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Meshing Surnames


Meshing (also know as mashing, fusing or blending is combining parts surnames to for a single new name) is now becoming popular in the UK.
The practice which started in the USA in the 1970s when the feminist movement encouraged couples to explore hyphenation and other unconventional naming practices.
Jean Westhafer and Paul Moore of Grand Island, N.Y., for example, became the Westmoores in 1975 it gained national attention when The New York Times published a wedding announcement for a name-meshing couple in 1992 (when Valerie Silverman and Michael Flaherty became Mr. and Mrs. Flaherman).
It did not become popular in the USA until around 2006 and is seen as an alternative to the woman giving up her surname in favour of her husband’s name.

Like many equality issues it is not without problems.

Be aware some parents and grand-parents take it as an insult, thinking that their children or grand-children are ashamed of them or their name. Others will embrace the idea.

There may also be problems with official documents such as a relative dying intestate; a change of name adds an extra layer of doubt and indeed cost.

If the couple marry there will be a paper trail to confirm the change of name the marriage certificate will show the new name formerly old name or if either party use their maiden name for business purposes the certificate would read new name others old name.

It has been noted that meshing surnames is now one of the main reasons for the use of Deed Poll in the UK with almost 800 British newly weds having already "meshed" their names together this year in 2013 according to the UK Deed Poll service.

The option of continuing to use previous surnames as middle names is also available to couples who mesh.

If however the couple mesh or fuse their names and co-habit rather than marry there may be no paper trail. They may also have problems applying for a passport, driving licence or bank account but these problems would not be insurmountable but could take a long time to iron out.