Looking for the best way to distinguish people with the same name

+3 votes
162 views
John Gaither, born in 1599, was the ancestor of most Gaithers in North America, and I've currently been drawn into expanding his profile (currently under construction) and sorting out some facts associated with him and his descendants.  The family really, really, really liked the name John Gaither, and there were at least a half dozen generations in a row where the name John Gaither was passed from father to son to grandson.  In many genealogies, these John Gaithers have been distinguished by designating one as John Gaither I, another John Gaither II, John Gaither III, etc.  To my knowledge, none of these men actually used a roman numeral suffix after their name, so WikiTree policy is, I believe, that the WikiTree profile name should not include such a suffix.  Are there any acceptable alternatives, above and beyond birthdate, which will help distinguish among these John Gaithers when the name shows up in indexes, etc?.
WikiTree profile: John Gaither
in Policy and Style by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (261k points)
Personally, I would not presume the usage of suffix Roman numerals corrupts any last names at birth. As you have discovered, WikiTree has a provision to include a suffix and mark it as “uncertain”.

1 Answer

+2 votes
One construct I have seen on a couple of occasions is to add a parenthetical reference to the person's father as a distinguishing factor, for example:

     Jacob (of Jacob) Buhrman

     Jacob (of Henry Poorman) Buhrman

     Jacob (of Jno,) Buhrman

     Jacob (of Samuel) Buhrman

That may not work very well in a case of six generations with the same given name, but perhaps you could dream up some expansion of the concept, such as reference to both parents, that wouldn't look like a completely new invention.
by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (249k points)

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