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Surname Customs for Wives and Children

Between 1910 and 1960 the customs regarding surnames for wives and children went through a transition.

  • Before 1910 it was the custom for a wife to retain her maiden surname throughout her life.
  • Before 1910 some children were given their father's surname, some were given their mother's surname, some were given a double surname of both the father and the mother and some children were given a surname associated with neither the father or the mother.

A large family would topically exemplify all of these options.

  • From 1960 to the present it has been the almost universal custom for a wife to use her husband's surname as her own.
  • From 1960 to the present it has been the custom for children to be given their father's surname.


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  • This page was last modified on 2 February 2015, at 21:11.
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