Changing my name

I'm thinking very seriously of changing my name. This is difficult to write out, so bear with me if it's a little out of order or scrambled.

My father is a child molester. It's a fact, I know it. He molested me and my sister. I have NO idea if he'd ever done it before or if he's done it since. He has managed to weasel his way back into my life by way of guilt tripping. (I know I shouldn't fall for it, and I KNOW counseling would help immensely and I'm getting there, I just want to be in a place that I know I will stay for a long time so I don't have to transfer and start all over with a new counselor.) Anyway, his family is very similar to him. His brother served time for molesting HIS daughter, another brother just has an infatuation with young girls, I don't know if he has ever done anything wrong legally, though. His family pretends like nothing ever happened. When my sister finally came forward to the police about what had happened, his family basically disowned us, called us liars, etc. I have since cut them out of my life. They don't know my children, etc.
My father is going to prison in June for receiving and possessing child pornography. During that time, I want to change my name and essentially disappear. I figure even if I can't and they eventually find me (they are persistent, and have serious issues with harassment) at least I can have a clean start and let the past be the past.

These are the names on my list. I am changing my first and middle names. (I'd like to keep my current middle name as a second middle name, so that is Lynn.)

Anyway, if you can help, thank you!

Adelaide (Addie?)
Emeline/Eveline. (I really can't see myself as either of these, though.)
Adelina (Lina nn?)
Allegra (LOVE!)



April 12, 2012 7:12 PM

likeursoperfect-Wow. I am sorry that you had to go through all that but am glad you are aware of what you need to do to move forward. I would definitely get some counseling help when you feel you can. As far as names go there are two routes to go imo. First, you could toss everything out and only keep Lynn as a connection to your old life. This means that the new name would not be the same beginning letter or sound or feel or anything. I don't want you to post your name but if it was something like Amy then for this scenario I would not pick something like Amelia. You may want to pick something special with a meaning like brave, resiliant, shining or something of the sort. The second scenario is just the opposite and I would choose Amelia if you want to still have a connection to anything in your past. There is a thread in here about great grand parent names and genealogy. If your connection to your children is strong and they are old enough, I would make sure to explain your reasons behind your name change in case they need it for reference when doing their family history research. That all said, the combo names I like using names on your list are (with Lynn following all as a 2nd mn):

Audrey Elizabeth; Daphne Lucia; Abigail Charlotte; Nora Felicity; Cordelia Michelle; Sophie Rhiannon; Reagan Camille; Darcy Allegra; Laura Genevieve; Meredith Claire; Celia Johanna;  Alice Rebecca; Rachel Erin; Cora Adelina; Anna Seraphina; Kate Eleanor; Alexandra Michelle; Kate Avalon; Camille Lorraina; Sophie Amelia; Rachel Aurelia; Meredith Adelaide

By hyz
April 12, 2012 10:52 PM

I second everything zoerhenne said in terms of your situation--what a sad and challenging story.  


As for names, I have thought, only playfully, about what I would change my name to if I could, and there are a lot of names that I LOVE that I just cannot see on myself, no matter how I try.  A name that feels so spunky and perfect for my daughter just feels like an ill fit if I think of it for myself--I feel more restrained, quiet, etc. and I'd want a name that reflects that, not one that grabs attention, or feels flamboyant in any way.  You may have the opposite goal, depending on your personality.  So I think in some ways this is too personal a question for us to answer, although maybe we could be more helpful if you give us more info on the feel you are going for.  That said, here are some of my favorite combos from your list, in general:


Meredith Allegra

Johanna Coralie

Nora Genevieve

Eleanor Adelina

Anna Seraphine

(I used more unusual ones for the middles, including your apparent faves, and sticking with ones that felt comfortable yet interesting and attractive for the firsts).


April 12, 2012 11:03 PM

Since you are changing your name in order to disappear, you might consider the issue of googleability.   Many of the names on your list are uncommon, and might make it easy to trace your whereabouts if the new name is somehow leaked.  I would consider choosing a name that is common for your age group as a form of camouflage. So maybe Michelle, Rachel, Rebecca, Elizabeth, rather than Seraphine, Avalon, Cordelia.  Will you be changing your surname, or is it a common surname to begin with?  I use my married surname which is very common, and even though Miriam is not that common (around #300 give or take for decades), there are scads of women with my first and last names, and it's not easy to trace exactly which one is me.  OTOH professionally I use Miriam plus my relatively unusual maiden name plus my common surname, and that identifies me exactly as the only one in the world with that combination.  Just something to think about....

April 13, 2012 1:39 PM

Miriam has an excellent point. I would add that if you are serious in changing your identity and expect people to call you by your new name, you might consult those you love to see if they can envision calling you the new name. You might choose Katie only to discover that it reminds your sister of your dad because she had a Katie Holmes poster... or some such connection.


Good luck in moving forward in your life! I salute you for standing up for yourself and your children.

April 13, 2012 2:50 PM

First of all, thank you all for your help!

A little bit about me, so that might make it easier. I'm 24 years old. I have two little boys. My last name is somewhat common. (Starts with an H, one syllable, ends in s.) It's Irish, but is a bit more common among the African American population now. I'm a professional photographer, I love sports like rock climbing, but I also love ballet and am super girly.

I was thinking a somewhat common first name, (Audrey and Charlotte are probably my top two, with Allegra being a close third, though that isn't that common) and then using a more unusual middle name, since middle names aren't used often.


April 13, 2012 2:57 PM

You might try googling your surname in combination with a variety of given names on your list and see how many different people show up with each combination.  If none or very few show up, that might be a risky choice.  If a fair number result, that might give you more cover.

By Guest (not verified)
April 14, 2012 4:41 AM

I was thinking the same thing.  If he ever finds out your name once you've disappeared, I think you'd rather you were Rachel Smith than Aurelia Fantone.  God bless you and good luck.


By Guest (not verified)
April 14, 2012 10:31 AM

I agree that a name that is more common for people around your age would be a better way to blend in if you don't want to be found.  From your list, I'd suggest Laura, Rachel, Michelle, Rebecca and  Elizabeth, maybe Kate-but I think it might hide better if it were Kaitlyn or something along those lines (that lets you use Lynn too). Then you could use one of the less common names as your middle.  If you really love the idea of something more unique there's nothing stopping you from informally going by your middle name (lots of people do) but keeping something more common as your first for official documents.  

April 14, 2012 5:21 PM

Along the same lines, you could choose a common official name(s) but go by a more unusual nickname - e.g. Elizabeth nn. Zibby or Ellen Felicity nn. Elfie. Choosing a name, especially as part of a new beginning, feels like it ought to be a time you can dream big, and it likely hurts to feel limited in your options, but given your challenging situation I would concur with the advice others have given you to look for a name that offers good camouflage. Other ways to make an "ordinary" name feel more special might be to focus on a positive meaning or namesake. Good luck to you and your kids, and take care.

April 14, 2012 8:09 PM

I looked up names with the meaning of brave but many of them are Indian language names so I don't think they are that helpful to you. I was reminded in another thread that Renee means "reborn or born again". I think that may be a perfect first or middle for you. Allegra Renee flows well. If you wanted a fn combo then how about:

Audrey; Charlotte; Alexandra; Sophie; Daphne; Darcy; Johanna; Meredith

By Guest (not verified)
April 16, 2012 10:48 PM

Thank you so much to everyone for your help and support. Thanks in large part to these responses, I have made a final choice. I won't post it here, as anyone in my family would know immediately by the story who I was, and would then know my new name. ;)

Thanks again!

April 16, 2012 11:23 PM

likeursoperfect-I'm glad all these responses helped you resolve your dilemma. Cheers and best wishes on your new journey ahead!

By Coll
April 27, 2012 4:33 PM

I'm glad you've made your choice. I'm wishing you the best dealing with a very difficult situation and I agree with the excellent advie you were given about blending in. Good luck to you and your little boys!