Monday, May 18, 2009

Surname Troubles For Future Genealogists

These days, the surname that you recieve isn't so cookie cutter as it used to be.  With our diverse society in the U.S the way we pass down surnames has changed.  While this change adds some flavor to our culture, I can only imagine how much of a headache it will be for future genealogists.

Giving Baby Mom's Last Name
This one certainly isn't too uncommon, especially if the parents aren't married when baby is born.  I can speak from experience on this one since I have my mom's last name.  My mom is so proud of her last name that she knew once she was pregnant that I was going to recieve her name.  Plus, my parents weren't married when I was born.

Combining Husband and Wife's Name to Create New Name
A new trend that is beginning to emerge when a couple gets married is combining the husband and wife's name to create an entirely new name.  Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaragosa and his wife did this when they married to create the name "Villaragosa".

The Hyphened Name
Popular for wives and babies alike, this is a more common approach to last names.  When a couple gets married but a wife doesn't want to completely lose her last name, sometimes the wife will use a hyphen to make her husband's surname and her surname into one.  A couple also sometimes does this with baby - giving baby both parents' last names.

Can you imagine, in a 100-200 years how difficult it will be for genealogists to figure out what the last name is!?  Almost makes me happy that I am researching now and not later!


Delia Furrer said...

That is the truth! What a challenge it will be for future genealogists. We have enough trouble looking for those elusive ancestors as it is!