Listing multiple middle names?

+7 votes
I have a sources that mention's that William Bryan's ( middle initial is either F. or P

Here's a quote from Pitt County Genealogical Quarterly:
"Seeking descendants and ancestors of William F. (or P.) BRYAN, b. ca. 1781, d. ca. 1826, m. Mary MANNING"

How should I handle this in the middlename field of his profile?
WikiTree profile: William Bryan
in Genealogy Help by David Bryan G2G1 (1.1k points)
edited by David Bryan
Hi David,

Someone may provide a better answer shortly, but I'll share my thoughts.

You could determine which you think is more likely to be correct, then put that initial in the actual field.  In the biography section write a brief thing explaining the conflict or possible other lead and source.

Or you could put both initials in the field.

I hope this helps :)
I just had a similar situation. Middle name Torrey or Terry. I originally put both in the middle name field and then recently put "or" between them. Maybe that isn't right either?
That was my gut instinct as well, but I had the same feeling.. that there maybe there was a better way.

1 Answer

+5 votes
If it were me, I would put neither in the field. If I were searching for William F and came upon a William P I would ignore him and vice versa. However if I was searching for William F and came upon a William (no initial) I would look to see if he was my guy.

Explain in the biography.
by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
I agree with this. Personally when I've had doubts I do not include a middle initial.  Your sources or references give the facts.

Another person may have more information and can categorically confirm the actual initial or hopefully the name.

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