Re: Why would a husband take his wife's surname? #unitedkingdom #general #lithuania

Michael Sharp

In the UK there is no legal requirement to adopt a spouse's surname on marriage - it is just tradition - and if anyone changes their surname it does not have to be the bride

Answering your question depends on when and where the name change took place.

  • if the name change took place in Poland/Lithuania/Russia it could have been in an attempt to avoid military service in the Tsar's army
  • if the name change took place in the UK it may have been either because of problems with largely illiterate customs officials are due to poor guttural English on the part of the immigrant

I have relatives whose mother's first name on the birth certificates was variously Dora, Chaya or Sara (all the same person) and whose surname was either Goodman or Lederman. The real name of the mother was Chaya Goodman nee Lederman. We suspect that the registrar or didn't understand a guttural Chaya and wrote it down as Sara, and that the husband sometimes gave his wife's married surname and sometimes her maiden name to the registrar
Michael Sharp
Manchester UK

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