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Names, names, names

Recent discussion in the online Legacy User Group concerns the recording of variant names - for example, where do you record prefixes of surnames such as Mac/Mc, O', Ui, Ni, etc.

Dermot posted, "For example, my surname is McGlone (sometimes written "Mc Glone" i.e., with a space). This is an anglicised version of my name in Irish (or Gaelic), which is "Mac Giolla Eoin", translated as "The Son of the servant of John". My surname, however, is *NEVER* "Glone". The "Mc" part is the anglicised version of "Mac", which is the Irish (or Gaelic) word for son (of), but it's definitely part of the surname.

Robert wrote, "Names like VanMeter, King Richard, Pierre Of Murat Prince Murat (Another family researcher claims I am related to this guy!), Princess Diana, apparently all have their own separate correct “proper” ways to do it. By proper, I mean according to the rules of that person’s home country name rules."

Here are a few helpful resources:

Getting It Right

Mary H. Slawson's book, Getting It Right, the Definitive Guide to Recording Family History Accurately, has almost 100 pages devoted to the proper recording of names. Here is an excerpt from the table of contents:

  • Given names
  • The use of formerly and or
  • alternate spellings
  • what language to use
  • recording given names
  • when surname appears before the given name
  • capitalization and punctuation
  • special symbols
  • nicknames
  • unknown given names
  • pseudonyms and alternate spellings of given names
  • multiple surnames
  • patronymic surnames
  • French Dits
  • missing surnames
  • the order to use when entering multiple titles
  • title prefixes and suffixes
  • religious titles
  • etc.

Best of all, all of her examples are written using Legacy Family Tree. For more information about the book, or to purchase, visit http://legacyfamilytree.com/Redirect/Store-SoftwareEtc.asp

Legacy News articles

Golden Rule of Data Entry

As discussed in the Mastering Names, Dates, and Places training CD - names, dates, and places should be entered so there is no misunderstanding by a novice reader as to the name, date, or place you are trying to express.

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