What you describe is a common pattern in portuguese naming but many
of the statements you made are not true. First of all "everyone has two surnames"
should be "everyone has at least two surnames". Having four surnames is common
in Portugal and Brazil. What is called "compound surname" is actually when two
words are combined in a single surname and this is carried on usually in the male line.
For instance

1 João de Lima e Silva
11 Fernando de Lima e Silva
111 Joaquim de Lima e Silva

"All the children of a marriage have the same pair of surnames." Not true. When you
go further in your investigation you might find large families where every sibling has
a different combination of surnames. Surnames often pass through the female line too
and can come from grandparents or distant forefathers.

"If a daughter marries, she drops the first surname but keeps the second, and adds her
husband's second surname at the end, which is the same pair of names her children will get."
This is a common pattern but it seems nowadays women are keeping their full birth names
 and just adding the husband's name.

As for your question, you shouldn't have trouble dealing with this in GRAMPS. There
are many ways. A real "compound surname" can be entered in the surname field. Otherwise
you can use the male line surname in the surname field and put the female line one as part
of the name. There are still other ways of dealing with it.

Regards
--
lcc

---
Graham Seaman wrote:

 After doing some of my  own family, I thought I'd start a new database
for my wife's family. She's Portuguese, and they have a different
surname system from the English one: everyone has two surnames. The
first surname is the mother's second surname, and the second surname is
the father's second surname. All the children of a marriage have the
same pair of surnames. If a daughter marries, she drops the first
surname but keeps the second, and adds her husband's second surname at
the end, which is the same pair of names her children will get. So for
example my surname is Seaman, my wife's mother's surnames were  de Jesus
Soares and her father's are Rodrigues de Sousa,  so her surname before
marriage was  Soares de Sousa (de Sousa is a single surname..), but she
is now de Sousa Seaman, same as our children.

Can I fit this pattern with the underlying database in Gramps? Or does
anyone know of any genealogy systems geared to this type of surname pattern?

Thanks
Graham

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