For Geni Imagineers: New and Re-labeled "Name" Fields

Started by Private User on Friday, January 7, 2011

Participants:

Showing 1-30 of 35 posts
Private User
1/7/2011 at 11:54 AM

Noah Tutak

You indicated that Geni is receptive to adding "name" fields to the database and making other changes. This thread is to finalize our enhancement specification.

1. Prefix

-- addition to database
-- on "Basics" tab before "First Name" field
-- Parameters similar to current "Suffix" field; i.e., drop down box with selectable values:
..... Mr., Mrs., Miss, Dr., Rev., Sir, Sir Knight, Lord, Captain [others?]
..... Free text input accepted in "Edit" basics tab
-- displays in "Profile" view preceding name
-- displays in "Tree" view
-- does not display if left blank
-- displays in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- searchable not necessary

2. Middle Name

-- disable "do not display" option

3. Dynasty

-- see Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynasty
-- addition to database
-- on "Basics" tab after "Suffix" and before "Title"
.... new line with two fields: Dynasty, Title
-- is it possible to auto-populate with the dynasties listed in the Wiki article and be able to select from there?
-- edit available in "edit" view [same behavior as Prefix & Suffix]
-- displays with default comma after "Suffix"
..... for example, Henry VII, House of Tudor, King of England
-- automatically populates "Display Name" field
-- does not display if left blank
-- does display in "Tree" view
-- does display in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- Searchable

4. Title

-- n.b. currently used in "occupation" on the "work" tab
-- addition to database
-- on "Basics" tab after "Dynasty"
-- same free text input parameters as "Display Name"
-- displays with default comma after "Dynasty" (if Dynasty is not blank); after "Suffix" (if Suffix is not blank); after "Last Name" (if LN is not blank); after "Middle Name" (if MN is not blank); after "First Name" (if all other names are blank). For example: Solomon, King of Judea; Henry Vll, House of Tudor, King of England.
-- does not display if left blank
-- does display in "Tree" view
-- does display in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- Searchable not needed
-- Open question: how are multiple titles, date delimited, best defined? Through "occupation"? Example: Edward, Prince of Wales, after ca. 1200 King of Wales and Cornwall.

5. Display Name

-- add option: curator edit only (that is, a curator may select an X box or radio button so only another curator may change it from the populated values)

6. Birth Name

-- addition to database
-- on "Basics" tab after "Maiden Name"
-- same free text input parameters as "Display Name"
-- shown in "Profile" view in smaller type / different color under "Name"
-- does not display if left blank
-- does not display in "Tree" view
-- displays in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- Searchable [nice to have]

7. Baptismal Name

-- Is this necessary or useful?

8. Nickname

-- relabel: to "Also Known As"
-- moved: from "personal" tab to "basics" tab under "Birth Name"
-- same free text input parameters as "Display Name"
-- shown in "Profile" view in smaller type / different color under "Name"
-- does not show in "Tree" view
-- does show in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- Searchable (as it is currently)

Feedback appreciated.

Private User
1/7/2011 at 12:12 PM

With my relatives immigrating from Norway and Germany this is very helpful. The Norwegian naming customs did not include maiden names. Neither did pre Napoleon German names. The farm name was included with Norwegian names and sometimes that was used in America with or without a change of spelling. First names also could be changed. Heinrich to Henry for example. My great grandfather was christened Peder Rasmus Karolus. His father's name was Ole so the Olesen was added then the farm Flisnes. Making him Peder Rasmus Karolus Olesen Flisnes. If he moved to Giske his name would drip the Flisnes and Giske would be the last name for him. His tombstone says Peder O Flisnes. My grandfather was born Kristian Emil Pedersen Flisnes. When he came to America there were too many Pedersen's so he took Flisnes. It was getting mispronounced so he and his brother made the spelling more American Flesness. My grandfather also changed the Kristian to Christian. I am sure many others have similar stories. It makes it easier to track back if you know any name they went by. So for me the more fields you put in the easier it will be to make correct merges and find people. Especially if you are looking in more than one country.

Private User
1/7/2011 at 12:16 PM

I know other countries that women don't have maiden and married names. Just their birth name. For example some countries the child takes the father's name as their middle name and the grandfather's name as their last name.

Private User
1/7/2011 at 12:16 PM

WoW, you have a whole book to track there.:)

I had thought my own grandmother, for instance, would be fairly simple, but it turns out I have to figure out her "birth name" in alternate spellings (including Cyrillic text and Yiddish) in order to find a birth record.

And she had name changes at emigration and at marriage, and her death record is only in her married name ... so I really need to have all these fields (except Dynasty LOL).

Private User
1/7/2011 at 12:45 PM

As in other discussions: Think genealogy and standards established among the professionals there and focus on convincing Geni to have focus on support these and not try to reinvent the wheel by suggesting other "standards" based on a narrow view of the world.

Private User
1/7/2011 at 12:57 PM

Noah Tutak

Can you also fix the display bug that shows "current location" as "place of burial?"

1/7/2011 at 1:04 PM

Yes the baptism is useful - especially if there is only a full baptismal date given and just a year of birth -

i'd like to see beside the death date - a choice of d. as infant, child, unm. and without issue . and these nee to be visible during merges and

Private User
1/7/2011 at 1:16 PM

There's the field currently for baptism as a selectable list. It sounds like we should add "baptism name" there. So formally --

7. Baptismal Name

-- currently: check box under birth order "add baptism information"
-- move: to under gender field (?)
-- Add field: Baptismal Name (before date of baptism)

1/7/2011 at 3:04 PM

In real life there is a need to make Geni a bit more than the standards allow.
In my vision I could see a input window similar to the "Add Family". Lets name it "Add names"
There will be the essential standardized fields to fill in.
It will also allow you to add certain number of additional names. To make it more understandable you should be able to mark them (look above). For this there will be a dropdown menu with possible prearranged meanings plus a possibility to add your own (as per addresses now). These will show up inside the Profile, should be searchable, and should be treated as an additional information for GEDCOM.
For MP-s there should be curator options to add language specific names to the Display name field. So each language will have a properly spelled name on display.

In addition to the above mentioned names. There should be also:

8. Normalized name

- if no "Display name" substitute with "Normalized name" if it exists

As Private User describes there are occasions when person can have names in different languages, in different countries.
In Estionia the same person can have names written down spelled by Niederdeutsch, Russian, German, Swedish. We do have a clue how this name should be spelled in Estonian, and there is a way of thinking that we should use this so callled Normalized version for all the predessesors in order to use Geni's statistics part properly.
Currently Hindrich, Hinrek, Hindrek, Генрихъ, Indrek will show up as different names, although they could be used for the same person.

9. Household (Farm) name

- if Family name is missing, show Household name

unless you were a free person with a proper name, all the peasants tend to be registered by their household name. Even the free person could have this name added. So unless we want to see 7th great granmother Ann with possible 99 maches which have no relevance, we need to add the houshold name as a Family name which is confusing

1/7/2011 at 3:11 PM

My biggest wish is that we should be able to flag the false positive maches Geni is automatically generating.
It is mind numbing when you have researched a possible merge, and found it to be a false positive match, you can only leave it alone just to find next day that someone has blindly merged the profiles according to the machines directions.

Private User
1/7/2011 at 3:12 PM

As some of you may remember from the Forum, I strongly believe that:
1) Geni's name system is and has always been fundamentally broken
2) One should not apply band-aid fixes to fundamentally broken systems

Why broken?
a) Existence of optional Maiden Name field (instead of birth name as primary and possibly only name)
b) Insular anglo-centric treatment of females' surnames
c) Misuse (by Geni) of Middle Name field

Some of the fixes being proposed are orthogonal to the above, and therefore harmless. eg. Prefix.

Others, like adding birth name, but not getting rid of maiden name, fall into the category of pernicious band-aids.

Private User
1/7/2011 at 5:18 PM

I need real life cases applied. I tried applying the "birth name" instead of "maiden name" idea to my own immigrant ancestors -- and it does not work. i.e., my female ancestors had a name change from birth to maiden name at event emigration. They had another name change from maiden name to surname at event marriage. Therefore *my* genealogical program needs **three** (or more) surname fields: name at birth, name at death, and other [maiden name being, for American women, a common case of "otherness..."]

These are the records available to me, all in English and based on English common law; genealogy and history books; census records; tombstones; death records; obituaries; naturalization records; military service records; marriage records; less frequently, birth records.

For a female, a birth record (if known) will therefore show one name; their marriage record (more likely known) will show a second name; their death record (most likely known) the last husband's last name. This is not fiction. This is reality.

I'm not discussing this again.

Can we go back to what fields we are asking Geni to add? Please feel free to address my first post, re-order, etc.

But I need to emphasize once again that the case of "birth name = maiden name" does NOT apply to my ancestors. Sorry, but it would be an incomplete program if that was taken away.

Private User
1/7/2011 at 5:22 PM

Arne,

I'm interested in the idea of household name. Can you expand on it? That is, how it could be used universally?

1/7/2011 at 7:01 PM

IMHO the earlier naming conventions in Europe were pretty well structured.
They were showing the twofold dependancy chain.
There is the ruler whom belongs the shire. The ruler has landlords. Landlord has people living in households. The other line connects you to the God. So there are parishes.
Person belongs to the parish, and to the landlord. So the parishoner keeps a book and writes there:
John son of Peter in Household in Village on Lands of Lord marries with
Jane housemaid of Lands of Lord, born to Jacob in Household2
So the Household name is the smallest unit in this system, and it is mostly known by the name of it's Patriarch: Westfield Jakob or similar.
It is more staightforward with men. But what about Jane? Should we put her into Geni as Jane Westfield Jakob's. Or just Jane Westfield?
But wait... Then comes a day that a wise ruler has decided to give everybody a surname (another war needs some taxation to be arranged). So we have Jane Westfield who turns into Jane Rosenblum.
But wait... actually we have 3 Jane Westfields, and 5 Jane Rosenblums to merge.
So if we could have a household name we could attach it to the Jane Rosenblum, as an optional extra bit of information. And it will not be on the field reserved for the Family name, and will not mess up the nice Family name feature in Geni.

Private User
1/7/2011 at 7:48 PM

Almost like a Dynasty or House?

Private User
1/7/2011 at 7:59 PM

I am really liking this idea.

Could cover:
"Clan of ... " (Cherokee, Scots)
"House of ..." (European Kings)
"Dynasty of ... " (Chinese Emperors, Egyptian Pharaohs)
"Farm of ... " (Norwegian places)
"City / Town / County / Parish of ... " (Anglo American)

In Colonial America I have taken to distinguishing two John Churches of similar dates and places by using the Suffix field (borrowed from Scots I think). Could use the "Dynasty" field instead.

Could have two list boxes which are auto populated but accepts extra entries in edit view.

Drop down list: [Select with an X]
House
Dynasty
Clan
Farm
Place

Associated with Dynasty: [select from]
Ming
etc.

Associated with House: [select from]
Tudor
etc.

What do you think?

Private User
1/8/2011 at 2:18 AM

What about name fields relevent to the non-Christian groups such as the Chinese, Indians, Japanese, Koreans, Indonesians who together could form more than half of the world population? How would Geni cater for their names conventions?

1/8/2011 at 2:45 AM

Erica, I will come back to this thread later, but I just wanted to weigh in and say all [select from] (dropdown) names should be just text fields as we can't foresee all Houses, Dynasties, etc. especially outside Western Europe.

1/8/2011 at 5:27 AM

With the localisation route Geni has taken recently it would be possible to generate also the localised naming structures for any language.
Then nobody should be begging here to have something strange (or difficult to explain) labelling conventions. You just change your language to your native one, and the name fields are there with proper labels.
Our Slavic friends shall have their отчество, and the English speakers can stop their maiden name, birth name fight by using their favorite version of the English (UK, US, NZ, AU), which sticks best to their naming conventions.
Converting to the standardised GEDCOM format will be done under the hood. Localised version will have the proper algorithm for this.

1/8/2011 at 8:31 AM

I am thinking also that it would be good to have additional name fields, for example, when a person becomes a priest/monk/nun they often adopt a “clerical name”, e.g. Anastasia could become nun Mary. Regarding immigration, often people change their names upon nationalization, so a “nationalized name” would also be great – we would also need date fields for those. Here, we should think of other (country specific or other) cases involving different than birth names.

Private User
1/8/2011 at 10:35 AM

Kaloyan -- Clerical names, that's a great point! So relevant particularly in th Middle Ages.

Nationalized names ... would "birth name" "name at death (surname)" cover it? Suppose someone passed through several countries?

I think you're right thought about free text fields. If we go with the idea of a new set of fields called

Household name

I see a couple of drops downs, with auto population from the Wikipedia lists, but free text input available to create our own list.

Private User
1/8/2011 at 10:38 AM

http://www.geni.com/people/Pokd%C4%95-Sor/6000000001938345738

Please start separate discussions for the Geni Community Wiki on "Naming Conventions: Indonesia" (etc.). We need to know the standards to use.

Is the proposal for name fields to Geni working in the case of other languages / Asian, African / Maori etc. cultures? We need to test against various cases and languages.

Private User
1/8/2011 at 12:37 PM

New and Re-labeled "Name" Fields, Take 2.

Layout suggestions for the Edit tab:

-- Move Gender radio buttons to same line as Status (living, deceased, this is a public profile)

-- Block fields together visually (boxes?) and label them: Names / Titles; Birth Information; Death Information

-- Is it possible to add Marriage Information to the same tab instead of separately on the Relationships tab?

Name / Title block.

Line 1.

1. Prefix

-- addition to database
-- data input not mandatory
-- add label in italics: "honorific"
-- parameters similar to current "Suffix" field; i.e., drop down box with selectable values:
..... Mr., Mrs., Miss, Dr., Rev., Sir, Sir Knight, Lord, Captain [others?]
..... Free text input accepted in "Edit" basics tab but auto default only in "add record" wizard (same as currently)
-- displays in "Add Record" view
-- displays in "Profile" view
-- displays in "Tree" view
-- does not display if left blank
-- displays in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- searchable not necessary

2. First Name

-- currently in database
-- data input mandatory
-- add label in italics: "Given or personal name; forename"
... reference article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Given_name
-- displays in "Add Record" view
-- displays in "Profile" view
-- displays in "Tree" view
-- displays in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- searchable

3. Middle Name

-- currently in database
-- data input not mandatory
-- add label in italics: "language and period specific"
-- disable "do not display" option
-- always display and associate in "search"

4. Last Name

-- currently in database
-- data input mandatory
-- add description in italics: "surname; family name; name at death"
-- displays in "Add Record" view
-- displays in "Profile" view
-- displays in "Tree" view
-- displays in "Resolve Conflicts" view

5. Suffix

-- currently in database
-- after "Last Name" field
-- parameters stay the same; i.e., drop down box with selectable values:
..... l, ll, lll, Sr., Jr. ... [others?]
..... Free text input accepted in "Edit" basics tab but auto default only in "add record" wizard (same as currently)
-- displays in "Profile" view
-- displays in "Tree" view
-- does not display if left blank
-- displays in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- searchable not necessary

Line 2.

5. Display Name

-- currently in database
-- automatically populated from Prefix, First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, Suffix, and Title
-- add option: curator edit only [that is, a curator may select an X box or radio button so only another curator may change it from the populated values]
-- not available in "add record"
-- displays in "Profile" view
-- displays in "Tree" view
-- displays in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- searchable

Line 3.

6. Original Name

-- addition to database
-- data input not mandatory
-- not available in "add record"
-- add description in italics: "name at birth"
-- behavior similar to "Display Name" i.e., accepts long names (First, Middle, Last)
-- displays in "Profile" view; smaller font / different color, under the name fields; in other words, similar to current "nickname" field [positioning as described in next iteration of the "profile" view, scheduled for release shortly]
-- display in "Tree" view optional (?)
-- does not display if left blank
-- on the other hand, if filled in and the FN MN LN fields are not, then autopopulates *those* fields
-- displays in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- searchable

7. Father's Surname

-- relabel current "Maiden Name" field to "Father's Surname"
-- data input not mandatory
-- add description in italics: "same as maiden name in some cultures"
-- not available in "add record"
-- display behavior same as current Maiden Name field: i.e., set in user's display options
-- add label explaining this in bold: "display is specific to you - see user preferences display options {hyperlink}"
-- displays in "Profile" view
-- displays in "Tree" view
-- does not display if left blank
-- displays in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- searchable

8. Mother's Surname

-- addition to database
-- data input not mandatory
-- add description in italics: "part of last name in some cultures e.g. Spain and Latin America"
-- not available in "add record"
-- displays in "Profile" view
-- displays in "Tree" view (?)
-- does not display if left blank
-- displays in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- searchable

Line 4.

9. Household Name

-- addition to database
-- data input not mandatory
-- description in italics: "House, Dynasty, Clan, Household, etc. For more information see <hyperlink to Geni Community article TBD>"
-- not available in "add record"
-- Two fields with drop down boxes, X selectable, and accepts free text as well which populates *back* to the Geni database as future options
... House, Dynasty, Clan, Household, Monastery ...
... Tudor, Ming, O'Laughlin, Farmer Westcoat, Monte Cassino ...
-- see Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynasty
... is it possible to auto-populate with the dynasties listed in the Wiki article and be able to select from there?
-- displays with default comma after "Suffix"
..... for example, Henry VII, House of Tudor
-- automatically populates "Display Name" field
-- does not display if left blank
-- does display in "Tree" view
-- does display in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- Searchable

10. Title

-- n.b. currently used in "occupation" on the "work" tab; should we move over data from there?
-- data input not mandatory
-- not available in "add record"
-- otherwise addition to database (see question above)
-- on "Basics" tab after "Household"
-- same free text input parameters as "Display Name"
-- displays with default comma after "Household" (if Household is not blank); after "Suffix" (if Suffix is not blank); after "Last Name" (if LN is not blank); after "Middle Name" (if MN is not blank); after "First Name" (if all other names are blank).
... For example: Solomon, King of Judea; Henry Vll, House of Tudor, King of England.
-- does not display if left blank
-- does display in "Tree" view
-- does display in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- Searchable?
-- Open question: how are multiple titles, date delimited, best defined? Through "occupation"? Example: Edward, Prince of Wales, after ca. 1200 King of Wales and Cornwall.

Line 5.

11. Nickname / Also Known As

-- relabel: to "Also Known As"
-- moved: from "personal" tab to "basics" tab
-- data input not mandatory
-- not available in "add record"
-- same free text input parameters as "Display Name"
-- shown in "Profile" view in smaller type / different color under "Name" [positioning as described in next iteration of the "profile" view, scheduled for release shortly]
-- does not show in "Tree" view
-- does show in "Resolve Conflicts" view
-- Searchable (as it is currently)

For discussion:

Are there other names that should / could be added? For instance, a woman's husband's names ... a clerical name ... nationalization names ... what is the best way to get this data into the Geni database?

Birth Information block.

A. Date of birth
-- change order of date fields to day, month, year

B. Place of birth
-- disable auto populate

C. Name at birth
-- Is this a better spot for "Original Name" or is it different? It *could* be different for someone who passes through different countries and acquires different names.
-- Otherwise, auto populate with FN, MN, LN (?)

Birth Order
-- stays the same

Add baptism Information Check Box
-- relabel to Religious Name

12. Religious Name

-- addition to database
-- data input not mandatory
-- description in italics: "Baptismal, Christening, Clerical or other religious name"
-- does not display in "Add Record" view
-- displays in "Profile" view in smaller text / differently colored font; similar to nickname but different color? same line? To be discussed when laid out ...
-- does not display in "Tree" view
-- does not display if left blank
-- displays in "Resolve Conflicts" view [will be helpful there!]
-- searchable not necessary

Date of Baptism
-- change date order to day, month, year drop down
-- place of birth disable auto complete default

Relationships block.

-- Hopefully it is possible to consolidate the relationship tab to the basics tab.

A. Stays the same - Parents (drop down box)
B. Stays the same - Partner name auto populated; relationship drop down; order drop down
C. Change date order to day month year drop downs.
D. Married in: disable auto complete.
E. Add field: Name change? [x] check box

Then IF the box is enabled, that change is reflected somewhere; for instance, a "name change history" field in the "about me" ?

I think this might be an elegant solution. For further discussion.

Death Information block.

13. Name at death

-- addition to database
-- data input not mandatory
-- description in italics: "Based on records such as obituary, tombstone, death certificate."
-- does not display in "Add Record" view
-- displays in "Profile" view in smaller text / differently colored font; similar to nickname but different color? same line? To be discussed when laid out ...
-- does not display in "Tree" view
-- does not display if left blank
-- displays in "Resolve Conflicts" view [will be helpful there!]
-- searchable not necessary

A. Date of Death. Change date drop down boxes to Day, Month, Year.
B. Place of Death. Disable auto complete.
C. Cause of Death. Stays the same.
D. Date of Burial. Change date drop down boxes to Day, Month, Year.
E. Place of Burial. Disable auto complete.

I am going to make a spreadsheet in googledocs so we can see how this looks in table format and vote on it. Sound good?

Private User
1/8/2011 at 12:39 PM

Apologies for length of this!

I think making a spreadsheet and Private User making a layout will help a lot.

Will this cover all cases (languages, historical eras)? Is it a more elegant solution to the present cumbersome workarounds?

Private User
1/13/2011 at 7:32 PM

sorry for the quick interjection, but i agree with @Bjørn P. Brox 's comment completely:

quote:

As in other discussions: Think genealogy and standards established among the professionals there and focus on convincing Geni to have focus on support these and not try to reinvent the wheel by suggesting other "standards" based on a narrow view of the world.

Private User
1/14/2011 at 12:09 AM

Good point Kalojan

1/28/2011 at 9:37 AM

The whole name thing is going to be difficult. In Denmark It is now possible to change name at will, just apply, and it will be granted if its socially acceptable, that goes for Given names and Surnames, spelling can be changed as well. Nowadays Danes are identified by their birthrates and a four-ciphered number given to them at birth or when citizenship is given. Male have uneven numbers and female have even numbers. so a male would be: ddmmyy-xxx1or 3 or ,5 or ,7 or ,9. A female would be ddmmyy-xxx 2 or 4 or 6 or 8. So in the future it will be impossible to identify relationships based on names only their personal central registered number will identify the person in question. Middle names are also history, all given names are regarded equal as first names and can be used reversed or all but one omitted. Males and females can adopt their partners surnames, or keep their own at will, or change to totally different names. How is this handled in the future?

Private User
1/28/2011 at 10:36 AM

As some of you already know, I am adamantly opposed to:

1) The auto-population of surname fields

2) The perpetuation of the Maiden (sur)Name field

Details were repeated ad-nauseum in the Forum, which can still be searched, albeit more effectively by using Google with site:forum.geni.com

Private User
1/28/2011 at 7:27 PM

What extra fields do you need? I think they're willing to give us a few.

2/22/2011 at 7:30 AM

I think Geni should adopt this way of thinking when it comes to females last names: http://www.genealogy.com/rhonda010600.html

Under Erica's no. 4. Last Name, it should then read
-- add description in italics: "surname; family name; name at birth"

you can then remove no. 6, 7 and 8.

I am not fond og having Display Name autopopulated.

Erica's proposal is far too difficult to use. Please try to keep it simpler.

Geni can make a field called other names, name variations or something like it, with a dropdown menu where we can choose the different nametags (also known as, farmname, married name, name in census, name at immigration, name at death and a lot of others) and that we can add as many name variations as we like. My genealogical program does it like this, and it works perfectly. It has 19 naming variations with the possibility to add more. Then you will only need the fields First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, "Other Names", (Display Name, maybe we can skip this too?) and the fields Prefix, Suffix and Title. This will make it easy for everyone and also make the keyboard punching easier. This will also be in accordance with the gedcom-standard, and it will therefore be easy to export all the naming fields, which will not work in Erica's suggestion.

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