Today’s Release: Male Maiden Names

Posted July 29, 2011 by Amanda | 12 Comments
We are proud to announce some improvements to the way the name fields work on These changes will provide a clearer and more consistent method of inputting names. 

The “Nicknames” field is now located on the Basics tab and has been renamed to “Also Known As.” “Maiden Name” has been renamed to “Birth Name.” Lastly, male profiles will now have the ability to be listed with a “Birth Name” just as female profiles can.


updated edit profile name fields


These changes are minor, but they will provide a better experience for both data input and profile viewing. It’s also important to note that this is just the first step we’re taking in improving name input and display.

We believe this will benefit all of our users by allowing them more flexibility in the naming of their relatives. Birth names are very important as far as genealogical research goes, so this relatively small change will have a large benefit for Geni users.

We take your questions and comments very seriously. Users are always welcome to provide feedback or as questions in our discussions and help section. Our users are incredibly important to us.


  • The maiden name field is now called “Birth Surname” and is available on all profiles regardless of gender.


  • The Media tab of public profiles with no media attached were previously displaying blank tabs. They now display a message to add media, if no media is included.

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Social Media Coordinator at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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  • Stig Roar Bye

    It would be preferred that when creating a male profile, the birth surname is equal to Last name, instead of inheriting that value from the spouse if she’s created first….nThe current situation require us to do an extra cut’n’paste.nIf inheritated value from father it is working ok.nn:(

    • Anonymous

      Stig has pointed out a major problem with the current implementation.nnIf left as-is the current algorithm will encourage BAD DATA entered.nnI’ve already caught myself way after the fact. u00a0Simply put — if you add a wife, then her spouse, the default man’s maiden name SHOULD NOT BE HIS WIFE’S!nnWe all can handle a bit of political-correctness and acknowledging the realities that we need the feature but the fact is that less than 1% of men take their wive’s name. u00a0So WHY AUTOFILL his name with hers? u00a0This WILL LEAD TO BOGUS DATA in the big tree.Hope you guys can fix this.

    • Anonymous

      The point is that that “extra work” can easily be overlooked… and then there is bad data in the tree.nnnStig is absolutely correct. u00a0nWhy does a new feature mean we have to have new work too? u00a0This wasn’t tested well prior tou00a0implementation or this issue would have been seen for the problem it is.nnHopefully there are quick iterations of fixin’s and this issue can be acknowledged and corrected quickly.nnAt any rate thanks for innovating! u00a0Please add “Residence place/date” on the profile next! :)

  • W. Daniel Fichtel

    This will be great for situations where names were Americanized during immigration, or for adoption. Well done!

  • Tom

    There should be a separate option for multiple name changes, which were quite common with immigrants, especially females who went through a maiden name followed by a name change.

  • Amadeus

    I really wish they’d provide a checkbox on all the profiles on the list from a search so you could ‘delete’, ‘make public’, whatever.nnIt sucks that you have do these things one at a time.

  • Michael P Mccann

    how about more help for european translations.. i’ve got a couple nordic’s in my tree..n

  • Von Hincher

    In the Geni web site, I am looking for any decendents of William Hincher of the Chartlotte/Rochester, NY family who settled on the land that became the Genesse Light house property.u00a0 There were seven children in this family.u00a0 Reply to Facebook Von Hincheru00a0 or vonh@knology.netn@knology:disqusu00a0

  • Scott Korin


  • Dancerchick9729

    Well its nice to see new things(:

  • A Geni

    Your blog refers to a common issue I run into for my ancestors from Finland where often the man took the last name of his wife.  I reality, they didn’t really have last names but were part of a “house”, when the couple lived at the “house” or famr of the wife then that place/house/farm name became the “last name” as we modern folks read the records.  It is important then to have the “man’s maiden name” and his “married name”, but also if they move later the name may again change so a convienient way to enter more than one name change would be nice.
    More concerning though is making sure the name does not auto-fill to make sure if the man was added after his wife errors are not made.  A simple drop down allowing picking the other name(s) but not auto-filling would both help prevent errors and save time.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks. I’ll make sure the engineers see this..