People who use their middle name

+11 votes

My father, George Donald Fenton (Fenton-1496), signed his name as G. Donald Fenton and was familiarly known as "Don". I entered:

Proper First Name: George

Preferred Name: Donald

Other Nicknames: Don

Middle Name: Donald

Current Last Name: Fenton

The private view of his profile says George Donald (Donald) "Don" Fenton

but the public view says Donald D. Fenton


How do I get the public view to show up as G. Donald Fenton or G. Donald "Don" Fenton?



WikiTree profile: G. Donald Fenton
in Policy and Style by Jim Fenton G2G1 (1.2k points)
I'm only commenting here because I'm also interested in the answer, and I don't know how else to follow the thread :)
This topic is an FAQ here in G2G. See for some background on name display in WikiTree.

thanks for that, that's a lot of information and discussion. I'd like to jump in there, but its a year old thread. I'd hate to bump up that old of a thread.

To be honest, its still not clear to me how best to use the different fields in order to achieve the desired results for the various displays.

My brother-in-law is Joyce William. He goes by Bill. Never Joyce. Not even William. His dad's name was Joyce William. He went by J.W. Never Joyce. And not William (though his wife called him Charlie - probably a private joke in there somewhere). His dad's name was Joyce William. I've only heard him mentioned as papa, so I don't really know what he went by. :)

Not quite sure how to fill out the various fields to display only "Bill" or "J.W."

My dad's name was Thomas, but he was only ever known as Tommy (so much so, that we weren't really sure of his actual legal name). His parents and close family of their generation always called him Esker (his middle name). We would never do that to him, he didn't like it. But he would write his name as Tommy E.

Yeah... My main take-away from discussions like that is that it's really important to document the name in the text section of the profile.

5 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
I think you need to put G. Donald in the preferred name field.

My mother's preferred name was Betty and I have that in that field and the profile reads Betty. So I am thinking to add the G. in the preferred name field.
by Wendy Sullivan G2G6 Pilot (155k points)
selected by Jim Fenton
The best approach seems to be to set the preferred name to G. Donald as Wendy suggests. If I try to use the middle name field, it will only show the first initial which isn't desirable here, so I'm just leaving it blank.

I'm surprised that WikiTree doesn't handle this more straightforwardly because there are many people who go by their middle names.
+1 vote
This should help with the exact birth and death years, but I don't know how to answer your question. Someone at WikiTree will likely have a good answer.

G Donald Fenton
United States Census, 1940
birth:    1912    New York
residence:    1940    Stoneville, Auburn Town, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States    
other:    Theodore R Holton, Alma Carlson        

G Donald Fenton
United States Census, 1930
birth:    1912    New York
residence:    1930    Amsterdam, Montgomery, New York, United States            

G Donald Fenton
United States Social Security Death Index
birth:    10 March 1912    
death:    24 February 2000    Maricopa, Arizona
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
+3 votes
Didn't try this but I'd think that his preferred name should be G.
by Bob Jewett G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
+4 votes
I may be outnumbered here, but I go with Don as the Preferred name or Donald if we're going with formal names.  I know I'd never call my mother "Ellen" even though her birth name was Ellen Louise Miller.  Likewise my wife's mother was Frances Helen but always went by Helen.  IMO the preferred name should be the one you'd introduce yourself  to a peer as.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (423k points)
+2 votes
Forget the Middle Name box, it's only useful for the sort of middle names that people don't use.

You'll need to put either "George Donald" or "G. Donald" in the Proper First Name box.  The full name is preferable for the purpose I think.  Ideally you might want "George Donald (G. Donald)" or "G. (George) Donald" but brackets are banned now.

You could try the effect of "G. Donald" in Preferred Name, but you won't often see it.

"Don" can go in either Preferred Name or Nickname.  For dead people there isn't much to choose.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (598k points)

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