Have you ever wanted to change your child’s name?

A friend of mine almost changed the name of her second daughter. While she didn’t end up making the change, it’s not unheard of for parents to legally change the names of their children–even years after the fact.

That’s what Johnny Carson did. According to all the biographies, Johnny’s three sons are named Christopher (b. 1950), Richard (b. 1952) and Cory (b. 1953). But Richard and Cory weren’t born Richard and Cory. They were born Kim and Barry.

In 1957, Johnny and his wife changed the names of their two youngest sons. Kim Arthur, who was five at the time, became Richard (nickname Ricky). Barry William, who was three, became Cory. Kim had been having “a little trouble over his name being mistaken for a girl’s” (actress Kim Novak was hitting it big in the late 1950s) and Barry simply preferred the name Cory to his own.

Have you ever been tempted to change the names of your child(ren)?

If so, please tell us more. Why did you want to make the change? What names were involved? Did you end up going through with it?


  • “Carson Boys Get ‘Real Guy’ Names.” Sun [Baltimore] 13 Sept. 1957: 3.
  • “Johnny Carson Changes Names of Two Sons.” Los Angeles Times 13 Sept 1957: B1.

5 thoughts on “Have you ever wanted to change your child’s name?

  1. I have a friend who changed her son’s name 3 days after giving birth because their family members objected vehemently to the original given name.

  2. My sister’s name was Niamhe for a few weeks before it was changed to Brighid because grandmother didn’t like it and my brother Aidan(who was born way before the name become so trendy..) was Declan for 2 months, but his initials were DDD, Declan Drummey Doyle was just to harsh on a baby. I think the biggest name change I know was a mother that I know who reluctantly named her daughter Sydney and when Syd was almost 3 she couldn’t take it any more and renamed her Lillian. That was 3 years ago, my siblings were a long time ago.

  3. it’s not that i changed my daughters name more the fact that my name was changed.

    when i was born (in England) i was called and registered as, TERESA i was the 3rd of 4 daughters with a just under 3 year gap between myself and daughter no:2. unfortunately daughter no: 2 proved to be dyslexic and at that age had a lisp and consequently had great difficulty in saying my name and would regularly drop the ‘T’ and start it instead with a ‘P’ or a ‘Ch’

    therefore my parents fed up with my name being wrongly said changed it with in weeks to JUDY a lot easier for her to say. of course this started to cause problems. the doctor’s willingly called me Judy but had to be reminded that i was under Teresa in their lists and two hospital admissions were under Teresa.

    when it came time for me to go to school this set up the problem of how i should be registered!

    a letter was sent to the General record office and they sent a letter back in Nov 65 (revealing my age now) which said in part

    ‘i am writing to say that if, as assumed, your daughter has been both baptised (i have not been) and registered in the name Teresa, no alteration of her name in the entry of her birth can be authorized

    you may like to know, however, that if your daughter has been known by the name Judy she has acquired that name by usage and reputation and we are advised that there is no reason that a name so acquired should not be used for all purposes’

    it went on to say that we could go the legal route as well by talking to a solicitor and having papers drawn up which have not been done.

    despite the letter which is now attached to my first issued birth cert there were still difficulty’s. the doctors refused to change the records into the name Judy and any contact with the police reporting crimes / witness statement, my professionally qualification and passport had to use the name Teresa, but my school records and later my work records including my social security details were allowed in the name Judy.

    during the 80/90’s i was working somewhere which required my initialising my notation’s, a problem occurred that myself and a new worker had the same initials so we were asked if we had middle names the other person did not but i volunteered i could use a ‘T’ in the middle as Teresa was my correct name (explanation and augment occurred by co workers that i could not use the name Judy (boss perfectly happy) so out came the letter) i at time needed to sign the notation’s also so i adopted using Teresa as a middle name.

    by this time the doctors were well use to my being Judy and a co-operative receptionist (in Scotland) said she would file me under Judy with the appropriate front folder and from that day forward my medical records were under judy not Teresa (now living back in England my records still remain under Judy including 6 recent hospital admissions)

    this left me with the police and the passport and my professional qualification. it took a letter from my mother but to day my passport bares the name Judy and i was asked do you want the name Teresa added or not i opted too but i can easily drop the Teresa by writing and asking them to do so. i have not bothered with the qualification as i do not work in the area any-more but at one time i had to sign the secrets act (no i am not military or police!) and i explained my name change to the high ranking officers concerned and i was made to make a statement that i had a name change and advised to do so each and every time that if i came in contact with police no matter for what reason.

    so today i official am aloud to use two first names as i wish as long as i do not attempt to defraud and use the words ‘my name is Teresa [surname withheld] but i am known as Judy or Judy Teresa [surname withheld]’ in any legal situation.

  4. unfortunately my 2nd sister and i do not talk as for some reason she has the impression that the rest of us were favoured above her but in regard to my name no i never have given her a hard time nor would i. i appreciate she had problems as a young child saying my name and also i did not know the story until i was around 12 so i was of an age to look on my name change with a young maturity and therefore i had no reason for animosity towards her. i was in my 30’s before i started to use Teresa in the middle and although it cropped up in conversation my family and i have no reason to use it. the only one family-wise that needs to be aware is my offspring so that when my time comes the correct registration can be made by the gro and doctor as it will need to be made in both versions of my name!

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