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View Full Version : Surname vs. Maiden Name vs. Married Surname


n2thai
29 June 2010, 07:32 AM
In my research I have come across several females who remarry. I have noted that others have listed the married surname in the "Surname" box, sometimes with a preceding maiden name (Mary MAYO (BELCHER) or Mary MAYO BELCHER), sometimes with the maiden name as part of the "First & Mid Name" box (Mary Mayo BELCHER), or, with the married surname in the "Suffix Title" box (Mary MAYO Belcher).

What is the consensus as to how this should be written in order to create a more lucid family card?

Terry

kmuch
29 June 2010, 06:46 PM
In my research I have come across several females who remarry. I have noted that others have listed the married surname in the "Surname" box, sometimes with a preceding maiden name (Mary MAYO (BELCHER) or Mary MAYO BELCHER), sometimes with the maiden name as part of the "First & Mid Name" box (Mary Mayo BELCHER), or, with the married surname in the "Suffix Title" box (Mary MAYO Belcher).

What is the consensus as to how this should be written in order to create a more lucid family card?

Terry

Professional genealogists and good amateurs ALWAYS use the woman's birth name in her surname box. Other forms are confusing. How is one to know whether Mary MAYO BELCHER was born a Mayo or a Belcher (or the double-barreled Mayo Belcher, a common British form) or born something else entirely but married to a Mayo and a Belcher or a Mayo Belcher?

If your lady was born Mary MAYO, put Mayo in the surname box. If you don't know her birth name, leave it blank or use one of the methods discussed here in the Reunion archives, such as her first husband's surname preceded or followed by an asterisk or bullet. That allows her to sort with her husband's family in the Index. If you choose a placeholder form, be sure to explain it in any reports you create or files you share with others. Try to resist using UNK for "unknown", another form you will encounter--it's not only ugly but misleading to novices.

Married names may be explained in the Notes if you want (particularly in the case of women who do NOT change their names upon marriage, a note may be helpful). In narrative text, authors use various styles. Probably the most common is Mary (Mayo) Belcher, to avoid the visual shout of all caps. For a woman with unknown maiden name, the form is often Mary -- Belcher or Mary (?) Belcher. I prefer the former because the question mark is commonly used to indicate a name that is suspected or unverified.

Charles Judy
01 July 2010, 08:32 PM
This link may be helpful, though it illustrates Spanish conventions.
I tend to carry the children names as the male surname. When one marries, the female surname is added,(in reunion program) to the first name,and the wife carries the married (male's) surname. I did this originally to sort out the lineage at meetings and reunions, and it seemed to sort or group the direct family members easily.
Was introduced the the double surname in the military many years ago.

http://www.tarver-genealogy.net/aids/spanish/sp_naming_conv.html

Donald Galloway
04 July 2010, 12:29 PM
Married names may be explained in the Notes if you want (particularly in the case of women who do NOT change their names upon marriage, a note may be helpful).

There is always the MName field as well.