(Closed) Changing my name, but which name to pick?

posted 6 years ago in Names
  • poll: Which names do I keep?
    Keep all of them, and just have 4 names (2 middle names). : (21 votes)
    53 %
    Drop the maiden name. : (14 votes)
    35 %
    Drop the original middle name. : (5 votes)
    13 %
  • Post # 3
    11422 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    @AnonymousCupcake:  That’s exactly what I wanted to do as well, because, like you, I was extremely attached to my middle initial. I used it ALL of the time.

    However, when I contacted my state’s DMV, the rep told me that I was not able to have four names on my license.  I had heard this, yet I KNEW people who lived in my state who did keep all four names. It’s possible that policy had changed over the years, however.  At any rate, I spoke with a friend who had kept all four of hers, and she told me it was pretty much a nightmare and, if she had it to do over again, she would have dropped her given middle name and just had her maiden name as her new, legal, middle name.

    For a short while, I wrestled with the decision whether to give up my beloved middle initial or getting rid of my maiden name — which, again like yours, everyone mispronounces or misspells.  However, I finally realized that, if I thought I would miss my middle name, how much more would I miss my maiden name?!

    So, I changed my name to First Maiden Newlast, and I absolutely LOVE my new name! It was such a great decision for me, since I had a professional career for 25 years in my maiden name.  I LOVE that I was able to have continuity of my identity and also  show that I had added a new  identity as DH’s wife. I honestly could not be happier with my new name, and I use all three on all legal documents, passport, credit cards, checks and in a professional capacity.  However, I don’t mind at all when people call me Mrs. Newlast or First Newlast.  In fact, I love that as well.

    ETA:  I should add that, because my parents gave me my middle name, and it will always be on my birth certificate, it will still “travel” though life with me, and I will always be able to think of it as one of my names, even though it is no longer part of my current legal name.

    Post # 4
    505 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    Are you me?? Haha, I feel the exact same way about both my middle and current last name. My middle name was my beloved grandmother’s who recently passed away and I always wanted to keep my last name as a middle name. I’ll be taking his name in addition to my own and having 4 names.

    Post # 5
    1144 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    I have two middle names now 🙂 I changed my mind last minute while getting our marriage license. Ca let me get a drivers license to match.

    Post # 7
    11422 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    @AnonymousCupcake:  Well, if it helps, I found one other benefit of taking my maiden name as my new middle name: It REALLY helped people (including the post office) to realize that who I was  and who I am now  are actually the same person.

    I am still getting all kinds of mail in my maiden name, and it’s being delivered to me even though my forwarding orders have long since expired.  It’s so much easier for people and entities to realize that Jane Smith Doe used to be Jane Smith, but there isn’t much of a connection between Jane A. Smith and Jane A. Doe.

    Post # 9
    71 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    Hi :0)  I’m very traditional so I’m a fan of only going to his last name. I understand your dilemma though.  My cousin had the same one, she dropped her middle name, also a family name and only uses her maiden name as a middle name now.  My maiden name is also very unusual and always mispronounced, but to me a name does not define who I am, I do… but I think you should do what feels rite to you.  PS- my middle name is Jean, if it weren’t for the fact my mother named me and she has since passed I would take her maiden name as a middle name.  

    Post # 10
    11422 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    @AnonymousCupcake:  Well, whatever your name is with the SSA, that will be your official, legal name.  If you do  decide to keep all four, I would try to use all four wherever you are permitted to do so.  Otherwise, things could get messy.

    My friend who kept all four said that her employer (which, by the way, is a branch of the Federal government), has erroneously hyphenated her last name in its system, and she hasn’t been able to change that.  Some of her doctor’s offices have filed her under her maiden name first, others have her new last name first.  Four names can look like a first, middle, and compound last name as well as a first, two middle names, and a last.  Please know that I’m not trying to talk you out of trying to do it.  Rather, I’m just trying to share some of the complexities that I know have arisen for someone who has done that.

    @Gypsybarbi:  I was surprised to learn that the format of First Maiden Newlast is actually the formal, traditional manner in which women in the US have changed their names throughout history. (Think Laura Ingalls Wilder, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Anyone Kennedy Anyone.)

    My mom did this, as did one of my grandmothers and one of DH’s grandmothers. It’s very popular in certain regions of the country, but very few of my own friends chose this type of name change or even considered doing so.

    Post # 11
    2753 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    @AnonymousCupcake:  I have always had 2 middle names (a regular one and my mom’s middle name on my birth certificate then dropped my mom’s name and put my maiden name in my first marriage) and have never really had a problem. The only issue I’ve ever had is if a name form doesn’t give enough space if they want your full middle name. Otherwise, it was always fine with gov offices and socially.

    ETA: I’ve lived in 4 states and for a little while in Canada, so not having a problem has traveled with me!

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