Naming conventions: Titles, numbering of persons with same name and area

Started by Job Waterreus on Friday, September 23, 2011


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9/23/2011 at 2:41 PM

People who rule in different areas seem to have different titles and different names and or name numbers in those areas like they may have at different events (see
Would it be useful to have.the possibility to have a set of names per area?
If have been thinking about another solution before (see

9/23/2011 at 3:05 PM

This could be combined with a set of different names for events like birth migration, marriage.
I think it would a easier then: name fields could be defined for a single use and be labelled so that most people would know what to put into them.

9/23/2011 at 3:06 PM

I think this would also make searching easier and would give better results.

9/23/2011 at 4:13 PM

Private User

Tagging you for this discussion. I see some fresh thoughts emerging.

9/27/2011 at 2:04 PM

I have been thinking a bit about this, but it is not so easy.
If we could have multiple name blocks what should be in those blocks.

I thinks something like this would be nice:
alphabet and may be an indication for LTR / RTL (left_to_right / right_to_left; could be useful for matching software)
event (e.g. birth / marriage / immigration,,...)
date / data period (fixed date or before / between / after)
region / area (would be useful for titles and in combination with language)
surname / patronym / matronym /area name
name info (indication of what kind of data is in the above field; fixed list)
suffix / titles
given names (first + middle names)
nick name(s) / first name / used name
ordinal info (where do we start with the numbering)
display name (in language)
English display name (when language is not English)

then some extra info that may be useful for searching/merging
maternal surname
given names mother
paternal surname
given names mother
partners surname
given names partner

I'm not to sure about these when the information could be derived from linked profiles. The information in those profiles could be different.
It could be useful however when splitting the tree after a wrong merge and before the the information can be derived from other profiles.

Comments welcome!

9/27/2011 at 2:09 PM

I am thinking that great minds think alike. This is very much the direction some of us have been talking about.

Essentially the idea is that names (and titles) are event driven, and can be as much part of the biography of an individual as, say, their residence. So they should be timeline events, not just identifiers within a pedigree.

9/27/2011 at 2:18 PM

I agree.
I see I forgot forgot an important field: Source

9/27/2011 at 2:30 PM

Yes, all events should be source driven and so notated.

9/28/2011 at 4:06 PM

There should also be information about the quality of the source.
Something like:
certain/proven, likely/ not yet proven, possible/not yet proven or disproved, unlikely/ not yet disproved, wrong/disproved,
and a text field where it is possible to add some comments on the source to clarify the quality rating.

9/28/2011 at 6:19 PM

Different sources are good for different data. I can go to a marriage register and prove the marriage event, but not neessarily the birth date, place, death date, etc. I can go to a family history directory and get a likely pedigree on one line but not as much on the spouse line. So source reliability needs to take that into consideration as well.

Private User
9/28/2011 at 9:44 PM

Maybe just breaking out the sources by category (primary, secondary, tertiary) would work? Better than nothing, anyhow. While I love the idea of being able to rate the quality of the source, I think it could lead to a real mess in the profile itself.

Oh! We could always do that on each source doc itself! We have an opportunity to annotate each source... Would that meet your needs, Job?

9/28/2011 at 10:56 PM


Yes that would help, but I think some rating independent of language (from a fixed list, that could be translated) for sources would be good.
That would make it possible for the search and matching software to take that into account.

9/28/2011 at 10:59 PM

We won't have primary docs for much before 1776 in US, so the "reliability" rating is a good idea. But again, for what fact are they documenting.

9/28/2011 at 11:26 PM

Yes, I agree. A source could document different things and it could be they need different ratings.
If there are primary docs for a period, will differ from country to country.

9/28/2011 at 11:30 PM

It would be nice if there was some information (wiki) on the rating for different kind of documents (and specific sources) related to period and country (census, church records, ..) and the "facts"that they are documenting.

9/28/2011 at 11:38 PM

We could use a "related" Projects. Not sure the quality rating varies? Just the availability of the source would vary. As example, baptismal records are well available and an excellent source in many European countries. Not so much in US, so town Vital Records becomes more important.

9/29/2011 at 1:46 AM

Erica, why aren't batismal recordx available in the US? Most christian people are baptized, and most of them used the same method of recording this happening as they did in their homecountry. Are the churches not giving their records to the archives? Are they destroyed? Haven't there been any records? Any other reason?

9/29/2011 at 2:59 AM

Baptismal records are available, if you can find them. They are generally maintained at the church, but older records sometimes go off to state or church archives. In the US, church records are in no way government records.

And, there are so many different religions in the US that even if you know the town where an ancestor was born, you have to also know the denomination, and often then you also have to know which church of that denomination the parents attended.

9/29/2011 at 3:28 AM

Here's an example: when I was going to be confirmed, I needed a copy of my baptismal record. I wrote to the Episcopal Church in the town where I was born, but they didn't have a record.

So, I asked my mom. It turned out I was baptized later, in the Lutheran Church, after we moved. So, which kind of Lutheran? There were three different churches there. I asked my mom, and found out we were Augustana Synod (the Swedes, naturally). (We couldn't be American Lutheran Church or Missouri Synod, because they wouldn't let my dad be a Freemason.) With a little research, I found out that the Augustan Synod merged with some other Lutheran groups in the early 1960s to become Lutheran Church in America.

So, I wrote to LCA church in the town where we lived when I was baptized. Their records were missing for that time period.

In the end, it turned out that the only record of my baptism was a certificate my mom had in her safe. I sent it to the church, they verified it was the minister's signature, entered my baptism in their records, sent an extract to the church where I was going to be confirmed, and sent the original certificate back to me.

I could tell lots of stories like this one. Most of the time, baptismal records are hard to find because there are several possible religions for a particular family, the denominations might have merged or split, and the local churches might have merged or split. Sometimes the local church has even switched denominations. And, you're never quite sure the baby was baptized immediately. So you're never sure you'll find anything.

Unless you're dealing with 18th and 19th century southern Baptists. Then, it's probably not worth looking. They all got baptized in the river at revival time. You might find church records, but you won't find baptism records ;)

9/29/2011 at 8:54 AM

Since I'm not Christian I'll give two examples - one contemporary, one historical.

A friend, father Dutch Reformed Church ancestry, mother Italian Catholic. Older sisters raised Catholic, but by the time my friend was born, the family had a dispute with their local parish and joined, I believe, the local Methodist church. My friend's wife is Jewish so their daughter is not baptized at all.

I do have an ancestral "primitive" Baptist ancestor who was one of the founding members of his church, 1815, Mud Creek, Alabams. He helped hire the minister. Do you really think there was a church anywhere nearby before then? He wouldn't have built it if there was.

9/29/2011 at 10:02 AM

Erica, your story reminds me of something my grandmother used to say. She was a very proper Edwardian lady, and didn't think that "nice people" should talk about religion.

If someone asked her what religion she was, she would say, "My father was Mormon. My mother was Baptist. I went to an Episcopal girls' school, then married a Lutheran in a Methodist church. You tell me what religion I should be."

My other grandmother was Lakota. She was nominally Baptist, but didn't have a very high opinion of white people or Christianity ;)

In the Old West, I think they were just happy to have a preacher come to town. It didn't matter what religion he was.

Private User
9/29/2011 at 2:14 PM

Sorry, everyone - I just realized that we were having this discussion on a public Discussion. I truly apologize for hijacking the thread!

9/29/2011 at 3:06 PM

What a mess you are having, no system at all. In Norway every religions books must be delivered to the state archives for safe keeping no later than 80 years after the date of the last thing written in the book.

I really think someone needs to clean up the mess you're having over there.

Private User
9/29/2011 at 3:21 PM

Remi, we cannot require churches to turn over their records to government archives because that would violate the principle of 'separation of church and state' that our country was founded on. You're right, it causes inconvenience when trying to retrieve records! In countries that have a state-sponsored religion it is much easier to do genealogy searches. Many things in our country look very chaotic due to our freedoms, but we think the advantages mostly outweigh the problems!

9/29/2011 at 6:47 PM

Remi, I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. If the government here tried to compel the churches to turn over their records, there would be howls of outrage from both the left and right, followed within 24 hours by a brief, savage revolution. What an image!

9/29/2011 at 7:01 PM

Didn't we already have a revolution or 3 about this?

I need to study more history. :)

9/30/2011 at 10:40 AM

Stupid! Then stick to your mess, if you don't want to make it better. Ofcourse, if the goverment made it mandatory that every church should deposit their old books to a state archive, the books would be taken care of. As it is now it's up to the church wether to do whatever they want. Do you want to keep and take care of the sources, get them scanned and released on the internet or do you want them forgotten, destroyed, lost or misplaced?

Justin, laugh all you want, if the american freedom, among other things, means that a church can destroy their records, if they want to, it's barbarism and the goverment should take action. It's your history that may be destroyd!!! How many have allready been destroyd? Let them howl their outrage if they want. It should be up to the churches to destroy a peoples history!!! The mess is only growing!!!

9/30/2011 at 10:44 AM

It shouldn't be up to the churches to destroy peoples history.* (2nd last sentence should be like this.) Oh dear, I got upset of how your system is. No wonder genealogy is difficult in the US when you have to work with this kind of system.....

9/30/2011 at 11:28 AM


Most religious organizations take pains to preserve their records.

And we do have a government with its own pretty good record keeping.

Private User
9/30/2011 at 12:25 PM

Take it easy out there in internet. Let us rather do genealogy.

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