Did you change your name when you got married?

A piece was just published in the NY Times asking the question “did you change your name when you got married”?  They are looking for answers, obviously for interesting data.  The other questions are “Who made the decision, and what factors went into it?” and “How do you feel about the decision, and has your view on it changed?”  They should also ask “what is your age”.   It will be interesting to see the trends.  For awhile people would put both last names together with a hyphen for their children.  Unless your name was Jones and Smith it just seemed like a lot.  The big question is at what point and if any will this age old practice end.

I clearly remember when I changed my name.  It didn’t happen at first.  It happened when I made a career move.  I had left Macy’s to go work for a company in the garment center.  The owner was about to introduce me to everyone and right before he did I pulled him aside and said I want to use my married name, Joanne Wilson vs Joanne Solomon.  That evening I told Fred that I changed my name to Joanne Wilson.  He couldn’t believe it.  He thought that Solomon might have been better in the industry that I was in.  I mean Joanne Solomon in schmata…I get it but I had made the turn in the road and wasn’t going back.

Why did I do it?  I did it because I knew our children would be Wilson’s and that I wanted to be connected to them thru name.  I know women who have kept their last name.  Total hats off to them but sometimes I can’t remember their children’s last name because I don’t know their husband’s last name.  I am not so good on name recall.  It is funny how brains work.

We did use the name Solomon for our son’s middle name.  Middle names seem to disappear over time particularly for women who take on their husbands name.  What I’d really like to know is what is the origin of the middle name and does anyone even use it anymore?