Help:Conventions/Given name


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Conventions for data entry

Examples and tips

  • When a given name has multiple parts, at least one of the name rows should be used to enter all parts together in the same format as was used by the individual during their lifetime or by the cited sources.
  1. Abram John Van Duzen has "Abram John" entered in his Given name field.
  2. John Cajetan Ayd was a German immigrant to the United States who was known by and recorded with many different versions of his given name, including "Johann Cajetan" at birth and often simply "John K", "Cajetan" or even "Kajetan" later in life. Future researchers may look for him in our database under any one of his many given name variations, therefore they are entered in separate rows as alternate given names.
  3. Henry Karn had two middle names, but the only information known about them at this time are the initials "J" and "R", so "Henry J R" was entered in his Given name field. Note that no periods were used, so that his name would sort correctly with any other "Henry J" names.
  4. add more examples, if you wish
  • Field may contain non-English letters or characters.
  • Our program uses what is entered in the Name field when searching for a match. You may wish to familiarize yourself with how this works.
  • Note: When editing a Person page, the first name row is the Primary display name, therefore entries in that row must be agreeable to the collaborators on that page. Alternate name rows are provided for entering alternate names. See Name row conventions for details.

Why enter data this way?

This section could stand some formatting for easier skimming. I like to use bold on one key phrase in each point, so that users can quickly see what each point is about (e.g., "birth names" in the first point). Other options include sub-headings (not my preference) or even just additional white space.--DataAnalyst 21:26, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
  • We specify the entry of birth names when adding new Person pages, so that the wiki page title generated by that entry will be formatted correctly.
  • We specify a mixed case style for all name fields for consistency and because it is the community standard our members chose during the development of this site. Other researchers may have used all upper case in the past to mark certain individuals as belonging to a specific tree or family. This practice should not be used here, since Person pages do not belong to any one user or family, and we provide the option of defining User Trees to identify pages that belong to a user-defined group.
  • pending decision We specify a null entry (i.e., a blank field) for any name field where the name is not known or never existed, because anything else entered would not be a name, and we want to provide consistency across languages. Other researchers may have used placeholder words (i.e. Unknown, Unnamed son, Stillborn child, Unbekannt, FNU, N.N., etc.) in the past to indicate that a name is not known or to convey additional information about the person. This practice should not be used here, since the choice of entry is subjective, there are too many word combinations used across languages to be able to monitor effectively, and we provide other data fields on each Person page that are better suited for this type of information, such as Source citation, Description, or even Name suffix.
  • Surnames and patronymics are not entered in the Given name field, because our program searches for them in the Surname field.
  • The following are not allowed in the Given name field, because not all researchers use them in the same way, and their use can adversely affect Browsing, Searching, identification of duplicates and page listings in the wiki.
    • numbers, such as 1, 2, III, etc.
    • placeholder words, such as Male, Infant, Daughter, Boy, Wife, etc.
    • abbreviations, such as Geo, Wm., etc.
    • acronyms, such as FNU, MNU, UNK, etc.
    • punctuation, such as ?, (), [], ", ', periods, etc. (unless part of legal name - but note that beginning the name with punctuation is discouraged, as the page might not show up in search results)
See Name suffix conventions for suggestions on how some of these could be entered.

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