Nevada City, CA — Area lawyer Katherine Lucy-Elizabeth Tatum-Stonehousefelder says she has the longest hyphenated name in the United States. Ms. Tatum-Stonehousefelder, 31 of Nevada City, is a family law attorney who specializes in mediation, estate planning, and marijuana law.
According to the Census office, some names are longer than Tatum-Stonehousefelder’s, but none are hyphenated and this long. So it seems that she is correct.
“When I was growing up, my parents wanted to make sure I had a name I liked,” said Ms. Tatum-Stonehousefelder in a Gish Gallop telephone interview. “So they gave me two middle names along with my given one, Katherine. Everyone calls me Kate. The idea was, if I didn’t like the name Kate, I could pick Lucy or Liz and go by that. So far, I’ve stuck with Kate.”
According to Ms. Tatum-Stonehousefelder’s mother, Flower Stonehousefelder, she wanted to make sure she had a choice. Katherine Lucy-Elizabeth was her “given” name, and Stonehousefelder was her family name. So when she married last year to Syracuse, NY attorney Carson “Rock” Tatum, she added his name to her last name.
A Better Life for Her Kids
Flower Stonehousefelder wanted her daughter to have choices she didn’t have.
“I was raised near the Yuba River in what we’d call a commune, I suppose,” said the elder Stonehousefelder out in front of Ike’s Quarter Cafe in Nevada City. “This was at the very beginning of the great migration to the foothills. Anyhow, my parents didn’t give me a middle name. It wasn’t until I was nine that I learned I had a last name. My mother always said that last names were property identifiers for women.”
According to Flower, she didn’t have a choice, so she and her husband Will wanted to make sure Katherine had as many options as possible when she was born in 1983.
“That was the time of Reagan, and we had just moved back into town,” continued Flower. “So we were very conscious about her name but didn’t want to lock her into just one like I had to settle on.”
As for Ms. Tatum-Stonehousefelder, she’s happy to have choices.
“Yeah, it can be a pain sometimes, but it’s worth it,” continued Ms. Tatum-Stonehousefelder. “Like when I’m trying to tell someone my name over the phone. Sometimes people get so impatient. But I like all the names. Also, in my profession, it adds a certain umph,” said Ms. Tatum-Stonehousefelder as she made a fist and shook it in the air. And what’s wrong with being a little different?”