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I was wondering if at any time in U.S. history it has been illegal for a woman to keep her maiden name after marriage. If so, would you know when the law changed?

Per your note to FEMINIST.COM, I don't think it was ever illegal for a woman to keep her maiden name, however, as it is today, I can't imagine it was ever easy on the women who did. Lucy Stone, a suffragette, kept her maiden name and I know that much attention has been brought to this fact. This makes me think that it was illegal at one point--or it could just be that she was "breaking with tradition." In looking at women's history, you will see many women who had to take their husband's name if they wanted to work--because this is the only way that people would take them seriously. There is a great story about Mrs. Frank Leslie, who kept her husband's name "Frank Leslie" long after he died. She was "the queen of publishing row" and the only way that she could mantain that position was to fool some people into thinking that she was a "he." Good luck with your search.

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