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Geni naming conventions - Greece

Conventions for Profile Management on the Greek branch of the "World Family Tree" (WFT)

The Naming Conventions outlined in this project conform to:

The intention is to minimize data conflicts and optimise consistency in the GENi matching /merging technology & ensure that we do not find ourselves with names in the wrong fields when the GENi software engineers release program enhancements.

How Greek names are written in English

When writing Greek names in English, the policy of GENi is to transliterate in line with the current international method mandated by the National Hellenic Passport Centre. Though at times this may vary from the longstanding and preferred spelling of some names, it is deemed necessary in order to maintain consistency and avoid past practices of having the same name represented in multiple ways. To see your Greek name transliterated into English, click the Passport Centre Translator, use
the left column and enter your name in Greek. If you have an alternative translation for a name please enter it into the relevant language.

These Conventions are endorsed by the following Curators, who all work on the Greek branch of the 'World Family Tree'

By joining as a collaborator you also indicate your support for these Guidelines.

Please note that you can set your Display Preferences to reflect how you wish to see names on the tree.



A. Profile Guidelines

B. Master Profiles

C. Tree Etiquette

A. Profile Guidelines

On profiles where there is only one manager, fields can be used to suit individual preferences. If that profile is subsequently merged with another then the guidelines outlined here should be applied. However to avoid Data Conflicts occurring upon merging, following of these Conventions is recommended.

Forename & Middle Name

  • There are two fields for given names - First and Middle. It is recommended that you always use the fields as they are designated.

There is an option in the name preference settings to ignore middle names. It is suggested that you set these NOT to ignore middle names as profiles are filled in both ways by users and valuable information may be hidden from you if your preferences are set otherwise. Having the names entered either way does not affect the search tool. See Middle Name Options illustrated

The multilingual tab (see Add Language in top line of profile edit window) can be used for "officially" used additional names. (Do not translate names, only record differences in spelling as used in source records)

English will remain the default language for names on Geni, however if a profile has a different name or character set in another language (e.g. Greek), you can add it easily by clicking the “Add Language…” button and selecting the Greek language. Doing so will display the Greek name in its original form.

Generally speaking the name to use is the one that is on a primary or "official" document – usually Birth or Baptismal records, and later documents such as Death Notices, Identity cards and Passports.

It is also best to add any nicknames in the AKA field - please do not include using brackets etc in the first, middle and display name fields.

Birth Surname / Maiden Name

  • The Birth Surname field (if known) should always be filled in.

Spell the Surname as it was used by the family in documents at the time. There are accepted spellings for most names, and it is acceptable to record a variation if that is the way the family uses it. Take Theotokis as an example - some families have always used Theotoky - but others use Teotochi. If you have personal knowledge of a family’s way of spelling a name, especially in more recent years, then you need to use that, but also add a note in the “About me” section or in the AKA field.

Using de and della etc.

  • Whether de or della is used depends on how the surname is written in the Italian script. If only the surname is used, it is De or Della, for example the Della Porta family or the De Medici family. If the first name is used before the surname it is della Porta as in Giovanni della Porta. This is how surnames which have de or della etc. in front of them are written in Italian.
  • With this in mind please use the lower case for all such names (de, la, le, van, von etc.) in the last name and birth name fields, but be mindful when using them in the notes etc.

Last Name / Family Name

  • Legal married names must be recorded in the Last Name field.

Married women from the continent (France, Holland, Germany) are unlikely to have used their husband’s surnames and this field may be left open if they died before 1800. However, other records most often show a woman's married name. Geni management has asked us to represent the documentation possibilities accurately. So do not delete any married names in order to replace them with Maiden Names. Just set your Viewing Preferences in order not to view the Married Name/Surname field, if you don't wish to see them.

In the case of multiple marriages / surname changes over a lifetime, leave the last name the person used on death in the surname field and add all the other married surnames in the aka field. (We’re hoping Geni will provide more fields to help us solve this problem, in the future).

Where the married name is left blank or duplicated with the birth surname the result for those whose preference is for either CAPS or (parentheses) is not a true reflection of the known facts.

So - be aware that if the maiden or birth surname is added to both surname fields, in cases where a 'married surname' exists, then those people who select the preference to either do not display birth surnames (i.e. view married names) or Birth surname appended, in parentheses, do not get an accurate picture. It is therefore preferable not to fill in the Birth Surname in the Last Name/Surname field when a legal 'married name' applies.
The AKA field is searchable. If the married name(s) are not reflected in the AKA field on a woman's profile where only maiden names are used in the surname fields, a search using her married name will have less chance of finding her.

Use GENi Fields as Intended and Set Your Tree Preferences to Suit Yourself:

See Preference setting examples illustrated.

Display Name Field

  • This field is used ONLY if the name a person was commonly known by is different from the one entered in the name fields. Using a display name other than for the reasons given above distorts the tree view for people as it masks all the preferences. It is possible to elect to hide display names under preferences, but this then hides information added that is necessary. There is no need to repeat a name in the display name field - all preferences are catered for and should be selected according to how you prefer to view the tree.

See Display Name Options illustrated

Title Prefix

Please use the title field only for professional, noble or uncommon honorifics, such as Doctor, Count or Prince. Certain titles are placed after the name and should be placed in the suffix field such as Esquire or Ph.D. Do not use this field for default courtesy titles such as Mr., Signor. etc

Also Known As Field

  • The AKA field is for alternative spellings etc. and for multiple married names as described above. Nicknames should be recorded in the AKA field - Do not include using brackets etc. in the first, middle and display name fields.

Suffix Field

  • Use for titles eg. MBE., CBE, if you want to add it. (Not obligatory, and reportedly a bit confusing on the world tree, apparently often being for the DNA numbering system that is increasingly being added here too.)

See Suffix Options illustrated Scroll down to 2nd part of this document

Overview / About

The Overview/ About field should ideally have some information in it. This information can now be entered in different languages (See Add Language Tab)

Sources Tab

Please upload any primary documents associated with the profile, and cite the facts that the document validates (which creates the little document icon you sometimes see on profile view).

B. Master Profiles (MP)

A Master Profile is the standard, most comprehensive and accurate profile for a given person. Other profiles for the same person are secondary and should eventually be merged into the Master Profile.

Curators have the ability to designate profiles as Master Profiles. You may request a Curator to MP your profiles in the following circumstances:

Types of Master Profiles.

  • Historically significant people. Famous living people may require a duplicate public profile of the private one.
  • Well sourced profiles where the researched data fields need to be protected. In this instance fields may be locked.
  • Profiles that are at high risk of being mis-merged (including duplications due to adoption).

When whole profiles are locked, an explanatory Curator note giving the reason will be added.

All Locked fields should be filled in correctly according to RSA Profile Conventions/Guidelines.

If you would like to edit a locked field, please contact the Curator of the profile.

Defer to the Master Profile in Data Conflict Resolutions.

For more info on MPs please see:

C. Tree Etiquette

There are a few things that make a big difference to how the tree can be used and shared on GENi

Avoid Capitalisation of the Whole Surname:

  • Information should be entered in GENi profiles using Initial Capitalisation - Ioannis Kapodistrias (Ιωάννης Καποδίστριας). NOT ioannis kapodistrias (ιωάννης καποδιστριας) or IOANNIS KAPODISTRIAS (ΙΩΆΝΝΗΣ ΚΑΠΟΔΊΣΤΡΙΑΣ) or Ioannis KAPODISTRIAS (Ιωάννης ΚΑΠΟΔΊΣΤΡΙΑΣ). Last Names are not entered in upper case on GENi.
  • Should you want to see your Last Names in Capitals, simply click on the 'Preferences' button at the bottom middle of your screen in Tree View; then click on the 'Names' button underneath that, & check the 'Birth Surnames instead of Last Names in CAPS' option. GENi will now customise your view so that your surnames are shown in Capitals, even though you haven't entered them that way. Alternatively go to preferences in your settings.

Avoid Making Duplicate Profiles, & if you do, PLEASE Merge them in:

  • When adding new profiles, watch for the 'blue dot' that lets you know that Geni has found a match for that profile. Merge the two, or ask a Curator to do it for you, and that will mean your profile becomes part of that profile's line. Now you don't have to keep entering duplicates for it - the line will be there as yours. If you want, you can 'request (to be added onto the ) management (list)' of the other profiles in the line. Making whole duplicate lines creates a lot of work for the rest of us who have to merge them in for you; so please try to avoid doing that.
  • If you add a profile which is a duplicate of one previously added please MERGE them. DO NOT DELETE PROFILES managed by other people - if there is problem please contact the manager!
  • After a profile has been merged with another please go to the profile page of the merged person and under the "Actions" menu at the top right see if there are any Merge conflicts that you can resolve. In cases of a Data Conflict, the guidelines have preference.

See - Merge Guide Step by Step guidelines to merging duplicate profiles and How to merge profiles on Video by Randol Schoenberg

Do Not Delete Other People’s Accurate Data out of Naming Fields; and Do Not Delete Other People’s Profiles:

  • Geni has taken a pretty clear stand on deleting accurate data off other people’s profiles:

"Please be advised that on the subject of deleting content off other users’ profiles without their permission, Geni is very clear in the Terms of Service: Vl. Proprietary Rights in Content.:1. .... If, however, you invite other Members to share your family tree on the Service, or agree to merge your family tree with another Member's family tree on the Service (in either case, a "Shared Family Tree"), then you agree that you will not delete Content in the Shared Family Tree except to correct inaccurate or offensive data. Wilful destruction of Content in a Shared Family Tree without Geni's written permission is a breach of this Agreement and grounds for termination of your Member account."

  • Rather than deleting other users' choices about naming fields, Please respect the choice of others to view the tree in way that suits them, and change your preferences to suit yourself (See detailed examples of the available options below).
  • DO NOT DELETE PROFILES managed by other people - if there is a problem please contact the manager!