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  #1  
Old 06 October 2008, 03:50 PM
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Default Problem with names enclosed in parenthesis in the index of a register report

I use parenthesis to enclose the married name of an individual if I do not know the maiden name. For example, Elizabeth married Harry Johnston. I do not know Elizabeth's maiden name and so I enter her last name as (JOHNSTON). At least this will make it easier to search for records under her married name and she sorts with all the Johnstons in the family file index.

If I generate a register report, the index in that report will have the following quirk. If Elizabeth (JOHNSTON) is the first JOHNSTON found in the report, then all the Johnston entries have the heading as (JOHNSTON) and not JOHNSTON. If there is someone with a first name that is alphabetically before Elizabeth and the last name is JOHNSTON and not (JOHNSTON), this does not occur. It is annoying to check the register report index and delete the parenthesis individually. Is there (or will there be) a solution to this?
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Old 06 October 2008, 05:14 PM
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Smile Re: Problem with names enclosed in parenthesis in the index of a register report

Personally I would just put Unknown instead of the surname in brackets. This will remove your problem, plus if you happen to upload your family tree as a GEDCOM file to various websites, it keeps things easier to match as most of the ones I have found with no surname put Unknown.

Not much of an answer, but just an opinion.
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Old 07 October 2008, 01:27 AM
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Default Re: Problem with names enclosed in parenthesis in the index of a register report

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Originally Posted by BeppieChick
Personally I would just put Unknown instead of the surname in brackets.
Actually, he said he uses parentheses, which strikes me as it struck you: a particularly bad idea. The usual meaning of a surname given in parentheses is that it's a maiden name, not a married one.

Using "unknown" or putting the married name in brackets -- for example, Elizabeth [JOHNSTON] -- would be clear without running afoul of convention.
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Old 07 October 2008, 04:29 AM
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Default Re: Problem with names enclosed in parenthesis in the index of a register report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Kangley
I use parenthesis to enclose the married name of an individual if I do not know the maiden name. For example, Elizabeth married Harry Johnston. I do not know Elizabeth's maiden name and so I enter her last name as (JOHNSTON). At least this will make it easier to search for records under her married name and she sorts with all the Johnstons in the family file index.

If I generate a register report, the index in that report will have the following quirk. If Elizabeth (JOHNSTON) is the first JOHNSTON found in the report, then all the Johnston entries have the heading as (JOHNSTON) and not JOHNSTON. If there is someone with a first name that is alphabetically before Elizabeth and the last name is JOHNSTON and not (JOHNSTON), this does not occur. It is annoying to check the register report index and delete the parenthesis individually. Is there (or will there be) a solution to this?
If I don't know an individual's surname (or for that matter forename), I leave it blank. If I don't know either, I don't enter a person at all.
I agree that (to take your case) this does not immediately associate Elizabeth with the Johnstons in the family file index, but searching is no problem with Reunion's very capable Find; look for "Forename contains Elizabeth" and "Spouse contains Johnston". And in the index, just include a column for spouse. That will reveal the connection.
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Old 07 October 2008, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Problem with names enclosed in parenthesis in the index of a register report

I was not aware that brackets were preferred over parenthesis and if that will solve the report indexing problem I mentioned earlier, I can change (name) to [name]. Having the spouse grouped together with her in-laws is preferred in my mind rather than have her grouped with UNKNOWNS or blanks. At least if I come across an Elizabeth Johnston, which would be her legal name after her marriage, I can find her grouped easily with the other Johnstons. I will not be looking for Elizabeth UNKNOWN or Elizabeth -------, when I am looking for wills or probates or church or cemetery records and when I come across an Elizabeth Johnston, I can easily check the master index rather than searching for Elizabeths that married a Johnston. Just a little time saver in my opinion.
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Old 09 October 2008, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: Problem with names enclosed in parenthesis in the index of a register report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Kangley
Having the spouse grouped together with her in-laws is preferred in my mind rather than have her grouped with UNKNOWNS or blanks. At least if I come across an Elizabeth Johnston, which would be her legal name after her marriage, I can find her grouped easily with the other Johnstons. I will not be looking for Elizabeth UNKNOWN or Elizabeth -------,
But what do you do about multiple marriages? I have one or two in my d/b whose maiden names are still unknown even though they married more than once.

I too once put the spouse name in brackets to indicate "unknown", but stopped doing that years ago, and now just leave blank any field that is unknown. That includes BMD date and place fields (nothing more annoying than having to remove hundreds of "unknown"s or "??"s from imported data!). A blank is more elegant, and obvious that it represents a datum unknown.
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Old 09 October 2008, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: Problem with names enclosed in parenthesis in the index of a register report

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Originally Posted by Nick
But what do you do about multiple marriages? I have one or two in my d/b whose maiden names are still unknown even though they married more than once.

I too once put the spouse name in brackets to indicate "unknown", but stopped doing that years ago, and now just leave blank any field that is unknown. That includes BMD date and place fields (nothing more annoying than having to remove hundreds of "unknown"s or "??"s from imported data!). A blank is more elegant, and obvious that it represents a datum unknown.
That is a very good question and I just checked my file to see if I had anyone where that has happened. I could not find any but perhaps because I have limited my formal research to those that are related by blood or adoption rather than those related only by marriage. I have had a number of women who married a gg uncle for example and then remarried after the death of this uncle. I do not include her new husband in the file as a completely new individual but I mention in the notes that she remarried and use her previous married name in the notes as that is the only legal name she had at that point in time. If there are any new children from that marriage I may make mention of them in the notes if appropriate but I do not follow them formally and do not enter them as individuals in REUNION. That is just a personal preference to limit who I have in my own file. I admit I do my own mix of genealogy by blood lineage and more informal family history that includes adoptees for example not related by blood. If the occasion merited and I had to enter this second marriage in REUNION it would still be Elizabeth (Johnston) second married Joseph Smith. Johnston is the only legal name I have for Elizabeth and the marriage record would be under Johnston - Smith and not UNKNOWN or blank - Smith. To me the parenthesis or brackets or whatever when seen in the REUNION index indicates to me that I do NOT know her maiden surname (or I would have not used parenthesis or brackets in the first place) but I can find her easily and quickly with the family she married into.

Another question that is raised by this discussion is: if the convention is to include maiden names in parenthesis, why does REUNION not do so as well?

Also if a register report is generated and sent to someone with an index that that says "UNKNOWN, Elizabeth, spuse of 12" or "------, Elizabeth, spouse of 12," the index will not tell you who 12 is. You must then page through the report to find the name of 12. But if Elizabeth is indexed by her married name and there is an indication that this is not her maiden name (I use parenthesis but could use something else) then at least she is grouped the the Johnstons in the index. A limitation of the present indexing method in REUNION's reports I think. I agree that a lot of "unknowns" and "???" are annoying especially in date and place fields, but the fact remains that if I have an individual with a first name and last name which they would have used legally, I personally prefer entering that name over UNKNOWNS or blanks.
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Old 09 October 2008, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Problem with names enclosed in parenthesis in the index of a register report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Kangley
Another question that is raised by this discussion is: if the convention is to include maiden names in parenthesis, why does REUNION not do so as well?
Well, it's mostly a convention that's used in a list of a woman's surnames, rather than when her maiden name is used alone. Thus, you might call someone "Elizabeth Taylor", while referring to her more completely as "Elizabeth (Taylor) Hilton Wilder Todd Fisher Burton Burton Warner Fortensky.
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