What is the best way to enter multiple middle names?

+3 votes
eg. First name: Anne

Middle names: Isabella May

Could not find the answer so my apologies if it is here somewhere but I just could not find it.

Best wishes,

in Genealogy Help by Liz Panton G2G Rookie (230 points)

1 Answer

+5 votes
Anne goes in the first slot, Isabella May goes inthe second. if there is a third name, move Isabella up to the first slot.
by Tom Bredehoft G2G6 Pilot (190k points)
Hi Tom,
Thanks for the quick reply!

That is how I have done it but I noticed in the naming rules that multiple names are only allowed in specific fields and these do not include either the first name or middle name fields.

Is this a rule that it is OK to break?

Best wishes,
I guess I didn't know it was a rule.... That's what I've done in the past, no one's slapped my wrist for it.
. . . yet! :-)
I've been looking,...point me to the rules?

Right down the page . . .

Other Nicknames

This field could also be called Other First Names, Also Known As or Aliases.

This can be used for almost anything. It's appropriate to put any first name here that doesn't fit neatly into the Proper First Name or Preferred First Name.

This and the Other Last Names field are the only one that can include multiple names. Separate these with commas (e.g. Frank, Frank the Tank).

What multiple names means is multiple different names that the person was known by. For example, if you have an ancestor whose first name is Mary Jane it would be fine to put Mary Jane in the first name field. Technically, "Mary" and "Jane" are two names, but it is okay to treat them as one if your ancestor did. But if she was also known as MJ and Janie, you wouldn't put those in the first name field, because it is not meant to be used as a list of the names one was known by. My answer is that if you have reason to believe she commonly called herself Anne Isabella, it would be fine to add Isabella to the first name field.
Thanks, I've bookmarked it, will study at leasure.
Thanks Erin,

In this case she was known as Anne (first name) and her middle names were Isabella AND May (not "Isabella May").

If the Middle Name field should be used in the same way as the First Name field, should I enter "Isabella" as the Middle Name and enter "May" in the "Other Nicknames" field?

Best wishes,

Isabella May would be treated as one name, unless sometimes she went as Anne Isabella or Anne May. The general rule of thumb is that if it is part of the proper name, it can go in the appropriate field. The one name per field is there to remind you to only put the primary name in that field and to save nicknames for the nickname field, so instead of reading Anne Annie Booboo Isabella Izzy May, it reads Anne Isabella May, aka Annie, Booboo, Izzy.

Another example is with traditional Spanish surnames, they generally combine the mother's name with the father's,  something like Arnaz y Paolo. Since both Arnaz and Paolo are the surname, it would be inappropriate to separate them.

Thanks Erin - Got it! :-)

Best wishes,
Good thread. That really is a hard question about the multiple middle names.

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