Monday, April 24, 2017

How Do You Handle Female Names?

My friend Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings had a question about how he handles Female Names. I encourage you to read it.

It's been a while since I have blogged about this one, so here is my take on this subject.

The first thing to understand, for me, is the question of how to handle Unknown Names. My rule of thumb, in my database is the use of 5 Underscores [ _____ ]. If it's a female and I don't know the Given nor Birth Surname I enter it as [ _____ _____ ]. If there are other names for this person, like a married name, these 5 Underscores will be the Preferred Name.

My Index, in the People Workspace, Tree View, looks like this:

Yes, I have a lot of Unknown Names. and a lot of unknown Female Birth Surnames:

But, It works for me. For Example, I find a Find-A-Grave Memorial, where the Married name is provided. The husband is George McNaughten Vial and the memorial has for his wife Emma Frost Vial, I add the 5 underscores to the Preferred Name.

This is what the Person View looks like.

The memorial has her married name, and the Find-A-Grave citation is recorded for that Name Fact, but marked as the Alt Name Fact. The Preferred Name is with the 5 underscores.

When I find a Census Record that lists where the Parents were born, I want to capture that. It may be helpful when looking at other records. In this case, I use assume that the Surname for the Father to be the Surname of the person in the Census Record, for recording this. I realize that it may not be the actual surname, but I have not run into that "problem" yet. But I carry the Unknown Given Name and the Surname from the "child" in the Census Record. For the Mother, both the Given and Surname I handle the same way, with my Unknown Name strategy. This important thing is that I capture the birth location and Cite it.

  1. Does not interfere with Hints
  2. Does not interfere with Searching on websites
  3. Reminds me I need to find the Birth Surname
  4. and when others review my work, they help Fill In the Blanks

Copyright © 2017 by H R Worthington

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