LNAB at birth and variant spellings

+3 votes
How many variants of a name should be listed? I have a person whose last name is spelled "Kaefer" on the birth record, but various other documents list the name as "Kaeffer", "Käfer", "Käffer", and even "Keefer". This last version is on the burial record, and is the current spelling.
in WikiTree Help by Gus Gassmann G2G6 Mach 2 (21.9k points)

For me it is a judgement call as to which name is entered into the LNAB. I generally default to the most current usage because I want and think it would be most likely for the descendants of those people to recognize that surname and to find the profiles.......

For example, I have created profiles for a significant number of Italian immigrants whose surnames were often altered (at immigration or for other reasons). If the alternate spellings/variations are limited to just 1 or 2 versions then I'll list them in the 'Other' box as Esme suggests and then give a short explanation in the biography as Michel suggests.

IF I had as many variants as you show, I'd choose to put KEEFER (death + current) as LNAB and KAEFER (birth) as 'Other' and then add the discussion including the other versions you found in the Bio.

3 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
The name that is on the Birth Record is added to the Last Name of Birth.

All the other variations are then added into the Other Last Name, each one separated by a comma.

by Esmé van der Westhuizen G2G6 Pilot (132k points)
selected by Caleb Day
In addition to what Esme said, the 'last' known spelling that was used, not a spelling mistake, should be in Current Last Name. The spelling 'mistakes' found in sources should be in Other Last Names, but when Last Name was changed or actually used, that is what goes into Current Last Name. Last Name at Birth should not be changed because of using a different name later in life.
+4 votes
I would place Keefer in the other lastname field. Then usually in the first bit of the Biography I put all the spelling variations.

ae is a common way of typing ä by the way.

There might be different rules depending on the country though, so you should check the help section and see if there are different guidelines set.
by Michel Vorenhout G2G6 Pilot (254k points)
+3 votes
With regard to the number of "Other Last Name(s)" to list, I would list any variations that appear in an important record for the person or that frequently appear in the records for the person. If that rule of thumb would result in more than say, 4, OLNs, I would try to limit them to the top 4. If the person is a woman who has OLNs from prior marriages, I would, of course, include an OLN from each prior marriage, but would probably not include spelling variants if the total number of OLNs would exceed, say, 4.
by Chase Ashley G2G6 Pilot (253k points)

Related questions

+1 vote
0 answers
+1 vote
1 answer
111 views asked Jul 25 in WikiTree Help by John Wilson G2G Crew (620 points)
+6 votes
1 answer
92 views asked Sep 8, 2018 in WikiTree Help by Andrew Turvey G2G6 Mach 3 (37.1k points)
+4 votes
1 answer
101 views asked Nov 18, 2016 in Genealogy Help by Mary White G2G Crew (690 points)
+8 votes
1 answer
+25 votes
2 answers
+7 votes
1 answer
86 views asked Mar 23, 2021 in Policy and Style by Matt McNabb G2G6 Mach 2 (20.6k points)
+5 votes
2 answers
123 views asked Oct 15, 2016 in Genealogy Help by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (978k points)

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright