I was quite shocked to find that the paternal name I followed back for five generations was not our male family name. At some point in the late 1700s early 1800s my g.g.g.grandfather and his siblings started to become known by their mother's surname rather than their father's surname following her death. Some double-barrelled it for a while, others changed their mind a bit. My line settled (during my g.g. grandfather's generation) for the mother's surname. There was not a family rift, I have a letter in 1812 from 4 x g.grandfather to one of his sons. He used his paternal name and addressed it to his son using the maternal surname. I have read that it often happened with the gentry or very wealthy families if there was not a surviving male heir to carry on the female name but mine were not rich at all, in fact quite the opposite. All ten of Christopher's grandchildren ended up not carrying on his name. Any ideas why?