So, I have to continue the family name.....

My brother had all girls. He is now fixed, so he’s not having anymore.

I have two sisters.

My father was the only male child.

My grandfather had 3 brothers.

2 died in WWII. Neither had a chance to have kids.

The one that survived had only girls.

Few records appeared to have survived the war (Germany), but my grandmother says that we are the only line remaining of our “family”.

The name either continues or dies with me. I am the last male child. I just got married last year. I saw my father for the first time in years last week. Within an hour, he asked if we were planing on having any kids. When we said “not now”, he relayed the above story to me… again. He said don’t rush it, but I could tell he was a little concerned, but not pushy at all. I can’t say we will never want kids, but I cannot see it in the near (<8 years) future.

I just wanted to share this with others here, and I am curious if anyone else is currently in (or was in) the same situation.


Yeah, I have an ucle who’s pretty anal retentive about it. None of his sons have sons, and my brother has only a daughter. Soemtimes I think he’d rather one of us bring in a crack ho pregnant if it was a boy who’d carry the name than a sterile billionaire brain surgeon who looked like Rebecca Romijyn.

Same boat here. My father’s parents are all dead, along with most of their siblings (I think). He had one sister, no brothers. My brother has two daughters and no desire for more.

So now I’m stuck with the bag. I don’t have the heart to tell my Dad that I loathe children and have the social skills of a boll weevil on crystal meth.

My dad’s dad was an immigrant from Germany. His family disappeared during WWII. Grandma/Grandpa had 4 children, two of whom survived infancy. Dad and his brother. Brother died when he was 17. Dad marries mom (another only child, but I digress), they have 4 children, 3 of whom survive to adulthood. 2 female, one male. Demographics are:

elder sister married, two children, one boy, one girl, both have their fathers last name.

me - one child, boy with his father’s last name (but I should get points for having my maiden name as his middle name)

younger brother - married, two children, both girls. He’s had a vasectomy.

So, we’re it. Dad’s never mentioned it (to my knowledge)

I have to hijack this a little to explain that I’m the middle of three sons. The oldest, who is 31, has been married for the last two years, and has a six-month old daughter. We have a very German last name, which I hate. After 28 years of it, I’m tired of writing it, I’m tired of spelling it, and I’m tired of saying it. I’ve decided that, when I get married, I plan on taking my wife’s last name. My father has passed on, and I don’t recall he and I ever discussing this. My mother, who is very much alive, has serious problems with my plans. Her theory is that this is the name I was born into, and I should honor the memory of my father by keeping it. It doesn’t matter to her that he cheated on her, they divorced, and he remarried the other woman, and that he really didn’t want anything to do with his kids until they were years older. It also doesn’t matter to her that she was christened Bobbi Jo at birth, hated her name, and had it legally changed to Barbara Joyce. I get a LOT of pressure about keeping my name.

Maybe it’s because my own last name, Morrison, is common as dirt and will persist for generations from now even if I and all my blood kin were gelded by a rabid chihuahua, but I don’t see what the big deal is about “carrying on the family name.”

Where are the descendants of Shakespeare, named Shakespeare, in today’s generation? Mozart? Descartes?

Even if there are Joe Shakespeares and Barry Mozarts out there, so what? Are they better than most people because they have a nomenclatural link to their famous ancestors (who are probably no less our ancestors as well, really)?

And for that matter, are one’s daughters’ children therefore less important because they aren’t continuing your name?

The way we pass ourselves on is through our genes and our teaching. I don’t get the importance of this sort of legacy.

Sorry for the hijack, but I’ve got to ask. Why do you feel that it’s your duty to have kids that your dad wants? I don’t ask to be flippant. I just wonder what’s at stake here? Will you be denied the family fortune if there’s not a bernse junior? I’ve heard of worse reasons for having kids, but not many. At any rate. I hope you come to a decision that you can live with, and I hope that your relationship with your dad doesn’t suffer for it. Best of luck.



Actually, there are no living descendants of William Shakespeare.

Oh no, nothing like that. I guess its just a “sense of honor/duty” more than anything. I know both my folks would be absolutely thrilled if we were expecting a kid regardless (be it male or female), but I guess its just something in the back of my mind (and his/theirs)… knowing that after I go, thats it.

The Bernse amazing fortune <cough> will still be rightfully divided, regardless. All sibling will get exactly 6 buttons and 1 ounce of belly button lint.

I am in the same situation, as my grandparents constantly remind me. My sister and my cousin are both adopted, so I am the last blood.

I just don’t have the heart to tell them I’m gay. If they don’t pass on in the next few years . . . Honey, would you feel too terrible about having kids? :slight_smile:

(Its probably best I’m not reproducing anyway :slight_smile: )

Distant cousins in this sort of situation hyphenated their surname.
The family had all girls, so when they married, each daughter hyphenated her surname with her husband’s - thus, the “Smith” sisters became Mary Smith-Jones, Jane Smith-Gibson and Sally Smith-Weston. And their children inherited the family name that way.
With any luck, your nieces will feel a sense of obligation to keeping the family name going, and will convince their husbands to take their name. I know in another distant family branch, the surname was very unattractive, and some of the sons took the surnames of their wives - let’s hope your nieces meet men with bad surnames!

Why don’t your sisters carry on the family name? That’s what mine did–her son, my nephew, has her last name and not his father’s. Of course, that wasn’t really necessary, although my brothers have no kids, as my male cousins seem to be passing the family name down just fine.

Even if they wanted too, they are both already married. That may be a bit “awkward” now.

I’m the end of the line. I don’t have a common last name, and the few people who share it are not related. My father’s parents came over from Austria and had a son and daughter. My father had 4 sons: two who are dead and had no children, one who is gay (no chance there!), and me. My aunt’s son has 3 girls.

I have absolutely no desire to have kids, so I’m pretty much the last of the mohicans, so to speak. My father never really said anything about it. The whole family name thing has crossed my mind, but I was never about to have kids just for that. I just don’t see the value of a name alone.

I’ve known other people in similar situations, but who get pressured to have kids for many reasons, not just to carry a name. I tell them the same thing I’ve told myself: those who are pressuring you are not the ones who will be assuming the cost and responsibility of raising a child, so they really have no right to say anything. It’s entirely your decision, and if you don’t want kids for your own reasons, than that’s good enough.