Our interviews covered women and men, straight and LBGTQ couples—anyone with a nontraditional last name story who was willing to share. Their candid thoughts, interesting opinions, and powerful reflections gave life to our project and to a topic that until now has remained largely quantitative in nature. Interviews are organized by categories including:
Keeping Natal Surname
- Alice Guyot– Her parents are divorced and now both in a homosexual relationship.
- Casey Mallinckrodt– Married and took her husbands name, changed back to her natal name after a short period while still married.
- Gina Bamburger– Kept her natal name for professional reasons.
- Gloria Mark– Kept her natal name for a variety of reasons and gave her children a hyphenated name. (Also in Hyphenated Names)
- Harrison Burwell– Got divorced. Took back her natal name and added her mother’s maiden name recently.
- Jae Salinas– Kept her surname.
- Jean Scandlyn-Kept last name for career and feminist reasons.
- Jennifer Gillis– Kept her maiden name at marriage, daughter also has her last name. (Also in Mother’s Maiden Name as Childrens’ Surname)
- Jill Tiefenthaler– Retained maiden name for a variety of reasons.
- JoAnna McCort Fischman– Jo-Anna legally kept her own last name but goes by her husband’s name in certain situations.
- Julie Allen and Tessa Allen de Oliveira-Mother and daughter. Because of divorce, both have different last names. (Also in Double Last Name)
- Kayla Hunt-Kept maiden name when married.
- Kelley Douglass-Kept her last name in marriage.
- Lauren Leverenz– A married woman who kept her last name for professional reasons.
- Lilly Martin-Kept maiden name when married.
- Lisa Mueller– A married woman who kept her last name for familial and feminist reasons.
- Mary Pechauer-Kept maiden name when married. (Also in Hyphenated Names)
- Mia Ives-Flores– Mia’s mother kept her own name and her father kept his own name, but Mia and her sister have hyphenated last names. (Also in Hyphenated Last Name)
- Radhika Chavan– Kept her maiden name when she got married, despite cultural norm. (Also in International Naming Practices)
- Renee Dyer– Renee’s maiden name is White, that name is used by her children. Renee’s last name is Dyer from her first marriage. Renee plans on changing back to White following her divorce.
- Sarah Hautzinger– She kept her maiden name in her marriage. Her children have two last names not hyphenated. (Also in Double Last Name)
- Susi Marzuola– Kept her natal name when she married, but gave her two children her husbands last name.
- Tomi-Ann Roberts-Kept last name for career and family reasons. Felt that having a hyphenated first name was reason to not hyphenate last name.
- Valerie Taylor– Kept her maiden name at marriage.
- William Wilsey– Interviewed on thoughts about wife keeping name.
- Amanda Udis-Kessler– Changed her name when she was 7 years old to include both parents last names. She does not exactly remember why she did this.
- Amy Dounay-Hyphenated her childrens name to include both parents because she does not want her last name to disappear.
- Annette Waterman and Allegra Waterman-Snow- Annette kept her natal name when she married both to maintain her identity and for feminist reasons. Allegra Snow, at a young age, made the decision to hyphenate her name and include her mother’s natal name.
- Charles Sjolander- Hyphenated two sons’ names; says it was a “cop out”.
- Chris Forster-Smith-
- Freda Hawver-Pachter– Gay moms and two gay dads. Surname is combination of moms’ last names. (Also in Queer Naming Practices)
- Gail Murphy-Geiss– Decided to hyphenate her and her husband’s last names to create a new family name.
- Gloria Mark– Kept her natal name for a variety of reasons and gave her children a hyphenated name. (Also in Keeping Natal Name)
- Isaac Rowe-Raitin-Given both father’s and mother’s surnames at birth, however decided to hyphenate them for convenience. He believes hyphenated last names aren’t practical.
- Jennifer Wolfe-Smith– Hyphenated last name.
- Jesse Yancey-Siegel– Child with hyphenated name, parents felt strong connection to their names and wanted them passed down.
- Joyce Norton-McCormick-Hyphenated maiden name with husband’s when married.
- Julia Pendleton-Knoll– Julia has a hyphenated last name.
- Karen Rojas-Palacios– (Also in Double Surname)
- Laura Steinbach– Gave hyphenated name to one daughter, but not her sister.
- Leeds Mallinckrodt-Reese– Has the hyphenated name of her mother and her birth father.
- Lisa Cipriany-Dacko– Hyphenated last name.
- Malcolm Perkins-Smith– Has a hyphenated last name. He identified his mother’s decision as Feminist
- Maria and Mackenzie Mulligan-Buckmiller– Identical twins with contrasting views on their hyphenated name and it’s relationship to feminism.
- Mary Pechauer-Kept maiden name when married. (Also in Keeping Maiden Name)t choice.
- Mia Ives-Flores– Mia’s mother kept her own name and her father kept his own name, but Mia and her sister have hyphenated last names. (Also in Maiden Name)
- Monica Schoch-Spana– Has hyphenated name of both her parents’ since college. Before she only had her father’s name. Her wife took her hyphenated name. (Also in Queer Naming Practices)
- Renee Yoelin-Allen- Renee attached her husband’s surname, Allen, to her natal surname, Yoelin.
- Rhythm Kenaley-Lunberg-Originally had mother’s last name only.
- Victoria Lebron-Forster-Smith-
- Andrea Lucard– Created new name at marriage from Lucas and Howard.
- Bette Anterra– Created a new name for herself after her second divorce.
- Joseph Loyaconobustos– Has a combined name. His mother and his father kept their own name in marriage.
- Kathy Wade-After a series of divorces, Kathy took on her paternal grandmother’s name.
- Luke Terra– When getting married, his wife and he decided to create a whole new family name to pass down to children, as signifier the of creation of a family.
- Natasha Appleweis– Last name is a combination of her parent’s.
- Peggy Feldman Firinne– Peggy and her partner have the same first name, and didn’t want to have the exact same full name so they both kept their maiden names and created a new shared surname to attach on. Their children all have the created name as their surnames. (Also in Queer Naming Practices)
- Anne Goodman James-Added husband’s name without hyphenating.
- Jessica Giles Copeland–
- Julie Allen and Tessa Allen de Oliveira-Mother and daughter. Because of divorce, both have different last names. (Also in Keeping Maiden Name)
- Marley Ferguson Hautzinger– Child given father’s and mother’s last names, no hyphen.
- Sarah Hautzinger– She kept her maiden name in her marriage. Her children have two last names not hyphenated. (Also in Keeping Maiden Name)
Hispanic Double Surname
- Carmen Verdejo-Garcia- has two last names, however primarily is referred to by her first surname. She discusses how changing last naming practices in Spain demonstrate how Spain is becoming a more progressive and feminist society.
- Daniella Martinez Jimenez– has her father’s surname followed by her mother’s surname. Her parents were born in Mexico and named her in the Hispanic double surname tradition.
- Emanuel Vasquez Gomez– is from Guatemala and has his father and mother’s surnames.
- Javier Carjaval Rojas– is from Costa Rica, and he is trying to maintain his Hispanic double surname while living and studying in the US.
- Karen Rojas-Palacios– her parents are from Mexico and gave her a hyphenated name. (also in Hyphenated Surname)
- Susana Cruz- is married and kept her father’s last name. She is Spanish and has two last names but only uses one of them in the U.S.
- Raidel Moreno Almas– is originally from Cuba but is referred to by his father’s surname (Moreno) in the United States.
Queer Naming Practices
- Catherine Smith– She and her partner both kept their last names. Now that they are having children, Catherine is considering taking her partner’s last name.
- Corina McKendry– When marrying, she and her wife both kept their last names. When having children, they decided to give their children Corina’s wife’s last name, partly because Corina is the biological mother.
- Ellen Pine– Ellen and her partner both kept their last names, and gave their son her last name as his last name and her partners last name as his middle name.
- Freda Hawver-Pachter– Has two gay moms and two gay dads. Her surname is a combination of her moms’ last names. (Also in Hyphenated Names)
- Gayle Weaver– Gayle and her partner both kept their names when they originally could not get married. They gave Gayle’s partners surname to their children and Gayle’e surname as their middle names.
- Laura Zucker– She and her partner both kept their last names. When having children, they decided to give them Laura’s last name partly because she’s the birth mother and they wanted to avoid any legal issues.
- Megan Druss- Has two mothers; was given her birth mother’s last name.
Megan Murphy– She and her partner both kept their names when marrying, and gave their child Megan’s partner’s name as a surname, and Megan’s name as a middle name.
- Monica Schoch-Spana– Originally only had her father’s last name, but legally changed it in college to a hyphenation of both her parents’ surnames to preserve her maternal line. When marrying, her wife took her hyphenated name which was also given to their children (Also in Hyphenated Names)
- Peggy Feldmann Firinne– Peggy and her partner have the same first name, and didn’t want to have the exact same full name so they both kept their maiden names and created a new shared surname to attach on. Their children all have the created name as their surnames. (Also in Created Names)
- Roxi Power Hamilton- Roxi is changing her name back to Roxi Power, dropping her stepfather’s surname. She and her partner gave their daughter the hyphenated name Power-Perkins.
Wife Takes Husband’s Surname
- Becky Manicone– Happily took husbands surname to lose previously hyphenated name.
- Christina Anderson– Divorced & kept her ex-husband’s name; had a child with someone else whom she didn’t marry, gave her daughter her–also ex-husband’s—name.
- Heidi Lewis– Changed her last name from her maiden name (Freeman) to her husband’s last name (Lewis) to make a political statement. Her statement was that there is a husband/father in the household, because of the stereotypes people assume of African American households.
- Marcia Dobson-Retained first husband’s name…heavy regrets.
Children Receiving Mother’s Natal Name
- Faye Phillips- Parents had intention of giving children last name based on gender of first born.
- Jennifer Gillis– Kept her maiden name at marriage, daughter also has her last name. (Also in Keeping Maiden Name)
- Lowell Ensel Upon his father’s insisting, he received his mother’s natal name because it was a less common, more creative name.
- Chris O’Neil was given his mother’s surname as a middle name and his father’s surname as his last name.
- Danny Keene– has a middle name that is his mother’s natal name, and his father’s surname.
- Nick Mattson- interviewed in conjunction with Danny Keene and Chris O’Neil, was given his mother’s natal name as his middle name, while his surname is that of his father.
- Sarah Han– Sarah Smith Han and her sisters were all given her mother’s maiden name as their middle names. Her mother retained her maiden name after she was married.
- Stella Aloria Mainar– is of Filipino descent and has her mother’s natal name as her middle name and her father’s natal name as her last name.
Husband Takes Wife’s Name
International Naming Practices
- Fasilidas Teshome Gebru– Fasilidas has an Ethiopian ethnic background; he is married with one child and lives in Las Vegas. His middle name is his mother’s first name and his last name is his father’s first name. His child’s last name is Girma which is Fetehe’s last name.
- Radhika Chavan- Kept her maiden name when she got married, despite cultural norm.
- Amanda Grace Rennecker-was adopted at birth and would have been given her birth mother’s surname, Valdez, had that not occurred.