I read The Salt Lake Tribune article: “First comes love, then comes marriage — and deciding what name to use” (Aug. 31). As the article noted, Americans, and Utahns, are going in various ways when it comes to women retaining, changing or hyphenating their surnames after they marry.
Even a few men go against the traditional grain and change their surname at marriage. While I am perfectly at peace with anyone’s decision, I think couples would be wise to at least take a moment to take genealogical ramifications into account.
I realize cultural norms have changed yet, as a genealogist (by hobby), I am thankful for “tradition.” It sure simplifies family history and genealogy. I had no trouble “charting” my family tree. I respect anyone’s choice, but I have seen cases where divorces have occurred, hyphenated names have occurred, cases where a young baby born bearing the surname of one of my ancestral lines actually had no blood connection due to the mother giving birth to a baby fathered by a new boyfriend, but allowed the baby to bear her former married surname. The fuss isn’t about me, but the webs of confusion.
James A. Marples