Standardization Guide for Names
I just came across something odd in my family tree. Nancy Eleanor Riggins (L7GQ-M9W) had her name listed as follows:
Given names: Nancy Eleanor
Surname(s): Riggins, Cook
Her maiden name was Riggins and her married name was Cook. However, the person who put this in did not realize that there should only be one name in the main given names section - other names should be listed as an "alternate name".
I have also noticed that there are oftentimes alternate names listed that are the exact same as the main name. This duplication gets quite superfluous and annoying to work with.
Would it be possible to create a style guide for names that would include something like the following:
Only one language per name - Johann Ernst and John Ernest are fine but Johann Ernest and John Ernst are not (unless, of course, the other language's version of the name was used in the language, i.e. a boy being named Johann in English or Ernest in German)
The maiden name should be used - not the married name.
Nicknames should not be in the main name - there is a "nickname" tag for alternate names.
Use proper capitalization. All words in a name that are separated by a space (and oftentimes a hyphen as well) should be capitalized for the first letter only except for times when the language does not capitalize. For example, a name should be written "John Smith", not "john smith", "JOHN SMITH", "John SMITH", etc. Some exceptions would include names (these are taken from my family tree) like Joseph Ernst von Bandel (949R-9CY), Daniel-Marie Bourée de Corberon (GH94-L5C), and Ferdinand von zu Rhein (GH4N-R65), where "von" and "de" are nobillary titles (one is German, the other is French) and "zu" is meaning "to" in German.
The authentic diacritics should be used whenever possible. For example, in German, the name of GH4M-RB3 should be written as Johann Georg Böttinger, not Johann Georg Bottinger or Johann Georg Boettinger (in German, umlauts [the double dots above a letter] are sometimes transcribed with the principal letter becoming an "e". This results in Müller being written Mueller and Böttinger being written Boettinger). In Swedish, the name of 2MS8-1BQ should be written Jöns Nilsson, not Jons Nilsson - in Swedish, this could easily be confused with "Jon", a similar but different name.
Let me know what you think.
I totally agree with your comments, although another Family Tree user will probably be able to provide a link to an article, already available, which explains / confirms much of what you are saying.
Incidentally, if an Alternate Name is identical to the (main) one shown at the top of the Person page, I just delete it.1
I did just find this article at https://www.familysearch.org/help/helpcenter/article/how-to-enter-names-in-family-tree, although it lacks your finer detail, of course.1
Three points which may or may not have a relationship to this issue.
1) To have a unified tree database the starting place for the name to be enter should be the birth forename and surname, and should follow through to burial.
2) I direct you to the pioneers who came to America from England. The library shows the names from when they arrived in America - not the names they departed with. This means there former lives may not show. The point is they should have there former Surname so as to continue through to passage of time - however one of the sister of the church does not agree and keeps returning it to it original American format.
3) sum surnames have hyphenated spaces between surnames which is normal.0