Do you know of any first name or surname variants missing from WikiTree?

+15 votes
315 views

A few weeks ago we started using first name variants when detecting duplicates and in search results. See the announcement here. We've been doing this with surnames for a few years.

The name variants we use come from WeRelate's Variant Names Project


We are planning on updating the first and last name databases quarterly, so if you notice any variants that are missing from WikiTree, enter them at WeRelate and we will import the changes.

If you don't want to create an account at WeRelate, you can also post missing variants here, and I will do it for you.

in WikiTree Tech by Jamie Nelson G2G6 Pilot (318k points)
edited ago by Ellen Smith
for johannes: jan, hans, han, jannes

for cornelis: nelis, cor, knillis, corné

for theodora: thea, door, derris, dirris, dirriske, derriske, doortje

for eve: eva, eef, eefje

for Sybilla: beeltje

and that's just a start.....
I added a few - thanks for pointing this out!
You could add Cornil, Corneille, Cornelius for Cornelis, those name were much in use in French Flanders and the Dutch, Latin and "Francized" versions are pretty much interchangeable in records.

12 Answers

+9 votes
Some recent surnames worked on that could use some updating:

1. Andreola-ADD Andreolo, Andriola, Andrioli & Andriolo. REMOVE Anderle, Anderly, Andrle, Anderl, Andrailh, Undrell

2. Scielzi + Scielzo

3.Iacovella + Iacovelli-REMOVE every other name from Jacobs to Kobs.

4. Criasia + Creasia

5.Venditti-Remove ALL-add Vendetti (which already is connected to Venditti)
by Nick Andreola G2G6 Mach 4 (44.9k points)
+9 votes
Bratchell, Brachell, Brachel. Thank you, Jamie.
by Leandra Ford G2G6 Mach 8 (85.1k points)
+10 votes

There are lots of variants on Norwegian first names, and hence also the patronyms, but there are a few regularities:

  1. t and th are equivalent. There's no difference between Tor and Thor, or between Marte and Marthe. There are other "silent consonants", such as d at the end of a name. Thus, Tor, Thor, and Thord can be used interchangeably for the same man.
  2. Several female names are spelled alternately with -en or -i at the end, thus Maren and Mari should be considered the same name, as well as Kirsten/Kirsti, and Karen/Kari.

Norwegian names were written by Danish clergy for hundreds of years, and since abt. 1850 have been "taken back" by Norwegian bygdebok authors and given a more national character by eg. changing the soft Danish consonants into Norwegian hard ones. A name written as "Thyge" in the church records may be rendered as "Tyke" in a bygdebok, which is actually one of the least extreme examples I can think of. A few other examples: Aasold/Åsulf, Svenum/Sveinung, Engel/Ingjald.

Thus, there may often be a wide gap between how a name is spelled the first time you encounter it, depending on whether you've found it in the bygdebook or in the original records. For a non-Norwegian, I think it may be rather challenging.

On a side note: Due to the need for a standardised placement of patronyms, in the Norway Project there's general agreement to put it in the LNAB, and "aquired" family names in the CLN. I've discovered that can be very challenging to find profiles with such an "aquired" surname. A good example is this profile of Tomas Larsen Brønlund. A search for surname "Brønlund" won't find him. Neither does a search for given name "Tomas" and surname "Brønlund". You've got to write his first name exactly as "Thomas". In my opinion, that's hardly optimal. It's pretty much the same situation as when you're looking for royalty on WikiTree; it's far simpler to go to Google and type "site:wikitree.com" + the name you're searching for. WT doesn't really scale in terms of searchability.

by Leif Biberg Kristensen G2G6 Mach 9 (97.0k points)
* [wildcard] Brønlund does return Tomas as a result. If you just type Brønlund it will direct to the genealogy page for Brønlunds, and you would have to choose "include current name" to see him on the page.

The first name variants database is currently missing a lot of variants, which is why I've asked for help. If Thomas is entered as a variant of Tomas, you will then be able to search for Thomas Brønlund and get the result you want.
+8 votes
Blefsing/Blessing (Ireland)

Smith/Smed (Norway/Oslo - anglicised version of Smed).
by Larina Harper G2G3 (3.1k points)
+8 votes
This needs to be done carefully.  The principles should be

1 - ignore modern practice, which treats Ann and Anne as different names, or the whole object is defeated

2 - equate names which are always equivalent

3 - don't equate names which are only sometimes equivalent.  This just results in large numbers of false matches.  The current list has Joanna and Roseanna and Susan as variants of Hannah.  This isn't helpful, but these things can only be fixed by pestering Dallan.

4 - don't include every possible rare spelling variant.  This will presumably slow down the searches, and then the lists will need to be shortened, and again this can only be done by pestering Dallan.

5 - for the same reason, don't include informal forms that aren't likely to be used in First Name fields.
by RJ Horace G2G6 Pilot (565k points)
edited by RJ Horace
I fail to see how pestering Dallan has a downside, that's a favorite hobby of mine
+7 votes
for henricus: hendrik, hendrick, hent, hend, driekus drikus, driek, rikus, rik, henk, hank
by Eef van Hout G2G6 Mach 8 (85.2k points)
+8 votes
for maria:

marie, ria, riet, mariet, marriet, miep, marike, marieke, marijke, maartje, maaike,
by Eef van Hout G2G6 Mach 8 (85.2k points)
+7 votes
Chivell, Chivel, Chivall, Chival, Chevall, Cheval.

Thank you, Jamie.
by Leandra Ford G2G6 Mach 8 (85.1k points)
+6 votes

Variants for the Slovak surname, attested as Petržala (based on my reading of baptismal records from Skalica earlier this year):

  • Petrzala
  • Petrzal
  • Petrzel
  • Petrzsala
  • Petrzsela
  • Petrzsal
  • Petrzsel
  • Petrsala
  • Petrsela

(Note that the surname of descendants living in Binghamton, N.Y. is attested as Petržala: "Dejiny Binghamtonských Slovákov za dobu styridsat rokov, 1879-1919") 

by W Hopkins G2G1 (1.1k points)
+8 votes
If I take my surname LEWERENZ; he is not metioned in the list. The name has two meanings.

For one meaning - the man from the city Laurent - there are variants like Lorenz and Laurenz, Lawrence.

The second one is a regional meaning from the Mecklenburg area in Germany. Even in my family tree I have the following variants:

- Lewerenz

- Leverenz

- Lewerentz

- Leverentz

- Lefrenz

- Leferenz

- Lefrentz

- Leferentz

- Lewerens

- Lewerents

- Lafrenz

- Laferenz

- Lafrentz

- Laferentz

The name is also used as first name.
by Dieter Lewerenz G2G6 Pilot (424k points)
+2 votes
Hello, I get LOTS of Johnson profiles when I search for the surname Kane.  These seem too derivative to be useful.

Also, this is a really helpful feature, thanks for working on it!
ago by LK LaPlante G2G3 (3.4k points)
edited ago by LK LaPlante
+1 vote
Some first name variants that don't seem to show up mostly due to spelling, but these names or versions are used interchangeably:  1) Electus + Electious  2) Genavieve + Genevieve  3) Winnifred + Winifred  4) Drusilla + Druscilla  5) Cornelious + Cornelius  6) Edmond + Edmund  7) Burdie + Birdie  8) Claudius + Claud  9) Clement + Clemment  10) Eleanor + Eleanora  11) Elmer + Elmore  12) Wilford + Wilfred
ago by Laurie Segers G2G6 (8.7k points)
edited ago by Laurie Segers

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