Huh.  Apparently I’ve been a trendsetter, or at least ahead of the curve,  just by making decisions about my name 24 years ago.  Who’d’ve guessed?

An article in the  Minneapolis Star Tribune on July 14, 2013 analyzed the decisions women make about changing their names after getting married.  (You can read  “The Modern Way for Women to Create a Married Name,” if they keep the article online.)  Reporter Nara Schoenberg writes that 25% of married women take their husband’s last name but make their maiden name their legal middle name.  Very few women in history followed this practice, but there were some notable ones, like Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The women’s movement in the 1970s made it a bit more common (Hilary Rodham Clinton is mentioned), but hyphenated last names were more popular in the ’80s and ’90s.  The current statistic of 25% of women keeping their maiden name as a middle name along with their husband’s last name is a marked rise. Continue reading