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Maternal Surnames

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By NathanJones - Posted on 10 October 2006

On my mother's side I am the fourth generation to use the maternal suname.

Because my great grandfather was the product of rape.

Since 1858 our family has been proud to bear the name of the 14 year-old victim of that rape, Maria de las Nieves Porras.

I'm told there maybe a picture of her somewhere, but I haven't found it.
I did find that she was baptized in 1858 at the same time as her son.
I found her grave, and could at least leave her flowers. She is buried with her son.

Although the rapist later loved his son and legitimized his parentage legally, my ggrandfather chose not to bear the name Gallardo.

---- arturoramos wrote:
> I have found in my research several lineages where the maternal names survived for up to three generations. In some cases it was because the father did not have a surname (i.e. was indigenous) and thus the maternal one was given to the child by default. In such cases, the husband sometimes appears with his wife's name as well.
> Iin other cases it appears to be that the maternal side had the land and prestige and was perhaps lacking of male heirs so the children took on the mother's name in order to propagate that name.
> Then there is a peculiar tradition of naming women after grandmothers whereby they are given the entire name so if the grandmother was named Maria Saucedo, the mother was named Ana Ortiz and the father Lorenzo Miramontes, the daugher would be named not Maria Miramontes and not even Maria Ortiz, but Maria Saucedo just like her grandmother, thus she would carry her mother's mother's maiden name.
> The term maiden name in Latin America is somewhat redundant because women don't really change their names, thus they have a name in their maiden lives that remains their name in their married lives. In modern times the practice of attaching a "de" husdband's name after their own has become commonplace, but that is not considered the woman's name.


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