If you are changing anything about your name you will need to go through the following steps to first change your name on you social security card. The social security lady told me that if in a year or two I am tired of having 2 last names I can change it to either one.
I had my paperwork filled out to do that, but the ss lady convinced me to keep Smith Dorobek as 2 last names!
I changed my last name and was excited for it, I love having a unique last name and letting go of my past. Thanks for sharing this, I got remarried 7 months ago and finally got all my work accounts updated just yesterday. What I ultimately learned out of the whole ordeal was to name my kids the name I wanted them to go by as a first name and when they get married they will have an easier time with getting things how they want them to be. I did the same as a lot of other commenters… made my maiden name my middle name and took his last name. I will admit it will be so strange to write my new last name for a while, but I feel it shows my commitment to him and the marriage.
Also, I totally didn't know about all of the info about traveling with a child who has a different last name than you… so interesting!
I started my first student teaching position right after we got back from our honeymoon, so it was a great time to switch. If your profession is closely tied to your name or if you are the last member of your family to carry your name, keeping your maiden name is a logical choice. Most popular in the 1970s, hyphenation allows you to keep your maiden name while still adding your spouse's.
This is one of the most popular name change trends today, as women can take their spouse’s last name but still keep their maiden name. Many brides are ready to axe their maiden names completely and take their spouse’s last name. If you love your last name and your spouse doesn’t have major ties to his, consider having him take your maiden name as a new last name. There is a group of Stradwicks in West Virginia, where my great-grandparents relocated to, but they have no way of finding out what our original family surname is. There are a variety of reasons that a person might have changed his or her name at some point. Since your great-grandfather James Stradwick lived mostly in the 20th century, there are more records that can help you determine when he changed his name than if he had lived in an earlier era. You can begin by gathering as much information as possible about James after he allegedly changed his name to Stradwick. From this record, we see that James was listed as being 25 years old and working as a fireman at a cotton mill.
Since he was 25 years old in 1920, he was the right age to be eligible for the draft in World War I.
Now that you have this information, you can keep going back further by searching for a record of him in the 1910 census.
His birthplace was listed as South Carolina, but it’s important to remember that the information you find on census records can be inaccurate. Although records of James living in Pickens County may give you some information about his early life, searching for records of James in West Virginia may also help you determine the names of his parents. In addition to records of James at the federal level, you will also want to search records held by the state of West Virginia. The West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s website also contains a fully searchable database of marriage records from around 1970 and earlier.
The record also gives his parents’ names as Andrew and Eliza (McClure) Stradwick and shows that he was born on May 23, 1893, in Asheville.
To learn more about the origin of your family’s surname, you will want to continue your research by searching for more records of Andrew W.
This answer was provided in consultation with Kristin Britanik, a researcher from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Some of the most common questions I was asked as a newlywed were, "Does it feel any different to be married?" "Have you got used to calling him 'husband' yet?" and, of course, "So are you taking his last name?" When I answered in the negative (for all three questions, actually), the latter query was followed up with further questions. I decided at the ripe old age of 15, almost 10 years before I met the man who would become my husband, that I would not change my name for marriage. As I grew older, learning more about gender politics and the inequalities that women still face in society cemented that teenage decision to keep my name. To put it bluntly -- as I sometimes do when people really grill me about my decision -- it's not 1950 and I'm not cattle that needs to be branded with my owner's name. If you are debating whether to change your surname for marriage, don't listen to the people who question your decision -- don't even listen to this article -- but take time to ponder for yourself your thoughts on name and identity, and what's important to you. Bring this form and your original or certified copy of your marriage license to your local social security office. You can find more on the wedding after math here: thank you cards, changing your last name, and the super simple wedding scrapbook.
I loved starting a new family with him, and for me personally, that meant me taking his family name. I think after 3 years the passport is the only thing I still need to change.The bank always messes it up. I will be teaching my girls to keep their own names or do what you did if marrying a trade down last name – or trade it if they want and they think they are trading up. Being a bit of a feminist too I just, to me it's romantic, I want us to have the same surname and I want our children to have the same name as me too. I am changing my last name, it means a LOT to him and honestly its something that I will cherish. His parents are divorced and remarried (dad is now divorced again) and mine have been married for 35 years going on 36… together for 40.

For me, its how I was raised so its the norm for me, however I know a lot of married women that kept their last name. I think that when the time comes for me to get married, I will try to make my maiden name a second middle name, or even have two last names. Coming from divored parents it's confusing for the kids in school To have different last names than their parents, mine was simple, I love my family but I never liked my last name and I thought it was ugly, and I really liked my husbands name so I totally dropped it!
While most women anticipate getting married someday, very few of us give much thought to the concept of name change. Now, nine years later, I wish that I would have researched my name change options a bit more before taking the name change plunge.
It also makes it easy for colleagues, clients, and friends to follow you and your work post-marriage. You will need to sign all legal documents with both names, but you can introduce yourself with one last name, thus forgoing the mouthful that hyphenated last names can create. Maiden to middle name change holds even more appeal for women who were bestowed with horrible middle names!
Reasons range from having unpronounceable maiden names to wanting their future children to have a last name towards the front of the alphabet. However, my late grandfather, Thomas Stradwick, said that was not our family’s original surname. By collecting as many documents as possible in both James’ early life and his later life in West Virginia, you can begin to put together a picture of his life story and hopefully discover who his parents were and why he changed his name. In our search, we did find one possible record that shows a 14-year-old boy named James Struddicks living with his grandmother Hager McLure and his 13-year-old sister, Nancy Struddicks, in Easley.
If he did change his last name, perhaps a record of his death will give his father’s real name. The Social Security system was created after the Great Depression as a way to provide for those who were unable to work, such as the disabled and elderly. A search of this index reveals that James Stradwick was born on May 23, 1893, and died in January of 1980 at Marion, W.Va. Since we did find James Stradwick in the SSDI, a good next step is to order a copy of his Social Security application from the Social Security Administration to see if it lists his parents’ names and additional information about James. It will only release records for a person who is more than 120 years old or if there is proof of his or her death (like an obituary, death certificate or newspaper article). The West Virginia Division of Culture and History has digitized many of its vital records from about 1970 and earlier. A search of the Stradwick name reveals that James got married again in 1963 at age 70 to Flossie Miller.
From this one record, you now know the names of his parents, and you have even more proof that he was born in Asheville! From all of these records, it now seems possible that James never changed his last name and that he was born with the surname Stradwick. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country’s leading nonprofit resource for family history research.
The expectation that women should change their last name for marriage, swapping their own identity for their husband's, is -- inarguably -- sexist.
I do think it's unequal that children automatically take their father's name, but other approaches are not yet as widely accepted as women keeping their surnames -- though I think this is will change with time. Whether or not I have the same last name as my child won't stop me loving them or feeling attached to them. However, that's the name I had for the first 29 years of my life before my wedding, and that's who I see myself as.
A few decades ago it was common to assume any married woman you met was a housewife; that's not a good reason for women to stay out of the workplace.
I love my husband dearly, and hope we are together until we die in each other's arms at the exact same moment at age 100, but it would be naive not to realize that something like a third of western marriages end in divorce. If you, however, are not as fond of your name or do not see it as part of your identity -- perhaps because it's from a parent you don't have a good relationship with, the name is something you got teased for, or you just feel it's not particularly you -- then I think marriage is a great opportunity to take a new name. If you, too, do think "it's just nice", ask yourself what you find nice about it before committing to a decision. How will people know your kids are yours?”Keeping my maiden name after marriage was practically unheard of in my home state of Louisiana. From what I gather, there are 3 main camps on the issue: take his name, hyphenate names, or keep your last name. Obviously you don’t want to make brand hew accounts with your new name because then you would loose all of your previous miles. My husband thinks it’s so dumb and tedious, but I love keeping every part of my identity. Now, if my maiden name had been special in any way I might have had to improvise along the lines of what you did. Also, on my dad's side of the family, out of him and his 4 siblings, only my dad and my Uncle Mike are the guys. I felt that if I would have kept my last name, it would be like I was not fully committed to the marriage. So, here’s the scoop on married name change and the multitude of options available today.
This can be done in all states except California (unless you list your maiden as your middle name on your marriage license), Ohio, New Jersey, and Washington. He said his father, James, changed his last name to Stradwick, for reasons unknown, before he married my great-grandmother Lilly Ferguson of South Carolina. My father says he was Native American (but I know you say Native American heritage is a common myth in African-American families).
Although finding the exact reason your ancestor changed his name may be difficult to determine using genealogical records alone, knowing where and when he changed his name can give you some clues.

As a result of these events, a variety of documents and records were generated, including a draft-registration card and a Social Security application. For example, South Carolina did not enact legislation requiring the registration of birth and deaths until 1915, and general compliance with this law didn’t really occur until 1918. You now have confirmed that he changed his name before 1920, because he was married to Lily by this year (which matches your family’s story). These records can include some useful information, such as exact birth dates, place of birth and marital status. With this record, you find that James may have still been using the Stradwick (or at least a very similar name) at age 14. Once a person has died, his or her death is reported to the Social Security Administration and the information is included in the Social Security Death Index, or SSDI. Interestingly, the date May 23 matches his birthday on his draft-registration card, but the year is different. Generally, earlier records might give you a better indication of his birth year, since they were closer to the actual event.
Try to determine where and when he was born, and see if you can find his parents’ names or where his parents were living. Its website, AmericanAncestors.org, contains more than 300 million searchable records for research in New England, New York and beyond. And I say "inarguably" because no one could claim there is an expectation of the same name-change in men. Also, with this logic, would I no longer feel like I'm part of my parents' family if I take a different surname from theirs?
But I believe this should be the case for men as well, and that neither gender should feel obligated to switch names. But I also moved countries within a month of getting married, so in the UK a lot of my bank etc that are still there are in my surname and probably will be for some time. I was happy and she didn't feel like I was just throwing away something that was meaningful to her {really, how meaningful can Marie with no family connection be?}. My lady said I could do whatever I wanted too… she told me I could add another middle name if I wanted!
Please take a moment to read this article and make an informed decision; you’ll thank me later! It weighs and factors in things like your age and education, along with your personal style, to suggest the name change option(s) most in keeping with your selections.
You also have to look at all of the records you collect for James as a whole to determine what was his most likely year of birth.
If you are able to trace the Stradwick family to the 1870 census, our previous article about tracing African-American surnames may provide you with more guidance in finding the origin of your family’s unique name. With the leading experts in the field, NEHGS staff can provide assistance and guidance for questions in most research areas. Are there no boys in your family to carry on the name?" And then, in a conspiratorial whisper, "Do you not like your husband's last name?
Several times I've introduced myself to someone on email and received a message back signed off with "P.S. In these days of blended families, the idea that everyone in a family would have the same last name is a touch old-fashioned. Reflective Groom' on meeting me for the first time -- just as people familiar with me greet him as. But the things that make weddings nice are that they bring together family and friends, celebrate your love, and are an excuse for an awesome party. Not one for conventional ideas, I decided long before I met my husband that I wouldn’t change my name after taking my marriage vows.When I told my husband I was writing about our different surnames, he laughed. It is wise to fully understand your feelings on name change, as well as your options before making the switch to Mrs. They ultimately had seven children, including my grandfather Thomas, who was born in 1920 back in Pickens County.
Here you find some new information about James, showing that he was born in North Carolina instead of South Carolina. Because James died in 1980, his death record is not available online, but we do find that his wife, Lillie (note a second spelling variation), died at the age of 49 in 1944. And if it is so nice to have the same last name as your spouse, perhaps it shouldn't only be women stepping up to make the change.
As immigrants, they didn’t want to stand out any more than they already did with their yellow skin, black hair, and small eyes. Oh, and don't get me started on how hard it was to convince the nurse who checked me in for an emergency c-section that I really did legally have two middle names. Our family wouldn’t be the first to adjust their traditional names after coming to the United States.I’m not sure when I decided to keep my surname after I got married. The convention didn’t make sense to me, and I couldn’t see a good reason to take my future husband’s name. That was when I knew our kids wouldn’t stand out because of their hyphenated names.The only time I become frustrated about having a different surname than my husband’s is when the Christmas cards come rolling in. Now she’s trying to follow her own advice by keeping her buzzy devices hidden from her two young kids.She blogs about the fusion of Asian, African American, and  southern culture in parenting and food at  I’m Not the Nanny.

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