Titles as names?

+15 votes
Should we really put titles as names on the profiles? I see it all the time working on Swedish monarchs and other types of rulers. Often these people have held several titles like Member of the Privy Council of Sweden, knight, Duke of Södermanland and so on but I never se those types of titles in the name boxes. Could we add a box for titles? Or profession/occupation? The two often go hand in hand.

The profile linked to this question is Birger Jarl. Jarl is actually a title too but it became so assosiated with Birger that in this case it is ok to have it as a nickname. He was also regent of Sweden and then co-ruler with his son Valdemar.
WikiTree profile: Birger Magnusson
in Policy and Style by Lena Svensson G2G6 Mach 5 (56.9k points)
retagged by Lena Svensson

Good point Wikipedia on the subject title 

"added to someone's name in certain contexts" so what is a name ;-) 

I always vote for more fields inside Wikitree instead of storing everything inside one field....

Completely agree. I also dislike the use of post-nominal letters in name fields.
I have been titles in the nicknames fields to make them stand out.

2 Answers

+13 votes
Best answer
A field for titles would be a good idea, but I don't know how practical that is from the point of view of adding input fields to Wikitree.

The current naming standards are to use the European Aristocrats naming standards for any profile prior to 1600.  See here
http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Name_Fields#Medieval_Profiles  and they specify that the title goes in the Other Nicknames field.

Where a person might have several different titles throughout their life span, I tend to put the last title they had, or the most important title, or the one that is recognised as belonging to them, in that field, and then put the rest in the biography.  If known you could even include when they were granted or assumed that title.
by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (641k points)
selected by Darlene Athey-Hill

See also G2G

Lesson learned is to split titles in position held and awards received e.g.

Compare Winston Churchill who has  KGOMCHTDPCDLFRSRA

 Churchill on WikiTree Churchill-4

+3 votes
This is another area where it would be important to distinguish the "data entry screen" -- what you get when you press "edit" -- and the "display screen" -- what you get when you first bring up the profile.

The function of the data entry screen should be to get important data into the computer in an organized fashion where the computer can find it.  So that requires interaction between the programmers and representatives of the users.  

By contrast, the function of the display screen is to present that data in a way that informs the reader and honors the person profiled.  

It would make sense to have a data entry screen for certain titles in an organized way.  Perhaps if you entered "earl" or "jarl" you would even get a pop up box where you could choose what kind of earl, so that it would all be entered in a coherent way.  

On the display screen, on the other hand, it should be displayed the way it would have been seen by contemporaries.  If the man was known as "John Smith, Lord Anyhow, Third Duke of Where,"  that was the way it should be displayed, without some of those titles in quotes as nicknames.

Already, the data entry frames and display screens look different.  We should capitalize on that so that the displays do more to honor what the person was really known by.

That's the long way around saying that if title is important in the computer, we should have a way to capture the titles of all the jarls, and if Birgir Jarl is what he was known as, we need a way to display exactly that on the display screen!
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (478k points)
We need to remember that the name fields for these older profiles are basically 'search fields'.  As such, the bulk of the titles can and should be put within the biography section of the profile.  I recommend you list the person as they were known and then list their titles.  I agree with John that only the most important title or the one they were/are most commonly known as should go in the Other Nicknames field.

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