"Recognized Name" vs "Proven Name"

+13 votes
Looking for opinions...we all know how hard it is to find a birth, baptismal or some kind of record to prove a woman's maiden name with Pre-1700 profiles. Regularly I come across a situation like the one on this profile, where, the "recognized name" of a person is based on a long told tale, with no known documentation.   

My question is, do we use the "recognized name" or "unknown"?
WikiTree profile: Sarah Woodson
in Policy and Style by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (757k points)
In any case the story looks very suspect.  There are no Barons Woodson, that I can find, and even if there were, as the fifth son, John would have been unlikely to have inherited much.  Usually it was the eldest son (or eldest surviving son) who inherited everything, younger sons often had to make their own way.
I would go with unknown until an actual true source can be found.  By the way, death place should probably read Virginia Colony, (USA did not exist yet), if we wish to avoid anachronisms.

3 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer

This book appears to be well-researched and makes no mention of Sarah's ("Sara" in the book) LNAB. 

Historical Genealogy of the Woodsons and Their Connections

by Woodson, Henry Morton, 1845-

Published 1915


by Jeanne Aloia G2G6 Mach 1 (17.3k points)
selected by Maggie N.
+5 votes
PGM uses Unknown
by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
+8 votes
I think her surname should be 'Unknown' and her 'recognized name', in this case Winston, should be entered as an 'other last name'. The reasoning should be explained in her biography.
by Kay Wilson G2G6 Pilot (201k points)

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