Does Family Need to Share a Surname

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This essay is dedicated to the surname value, to the family values, to our parents and our children. Never forget about such important things, as relationship to each other and importance of the family's roots.

According to Chambers, the last decades of the twentieth century were marked by the unprecedented growth of the marriage interest and the family institutions' studying. In the U.S. the family is considered one of the highest national values that underlie the American way of life. For example, most Americans are trying to save reputation of a good citizen and a family man, subjecting to this purpose all the life behavior. This judgment is to some extent politicized. Some sociologists note the emerging trends of the family's decline in a general. The family's function (economic cooperation), the marital roles, the family structures, the social influence on other social institutions have undergone significant changes over the past two centuries. The “name” concept takes the important place in every family (79).

So, what is the “surname” and what its importance to the family? According to Hey, the word “surname” is derived from the Latin word “familia”, and sounds in the translation as a "family". This is a hereditary family name, indicating that the man belongs to the same genus, a leading home from the common ancestor; or in the narrower sense – to the same family (101).

In the Roman Empire, this word meant a community, consisting of the family owners and their slaves.

In the Medieval Europe it had another interpretation – the family exclusively was understood under the surname meaning. Only to the XIX century, the word “name” acquired its second meaning, which became an official today: “hereditary family naming, added to the personal name”.

The last name is going out the root base (which has or had any lexical meaning in the past time), but also may include prefixes, suffixes and endings.

The surnames' bases are often derived from the personal name or the nickname that carries a particular lexical meaning.

There is a tradition, that the woman in her marriage usually takes the husband's surname. However, in the modern times it is not necessary. Sometimes, in the rare cases, the husband can take his wife's name. In addition, a woman may keep her maiden name or accept a hyphenated name with writing her husband's surname and her maiden name hyphenated. Children usually take the father's surname, but may take the mother's surname if the woman is not married.

There is a belief, that every person on the earth has his own unique personal name, everyone gets it at the birth and goes with it through the life. It is a talisman that often defines the person's character and demeanor. At the birth, along with the name, we receive the proud right to be called a son or a daughter. Of course, the surname is a hereditary family naming. This is the surname’s story. Look closely at your surname. Is it rare, common, absurd, incomprehensible, or vice versa, is the most common?

At the marriage and creation of a new family, the husband's surname is very important for the woman, her children and the entire family's fate.

The woman goes from her maiden family to the husband's family, where she has protection, energy and the material safety, marrying and taking the husband's name. During the marriage process it is not accidentally asked whether the bride agrees to bear the groom's last name that means she agrees to “go for her husband”.  It is very important because of the new life’s stage beginning.

 Many women are discouraged, that this is a red tape and too lazy to do it once, taking the greatest responsibility for all the ensuing consequences on the rest of their lives.

 There are cases when the husband's surname is discordant and the woman going for him is a public person. In this situation the last name is really important for her business. For these purposes the woman can present herself as much. Many creative people have aliases. So is it worth to risk? Maybe it is just the human ambition and the laziness? We have not opened it. And it is not by chance that the term “family” sounds like “surname” in some languages.

According to Redmonds, in the post-revolutionary period the patriarchal views on the family authority have been shaken under the Enlightenment influence and the republican ideas: the link “father-king-god” has given a way to the Republican concept of “union-debt-agreement”. In the books and magazines were published the articles calling for the patriarchal authority preservation, but calls for the equal rights were also sounded in a full force, which have not been heard before the Revolution. In July, 1792 a woman wrote in the “Journal ladies” that she objects to the word “obedience” in a family relationship, because this word’s meaning is too broad and cannot be determined. In her understanding, obedience in the relationship between husband and wife must be mutual at least. Marriage cannot be regarded as a contract between the rulers and the subordinates; it is an union of mutual interests, based on the friendship and the partnership, where all the differences must be resolved in a peace. In the letters and diaries of the educated women we can find evidences that the romantic love only and not the material considerations, were the true motives for marriage (92). In order to make silk ties, the kindred souls should merge; all the other unions are unions of hands and not of hearts. It is a huge happiness when close bonds are beyond of the selfish feelings and when the heart as the arm has a great pleasure to be in the subjection. Here they are – roots of the phenomenon, that later was called with one word, “marriage”, which means the spouses' agreement, where the number of children and conditions of divorce were established.

 As the history shows, the wise laws of life are manifested in our traditions. What is love? It is the law of life. Each passing day makes you wiser. Just tell yourself, “I bless my house and it answers me in return. My heart and my life are opened to the happiness!”

Before marriage it will be useful to know the following: when the wife does not take her husband's surname – it indicates to the child, that mom and dad do not live in a harmony, they do not have a common family protector (or “egregore”, as someone says). Oddly enough, but the child is constantly sick with different colds since every birth in such families.

 Children are the indicator of what is happening at home; they show to the parents by their health if they live good or bad.

Despite the surname, its division and so forth, the most important family values are the spouses’ love and love to their children. In our lives so much depends on how we educate our children or how we relate to the older generation.

Love, mutual respect, mutual understanding, peace and prosperity in the house are the most important components of the family happiness. And though the general surname is important and plays a particular role in the family union, it is not a key factor. The spiritual, the moral and the ethical family values are much more important.

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