Double barrel surnames after marriage and children?

I have a double barrel surname and let's say for the sake of this question that it is Carter-Smith. My fathers surname is Carter and my mothers is Smith. However when I was born only my mothers surname was used on my birth certificate, therefore officially I am known as Smith but I generally go by Carter-Smith.

As a male, when the times comes that I will marry and have children I am unsure what to do about my surname. I feel my fathers surname should not be dismissed despite it not being on my birth certificate or official documents. If my future wife and children were to only take Smith I think my father would be upset I am not carrying his family name. But if they take Carter-Smith this will not be reflected on my official documents, only theirs (if that is even allowed).

Is my only option to change my surname to Carter-Smith and have my father added to my birth certificate? I would be happy to but that would mean changing all my ID's as well as my qualification certificates at an expense. Also my family would have to be happy with carrying a double barrel surname both from my family.

Any advice? I just want to keep everyone happy and carry on my families name.

5 Answers

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  • 4 weeks ago

    first, your family's lives will be easier if everyone has the same last name.

    you have some options;

    use all 4 names

    use the paternal half of both d-b names

    use the maternal half of both d-b- names

    pick a brand new one you both like

    make up a new one from some of the letters from all 4 d-b names

  • Sharon
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    My husband claims his family name was double barreled before the American Revolution, but the second half was dropped during or after the Revolution because it had royal associations in Ireland. I suspect he or his father or someone is full of hot air

  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Nothing to do with genealogy which is about researching dead ancestors........... what you are 'known by' and what your legal name are different you need to legally change your name if you want the double barrelled name to be legal

  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    I cannot advise on how to change your own name in angloland, but if your names really are as common as Carter and Smith and your wife has a less common one, I would recommend taking hers.

    It's no fun to see obituaries about someone you think you know, or if you cannot find long lost friends because dozens of people of the same age have the same first and last names

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  • 1 month ago

    Personally I hate so called double barreled surnames. This is actually a custom in the Spanish culture and only became a fad in English naming about 25 years ago.

    Personally I would think you would want to consider you wife which might result in a triple barreled surname and ever more confusion for any future Genealogists. However, it is a personal choice and no one can make that decision except you.

    Source(s): Genealogical researcher 50+ years
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