First names, middle names, surnames
Hi. My name is Johanne Hernes and I am from Norway. At the time being, I am a service missionary for FamilySearch. I became a member in 1986 and have developed a huge collection of names since then. I will try to do my question short, but it needs some explanation first.
Name traditions are different from country to country. Here in Norway, we have different periods with different ways of describing our names. Since the laws for names were so vague a person could be cited in different ways, depending on the Clark who wrote it. We also have an oral tradition for saying names. Then they usually use the person's first name and then with a surname that describes the place where they lived. The trouble comes when we want to write the names in only two boxes. First name and surnames. We have also "middle names". The twist here is what is a middle name and what is a surname. As it is now the factor of finding a surname here is difficult. Many use the name of the place they live as a surname even if it never has been that. If that is the case, when they moved from one place to another, the person could in fact have got two or more surnames!
So: Would it be possible to have more boxes than only for first names, and surnames? Why do I want that?
In some of our areas, there are so many Ole Olsens or Peder Pedersens, that we have no way of separating them from each other other than use the oral tradition with the place for surnames. Today I use the title books for suffix to help med differentiate. I know it's wrong, but I needed to find a way to see it clearly when I look in my index record searching for Ole or Peder.
From my experience talking to many members, there are so many different opinions about names and how to make the record straight. I look at it as if it is a filing cabinet where you need to keep track and make the system so it will be easy to find them.
First names are first names files.
Middle names are middle names files.
Surnames are in the surname files.
My thoughts about title suffixes are that we can easily set all titles (especially suffix) under other options. Then there would be space for at least 3 to 4 boxes for different types of names.
Our name traditions are for 3 types of names. Eg.:
A box for first name (proper names): Johanne.
A box for middle names: my is Torill, but some may have more than one proper name as a middle name, and some have middle names of places or other kinds of names like Dahl, Vik (places), or even mother's surname as a middle name.
A box for surnames. The variety can be different from place to place. Some have inherited surnames that you may find through many generations, but before 1923 they used patronymic names as surnames. But already in the 1860s or in towns or cities they started using surnames from places they had a connection to.
So the 2 million dollar question is:
Is it possible to adjust the number of boxes for different kinds of name types?