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Name standards at FamilySearch Family Tree


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#1 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 07:52 AM

I have a pretty good handle on how FamilySearch Family Tree wants place names entered, but I'm not as sure how FamilySearch Family Tree wants the names of people entered. So far, I haven't really found a good source that describes it adequately.

 

For example, my paternal line great grandfather was William Harley Bryan and he was known as Harley. I list his name in RM as William Harley (Harley) Bryan where the given name field is "William Harley (Harley)" without the quotes. My experience is that RM's nickname field often does not transfer very well to other software. And in addition to that, I often tend to think of so-called nicknames as "known as" names instead of true nicknames such as "Butch" or "Red" or "Tootsie" (well, those can be actual names sometimes - I had an uncle whose real name was Bobby and he had a brother whose real name was Billy). Therefore, I include "known as" names in parentheses as a part of the given name field in RM. I think it's really important to indicate the name by which a person was really known if that information is available. Harley's name really was Harley and it wasn't a nickname. He just went by his middle name, and I don't want that information about his name to be lost in the mists of time by nickname fields being lost. I'm a middle name person myself and I have lots and lots of middle name people in my database. We middle name people really want other people to know the name by which we are called and to use that name when addressing us. And I for, for one, want this data recorded and preserved in genealogical records. My convention of putting a person's "known as" name in parentheses seems to work pretty well for reports and I like it much better than quotes.

 

In any case, I just noticed that somebody changed my great grandfather's name in FS/FT to William Harley Bryan without the (Harley) with a note that the change was to correct a punctuation error. From my point of view, it's not a punctuation error and it's important information, so I just now changed it back. But what would be the politically correct way in FS/FT to indicate that he was known as Harley? I really want the information to be pretty visible and not buried deeply in some note somewhere. At the same time, I discovered that Harley's brother Mitt Bryan was listed as Charles Milton Bryan in FS/FT so I changed his name to Charles Milton (Mitt) Bryan, and Harley's sister Vestie was listed as Lena Bryan in FS/FT so I changed her name to Lena Vesta (Vestie) Bryan. That's the way I already had them listed in my RM database, and not having Aunt Vestie's middle name listed in FS/FT at all was a pretty egregious error. It seems unlikely that my changes in FS/FT are going to survive if they are all going to be viewed as punctuation errors. So how do I enter people's names into FS/FT as they were really known without my data being viewed as a punctuation error?

 

Jerry

 



#2 robertjacobs0

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 08:34 AM

Jerry, your post raises an issue much larger than the format of your great-grandfather's name. Posting genealogical information to services like Ancestry, Family Tree, MyHeritage and others inevitably requires adherence to their standards and formats. I understand that there's great power in getting access to the research of others -- when it is correct, anyway -- but the cost of doing that is to accept their standards for names, places, the availability of explanatory notes, and the formats for citations.

 

That cost seems too high for me. I post the data I wish to make public on my own website, generated by Gedsite from my RootsMagic data. I can have my site say "he was known as Harley to his family and friends," rather than have to adopt either the quoted nickname "William Harley 'Harley' Bryan" or any other format I may not care for.

 

The drive to standardization will -- may already have -- become a strait-jacket within which we will all be trapped, regardless of our individual tastes and preferences.

 

 

Robert



#3 Renee Zamora

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 01:03 PM

For LDS temple ordinances certain characters or words are not allowed. LDS members or those being instructed at the Family History Centers would be using this standard even if the names are not being submitted for temple ordinances. 

 

AKA names need to go in as alternate name facts. 

 

You can learn about it here - https://www.familyse...3580669&lang=en


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#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 03:26 PM

The link says "no public information".

 

Jerry



#5 Renee Zamora

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 04:32 PM

Can you see this one - https://www.familyse...Tree&lang=en_US

It may require you to login to FamilySearch to see it. I am going to post it in case you can't. The other one had additional words you can't use like baby, infant, daughter, boy, twin, unknown. It says if you don't have the given name then leave it blank.

 

Entering names in Family Tree

 

Information:
Family Tree provides a Name field under Vital Information to identify a person. You can add or edit information in each of the four parts of a complete name, which are:

  • Title—Type a title only in this field, regardless of language. For clarity, spell out titles if possible. Do not add a title without a first name.
  • First Names—Type first and middle names.
  • Last Name—Type the complete last name of the person.
  • Suffix—Do not type a suffix (such as Jr., Sr., or III) in any other field.

Please review these additional rules:

  • Use the birth name or the complete legal name. In the absence of a birth record, use the name shown in the majority of record sources.
  • Use the maiden name for a female. If you know only her first name, leave the last name blank.
  • Do not type names in all capital letters. Use appropriate capitalization.
  • Do not use quotation marks, parentheses, underscores, slashes, or other invalid characters.
  • Do not use the word "or" between names.
  • You can use hyphenated names in the First Names and Last Name fields.
  • Use an abbreviation only if you cannot find the full name.
  • Enter additional titles and additional name spellings as alternate names in Other Information. See Names in Vital Information and Other Information in Family Tree (71954).
  • For name changes during the life of the person, see An ancestor changed his or her name during his or her lifetime (67265).
  • If the name is in a foreign language, see Choosing the language to enter names in Family Tree (66372).
  • Please understand that in some cultures, parents used the same first names for a child after an earlier child died.

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#6 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 06:06 PM

Yes, I can see the new link. I was blocked on the previous one even if I was logged in.

 

Thanks,

Jerry



#7 SomebodySmart

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 08:57 PM

Learning how to do genealogy compilations invariably leads to learning more about our ancestors, including their conventions. 22 July 2018 is 10 Av 5778 in the Yahrzeit Calendar, and the original record calendar date must be preserved so posterity will know the original. It cannot be translated back because then people don't know if the death happened before, or after sundown on 22 July 2018.

 

The same will happen with personal names and also place names. It's part art and part science. Include all the information you can, to help future generations find more records about the person, who may have been Elizabeth on her birth record but decided to go by Betty in the telephone directory.



#8 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 22 July 2018 - 08:31 AM

 who may have been Elizabeth on her birth record but decided to go by Betty in the telephone directory.

 

Interesting example. Telephone directories are becoming increasingly irrelevant, but they used to be very important. I was always careful to have my name listed in telephone directories as "Jerry" so people could find me, but that's not my name on my birth certificate.

 

My mother and all three of her sisters go by their middle names, and indeed I think that all four of them have Social Security cards that are middle name followed by their birth surname followed by their husband's surname - like Elizabeth Sarah Jones who married William Smith having a Social Security card that says Sarah Jones Smith and she signs her name Sarah J. Smith. My mother is in her mid 90's, and in her day these kinds of informal conventions were common with Social Security cards and other very official and legal government records. I don't think you could get by with it today, or at least, not as easily. My original Social Security card that I got in high school for summer jobs did not contain my legal name, but rather the name I wanted to be called. I later changed it with the Social Security Administration to match my legal name.

 

Jerry