How should I mark an alias?

+5 votes
There are some families in England that used alias surnames for generations. I'm looking a 'Simms alias Shipman' right now, as I believe one of my ancestors to be one.
On some baptism records (and marriage & burial) they are marked as 'Simms alias Shipman', others as 'Shipman alias Simms', or in two separate records for the same person, or even listing one name and not the other. There was little consistency here, and all these cases could occur even amongst siblings.

How should I handle such a case where it appears both names were used virtually interchangeably. Should I go with the first that appears on the record as LNAB, even if that means the siblings all have different surnames?

I could say the same for spellings also as at this point the name could be 'Simms', 'Sims,', 'Syms', 'Symes' etc., or even two different ones in the same source.

Any help on LNAB convention etc. for aliases and alternate spellings would be appreciated.
WikiTree profile: Will Simms
in Policy and Style by Callum Simms G2G Crew (710 points)

1 Answer

+6 votes
The alternate surnames, spelling differences, etc would go into Other Last Names.  Current Last Name should be the Last surname that was used in sources.  Last Name at Birth is the earliest surname used.

You have found a confusing family for sure.  I would set Last Name at Birth as the 1st surname on the source that you are looking at. Siblings can have different Last Names at Birth. We have plenty of families like that because people didn't know how to spell or write, and the person recording the information also didn't necessarily know any better.

I would also create a Research Notes section, indicating that sibling sources have the names reversed on their documents, so others will understand that you do not have consistent documentation within that family.
by Linda Peterson G2G6 Pilot (593k points)

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