For many women, changing their name after getting married can be considered a tradition and has become an important part of many people’s lives. Some women think of changing their names as mandatory, others as an option. Either way, name changing after marriages goes far back into our history and far into our future.
The tradition of name changing began in early medieval England. At that time in England, most people were referred to by only one name. However, according to the Seattle Bride, in the ninth century, “lawmakers began to consider the legalities surrounding personhood, families, and marriage.” The concept of coverture included women not having any independent legal identity apart from their spouse.
Later, the Married Women’s Property Acts in the mid-1800s, allowed women to gain individual rights. This allowed women to utilize their own names independent of their spouses. As a result, currently women have the option to change their name. However, there are many women who still choose to change their maiden names.
Throughout our history, many women have been changing their names after marriage and it comes with its positive and negative reasons. According to Livingly, there are many positive reasons for name changing. A woman may think it is a tradition to change their name after marriage. Sharing a name may bring your family together and create a sense that your family is banded together. A woman may also change their maiden name because of disliking their old name.
With it being a tradition, many people already assume that a woman will change their name after their marriage. To avoid explanation of why they did not change their name can be another reason of name changing after marriage. Even though there are many pros to name changing after marriage, there may be reasons for women to not change their name.
Today, many women are choosing not to change their names after marriage because of many different reasons. Name changing after getting married can be a hassle. The excessive amount of paperwork that is required for changing a woman’s name can be extremely tiresome. Name changing requires about 10 hours of paperwork; updating social security cards, tax forms, and driver’s license are just a few things on the list. Women that work may have trouble with business when changing their name. For example, a customer may be confused from the change of name. To reduce incidences like these, a woman may choose not to change their name. In addition, a woman’s family legacy can be destroyed if she decides to change her maiden name.
Therefore, many women contemplate on changing their last names after they get married. Name changing after marriage is always a big deal for women and it always will be because it involves a woman’s personhood. Even so, it needs to be remembered that it is always a woman’s choice to change their name after thorough contemplation of the topic.
Rachel Lee, Grade 9