Current last name - Unknown

+8 votes
155 views
Is there instances where a person's Current Last Name will be "Unknown", if there already is a valid Last Name at Birth, recorded?
in Policy and Style by Esmé van der Westhuizen G2G6 Pilot (125k points)

1 Answer

+4 votes

There are instances where this might have happened unintentionally.

Where you might see this is the case when a women with a known surname married a man whose surname is as yet unknown and the current last name field has been set to the 'married name'. I think most people manually editing a profile would simply leave the current last name as the 'maiden name' but Wikitree at one time applied a married name by default (it no longer does) so there may be profiles where this situation exists - and of course it could also come from information uploaded from GEDCOM's.

In theory you might also see this entered erroneously for someone who legally changes their name to a mononym (See partial list at Wikipedia), but our guideline is to clarify this fact by using 'No Last Name'.

by Rob Ton G2G6 Pilot (275k points)
edited by Rob Ton
Hi Rob

The profiles that I have picked up are mostly from older Gedcom uploads.
In some instances, it could be a very good idea to call a person's Current Last Name "Unknown." Specifically, if a young woman is believed to have married (and would have adopted her husband's name), but records of her married name have not been located, the "Unknown" label together with other life details might be a critical clue to help the profile get found by a person who has details of the same woman's later life, but is looking for her origins.

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