23 Feb 2012

WHAT'S YOUR NAME ?

Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

In the past at least in Germany when a woman married she got the name of her husband. Miss Jones became Mrs. Smith. In case of divorce she could ask for getting her maiden name back or keep the name of her ex husband.

When my parents moved to Belgium, my mother suddenly was not anymore Mrs Newman as she had been for the last 21 years, but suddenly Mrs. Oldman, her maiden name, which confused her so much, that when at the Doctor's she was called she didn't move because she thought it was another person.

In Belgium a woman keeps her maiden name from diapers to coffin on all official papers. So it can happen that Mrs. Jones has 8 children all named after her husband's name Smith and in the mailbox you have one letter addressed to Mrs Jones and letters to her children are in the name of Smith.

When I married I changed name and in my passport it was changed too as I have a German passport. Now I was Mrs. Black and not Miss White anymore, but not for Belgium there my name remained White, although in private live everybody called me Mrs. Black, on official papers like driver licence or identity card, I only changed from Miss White to Mrs. White. When I booked a flight I always had to insist that the flight ticket had to be on my husband's name and not on my maiden name, otherwise I got troubles at the check in.

Therefore it happened in the past that Belgian couples had to travel with their marriage certificate otherwise they wouldn't get a double room in some countries, only because on their passports they had different names but were married ! Today nobody cares anymore if you are married or not.

I mean in one way it is logical that a woman born as Jones should remain Jones her whole life. Why taking the name of the husband ? and when she divorces 6 times she has to change her name 6 times too ? That's what I think today, but in the past I was so proud of my new name that I was quiet angry when I was called with my maiden name.

Today it's different in Germany, it became even complicated because now women can choose what they want : to keep their maiden name or take the husbands name or both together. The man can also choose he can take the name of his wife. Of couse if she is a noble he would rather prefer to become a Sir than remain a Mister.

In other countries there are also different laws, which I don't know exactly.

But it still seems strange to me when a couple is burried together, on the gravestone they have different names, which for Belgians is normal.

STOP



Jill Samter Photography explains what to do to protect you even without this feature.

20 comments:

Dominique@Dominique's desk said...

I keep my maiden name.. infact for us here they put a MDm infront of your name instead of a Mrs (husband's surname). It's so much easier to handle the letters/ taxes etc that way.

The Furries of Whisppy said...

In Malaysia, we maintain our maiden names for all official purposes. For the married chinese ladies (like me), we can choose to be Mrs *husband's surname* but this isn't official.

We don't change our surnames to our husband's once we marry.

sandra carlier said...

And some names are very long when people decide to keep the two!!!
17°C!!! It's spring but don't bring your swimming bath!!!! hihi!!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I so love my husband and his name. I was happy to change my name.

Maribeth said...

I have now carried my husbands name longer than my parents name, or my first husband. I would never go back.

Roger Owen Green said...

Thanks for the link to Jill's Word Verification item.

Maggie said...

Now this is strange, you explained it all very well though!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I think if I had it to do over again, I would have kept my maiden name, but it just wasn't done in those days!

I've had my husband's name twice as long as I had my own, so it would be silly to change it now...

anitamombanita said...

great post. I've "had to" change my name more than once...not something I'm especially proud of...I kept my maiden name in my first marriage, changed it in my second (very short-lived) and wished I hadn't, went back to my maiden name and now, married for the last time (oh yes, I'm certain...and happy), I've changed it again. Unfortunately in all those changes, I sometimes forget which name is the "right" one to use now...credit card says one thing, drivers license another, passport another still. Eventually I'll get them all lined up.

And in Latin America, by the way, it's even more complicated with the wife adding the husband's name to hers and then the children's names are composites of the parents...or something like that..

Sue said...

I changed my name when I married my husband and was happy that way for years. I'm still happy with his name, but a few years ago I dropped my middle name and started using my maiden name instead. I don't hyphenate it, but I do enjoy having both my maiden and married name now.

=)

Karen S. said...

Our names can be such a funny thing at times...and they can cause fret and worry and lots of laughter...what's in a name anyway...aren't we all just you and me....people just the same, male and female.... Great post really proving this funny name thing game we all play....depending where we live right!

Judie said...

My first husband's last name was Clapp, and I got teased a lot about that! I was glad to get rid of it, and HIM as well.

Pamela said...

I heard similar things about names when I was taking a spanish class (when I was in my 40s!) The teacher was from Columbia.

A Lady's Life said...

I think its nice to carry two names become Mrs black/white lol Then you can choose which one to use where.

Splendid Little Stars said...

That's very interesting! In the USA all options are open.
We knew a couple who both chose to have a hyphenated last name, a combination of both their names. Becker-Weidman. We wondered what would happen when Emily Becker-Weiman married John Schimmelphenig-Smith.

Teresa said...

That is so interesting! I never knew this. I've had the same name my entire life. :-)

Pondside said...

I often wish I'd kept my maiden name, as I married a Dane and don't look even the tiniest bit Danish. The good thing about taking my husband's name is that the whole family has the same surname. I do feel sorry for the children whose parents have created a hyphenated name - where does it end? Does John Smith-Black marry Jane Jones-Brown and then create the Smith-Black-Jones-Brown family?

Ames said...

We used to have Korean neighbors. He was Mr. Kee and she was Mrs. Park, her maiden name. I always thought that was so strange. Now after being married 27 years I would like to hyphenate my name to include my maiden name. I have my own reasons for doing so.~Ames

jabblog said...

Very interesting! I would have liked my husband to take my maiden name but that just wasn't done back in the Dark Ages. Anyway, like many of your other commenters, I've carried his name longer than my own. We couldn't possibly hyphenate our surnames - it would look and sound really odd - Mayne-Cooke!!

Jenny said...

Very interesting stuff...

That is too funny that your Mother didn't realize the Doctor was calling her up...

It would be confusing though to suddenly go by your maiden Name again...

Neat post for the letter "N"!

Thanks for linking.

A+