Please note the firts names of the 2 wifes are identical but that their birth and deaths dates, certified , are DIFFERENT.
The 1st wife Marie Madeliene SIMARD AINÉE died shortly after giving birth to Pierre Tremblay 1684-1709, in 1684. Another pitfall to avoid: is that SIMARD had a sister of the same firts name, (for whatever reason the parents had).
The 2nd wife Marie Madeleine ROUSSIN, had all the other children of SIEUR Pierre Tremblay père.
MERGING these profils should thus (as any others) must be carefully scrutinized BEFORE proceeding.
This is the 3rd time I've had to UN MERGE erronneous merges of the same nature confonding Madeleine SIMARD with Madeleine ROUSSIN.
I'm doing this to honour a collaboration right consented to me by my first collaborators , relatives on my wife's side.
PLEASE EXERCIZE CAUTION BEFORE INITIATING a MERGE ! Collaborating rights are a priviledge not to be taken lightly).
Happy New Year and may your genealogy be in 2010 be a pleasant one.
Seems to be happening too often. I have been demerging so often.. I have given up fixing the errors. There are just too many errors in the tree and it is taken time away from my old research.
There are fathers merged onto sons. Sisters merged together...
One way to make sure that this does not happen is to..
1- Display a woman's maiden name not the name of her husband.
Maiden names actually did not exist legally in Quebec prior to the 1970s. A woman's legal name was the name on her birth certificate. So, Marie Boucher who married Francois LeFond became Mme, Lefond but her name stayed Marie Boucher. There is a difference between title and name.
It also reduces confusion and is the accepted genealogical convention.
2- Display all of a woman's given names. Most woman had Marie or Madeleine in their names,
3- Don't assume that just because there are two daughters or sons with the same first name, they are the same person. Re-cycling names was common.
3- Before a "final" merge, verify that the dates line up and make sense. If, in doubt, verify the information.
You're right on all the suggestions .
Especially First names being reused traditionally throughout the extended family so that an average of 8 children per family re cyled often the same names in all 8 families thus in a small community such as ST-Augustinde-Desmaures, it wasn't unusal to have 8 Augustin in the same generation. And of course natality deaths being important, we find very often 2 and 3 persons with the same first name as in my great grand parents in Rivière-à-Pierre.
However about maiden names in Quebec I would add a precision.
Before from 1660 to 1970, Vital acts were the responsibility of the churchs thus ALL birth, marriages and deaths were registered under maiden names along with spouses and parents.
The weakest link being however deaths where more often then not very little "synalytique" info was present.
It took me a couple of months to realize that I needed to use maiden names only. As a descendant of two of these French Canadian families I have run into several cases where there were two wives with the same first name and had to unmerge these women repeatedly. After working on my 'Cyr tree' for months I have returned to my 'Dufour tree" only to see it is a hugh mess. I appreciated your suggestions prior to this discovery but even more so now.
Thank you Merci Paul
Private User, I was looking through the tree and noticed you made lots of merges. I think you need to set your middle name value to showing in your Advanced tree settings. You erroneously stacked a few Maries. I unstacked them and fixed their names to Marie-Madeleine, Marie-Josephte, etc. So that their baptismal "Marie" shows with their Birth name Madeleine, Josephte, etc..
Hope that helps. The tree looks a lot cleaner now...
And like Marty Beaudet said, please keep BIRTH names "Maiden" names in the last name fields, as French-Canadian and French women did NOT take on a "Married" name, plus, it helps us prevent things like this where a man is married to 2 women with the same first name.
I don't see how using one name is better than having both names available, unless the woman was married more than once. It's additional information and seems illogical how you would make better choices with less information, particularly when you can display the names however you like on the preferences. I prefer not to remove the choice from people and allow them to display it how they like to display it, which requires putting in both names.
We should be solving confusion with curator notes, or actually adding identifiable information to those fields if they are different people. Such as Unknown 1 and Unknown 2.
Additional information can go in the Nickname or About me fields. It causes issues when people are making hot matches and merges.
If people would have kept birth names (I hate to say Maiden Name) in the surname fields, then we wouldn't be in the messes we are getting into in the trees. There are too many people married to the wrong people because of "married" names being listed. I see it ALL the time.
For instance there were about 6 or 7 generations of Duncans and they all seemed to be married to women with the same first name and "last name" because people input a "married name." They all got merged together and there was a tangle of people stacked, children stacked and merged with their kids and grandkids.
If people would have not put "married" names in then they wouldn't have showed up in a hot-match to be merged. I am even guilty of this in the past. I used to use married names because I WANTED the women to be found in search by all alternative names. BUT, it caused excited newbie Pro-members to hot-match profiles and get profiles mixed up. Even older members "still" merge erroneously, and may times it is because of last names.
The Church tree was another one. There were a few generations of men named John Church who were married to women named Catherine. They were ALL mixed up...because each Catherine was listed as Catherine Church. Well, one of those Catherine Church's ended up being merged with a "biological" Catherine Church, making a man look like he was married to his sister.
I had to MP and curate note A TON of profiles because of this. I don't think people understand the importance of BIRTH names over any other name. All alternate names should go in the About Me, in a Document or in the Nickname field.
PS I know we are curators and volunteering, but it isn't fair to us to have to stray away from our own family trees, because everybody else wants or needs a curator note because they keep having preventable errors.
Daily, I get emails from various different families asking for help (just check out my activity of me bouncing around from tree to tree...one minute I will be in the Wilsons, then in the Tremblays, then in the Penningtons, then in the Plantagenets, etc). It is almost ALWAYS the same thing...someone was merged with someone of the same name because of a married name instead of a birth name. It's almost ALWAYS the same thing...and I have to go in and add curator notes such as "Not to be confused with [insert woman's name] whom was also married to her husband."
That's "my time" away from "my tree" or "my life." I don't do this for money, I do it because I like to help, but if people practiced genealogy the way the genealogists do it (which is by birth names to follow a pedigree) then we'd have a very consistent and accurate tree and less errors. While I'm helping others clear their "merge centers" mine is now up to over a thousand again.
"but I don't see how you would make those same errors if both names were in there."
A lot of times siblings married siblings and their kids had similar names, causing confusing in trees.
John Smith is married to Mary Brown.
John Smith has a sister named Mary Smith who is married to John Brown whom is Mary Brown's brother.
They both have sons named John, one is John Smith Jr and the other is John Smith Brown.
Someone merges Mary Brown (Smith) into Mary Smith (Brown) because they quickly glanced at the husband's name and the son's name. Oopsy, they made a mistake...and instead of fixing it, they take off and go work on another part of the tree and hope someone else will take care of it.
Meanwhile, someone looks at their tree going, "WTF, who merged the two Marys? They are CLEARLY different women." I get an email from someone who is super-angry their tree looks jacked up. Mary Brown is merged with Mary Smith. John Smith Brown is merged with his cousin John Smith and has 4 wives since both men were married twice, and 24 children. John Brown and John Smith are not merged and has a Yellow triangle because that's where the user decided to quit screwing up the tree.
This is something I get all the time.
I can understand that - thanks for explaining. Until technical solutions can help reduce the user error, I guess it makes sense to alter behavior to minimize issues from those not paying attention, which ends up creating work for everyone else. :-) I certainly appreciate your efforts and those of other curators. I like to help others and thought about volunteering for curator duty myself if there was a hat to put my name in for consideration, though I'm not sure I want the abuse that comes with it. ;-)
As you know I disagree with you in the Anglo American tree. To me, the more information available, the better; all my ancestresses back to the 1600s were recorded by their married names in documented records that I've been able to find; and maiden name is *not* the same as "birth name."
My grandmother was born in Odessa, 1901, under one name. She emigrated in 1910 and the family name was changed to (the mother's family name); that is the name reflected in her naturalization papers. Her name was legally changed at marriage in 1918 to her husband's name. Therefore, documented records are under FOUR names:
"birth name" (Odessa - if I ever find it;) )
"legal name" (state of Louisiana - naturalization record)
"maiden name" (state of Louisiana - marriage record record)
"married / legal name" (death certificate / Social security death index record)
If I didn't know all four names and have that reflected in the genealogy program as best I can, I would not be able to find my own grandmother.
Happy ancestor hunting!
We do have a "naming conventions" section on the Geni Community Wiki -- link at the bottom of every page -- and directly to the naming conventions section here:
Requires separate (free) account to edit. Caveat: the server is outside the "geni veil of privacy" so you may want to use a different name, but link to your geni profile.
"Wikimedia formatting" of "overview / about me" sections was just implemented, like, a week ago, so it will take time.
I follow a convention of this at the top of that page:
- Birth Name (in bold), "also known as" (in italics, and repeated in "nickname" field), date of birth / location; baptism / christening; date of death / location; burial date / locaton
- Children (with spouse name listed)
then section breaks for Notes, Sources, Works Cited, Footnotes, Brief Biography ... whatever seems relevant.
All information I can find is sourced with at least a wikipedia link and hopefully much better than that.
When a profile is particularly confusing I try and summarize in curator notes, of course.
I'm definitely on the side of Jeffrey and Erica in this argument. But the fact that we're having this discussion at all tells me that something more is needed on the software side.
I am pretty strongly opposed to using fields for purposes that are clearly different than originally intended- especially when better technical solutions could be implemented. For example, I wish Geni provided a way to manually identify two profiles that are definitely known to be different people. The purpose would be to prevent those two profiles from ever being merged together [again] by accident.
In my opinion...
Changes to a person's last name (for whatever reason, including marriage) should be recorded in the Last Name field.
Birth (family) names belong in the Maiden Name field.
Nicknames belong in the nickname field.
Agreed, David, and for exactly the reason you state.
I have done quite a few database migration projects. Whenever the field was used, not as named, but as a workaround to input screen / database field limitations, the result was truly a nightmare, and the upgrades took 3 times as much manual labor as it should have.
We have asked Geni that the "nickname" field be re-labeled to "also known as," made more prominent in display, and more easily input and edited. These seem to be easily doable enhancements by Geni and should make it in the next release (fingers crossed).
It doesn't address all the naming issues but it can be a big step. Making sure "display name" shows in more views would be another big step, and restore the handiness of this otherwise useful field that has become a liability.
Meanwhile, what we, as community members can and should do, is make it easier on each other by posting period / culture / language / country specific guidelines on the Geni Community Wiki.
This is for us, the users, to determine, after all.
One thing I need to caution for those who have genealogy conventions they would like to see, and that is -- the U.S. has specific social security laws on "legal names," based originally on the English Common Law.
Since that is where the government documentation that we need is going to be found, we need to respect that even more than "genealogy programs."