Arguments for an 'Also Known As' field in addition to 'Maiden Name'

Started by Terry Jackson (Switzer) on Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Showing all 17 posts
12/28/2010 at 5:50 AM

I have instances in my family and am sure they exist widely where a person has changed their name not because they married but for other reasons. It is wrong to say a man has a maiden name and I actually like the 'maiden name' field as it has a purpose (at least in English tradtion it has) but the AKA field should be searchable and is of greater importance than a nickname. It could also be useful where there are variant spellings.

12/28/2010 at 6:15 AM


I also think the problem could be easily solved by re-labeling the "nickname" field to "also known as."

And moved from the "personal" view to the "basics" view where it is:

1. more accessible
2. more logical
3. more completely filled out

12/28/2010 at 6:16 AM


By the way -- would you be able to explain for everyone please why and how in English "maiden name" is

1. only used for women
2. does not mean the same thing as "original name" or "birth name"

There is massive confusion about that from non English, I believe.

Private User
12/28/2010 at 8:10 AM

Actually, I think came up with what I view as the one reasonable justification for use of a maiden name on a male name. At the risk of pulling him away from his loved ones over the holiday period (genealogy is a horrible temptation), I'm tagging him for this discussion.

Private User
12/28/2010 at 8:10 AM

of course the tagging doesn't work...

12/28/2010 at 8:11 AM

Join him to the Project as a collaborator, you can just type in his name. Then he'll get notifications of discussions in his "home" page "newsfeed."

Private User
12/28/2010 at 8:28 AM

I'm going to leave that in your capable hands Erica... although I might be an engineer by profession, I'm a "touchy feely" type here... :)

12/28/2010 at 12:38 PM

Done. it was really, really hard to do, you know.

Private User
12/28/2010 at 1:03 PM

I'm male, I never look at instructions... :)

2/28/2011 at 10:49 AM

The only other field in addition to
a) First name
b) Middle name
c) Surname/Last name

shold be
d) Other names
with a dropdown menu with many different labels as to what type of Other name.

Also known as
Married name
Name in cunsus
Immigration name

and a lot of others.

2/28/2011 at 12:45 PM

I didn't see the question about clarifying 'Maiden Name' until just now, sorry.

A maiden is an unmarried female, hence maiden name is the name a female is born with. One is not being sexist when one says it's inappropriate for's just like calling a man a lady! Having said that in the absence of an alternative I have used 'maiden name' field for men with other names or for clarification but I try not to as it just doesn't feel right.

Private User
2/28/2011 at 11:13 PM

Just another very good reason to rename the field ;-)

Private User
3/1/2011 at 6:35 AM

So far we have used the middle name field for the unused surname but it doesn't feel right so I would welcome a "Other names" field or something similar!

3/1/2011 at 10:53 AM

Then help us to get this option by giving this proposal a thumbs up. Push "Me too!"

Private User
3/2/2011 at 10:15 AM

@Remi, you're better off making individual requests than lump them together. I didn't vote for yours because I don't agree with everything.

3/2/2011 at 10:42 AM

That's ok, Victar. I agree with moving the nickname filed to the edit profile page, but I don't agree to call it "Also known as", it should be called "Other names" with a dropdown menu where "Also known as" is one of the choices.

I'm trying to sell a whole package, and my proposal is looking more or less the same way as almost every offline genealogical program do. That way everyone would feel comfortable becaise the fieldnames are similar, and gedcom export and import would be flawless when it comes to all alternate names. So I don't want to make individual requests since I'm trying to get Geni to do it the way offline genealogical programs write and store names in their genealogical databases.

9/23/2011 at 1:23 PM

I'm thinking about a feature request.
Would you please look at and put in some comments.

Showing all 17 posts

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