Preferred naming conventions/approaches for family trees #general #records


finejeffy@...
 

I’m wondering about the preferred naming conventions or approaches for family trees. I primarily work on Ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker. I guess the question is related to optimizing automatic search algorithms or making info easily accessible to searchers.

 

Q1. Married versus Maiden Name. Which makes most sense? Is there a best way to include both? If so, do they both go in the last name field? What about divorces?

When Ancestry searches for the married name as a maiden name, there are a lot of irrelevant results.

For example:

 

Pauline Weinberg (2nd marriage)

Pauline Shecter (1st marriage)

Ronia Ekeltzik (Belarusian passport)

 

Q2. How do you deal with name changes and alternate/variant spellings in family trees?

 

Julius Schiller (maybe original name S(w)erlin or Z(w)erlin)

 

Rebecca Schiller – maiden name Chanovitz (father’s last name is listed as Chasen. Various sibs/relatives are named Chasen, Chason, Chanovitt, Chanovitz.

Thanks,


Jeff Fine
Montclair, NJ, USA
finejeffy@...
Family names/towns
Sekuran, Bessarabia (Shecter, Eisenberg)
Igumen, Minsk, Belarus (Ekelchik, Sussman)
Minsk(?) (Fine, Z(w)erlin)
Poland, maybe Warsaw (Treistman)
Ulanow, Poland (Hassenfeld, Laufer, Reich, Ölbaum)


Sally Bruckheimer
 

Women's name change with marriage, so generally the norm is to record a woman by her maiden name. Every online genealogy program, EXCEPT Geni, follows this. Since women often married 3 or 4 times in Europe (men too, but they didn't change their surname), I don't know how Geni handles that.

Spelling varied too. Schwartz and Szwarc are the same name - the Soundex systems try to account for this, but you can use wild cards and  'Starts with' option.
Vowels varied often, as immigrants changed their name's spelling to a different alphabet (Yiddish or Russian to English), so Birzon and Berzon are cousins.

Online searches can be easier, if you edit the surname to the one you want: if you want to find out what happened after she was married, used her married name in a search; if you want to find her as a girl with her parents use her maiden name.

The more you search, the more 'helps' you will discover.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ


Max Heffler
 

Geni has a maiden name field and the name shows up in parentheses. There is an “also known as” field and all variants in the maiden name and AKA field are found in searches. I normally use the surname field as the final name used, frequently on headstones.

 

Max Heffler

Houston, TX

 

From: main@... [mailto:main@...] On Behalf Of Sally Bruckheimer via groups.jewishgen.org
Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 2:59 PM
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [JewishGen.org] Preferred naming conventions/approaches for family trees #general #records

 

Women's name change with marriage, so generally the norm is to record a woman by her maiden name. Every online genealogy program, EXCEPT Geni, follows this. Since women often married 3 or 4 times in Europe (men too, but they didn't change their surname), I don't know how Geni handles that.

Spelling varied too. Schwartz and Szwarc are the same name - the Soundex systems try to account for this, but you can use wild cards and  'Starts with' option.
Vowels varied often, as immigrants changed their name's spelling to a different alphabet (Yiddish or Russian to English), so Birzon and Berzon are cousins.

Online searches can be easier, if you edit the surname to the one you want: if you want to find out what happened after she was married, used her married name in a search; if you want to find her as a girl with her parents use her maiden name.

The more you search, the more 'helps' you will discover.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ


--

Max Heffler
Houston, TX
max@...
HEFFLER(Ukraine)/TIRAS(Poland)/WASSEMAN(Lithuania)/MOORE(Poland)/ZLOT(Lithuania)
GORENSTEIN(Ukraine)/FLEISCHMAN(Latvia)/GOLDEN(Lithuania)


Michael Herzlich
 

For Q2: How do you deal with name changes and alternate/variant spellings in family trees?
 
For both Family Tree Maker and Ancestry you can specify more than one name.  You just "add fact"-Name then either specify which one is "preferred" or default to let it remain with the previous preferred name.

There is also another Fact you can add for both, "Also Known As".  I like to use this for Family Tree Maker as this name is listed in the Names Index on the left part of the screen making it easy to visually see both the Preferred Name and the AKA Name.  Alternate names do not show up in the index. 

If you do not see AKA in the main view of Family Tree Maker, open Options, select the Names/Dates/Places tab and add the check mark to "Use AKA if available as an additional entry"  You can then use the "Customize View" button on the the bottom right of the main screen to organize where AKA is displayed.

In Ancestry the Alternate names are not displayed unless you expand the names field.
In Ancestry the AKA name is displayed towards the bottom of the Facts Tab.
--
Michael Herzlich
Delray Beach, Florida USA

Belarus - EPSTEIN, HELFAND, POLLACK
Galicia (Poland, Ukraine) - HERZLICH, TREIBER


Kenneth Ryesky
 

Never mind marriages!  In my family tree I have name changes by adoption.  But never mind them, either; I also have court-approved gender changes in my family tree (judges are not necessarily biologists, and do not necessarily conform to biological laws).
--
Ken Ryesky,  Petach Tikva, Israel     kenneth.ryesky@... 

Researching:
RAISKY/REISKY, ARONOV, SHKOLNIK(OV), AEROV; Gomel, Belarus
GERTZIG, BRODSKY; Yelizavetgrad, Ukraine
BRODSKY, VASILESKY; Odessa, Ukraine
IZRAELSON, ARSHENOV; Yevpatoriya, Ukraine (Crimea)


sharon yampell
 

I have found numerous variations of certain last names that run through my tree.  What I do, even for those so far back who really did not have last names, I put what I knew was the original last name once someone had one and then put each descendant with the version they chose to use…

 

For example, if the oldest ancestor is your ?x great grandfather, then he would be ?x great grandfather Schwartz but if later descendants use Schwarz or Shwartz, then I put those as their last name…I put the original last name for the oldest family member for consistency and to so those looking at my tree, will know where the variations may have originated.

 

Sharon F. Yampell

Voorhees, New Jersey

 

From: Kenneth Ryesky
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2021 6:59 AM
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [JewishGen.org] Preferred naming conventions/approaches for family trees #general #records

 

Never mind marriages!  In my family tree I have name changes by adoption.  But never mind them, either; I also have court-approved gender changes in my family tree (judges are not necessarily biologists, and do not necessarily conform to biological laws).
--
Ken Ryesky,  Petach Tikva, Israel     kenneth.ryesky@... 

Researching:
RAISKY/REISKY, ARONOV, SHKOLNIK(OV), AEROV; Gomel, Belarus
GERTZIG, BRODSKY; Yelizavetgrad, Ukraine
BRODSKY, VASILESKY; Odessa, Ukraine
IZRAELSON, ARSHENOV; Yevpatoriya, Ukraine (Crimea)

 


jsheines@...
 

I use the married surname and the primary and then enter the maiden name in the "Nee" field I created in Family Tree Maker.  There are just too many women in my trees to keep up with unfamiliar maiden names, especially for women who married into the family. 

Herschel Sheiness San Antonio, Tx


Michele Lock
 

My tree is on Ancestry, and I follow the convention that they use, which is the woman is displayed with her original surname. You can easily tell who she was married to, even if it was multiple husbands, because the trees will show those relationships. Having the original surname shown for the woman, and having her in the tree next to her husband, is one of the few ways to connect the same woman pre- and post-marriage, particularly for women born prior to 1930 or so, for which there are few documents that will contain the first surname.

This is also one way to sort out the all-to-common question of "My grandfather Abe Gold had a sister Rose who came to the US in 1911, and then she disappeared. What happened to her?" Most likely, she got married. If people put her in their trees as Rose Gold, married to Harry Weiss, it will be a lot easier for others to find her. It will also be a lot easier to connect her to her siblings and parents.

It would be much more helpful, genealogy-wise, if we followed the convention that is used in Spanish-speaking countries, where the woman in official records is shown with both her original and married surnames. I have a relative Sarah Lavine who migrated from Russia to Cuba, and then to the US, and she came here under the name Sarah Kalmanowitz y Lev, confirming that her original surname was Lev, and also confirming that the name Lev was refashioned into Lavine here in the US, and that her married name was Kalmonowitz. At some point she divorced, and so in this country only used Lavine. This one person solved a months-long dilemma for me - what was the original Lavine surname?

As for entries/spellings of surnames - for the Lavine/Lev family above, Sarah Lavine has that as her main name. I have in her birth field that the surname was originally Lev. For her father Efroim, who did not come to this country, he is only listed as ' Efroim Lev'. Basically, I use the surname with the spelling that the person used themselves for most of their lives. I do not use Americanized forms of surnames or Americanized spellings for persons who did not come to the US.
--
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus