How to correctly spell German name (Jahler-1)

+1 vote

I would like to fix the db_error_777 (Unique name in Last Name at Birth) that is a suggestion on my grandmother's profile (Jahler-1).  In Germany, her last name is spelled with an umlaut over the a.  When she was married in the US the marriage certificate spells her name as Jaehler.

I have a photo of her grave marker that shows the spelling with the umlaut.  The ancestry record below shows the marriage certificate.  I have no other sources except for family recollections. 

Which spelling should be used on WikiTree?  If the spelling needs to use the umlaut, how do I make that character without a German keyboard?

Ancestry Record Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.

Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 196; Film Title: 71 Presqueisle 1130-73 Saginaw 1129; Film Description: Presque Isle (1938)-Saginaw (1927)

WikiTree profile: Erna Schwesinger
in Policy and Style by Barbara Regan G2G4 (4.3k points)

1 Answer

+5 votes
Best answer
How you make ä or Ä depends on your computer and what software you are using ... that said, some examples:

On an iPad or Mac simply press and hold the a or A key until the different options come up (there are 7 upper and 7 lower case options). Select the ä or Ä.

On a PC you can activate a foreign language keyboard (each operating system works a little differently), you can use an alt code, or a control (ctrl) code.  For example, for ä press ctrl, then shift, then : (this is the colon key), then a.

In Microsoft applications you can use the insert character function.

There are also some web applications where you can generate the accented character and copy it to whoever you want.

Do a google search for typing accents.


It is acceptable to replace ä with ae.
by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (520k points)
selected by Living Terink

It is acceptable to replace ä with ae.

German orthography does only allow the substitution of vowel plus e for an umlaut if the font or media used does not allow for an umlaut.

Or copy and paste one of the above examples...

True ... I should have clarified.

On most PCs alt 132 (numbers lock on), will produce the unlauted just like I did here ä.
Thank you to those who helped me make the umlaut.  I changed the LNAB for my grandmother.  Her WikiTree ID was Jahler-1, but it is now Jähler-2.

If I understand correctly how the profile suggestion list works I will have to wait until Monday to find out if the db_error_777 has gone away.  I was curious when I saw that her ID came out with a 2, thinking that must mean there is another Jähler on WikiTree.  But I could find no profile for a Jähler-1.
WikiTree treats a and ä the same, when you changed the name you essentially created a new profile Jähler-2 and merged Jahler-1 into it.
I ran the Suggestions tool this morning and it appears that the system is satisfied that my grandmother's LNAB isn't a mistake.  Thanks to those who helped me fix the error and to understand how to use the ä character.  I would like to know more about the Jähler family and hope that someday there will be other Jähler profiles on WikiTree.
Apparently, I checked too soon.  The error was flagged again so I chose the option "False suggestion--name is correct"


What you did is correct, marking the error as "False". This type of suggestion "Unique name in xxxx" is meant to catch typos in names. When you are certain the spelling is correct your action is the only option!

The fact that currently only 1 profile in WikiTree has the name Jähler is not very relevant. Just googling that name gets about 20900 results...

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