Montessori a matrilineal magnet

A few weeks ago we got the student directory for my son’s public Montessori school. Thumbing through it I started noticing something: Parents and children with different last names. Lots of them.

I started counting. There were almost 300 families listed. By the time I got to “Z” I’d tallied that 21 percent had a last name difference between at least one parent and a child. Most of those did appear to be the most familiar scenario: A mother keeping a maiden name while the child shared the father’s last name.

But within that were another 4 percent who had something else. Either the child had a hyphenated combination of the parents’ two last names or shared the mother’s last name. (Interestingly, founder Maria Montessori did the latter with her own son more than 100 years ago.) There was even another family who appeared to have done what we have – given one parent’s name to each child.

Solid statistics on last name choices are hard to come by, but in general the data shows that less than 10 percent of women keep their names after marriage. The percent who give a child their name is negligible. I was already a Montessori fan for the progress my son’s made there. Now to have discovered a place that attracts progressives in terms of names, too,  makes me feel I’ve finally found a tribe.

— Funky drop cap courtesy of Daily Drop Cap.



One Comment to Montessori a matrilineal magnet

  1. Your loving sister in law says:

    Just going to put something that I’ve always wanted to put out there: My maiden name is a fake. I’m not even a McNiven. My dad’s dad’s (my paternal grandfather) last name was Nowlin, but since he wasn’t married to my grandma – ever, she gave her last 3 children (all fathered by Coy Nowlin) her married name – McNiven. I’m not sure if there were other circumstances, but I’ve never met the man that who gave our family the name “McNiven”.

    I’m not pouting about it, and I don’t want to come off as feeling sorry for myself. I appreciate you wanting the keep your last name, and passing it on to your children. I just wanted to point out that it is an honor for some women to take their husband’s last name. Especially one like “Noga”.

    Have a happy day!

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