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Handling unknown last names


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#21 Heays1

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 01:04 AM

Hello! I came upon this topic by accident, but thought I would add my two cents' worth. Even though it is not in a timely manner.  :)

 

When I have a wife without a known maiden name, I simply use her husband's surname, followed by ', nee?'. For example, John Smith married Mary, whose surname has not yet been found. Mary's entry would then be Given Name: Mary; Surname: Smith, nee?

 

To me, it seemed a logical thing to do. When I first started out with genealogy twenty years ago, the first question I would ask of myself was (for example), 'What was John Smith's wife Mary's maiden name? Mary Smith, nee... what?' So, that was why I entered it that way.

 

This keeps me from having a long list of given names with blanks for surnames; it keeps all the wives with unknown maiden names together at the end of their particular families' alphabetical list of entries in the Person Index; and it alerts me to the fact that I still have to find those missing maiden names. 

 

I haven't had any problems with sorting... or anything else. :)

 

I hope this suggested method might be of use to someone. 

Kind regards,

Michele



#22 Vyger

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 04:30 AM


I haven't had any problems with sorting... or anything else. :)

 

I hope this suggested method might be of use to someone. 

Kind regards,

Michele

 

I see how your method works and like all the other methods it has it's merits particularly in sorting however it is now accurate, Smith,nee is not the same as Smith etc. Various methods have been employed over the years like "LNU" for last name unknown, "MSU" for Maiden Surname Unknown square brackets around the married name in the suffix field, maybe the surname field however there are all inaccurate data entry.

 

Those belonging to the famous LNU family are very lucky as there are 3.5 million hits on Ancestry, over 2 million for MNU and half a million for MSU and I believe that demonstrates the scale of the problem. All personal methods, whilst having merit, are purely personal and one should ask "how should I enter it". I believe when a name is unknown the field should be left blank, it's the only logical answer, and all those blank surnames will sort to the top and rightly so as they are still to be discovered. If you use the Alternate Name fact for the married name then you will have two entries in the index, one with the blank surname (still to be discovered) and one with the married name which should match any sources pertaining to Death, Burial or Will.

 

I am presently working through removing Nicknames from the Nickname Name field as I believe, whilst Rootsmagic provides this handy field, Ancestry does not recognize it and that name could well be the name the person went through life with. However I believe Ancestry does recognize the Alternate Name field so I am converting to that. I don't need to tell you genealogy is all about matching records so names, dates and places are important research indicators I hope we can all agree more on at some time in the future.

 

https://youtu.be/j_JaStmYAp0


If one accepts second best then quite often that's just what one will receive

— Dag Hammarskjold

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#23 Vyger

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 05:15 AM

Some quick after thoughts for discussion.

 

If I read the white paper on Ancestry Treeshare data compatibility, the Rootsmagic Nickname field is not compatible, so;

 

Q. Should Rootsmagic NameClean offer the option to create Alternate Name "Nickname" where the Nickname field is populated in order to promote a greated compatibility with Ancestry?

 

Q. Currently where wife shares husbands name, Rootsmagic NameClean only suggests blanking the Surname and does not even show the Alternate Name pane for manual population I would suggest blanking the surname and creating an Alternate Name "Married" would be a more correct correction or at least displaying the Alternate Name Pane for manual completion.

 

For those who have not used NameClean all changes are optional and do not have to be accepted.


If one accepts second best then quite often that's just what one will receive

— Dag Hammarskjold

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#24 Renee Zamora

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 08:08 AM

Confirming these are on the enhancement request list. 


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#25 Heays1

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 07:25 PM

In response to my post re using (for example) Mary Smith, nee? when I don't have Mary's maiden surname, Vyger wrote with regard to sorting:  'I see how your method works and like all the other methods it has it's merits particularly in sorting however it is now accurate, Smith,nee is not the same as Smith etc." [I assume that was meant to be  '...not accurate...'?   :)]

 

I had mentioned earlier in my post that using 'Smith, nee?' keeps all the wives with unknown maiden names together at the end of their particular families' alphabetical list of entries in the Person Index. I suppose I should have made that clearer. By using the 'Smith, nee?' method, I am still keeping the wife with the unknown surname ordered within close proximity to all the other Smiths, although of course they will appear at the end of that list of Smiths. So, for example, 'Smith, Zander' would be followed by Smith, nee?, Ada', etc.

 

Using the ',nee?' at the end of the married name makes it very easy for me to find my particular Mary in the index, rather than having her in a long list of other Marys with blanks instead of surnames, as their maiden surnames are as yet not found. And let's face it, may never be! In which case they would languish at the beginning of an index forever. Out of curiosity, I just did a 'NameFind' search for 'Mary', surname 'nee?' and there are 47 matching entries in my tree of nearly 10,000 folk, albeit often used with other given names as well. When added to all the other 'nee?' women who do not have Mary in their names, the blank surname list would be very long. Needle in a haystack time! :)

 

I know it might not be proper, but I feel that our MNU women deserve to have a surname attached, even though it is their husband's. I spent only 16 years with my maiden name, then 50 years with my husband's name. So his surname is very relevant to me. I wouldn't want me to be nameless just because my maiden name was not know! 

 

Also, I would hate to have to put alternate names for all those people who are missing their maiden surname!  :)

 

Vyger, I found your LNU, MSU and MNU information fascinating. With all those millions of records using these various acronyms, I am surprised I have never come across them before. Thank you - I found your whole post very interesting! :)

 

Kind regards,

Michele

 

 

 

  



#26 Vyger

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 11:24 AM

Michelle, you are correct, my typing was NOT accurate :D

 

I was not putting down your system, it has more merits than many I have come across. Rather than employing workarounds, of which there are many, I try to envisage how Rootsmagic could work better for me to obtain answers to theses all to common goals I try and keep my data entry as accurate as possible to obtain more web hints and more easily exchange information with others but there are many who still use any old system of data entry that works for them. From an analyst point of view I try to understand why people enter data in other ways, like what are they trying to achieve or overcome, and then suggest how a programmed solution within the Rootsmagic could fill that gap and overcome the need for personal systems.

 

I am also frequently trying to identify maiden names from fragmented record entries as I do five name studies and thankfully none of them are "Smith". Frequently I have only the given name of the spouse from a UK or Ireland census where elsewhere in my database I may have previously come across, and recorded, a marriage event for the couple which may not even be geographically close so I need to strive to align and study these possible matches.

 

I frequently reference Search > Family list but find the sorting lacking for the grouping I want to achieve especially in more common names and at present do that in a spreadsheet. I have requested an enhancement to facilitate additional sort fields of the partners given name and more so I could sort by Husband > Spouse Given Name and other. I also would hope this Family View screen might be enlarged and display some date information for the children presently shown in the right hand pane to help resolve these partnerships relative to timeline and geography in the next RM version.


If one accepts second best then quite often that's just what one will receive

— Dag Hammarskjold

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root