Sunday, September 20, 2015

What's in a Name?

I'm pretty nervous when it comes to the thought of changing my last name.

Don't get me wrong; I am super excited to marry my future husband and become Mrs. LaRue. And I've definitely been practicing my new signature now and again. But because I've had my last name for almost 25 years, it's difficult to imagine a world without it.

I've been thinking off and on about the change, but I think realization hit me the hardest when "My Last Name" by Dierks Bentley started playing on my iTunes the other day.
"Passed down from generations
Too far back to trace
I can see all my relations
When I look into my face
May never make it famous
But I'll never bring it shame
It's my last name"
After all, I've always been proud of my last name. Haish is a unique last name and it comes with hundreds of years of local history in my community. I'm a descendant of Jacob Haish, an inventor of barbed wire and a man who helped build the community next to mine: DeKalb, IL, home of barbed wire and Northern Illinois University. When I was a staffer on both my college and community newspapers, I would always get the question: "Are you related to Jacob Haish?" 

And I would beam when I would give my response.

"Yes! He would be my great, great, great, great uncle." 

I guess my last name has just always been part of my identity. If I still had regular bylines in the newspaper, I could see myself keeping my name. However, I have a job that doesn't put me out in the public, so that's not as important to me these days. 

My fiancé's name comes with its own meaning as well, though, which I'm excited to embrace. He got it from one of the most important people in his life: his grandpa. He took on his mom's maiden name and stuck to it even as his mom remarried because the name was important to him. The name meant family and stability.

And although his last name is pretty common compared to mine, it would be nice to have a name people could finally pronounce correctly. And although I don't know much about the history, and either does my fiancé, it would be a fun project to take on together someday after the wedding.

I'm excited for that moment when we "officially" become a family once our names are the same, and I know I would like our future children to all share one common name. But I know I'll miss the history and familiarity of my own last name at the same time.

Did you change your name? How do you feel about it now? 


  1. Though I am not even close to getting married, this is something I struggle with a lot when I think about it...especially now that my dad is gone.

  2. haish rocks

  3. I love this. Every women thinks about changing her name when she gets married. I have always liked the name LaRue. It's so French. It does have lots of history we will share with you. Love you Grandma (LaRue)