In centuries past surnames (what we call last names) were developed so people could specify which of neighbors with the same names they were talking about. For instance in one village John the farmer and John the blacksmith would be called John Farmer and John Smith. Way back then when women married they became the property of their husbands, so they took on their husbands last names. That tradition continued for centuries. In modern times women are able to hold jobs, vote, and do many things they couldn’t have done even 50 years ago. So lots of women no longer want to change their last names to those of their husbands when they get married. Often today a husband and wife will combine their surnames, so when Mary Smith and John Jones get married they will become Mary and John Jones-Smith. Seems like a good idea, but what about their children? If their daughter, Susie Jones-Smith, marries Robert Wilson-Miller would their children have the last name of Jones-Smith-Wilson-Miller? And what about the next generation and the one after that? There has to be a better solution.