How to record a byname of the form 'X alias Y'

+2 votes
I've done a quick search but haven't found any convincing answers for a couple of situations, which I will be facing.

1) The person's byname is 'X alias Y' for their entire lives. It may occasionally be recorded as 'Y aias X'. This is a situation where a family as a whole may well have become known in this fashion for a generation or two. THey were baptised and buried as 'X alias Y' and did not acquire the alias themselves.

2) A person in mid-life known as 'X alias Y'. They may fit category 1, but I don't know that, or which name was their birth surname if the alias was acquired during their lives.

Edit: This is in an English context, 16th and 17th centuries.
in Policy and Style by Nicholas Adams G2G6 (7.4k points)
retagged by Doug McCallum

The answer has some dependence on where the person lives (cultural context). Regional Projects usually cover this. For example, dit names are covere in the Québecois Project -

Might we have an example?

I've asked about this before. Never with any response.  Heres a few examples on a baptism register

The Barbet alias Adens are almost definitely related to and his descendants  who used this  alias name for at least a century although gradually evolving to Aden or Adyn.  In this case I used the alias name as an alternative since I had no real LNAB but I was uncertain about what to do. In  the Folke register this family are clearly baptised with the full alias name. 

( Sometimes alternate names are used in the records. I have ancestors known as Capron alias Fitzhugh.  In this case only one name is used in the register  but the names are used interchangeably with no consistence about which name is used. Some records such as  wills and marriage licences use the full alias.( They aren't on wikitree )


I don't have experience with English use of aliases but the Québec naming guide would at least be a useable one. Aliases (dit names) are very common and can appear in records the way Helen describes in her examples. Sometimes the full alias in a baptism, sometimes one of the names (there may be a number of them since they can change over a lifetime). Over time, one of them may be adopted as the standard surname.
Interestingly, sometimes in wills the name is written in the form of Aden alias dictus Barbet.

I do think we need an England policy for this. I'm very wary of creating a data error if the full alias name is given as an LNAB. These sorts of names are not uncommon. Perhaps you could add the England tag to the post.
I'd be inclined to treat the entire byname as an LNAB. With these records it is used as their official byname.

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