it was before the marriage.

Yes, that would mean that children would sometimes have a different surname from their mother - which I find irrelevant to be honest. However, even half a century ago I'm sure that attitude would have been considered shockingly inhuman. But my feeling is when you marry if you take someone else's name, then when the marriage goes bust the name should get "returned."

I had a friend who thought this opinion was "ridiculous" and "awful." When her husband divorced her, she continued to use his surname. However, she later changed back to her own family's surname because she found that she was very annoyed that because of her surname people thought she was a member of her former in-laws family, whom she did not like nor they her. Her kids use their father's surname.
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