It’s been a year since I changed my surname, from Dumbill to Wilder-James. I frequently get asked why, and it’s a short story that I love to tell.
When Meara and I decided to get married, we knew that we wanted to share a surname. As we started a new chapter, we wanted it to be outwardly visible that we’d both chosen each other.
Changing names is sensitive, and we didn’t wish to ignore the heritage our family had given us. But Dumbill-Davies is not a great name. So, we made up a new name, that was composed from our middle names. Hers was Wilder, after Laura Ingalls Wilder, and mine was James. So, we became Mr. & Mrs. Wilder-James. It’s something that’s completely our own, but also part of what our parents gave us.