Re: Maiden surnames

Anne Burgess

Somewhere in this thread someone wrote, "It is a relatively modern thing, and not just in Scotland, for married women to continue to use their maiden surname."

This is incorrect and potentially misleading for other researchers. Throughout history and until the early part of the 19th century married women in Scotland were known by their maiden surnames. See my post on the other thread on this same topic. This is why the mother's maiden surname appears in baptism records, and why married women appear in the earliest censusus by their middle names. It is also why married woman are indexed by all their surnames in the deaths indexes, and why the indexes can include the maiden surname of the deceased's mother from 1974 onwards. By the end of the 19th century, however, it had become common for married women to be known by their husbands' surnames. There has been a resurgence in very recent years of married woman retaining their maiden surnames, but it is most certainly not a 'modern thing'. The 'modern thing' in the 19th and 20th century in Scotland was adopting a husband's surname.

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