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Women's Names and Titles

Mrs. and Ms.

Today, married women can choose to be addressed socially and in correspondence in many different ways.

CT_womensnames_WOFor example:

  • Mrs. John Kelly
  • Ms. Jane Kelly
  • Mrs. Jane Kelly

The following are also correct, with the addition of either Mrs. or Ms.:

  • Jane Johnson Kelly
  • Jane Johnson-Kelly
  • Jane J. Kelly

Necessary Adaptations

A married woman who is widowed, divorced, or separated is faced with deciding how to adapt her name to fit the situation. Traditional rules were fairly rigid in this regard, but the women of today enjoy more flexibility.

Not so long ago, a divorced woman replaced her first name with her maiden name as her form of address: Sally Merritt DuPree was known as Mrs. Merritt DuPree. In today's world, including a divorced woman's first name with her title and the last name she uses--Mrs. [or Ms.] Sally DuPree--has simply become the less confusing, more sensible thing to do.

When a woman has been divorced from two or three husbands, she drops the previous husband's name and uses her first name (and, if she wishes, her maiden name) with the name of her last husband.