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Encyclopedia > Married and maiden names

A maiden name is a term used in some cultures where a woman chooses to change her family name as a result of marriage. The maiden name is the family name she had prior to the marriage ceremony, while the "married name" is the name she uses from the date of the marriage ceremony. Typically, the maiden name is the name used by the woman since her birth. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Luis Née (fl. ... A family name, surname, or last name is the part of a persons name indicating the family to which the person belongs. ... Matrimony redirects here. ...

The maiden name is sometimes indicated using the word "née" (pronounced "nay", IPA: /ˈneɪ/), from the French word for "born", e.g. "Margaret Hilda Thatcher née Roberts". It can also be expressed parenthetically, e.g. "Margaret Hilda (Roberts) Thatcher". Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (née Roberts; born 13 October 1925) served as British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990 and leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 until 1990, being the first and only woman to hold either post. ...

The term is ambiguous for those who changed their birth name before any marriages, therefore some prefer the term "birth name", which can also be used in the case of a man changing his name upon marriage. In the case of a man, the word used is "né" (i.e. the masculine form of the French word). A maiden name is the family name carried by a woman before any of her marriages. ... Photograph of a nude man by Wilhelm von Gloeden, ca. ...


Customs relating to maiden names in marriages

English-speaking world

Use husband's family name

Historically, a woman in England would assume her new husband's family name (or surname) after marriage to him, and this remains common practice in England today as well as in countries where English is spoken, including Australia, english speaking provinces of Canada, and the United States. United States law does not require a woman to change her name upon marriage. Usually, the children of the marriage are then given their father's surname so that the mother's surname is not used by any of her descendants. Some families have a custom of using the mother's maiden name as a given name for one of the children. A family name, surname, or last name is the part of a persons name indicating the family to which the person belongs. ... The term descendant or descendent has several meanings, some of which are listed below: A living being, like a plant, animal or person, that belongs to a particular lineage. ... Look up Appendix:Most popular given names by country in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

This practice means that a woman inherits her surname from her father and changes it to match her husband's. This name change custom has been criticized for a number of reasons. It can be construed as meaning the woman's father and then husband had control over her, and it means that lines of male descent (patrilinearity) are seen as primary—that a woman has no inherited name tying her to her female ancestors (matrilinearity). It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with legal name. ... Patrilineality (a. ... Matrilineality is a system in which one belongs to ones mothers lineage. ...

However, many women choose to retain their surnames after marriage, either using it alone or as part of their name in conjunction with their husbands' surnames. Some people also use their married names in certain aspects of their lives (e.g., their personal and social lives), while using their maiden name in other instances (e.g., professionally).

Use maiden name

Women who keep their own surname after marriage may choose to do so for a number of reasons. Objection to the use of their husband's name for feminist reasons is one such reason, another is that it may create an offensive or embarrassing name such as John Tickle marrying Tess Daly would cause her name to become Tess Tickle, but there are others which may justify keeping their own name. Some women dislike undergoing the difficulties and expenses required in a legal name change. This process is expedited somewhat for newly married women in that their marriage certificate in combination with identification using their maiden 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 right of a person (man, woman, and sometimes child) to change their name. There were some early cases which held that under the common law, a woman was required to take her husband's name, but newer and better researched cases overturned those. Feminism is a social theory and political movement primarily informed and motivated by the experience of women. ... In some jurisdictions a marriage certificate is the official record that two people have undertaken a marriage ceremony. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ...

Other women simply prefer their own surname to that of their husband.

Where this practice is in the minority, a woman retaining her surname after marriage may encounter difficulties with having people correctly use her name, or in some cases recognising her marriage. Many people who know of the marriage will simply assume that she has the same surname as her husband and will use that name to introduce her and address her. Alternatively, people who are aware that she and her husband have different surnames may not realise that they are married.

Some women may retain use of their own surname under particular circumstances, and use their husband's surname in others. This is particularly common among women who have a professional career in which advancement depends on work associated with their name, such as an academic career. These women do not want to risk having their pre-marriage work no longer associated with them and may use their maiden name as their surname in professional dealings but use their husband's surname in social contexts. The American suffragist and abolitionist Lucy Stone (18181893), wife of Henry Brown Blackwell, made a national issue of the practice of taking a husband's surname as part of her efforts for women's rights in the U.S., and women who choose not to use their husbands' surnames have been called "Lucy Stoners" ever since. Academia is a collective term for the scientific and cultural community engaged in higher education and research, taken as a whole. ... Lucy Stone (August 13, 1818 – October 19, 1893) was a prominent American suffragist. ... Year 1818 (MDCCCXVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1893 (MDCCCXCIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Henry Browne Blackwell (1825 - 1909). ...

Finally, many women, celebrities in particular, are so associated with their maiden name in the public that they prefer to keep it. For the 1998 movie, see Celebrity (1998 movie). ...

On the other hand there are countries where it is customary for a woman to keep her own name. In many Civil Law countries women keep their own names for official purposes, but what name they use for social purposes vary. During the Victorian era in Scotland, where women legally retained their maiden names after marriage, and also by extension in Canada, a wife was often known by Mrs. followed by her husband's name, ie Mrs. James Anderson. See other examples below. For other uses of civil law, see civil law. ...

Join both names

It is not uncommon for women, especially in the U.S. and Canada, to take their husband's name but put it after their birth name. For example, if "Kate Wilson" marries "John Smith", her name would become "Kate Wilson Smith" or "Kate Wilson-Smith". Sometimes both husband and wife will adopt the joint surname; whether the maiden name is placed first or second reflects personal preferences. In other cases, women will use their maiden name as a middle name (perhaps dropping their birth middle name) and use their husband's surname as their surname. (See below for new legal policies regarding this matter.)

Most versions of the practice of women having a different surname from their husband face difficulties on the basis of problems about their own children's surname. Various alternatives are used:

  • Most commonly, children are given the surname of one parent, usually the father's.
  • Female children are given the mother's surname, and male children the father's.
  • Children are given the hyphenated surname consisting of their mother's and father's surname.

The second practice has the advantage of enabling the tracing back of both the male and female lines. The last practice may result in difficulty for the next generation, who have the surnames of all four grandparents to combine into a surname for their own children. One solution some couples have used when both spouses had hyphenated last names is for the wife to contribute her mother's name and the husband his father's to form a new hyphenated last name for themselves and their children.

Maiden name as middle name

Often a recently-married woman accepts her husband's last name, but also changes her maiden name to her middle name. Atlhough common, the process of changing one's middle name, even to one's former last name, has become complicated with new legal policies in the 21st century. Some government agencies require a name change court order to change one's middle name, even if it was one's maiden name. Social Security and driver's licenses are especially strict. Unfortunately, many government agencies and companies are not aware of the newer policies, so paperwork and identification can be confused and inconsistent. Recently married women are encouraged to seek legal counsel before changing their middle names. A name change court order can cost a lot of money and involve a criminal background check, publishing new and old names in newspapers, and a court date.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, married women will remain registered under their birth name, but may choose to use their husband's last name, or join both names. Motto: Je Maintiendrai (Dutch: Ik zal handhaven, English: I Shall Uphold) Anthem: Wilhelmus van Nassouwe Capital Amsterdam1 Largest city Amsterdam Official language(s) Dutch2 Government Parliamentary democracy Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Beatrix  - Prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende Independence Eighty Years War   - Declared July 26, 1581   - Recognised January 30, 1648 (by Spain...


In Belgium a woman must use her birth name for official purposes, and will use her birth name for most private purposes too.


In France a married woman keeps her birth name since the 1789 revolution. But due to tradition, she still can use her husband's name for official purposes, in which case it will be mentioned "spouse of..." in the said document. However, only a minority uses the maiden name.


In Germany, the name law is ruled by sexual equality since 1994: the woman can adopt her husband's name or the man may adopt his wife's surname. One of them--man or woman--may use a combined name of both surnames. The remaining single name is the "family name" (Ehename): the name of the children. If man and woman decide to keep and use their birthnames after wedding as before (no combined name), they have to declare one of those names the "family name". A combined name is not possible as family name (exception: since 2005 it is possible to have a double name as family name if man or woman already had a double name and the partner adopts that name. All family members have to use that double name). [1][2] If someone wishes to indicate his birth name, he will append it with "geb." (short for "geborene(r)" = "born"), e.g. "Anne Lübke geb. Schlüter".


In the Scandinavian region it has been common for women to take their husband's name as their last name. However, since the liberation in the 1970s, increasingly more women have chosen to hold onto their original name, instead. But this also has practical reasons, as many firstname-surname combinations tend to sound rather odd in Norwegian, Danish and Swedish. But apart from these norms, there are no official regulation at this subject. In Iceland, which preserves the old patronymic system(a girl named María,whose father´s name is Davið will be named María Daviðsdóttir[David´s daughter]), a woman will customarily retain her maiden name upon marrying, since regardless of whom she marries she is still her father´s daughter. For other uses, see Scandinavia (disambiguation). ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ...

Spanish-speaking world

In Spain and in most Spanish-speaking countries, the practice is for people to have two surnames, a paternal and a maternal surname (their father's surname followed by their mother's surname). For example, Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar's full name is "Pedro Almodóvar Caballero", Almodóvar being his father's surname and Caballero being his mother's surname. In most Spanish and Portuguese,-speaking regions of the world, people have at least two surnames. ... Pedro Almodóvar Caballero (pronounced ) (born September 24, 1949 in Calzada de Calatrava, Spain) is a Spanish film director, screenwriter and producer. ...

In Spain and especially Catalonia the paternal and maternal surnames are often combined using y (Castilian) or i (in Catalan), see for example the economist Xavier Sala-i-Martin. Xavier Sala i Martín (b. ...

In some Spanish-speaking countries (e.g. those in Latin America, though not in Spain), a woman marrying a man may add her husband's surname to her father's surname using the "de" (of) preposition. For example, if "Clara Reyes Alba" were to marry "Alberto Gómez Rodriguez", the wife could use "Clara Reyes de Gómez" as her name (also "Clara Reyes Gómez" and rarely "Clara Gómez Reyes". She can be addressed as Sra. de Gómez corresponidng to "Mrs Gómez"). This form is mainly social and is not an official name change, i.e., legally, her name will still be her birth name. This custom of adding the husband's surname is nonetheless fading. Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ...

Any children a couple have together take both surnames, so if the couple above had two children named "Andrés" and "Ana", then their names would be "Andrés Gómez Reyes" and "Ana Gómez Reyes". In Spain, a recent 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 equal for all their children. For instance, the son of the couple in the example above would be "Andrés Gómez Reyes" or "Andrés Reyes Gómez". [1] Sometimes, for single mothers or when the father wouldn't (or couldn't) recognize his child, the mother's surname has been used twice: for example, "Ana Reyes Reyes". In Spain, however, children with just one parent receive both surnames of that parent, although the order may also be changed.

It should be noted that some Hispanic people, after leaving their country, drop their maternal surname (even if not formally), so as to better fit into the English-speaking or non-Hispanic society they live or work in. Dropping the paternal surname is not so unusual when it is a very common one. For instance, painter Pablo Ruiz Picasso and Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero are known by their maternal surnames as "Picasso" and "Zapatero". A young Pablo Picasso Pablo Picasso, formally Pablo Ruiz Picasso, (October 25, 1881 - April 8, 1973) was one of the recognized masters of 20th century art. ... José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (born August 4, 1960) is the Prime Minister of Spain. ...

A new trend in the United States for Hispanics is to hyphenate their father's and the mother's last names. This is done, probably, in response to the fact that American born English-speakers are not aware of the Hispanic custom of using two last names, and many a times in official matters, the native speakers take the first last-name of the individual as if it were the person's middle name and therefore completely changing the person's name, for example: Esteban Alvarez Cobos would change to Esteban A. Cobos. So that, Esteban Alvarez Cobos, would become Esteban Alvarez-Cobos, in order to clarify that both are last names.


In Argentina, women uses their husband's last name after "de". There are some state offices where a married woman can use only her maiden name, and some others where a woman has to use the complete name, for legal purposes. The Argentine Civilian Code states both uses are correct, but police offices, and passports are expedited/emitted with the complete name.

When Eva Duarte married Juan Domingo Perón, she could be addressed as Eva Duarte de Perón, but the preferred style was Eva Perón, or the familiar and affective Evita (little Eva). Combined names come from old traditional families and are considered one last name, but are rare. This is probably due to the fact that although Argentina is a Spanish speaking country, it is composed of varied European influences, such as Italian, French, Russian, German, Jewish, etc. Children typically use their father's last name only, but some state offices (i.e. police identification), are coming (since about 2005) to use both lastnames (father, then mother lastname) to avoid the risk of a person being misidentified with other people using same name/father lastname combination. Juan Domingo Perón (October 8, 1895 – July 1, 1974) was an Argentine military officer and the President of Argentina from 1946 to 1955 and from 1973 to 1974. ... María Eva Duarte de Perón (May 7, 1919 – July 26, 1952) was the second wife of Argentine President Juan Domingo Perón (1895–1974) and the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. ... This article is about the demographics features of the population of Argentina, including distribution, ethnicity, economic status and other. ...

Example: If Eva Duarte and Juan Perón were to have a child called Juan as his father, he could be misidentified with the usual name Juan Perón, but not if he was known as Juan Perón Duarte.

Portuguese-speaking world

In general, the traditions followed in countries like Portugal, Brazil and Angola are similar to the ones of Spain. After marriage, women tend to adopt the male surname. Differing from Spanish tradition, however, the preposition de is not used in this case, being preserved only as part of a composed name. In some aristocratic circles, it is still common to gather composed surnames at each generation, creating some very long names. Nowadays, the adoption of the male last surname is no more mandatory, and the number of women that do not observe this tradition is growing. When changed, the maiden name will be recognized officially, even receiving a new ID card. German identity card with a KINEGRAM® A piece of identification (ID) is a document designed to verify aspects of a persons identity. ...

Until the end of the nineteenth century it was common for women, especially those from a very poor background, not to have a surname and be known only by her first name. She then adopts her husbands surname after marriage. With the advent of republicanism in Brazil and Portugal, along with the institution of civil registries, this practice has been abandoned.

For the children, it is common to hear only the last surnames of the parents. For example, Tomás da Silva Gonçalves and Liliane de Albuquerque Feier Gonçalves (née Liliane de Albuquerque Feier) will have a child named Jonas Feier Gonçalves. Unlike Spanish customs, the maternal surname comes first, although, in aristocratic families, this order may be inversed. Again, nowadays the tradition is not so rigid and children may have only the paternal surname, or some other combination of the parents' surnames.


In Italy a woman will keep her birth name and add her husband name to in with the form in, e.g. Maria Rossi in Bianchi. However it is common to refer to a spouse with the husband surname.

Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, & Macau

Chinese women do not change their surnames after marriage. During the imperial times, many women assume the husband's surname, which replaces the woman's maiden name. However, most notable women of those times do not change surnames after marriage, for example, Cai Wenji (蔡文姬), Wu Zetian (Empress, 武則天), Yang Yuhuan (楊玉環), Li Qingzhao (Poet, 李清照). Some women, mostly poor, do not have personal names and are simply called by their family names suffixed with shi(氏); in this case, the husband's surname is added before the maiden name after marriage, for example. This tradition is no longer commonly practiced in Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Macau, although on most pages of phone books in Taiwan and Hong Kong, one can still find a few women's names with their husband's surname prefixed. Cài Wénjī (蔡文姬) (177 – 250) was a Han dynasty poet and composer. ... Wu Zetian (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) (625 – December 16, 705), personal name Wu Zhao (武曌), was the only woman in the history of China to assume the title of Emperor. ... Statue of Yang Guifei bathing in Huaqing Pool, near Xian. ... Li Qingzhao (Traditional Chinese: 李清照; Simplified Chinese: 李清照, pinyin: Lǐ QÄ«ngzhào; Wade-Giles: Li Ching-chao) (1084 - ca. ... ...


Korean women do not change their names upon marriage. By name alone, a woman cannot be identified as someone's wife. Neither are they addressed in a fashion similar to 'Mrs. (Husband's family name)'. They are simply addressed by their family name; however, it is more specifically 'wife of (husband's family name)' when the relation has to be known. Women emigrating to cultures where it is customary to take on their husband's names may not choose to change, especially if they are professionals. However, they may let themselves be addressed as 'Mrs. (husband's family name)' in addition to, for example, 'Dr. (her maiden name)'.


A Hindu woman in India has always used her father's surname until she is married. After marriage, she adopts her husband's surname. In most of south India (excluding Andhra Pradesh), a Hindu woman adopts her husband's first name instead of his surname after marriage. In Andhra Pradesh, a woman assumes her husband's surname as her own. In Maharashtra, a woman may adopt her husband's first name as her middle name, in addition to taking his surname. The geographical south of India includes all Indian territory below the 20th parallel. ... Andhra redirects here. ... , Maharashtra (Marathi: महाराष्ट्र , IPA  , translation: Great Nation) is Indias third largest state in area and second largest in population after Uttar Pradesh. ...


In Japan, marriage law requires that legally married couples share a surname. Although it is customary for the wife to take her husband's surname, the husband may also take his wife's surname, especially if her family has no son. This way, the family name is carried on in that household. An example of this would be Koizumi Yakumo (born: Lafcadio Hearn) a Greek man who took his Japanese wife's name when he married her. Most eldest sons keep their family name; however, sons born after the eldest sometimes marry into families who have no son, and take that family's surname instead. In the case where a son born after the eldest son marries into a family that also has sons, he may keep his original surname, and his wife will take that name as well. In the Japanese language it is common to avoid second and third person pronouns and instead refer to a person in conversation by their surname plus a title such as san (さん) which may indicate the relative rank, profession, or gender of the person but often not her marriage status (as in the English 'Mrs.' and 'Miss') . Many women who have well established careers or circles of friends may wish continue to be referred to by their maiden name after they marry in order to maintain continuity at work or among their acquaintances. However this is an informal practice not recognized by law, and a wife and husband may not use separate surnames in official settings. Although women's rights groups have attempted to introduce legislation that would allow married couples to maintain separate surnames, a practice which in Japanese is referred to as fūfu bessei (夫婦別姓, literally: 'husband-wife, different-surname'), such legislation has not yet been enacted. Another custom relates to situations where the wife's maiden name may end if she changes her name to her husband's name. In such situations and, particularly, where the wife's lineage may have some significance, the husband will adopt the wife's name as his own family name and the children will receive their mother's family name. Not to be confused with the Javanese language. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

The Philippines

Christians (as well as certain Muslims, Chinese Filipinos, and others) in the Philippines have traditionally followed naming patterns practiced throughout the Spanish-speaking world; i.e., the practice of having the father's surname followed by the mother's surname. However, this practice changed when the Philippines was a US colony in the early half of the 20th century. In most Spanish and Portuguese,-speaking regions of the world, people have at least two surnames. ...

Currently, the middle name is usually, though not always, the mother's maiden name followed by the father's surname. This is the opposite of what is done in Spanish-speaking countries and is similar to the way surnames are done in Portugal and Brazil.

When a woman marries, she usually adopts the surname of her husband and uses her father's surname as her middle name, dropping her mother's maiden name. When a woman whose full maiden name is Maria Santos Cojuangco (where her mother's maiden name is "Santos", and her father's surname is "Cojuangco") marries a man by the name of Juan Agbayani, her full name would be Maria Cojuangco Agbayani. For the sake of brevity, she would be usually known at the very least as Maria Agbayani; her maiden name is usually not mentioned or it may be abbreviated as an initial (i.e. Maria C. Agbayani). In many cases, her maiden name may be mentioned. Consequently, her children will have Cojuangco as a middle name.

Filipino women who are professionals may choose to hyphenate their surnames, at least in professional use, and use it socially even if legal documents follow the above naming pattern.


A less common, but growing, alternative is for the married couple to create a new non-hyphenated name. This name may be a combination of letters from both surnames or it may be a new name altogether. This allows any children following on to have the same name and is equal in that both parties must give up their original surname. One example of this is Los Angeles, California, USA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Born Antonio Villar, upon marrying wife Corina Raigosa, fused their surnames into the present Villaraigosa. One possible criticism against this practice is that it makes families harder to trace via genealogy. In many countries, including the United States, a legal record must be filed in order to make this name change, which increases the level of complexity. Los Angeles and L.A. redirect here. ... Motto: (traditional) In God We Trust (official, 1956–present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at the federal level; English de facto Government Federal Republic  - President George W. Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence - Declared - Recognized... Antonio Ramon Villaraigosa (born Antonio (Tony) Ramon Villar, Jr. ...

Hungarian married names (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_name#Married_names)

There is a wide range of selection of a married name. In the past (up to about the 18th century) noble women kept their names at marriage and children received their father's name. (Non-nobles usually did not have a last name at all; it became compulsory only under the reign of Joseph II.) When Hungary was under Habsburg rule and became influenced by Western European traditions, women became known by their husbands' names, e.g. Szendrey Júlia, marrying Petőfi Sándor, became Petőfi Sándorné (the -né suffix approximately means "wife of", this is the Hungarian equivalent of "Mrs. John Smith"). This was both the law and the tradition until the 1950s. During the Communist era of Hungary, great emphasis was put upon the equality of women and men, and from that time women could either choose to keep their birth names or took that of their husbands in the aforementioned form. Still, most women took their husbands' names; most of the exceptions were artists.[citation needed]

Currently, the alternatives for a woman when she marries are the following (using the example of Szendrey Júlia and Petőfi Sándor – Júlia and Sándor are their given names, respectively):

Júlia can keep her birth name Szendrey Júlia (now very popular, especially among more educated women) Júlia gives up her name, adds the suffix -né to her husband's full name, and will be called Petőfi Sándorné (rare among young brides) Júlia adds the suffix -né to her husband's family name, adds her full name and will be called Petőfiné Szendrey Júlia Júlia adds the suffix -né to her husband's full name, adds her full name and will be called Petőfi Sándorné Szendrey Júlia (not very popular these days, because it is long to write it down) Júlia takes her husband's family name, keeps her given name and will be called Petőfi Júlia (the Western custom – somewhat rare) Since January 1, 2004 there is one more possibility: the hyphenation of names; also, now men can take their wives' surname too, since the law which gave this opportunity only to women was declared sexist and thus unconstitutional. (Men still have fewer alternatives to choose from, though.) Thus Júlia can become either Petőfi-Szendrey Júlia or Szendrey-Petőfi Júlia while Sándor either keeps his own name or hyphenates in either order. Sándor can also become Petőfi-Szendrey Sándor, Szendrey-Petőfi Sándor or Szendrey Sándor, while Júlia either keeps her name or hyphenates, but changing names to each other's names (e.g. Petőfi Sándor and Szendrey Júlia become Szendrey Sándor and Petőfi Júlia) is not allowed.

Same-sex marriages

Main article: Same-sex marriage

The public and legal acceptance and acknowledgment of same-sex marriage is relatively recent. Trends in the nuptial naming practices associated with same-sex marriage have not yet been observed. LGBT people may make such decisions on an individual basis. In some civil law jurisdictions like the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, same-sex spouses or registered partners have the same legal options as heterosexual spouses to acquire, or - in the case of the Netherlands - use, the other partner's surname. One of four newly wedded same-sex couples in a public wedding at Taiwan Pride 2006. ... One of four newly wedded same-sex couples in a public wedding at Taiwan Pride 2006. ... Nubian wedding with some international modern touches, near Aswan, Egypt Preparing for the photographs, at a wedding in Thornbury Castle, England A traditional Japanese wedding ceremony A wedding is a civil or religious ceremony which celebrates the beginning of a marriage. ... The initialism LGBT also GLBT is in use (since the 1990s) to refer collectively to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people. ...

Though some feminists have asserted that taking a marital name detracts from the individual worth of the spouses, some lesbian feminists choose to change their names. One possible reason, aside from tradition, is that taking a married name might serve as daily and public markers of the marital union and the rights afforded thereto. Feminism is a social theory and political movement primarily informed and motivated by the experience of women. ... Lesbian feminism is a cultural movement and critical perspective, most popular in the 1970s and early 1980s (primarily in North America and Western Europe) that questions the position of women and homosexuals in society. ...

Legal status and criticisms

Laws respecting married names vary. In areas whose legal systems derive from the English common law—such as most parts of the USA, Canada, and the UK—a name change usually does not require much legal action, because a person can choose to be known by any name (except with intent to defraud). Married women who take their husband's name must get a new driver's license, National Insurance or Social Security card, inform the company they work for, etc. However, the legal process for a female name change due to marriage is simpler and faster than for other kinds of name change. In many jurisdictions whose legal systems derive from the civil law—such as France, Spain, Belgium, the Canadian province of Quebec, and the U.S. state of Louisiana—however, the default position is for a woman's "legal name" to remain the same throughout life: Citizens there who wish to change their names legally must usually apply to do so via a formal procedure. This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with legal name. ... For other uses of civil law, see civil law. ... This article is about the Canadian province. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... Legal name is the name with which an individual is registered at birth or which appears on their birth certificate. ...

In 2007, Michael Buday and Diana Bijon enlisted the American Civil Liberties Union and filed a discrimination lawsuit against the state of California. According to ACLU, the obstacles facing a husband who wishes to adopt his wife's last name violate the equal protection clause provided by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.[3] At the time of the lawsuit, only states of Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York and North Dakota explicitly allow a man to change his name through marriage with the same ease as a woman. As a result of the lawsuit, a California state lawmaker introduced a bill to put a space on the marriage license for either spouse to change names.[4] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is an American organization consisting of two separate entities. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the state. ... Official language(s) English Capital Bismarck Largest city Fargo Area  Ranked 19th  - Total 70,762 sq mi (183,272 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 340 miles (545 km)  - % water 2. ...

The term "maiden name" itself has been criticized by many American feminists since the 1970s. Those who find the traditional term unacceptable and even offensive say it demeans women by labeling them according to their sexual status ("maiden" is a synonym for "virgin"), and see this as a further sign of a maiden name being used to label a woman as sexual property of a man. Feminism is a social theory and political movement primarily informed and motivated by the experience of women. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ... A maiden may refer to: A female virgin. ... In Roman times, Vestal Virgins were strictly celibate or they were punished by death. ...


Most genealogists prefer to refer to a mother by her maiden name when they are constructing a pedigree, whether in chart form such as a family tree or in some written form. This convention is used because it is a concise way of presenting genealogical information. Thus they would write (or show on a pedigree chart) a child as e.g. the son of John Smith and Mary Brown . Genealogy (from Greek: γενεα, genea, family; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study and tracing of family pedigrees. ... A pedigree chart is a chart which tells one all of the known phenotypes for an organism and its ancestors, most commonly humans, show dogs, and race horses. ...

However, some novices might describe the child as e.g. the son of John Smith and Mary Smith or perhaps as the son of John Smith and Mary Smith née Brown.


  1. ^ Art. 55 Ley de Registro Civil -Civil Register Law

See also

Look up Appendix:Most popular given names by country in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In English-speaking and some other Western countries, a double-barrelled name is a family name with two parts, which may or may not be joined with a hyphen, for example Bowes-Lyon or Fraser Darling. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with legal name. ...



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