On Saturday I start the day with the surname my father gave me at birth. Whooley. Pronounced who? – lee

I love it and loath it all in one breath. Love it because it’s dad, it’s me, it’s my family.

I love it because it’s Irish, like my paternal grandparents who immigrated from Skibberean all those years ago.

I loath it because as any Whooley will tell you NO ONE CAN SPELL the damn name or pronounce it either.

I have spent my entire life spelling out my surname and pronouncing it for them, no it’s not woolly, woooo-ly. It’s who-lee. I even went through a stage where I would just smile and let them pronounce it however they wanted to, secretly delighting in their stumbling confused jabs at it and fed up with correcting them Every Single Time.

Even getting married in Italy didn’t help.

There was me thinking I would take my husbands family name and replace the Whooley with a delightful Italian sounding surname a bit like Sofia Loren or Monica Bellucci maybe … but no, a bunch of Italian women in ’68 decided they wanted to keep their own surname on marrying and not succumb to the law of the land. They argued, they stamped their feet (a lot) and they won. Mind you have you ever seen a furious female of Italian blood? You’d know why the judge gave in if you had!

I’m telling you every single one of those ladies who fought that battle, ALL had very pronouncable surnames as the Italian language is read as it’s written. No secret ‘tricky’ words in their lingo. They didn’t know about my whooley dilemma so I held onto Whooley for all of my Italian years and you can imagine the nightmares in that country with the spelling?

‘Here let me write it for you! It’ll be much quicker.’ I would say taking the pen in hand.

But Saturday will be the start of a new chapter. I will come back down the aisle with the family name of my husband. A British name too with roots firmly in the south. A name that reached England following the Norman conquest in 1066. Deriving from the English word wic which describes someone who lives at an outlying settlement (that’s got to be a manor right?)

My research has even thrown up a coat of arms don’t you know.

Some noteworthy people sharing my new surname include; Henry who was a sculptor, Paul a cricketer, William an entomologist, the Very Rev Ambrose, Edward who was an editor, there’s even a Sir Everton!

So we’re quite an eclectic bunch, I feel quite at home with this lot and what was the surname you ask… It’s Weekes, that’s weeks with an ‘e’ between the ‘k’ and the ‘s’ here let me spell it for you.

Who should I inform of a name change?

  • Employer
  • Inland Revenue for tax and NI records (obtain your reference and tax office address from your employer)
  • Bank (mortgage and/or saving accounts)
  • Building Society (mortgage and/or saving accounts)
  • Credit card companies
  • Finance/loan companies
  • Local Authority (Council tax and register of electors)
  • Department of Work and Pensions (if you are entitled to any benefits)
  • Police (if you have any criminal actions against you or are on the Sex Offenders’ Registry)
  • HM Land Registry (if you own land or property)
  • Pension providers
  • Passport Office (apply for a name passport)
  • DVLA (apply for a new drivers license)
  • Motoring organisations (breakdown organisations)
  • Utility services (ie. Gas, electricity, water and sewerage providers)
  • Telephone provider
  • Internet provider
  • Mobile phone provider
  • Royal Mail
  • Insurance companies (buildings, life, motor, endowments, contents etc.)
  • Premium Bonds Office
  • Mail-order companies
  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Vets (if applicable)
  • TV license Office
  • School/college/university
  • Professional Institutes and bodies
  • Library
  • Clubs, societies and associations
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • If either or both of you have a will, this should be reviewed after you are married.


  1. March 6, 2013 / 3:15 PM

    Lol! Trust me after 12 years you most certainly will still have trouble with the Weekes name. I now say its spelt Week with es on the end! Just a tip ;-)

    • March 6, 2013 / 4:24 PM

      Thank you for that tip! I’m sure it will come in handy and I shall remember you every time I say it :)

  2. March 6, 2013 / 5:30 PM

    I went from a tricky surname to a much easier one that people still can’t get right. I find myself nodding along with them saying “yes, yes like the Ninja Turtle” because trust me some of these people aren’t going to have heard of the artist! :D Have a truly fantastic day on Saturday, can’t wait to hear all about it! Emma

  3. Nic
    March 6, 2013 / 5:39 PM

    Lol, I went from being Simmons without a ‘D’ to Davis without an ‘E’ there is no respite!

  4. Knackered Mother
    March 6, 2013 / 11:09 PM

    Ha ha! Congrats, have a great day x

  5. Kelly Innes
    March 8, 2013 / 8:11 AM

    I went from Bicker-as-in-to-argue to Innes. Which no-one seems to be able to pronounce. I feel your pain Whooley :D

  6. March 8, 2013 / 1:22 PM

    oh how exciting soon to be Mrs Weekes. Interesting it is still W.
    I also had an Irish maiden name xx

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