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edited April 2017 in - Writing Problems
I'm not sure of the laws in the UK but here in New Zealand hims can marry hims and hers can marry hers.
I am not debating the rights and wrongs but am concerned at the genealogy problems that will ensue in the future.
It has its difficulties now as the shes change their surname to their husbands (most, anyway) but the tracing of the ancestry through two hes and no shes will make things difficult. It is a system that has worked for a long time but now will be chaotic. For instance whose name do the children have , yes these people have children, and if double barreled in the future will they treble and quadruple them.
Even the two partners, do they retain their own surnames or take their partners. Either way, what will the records show? If two male names then which is which? Perhaps a glorious data base of DNA will sort things out.
I sure would not like the job. Can anyone simplify this for me.


  • Same sex marriages are legal in the UK.

    I'm not sure exactly how this makes tracing ancestry more difficult than at present. There will still be two people and it's no more likely that one will change their name than with a male/female marriage (possibly a little less likely).

    Who takes which name will, as with male/female marriages, be a choice for the couple to make. Records will show this in the same way regardless of the sex of those concerned.

    Many children are now born to unmarried couples, or to people who don't stay in a relationship with the other parent. Surely that will cause more problems with tracing ancestry than with a properly documented same sex marriage?
  • edited April 2017
    Spanish names are passed down through both parents, and in Spain the women in a heterosexual marriage do not change their surnames.
    DNA wouldn't help when donated eggs are used for IVF, or in adoption cases.
    Unless you're a genealogist there's no point in trying to untangle it. :)
  • I know several same sex couples with children and the children are double-barrelled. i know MANY man/woman marriages where the woman has kept her maiden name. In several, one of the children has his surname and one of the children has hers.

    You only have to watch one of the genealogy programmes that are trying to trace ancestors of someone who has died to see how tricky is is anyway. I don't think it's anything to worry about at all.

    By the way, there are no wrongs.
  • It just makes it more important that families record their geneology, and ensure that they leave those records to someone who will ensure they're passed on or sent to a relevant depository.
  • There will always be complications with family trees. In mine, I hit a wall and eventually discovered that two great-aunts were registered with the incorrect maiden name of the mother. Their mother had given 'her' mother's maiden name instead of her own. Apparently it wasn't uncommon to make that mistake.

    Those problems might not occur today but I do believe they will be replaced with new challenges for researchers. My great-niece has two half-siblings and the three children all have different double-barrelled surnames.

    The problem with retaining names is that they might differ to the registered name. My father was registered as Arthur but his parents always used his middle name. A relative added Dad to his tree using the middle name but it's wrong; with those details he wouldn't appear officially.

    As Carol says, it's important that the details are retained by someone interested in genealogy and who will pass it on. Incidentally, local family history societies are inundated with boxes of muddled family research. Keep it simple and keep it safe.
  • Also, when the kids with double-barrelled names get married, they might marry someone with a double barrelled name. Imagine being Dahlia Thursby-Johns-Mackie-Montague. They'll each have to drop one of their double-barrells if they want to take the same name.
  • Add into that the current trend to give children double-barrelled first names ...
  • Or names like Hollie. Sorry, Hollie.
  • Children have been born 'out of wedlock' since time immemorial giving rise to the same difficulties you mention.

    Incidentally I find it annoying that family history is so often traced purely through the male line simply because of a common surname.
  • Personally I cannot understand the efforts people go to to find their ancestry.
    Yes, we like to know the royalty tree and possibly to know that a trade has been in ones family for generations but otherwise these people are strangers to us.
    Why the importance to trace ones folk to Lower Banstead in the 13th century.
    A possible exception being property rights.
  • If, like me, your family wasn't known beyond a grandparent, it can be interesting to know where you came from. On another branch, finding a photograph of a grandparent was also very satisfying – he had divorced my grandmother and died very tragically when my mother was a child. I'd be happy to get back to the 1850s with some of the twigs on my tree.
  • Plus it's great fun - you can pretend you're a detective!
  • edited April 2017
    Mine was the same Baggy. I had minimal information, and it led to some interesting discoveries- my mum's Dad was a prisoner of war in WW1.
  • I'm still working through my grandfather's WWII records, Carol. I know he was awarded something for bravery but I want to know more.
  • but otherwise these people are strangers to us.
    Strangers to you perhaps, but they're the reason you are here.
    Think about it. You have a child - what an incredible, important thing in your life! Your child has a child - now you are a proud grandparent and you adore your grandchild, this living proof that your 'legacy' is living on. The grandchild procreates... and so on and so... these are YOUR future generations. But then within a frighteningly short period, those great, great grandchildren don't know who you were - and perhaps don't even care. Isn't that sad?
  • I'm still working through my grandfather's WWII records, Carol. I know he was awarded something for bravery but I want to know more.
    Depends which regiment it was. Some still have regimental museums- not the type that you can just walk into- but you can contact the archivist and find out if they hold any records on him- give his name and service number, and unit if known.

    Some are really helpful, others not. But even if they don't have anything they may be able to tell you where the records are.

  • Yes, I know where to look I just haven't had the time.
  • Yes, I know where to look I just haven't had the time.
    That makes sense.

  • I guess it depends what sort of person you are, pongo. You have no interest but I would enjoy seeing the echoes - for instance the programme 'who do you think you are' over here which traces celebrities and actors and various others' backgrounds is incredibly interesting, the similarities in faces and often the similarity in chosen careers and interests - particularly when they are artistic. It's kind of comforting to know echoes of your own thoughts and interests will go on down in the family line, even if you are forgotten. I just don't have time to search.
  • I find it humbling. We're only here today because of them, what they did, what they achieved. Not all of it is positive but it's that unbroken chain that I find fascinating.

    Jeremy Paxman discovered ancestors living in abject poverty – and fairly recently. Similarly with Twiggy's programme. A blink of an eye and life-changing events have occurred. Chris Moyles found ancestors who had died in slums from consumption. How different his life of excess is to theirs.
  • Yes, agree - and how surprised some of the are to find how moving they find it, discovering their great-great ancestors have died in the workhouse or had their fortunes taken or children taken away, or died from treatable diseases.
  • We're writers and we want future generations to read our work and know we existed, and maybe some day, someone will look to find out about us.

    Our chairman has been compiling a list of all the successes listed in our club magazine archive for the city of literature. We also provide the local studies library in Nottingham with every print issue of the magazine, so there will be a history of not only the club, but the writers within it, and mentions of the writers who have ever judged our competitions and done workshops for us.

  • I'm still working through my grandfather's WWII records, Carol. I know he was awarded something for bravery but I want to know more.
    Have you contacted the Royal British Legion, or your father's regiment?

    And on another subject entirely, it's thanks to you that I spent my morning writing two more pieces of flash fiction! http://lizy-writes.blogspot.co.uk/

  • RBL was my first port of call. He was in the RAF. Mind you, I began delving 20 years ago. I don't like to rush.
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