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Michael Talibard
02 October 2008, 04:23 AM
What advice would members give on choosing among variants of given names? The Reunion manual speaks of names and nicknames, but it

S McCormick
02 October 2008, 10:13 AM
For my "Pennsylvania Dutch" forbears, I choose the German spelling (Wilhelm over William) whenever it appears. The German only appears in the early generations here; the children of Wilhelm/William will all have the American English spellings of their names.

Perhaps you could find and follow a similar pattern; in the example you gave, it was the older son with the French spelling. So for the older the French form would come first while for the younger ones the English form would prevail?

As an aside, the title of your post caught my attention immediately. My great grandmother's brother was Elias. I have some papers from her niece that seem to indicate that his nickname was Eli. My problem is that I am unsure if this is a personal nickname or if it was in widespread use; so I don't know if I should include the nickname at all.

Sue

Frank Mitchell
02 October 2008, 07:55 PM
[QUOTE=Michael Talibard]What advice would members give on choosing among variants of given names? The Reunion manual speaks of names and nicknames, but it

AE Palmer
03 October 2008, 07:31 PM
As a primary name I would use the one on the person's first official document i.e. his birth or baptism certificate. Anything else would probably be a nickname.

A census entry, for instance, could be an enumerator's error, although I would record the source exactly as listed, of course.

Using such data is a good method of resolving variant spellings. It is not, however, the be all or end all solution to this sometimes vexing problem. Witness the following problem:

The birth certificate for Jacob Rideout lists his father as Elias Ridout and the witness is listed as Thomas Ridoutt. To add fuel to the fire, Elias' marriage license says: Elias Rideout and the witness (Elias' brother, Thomas) as Ridout. AIIIGGGHHH!

Besides, having numerous variant spellings reduces the effectiveness of Reunion's powerful search engine. I, therefore, perform what is commonly referred in the database world as data normalization. That is to say, I settle on one (possibly two) spelling(s) of surnames. That said, I DO use variant spellings within any narative I create. The only exeption to this rule is when I can document a formal and long-lasting change in a surname. I.e., Siedsma to Seedman.

Frank Mitchell
03 October 2008, 09:29 PM
Besides, having numerous variant spellings reduces the effectiveness of Reunion's powerful search engine. I, therefore, perform what is commonly referred in the database world as data normalization. That is to say, I settle on one (possibly two) spelling(s) of surnames. That said, I DO use variant spellings within any narative I create. The only exeption to this rule is when I can document a formal and long-lasting change in a surname. I.e., Siedsma to Seedman.
I do the same thing for the same reason e.g. all my DERBYSHIREs are listed as DARBYSHIRE, two spellings found in the same family, but my sources show the exact spelling as listed.

But note that Michael was asking about *given* names.

Frank

AE Palmer
06 October 2008, 06:40 PM
// CUT //

But note that Michael was asking about *given* names.

Frank

Although data normalization is not quite so important for given names, I am of the opinion that normalizing these data has its benefit --- allowing Reunion's search engine to be at its peak efficiency.

My normal solution to this problem is to enter a normalized (modern equivalent) given name, and then put all variant given spellings in the AKA field, and finally cite the source(s) as required.