I am always startled when someone can't remember their mother's maiden name. Maybe it's because I am a genealogist and maybe being a woman has something to do with it. I have never quite understood "taking your husband's name."
I'm single. Probably terminally single and so I will probably never have to have this conversation with a potential husband but, I'm not changing my name. I'm in my 40s. This is my name. Have you been to the DMV? Or dealt with a health insurance company? Or Social Security? Yeah, unless he is willing to go through every process with me - - not gonna happen. Sorry Charlie - - or Bill - - or Tom, whoever you are. I'd be Mrs. but he'd be stuck with April Earle.
My step-grandmother is currently searching for her mother's maiden name in order to order a copy of her own birth certificate. I am sure she knew the name at some point. She needed it to get married and apply for social security, I am sure.
In any case it made me think about the maiden names of the women in my family tree and I can name not only mother's maiden name but both my grandmothers', my great-grandmothers' (Losee, Prince, Sauer, and Sharp), my great-great grandmothers' (Ethier, Gray, Hinch, Joyce, Krantzel, McLean, Samms, and Smith), and my 3rd great grandmothers' (Kelley, Carillion, Clement, Combs, Garvey, Goetz, Goodyear, Hughes, Kavanaugh, Moore, O'Neil, Organ, Page, Preuss, Schmitt, Walker), and more. Many many many more. Without looking them up. But there are plenty of female ancestors that I do not know the maiden names of, so - - I'm gonna work on that.
Look out 4th great-grannies. I'm coming for you. Well, I'm coming for your poppas' names...