Rösch is not Rosch, rather Roesch, can we edit those?

+4 votes
I didn't know where to post this question, but as the title states, I ran into a few profiles under "Rosch" that were imported from GEDCOM data, and when I went to verify some of them, I found that public data (on other sites) shows these to be in fact "Rösch" (which spelled out is "Roesch" a different surname altogether). I know site policy is to remove all non-English characters and markings, but in this case I believe the best course of action is to list as "Roesch", since that would be the "German" way of spelling it out without the umlaut. (And this would also avoid confusion for people searching "Rosch" and mistakingly receing "Rösch" results instead.)

Relevant wikitree included below.
WikiTree profile: Georgius Rosch
in Policy and Style by Raphael Rosch G2G Rookie (280 points)
Hi Raphael,

You wrote "site policy is to remove all non-English characters and markings ...".

Which site policy do you mean? That's necessary for certain things, like tags, but the standard style is to use the language, spelling, etc., that the person themselves would have used. Non-English character sets are fine. http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Name_Fields#Use_their_conventions_instead_of_ours

Hmm, I guess I confused the tag policy as applying to name policy too. So does that mean it would be OK to go ahead and change those "Rosch" entries to "Rösch"? Also, please submit it as an answer, since I think this exactly answers my question (except for the part of going through with it and changing the entries, but that would require someone with those editing privileges, right?)

1 Answer

+4 votes
Best answer
If the family was called Rösch in Germany we should do the same. While the end result for pronunciation in German is in most circumstances the same whether you use "ö" or "oe" that is not necessarily so when it comes to names. Both Rösch and Roesch could exist and denote different families and would not be interchangeable.
by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (544k points)
selected by Peter Roberts
But the umlaut denotes the letter "e", as opposed to it just being an accent mark (like the "tilde" in Spanish). So (at least in German), it is always correct to render "Rösch" as "Roesch", whereas it is never correct to render "Rosch" as "Rösch".

I truly believe that having "Rösch" represented on the site will only lead to confusion with "Rosch", whereas it could be correctly avoided by using "Roesch" instead.
I think I might've misunderstood your answer. My question was about changing the bad "Rosch" entries (which should be "Rösch"), but I was assuming they couldn't be changed to that (because of the non-English character), were you saying that we should indeed use  "Rösch" as the family name when renaming? (Ie, that you are agree they should be renamed?) If so, yes, I am all for it. I just want to avoid confusion with "Rosch".
Yes, by all means, use Rösch. Here in WikiTree you will get a mix of Röschs and Roschs that way since the search engine does not differentiate between regular vowels and unlauts. But that downside has to be accepted if we want to be true to the original documents we are dealing with.

As to the development of the umlauts: the two dots developed out of a small e written above the vowel hence the possibility to render them with the e written behind the vowel in media that will not accept an umlaut. But with respect to names there are plenty of cases where the umlaut is not the regular form of the name. Try a Google search with "Roesch -Rösch Deutschland". You'll find plenty of Germans who write their name Roesch.
So does that mean I should go ahead and edit them? Would I need special privileges to do so given that it is a surname? My understanding is that it has to be done by a project leader, is that correct?

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