An oddity in our family is that we had a different last name than everyone else in Dad’s family. I never felt different. It was just normal. It was not until I was adult when I really realized the ramifications of the name change.
Dad wanted to marry mom. Her mother refused to allow her daughter to have a German name. It was a VERY German name. Mom’s brother had been killed in WWII over Germany and his body was never recovered. It destroyed my grandmother.
So, dad said that he didn’t care what his name was, he just wanted to marry mom. My grandmother paid to legally have his name changed in court. He chose is mother’s maiden name. A nice name. A simple last name.
As you might remember, my brother was the only male born in my dad’s family. The family name would stop. Coincidentally, Chip never had children.
My dad was born and named after his father, George. His mother loved the name Dick and called him that as a nickname from birth. When he arrived for his first day at school, the teacher asked for his full name. He said Dick. She replied that Dick was a nickname and that the full name was actually Richard. That is when he became Richard.
Throughout his time serving in the military during the war, he was Richard followed by the German name.
Just before he married mom, he became Richard followed by his new last name.
The day came when he was ready to retire and he went to his appointment at the Social Security office. Imagine trying to explain all the name changes!
Thankfully, what saved the day were the court documents that my grandmother insisted on so many years ago.
There was great controversy in my dad family over his name change. He was written out of several wills of his old wealthy aunts. He, on the other hand, felt it was just a name.