Maiden names and aliases

“In England, as well as in France and other continental nations, down to the seventeenth century, married women and widows not infrequently retained their maiden names, generally, however, with an alias ; and in certain parts of Scotland and Wales, such persons still sign by their maiden name in legal documents, even though described in them by the surnames of their lords. In Scottish deeds, they are almost always described by both the maiden and the marital surname ; a course which ought invariably to be followed, as suggested by Mr. Hubback, where they do not conform to the practice adopted in England of signing by the husband’s name.

George Seton, The Law and Practice of Heraldry in Scotland (Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas, 1863), 392-93 (citing Evidence of Succession, 455).

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