How should I handle surnames that change drastically over time?

+9 votes
The descendants of Edwin Broadhurst (abt 1620-abt 1670), Maryland immigrant from Whales, are recorded with many variations of the surname (i.e., Brodess, Broadarse, Bradess, Broadus, Brodus, etc.). How should I prepare the surnames prior to importing the GEDCOM? Thank you!--Melanie
in Genealogy Help by Melanie Housley G2G Crew (590 points)

1 Answer

+6 votes
Best answer

Hi Melanie

I'm doing a ONS - of the name Merrilees:

Over the years - the name can change dramatically.

What I do is use the LNAB (last name at birth) then beneath 'current last name' and in the profile/biography section put in the variations of the name.

e.g. baptism says Merylees, get married - Merrilees, census or estate records say Meriles - purely an example.  Then when they die - could be Merrlees.  So in the LNAB - use Merylees, current last name Merrlees.

Hope this makes sense.

by Living Bowling G2G6 Mach 6 (66.0k points)
selected by Melanie Housley
Perfect! Thanks so much!
Melanie, The second part of your question was whether you should fix the surname before doing a GEDCOM.  My answer is Yes.

I would fix the database so the correct birth name (Last Name At Birth = LNAB) is shown as the Last Name on your GEDCOM, with the name the person died with as a Alias or Other Last Name.  It is much better to do this BEFORE uploading a GEDCOM than having to go back later and change the LNAB afterwards.
Thanks! I will do that!

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