Please respect "infant" in suffix field ....

+7 votes
460 views
Please do not remove "infant" from suffix field without giving another sensible (obvious) option ... (there has been previous G2G-feed about this topic but I cannot find it now ... ) ....
WikiTree profile: Michiel Niemand
asked in The Tree House by Philip van der Walt G2G6 Pilot (137k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

I gave everyone an upvote on this, though I disagree. It is not about having been born with that name Infant, it is simply a way to distinguish in one glance when one sorts through a selection of search results those that died as infants to avoid unfortunate merges caused by merge proposals by arborists for one (many died in infancy had their names reused by other children in the same family).

That picture of the tombstone and teddy I find inappropriate for children that died outside of the US. It is culturally laden, the symbolism of the teddy is 20th century US (even though the teddy has become an international commodity).

But what Robin says makes more sense - though there were many people with actual nicknames as "[...] the Elder" - the nickname field would be a more appropriate field to place died as an infant if the Error Database are having issues with the suffix field.

I removed the suffix. I see that (twin) and other stuff are being removed as well. Please do not give me any more down votes on that - I'm really honestly too dedicated to this project and contributing to the overall integrity and validity of WikiTree to deserve the two I already got.

Though if that is being removed then I, II and Jr. should also be removed (because again it is mainly used in the US and it is an Anglo- convention - it is unfair to other cultures - we have to remove the South African de Pama genealogical numbering system from the suffix fields, which is totally ok, but to me using the I, II if etc. if it does not refer to aristocracy, is double standard).

I understand the frustration on the numbers issue, but with American names, the II, III, IV are legal parts of the name and usually are on birth certificates.  So, I think it completely appropriate for them to be in the suffix field.  That said, I have absolutely no idea what the South African de pama numbering system is, and if it is a legal part of names....thanks for giving me something to google!  :D

Thanks Summer ... you make me smile ... I have had a long and stressed week and you just made my day (here the day still has to break and Freaky Friday at the law office still has to commence) ... you just put a spring in my step ... :-)
I'm glad I could make someone smile!  :D  

P.S.  I like that numbering system. Very convenient!
If they are part of American legal names then that's fine but I have found  these numbering systems  being used on non Americans as a way of differentiating between them  (Thomas White 1,11,111, 1V,  etc, all born in Dorset, England  ).  It has mildly irritated me  but was sure that I  had read that it was allowed. Just checked and its clear that it isn't.
Infant is alloved only in first and prefered name, in case there was no name.

See definition http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Database_Errors_Definition#Forbidden_words_.28Not_Active.29

To put this in name has no point. If the reason is to see it in search results, persons age can be added to the name by wikitree for all found profiles. Just suggest the improvement and with enough interest, Chris might add it.

5 Answers

+35 votes
I don't really see any reason to put 'infant' as a suffix. Just put "Died in infancy." for the bio, and it is taken care of without forcing the suffix field to do something it wasn't intended to do.
answered by Walter Howe G2G6 (9.9k points)
+28 votes

http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Name_Fields#Suffix

"Preferably, this should only be used for the Suffix at Birth.

For example, Jr. and III."

No one was ever born with the name John Smith Infant. And everyone is an infant when born, so putting infant in any field is ambiguous.

answered by Anne B G2G6 Pilot (961k points)
On the other hand I have seen plenty of birth records with the name recorded as "infant so-and-so,"

Here is where a standard convention should be adopted. Perhaps "unnamed" with a comment in the bio "still birth" or "died at birth."

There is a standard for the name field if we don't know the person's name. Why not one if they were never named?
There is a standard, it is "Unnamed infant" in the first name at birth field.

For entries in French language, we use "Anonyme" because that is frequently how they are "named" in burial record (if the baby has no name, it was not baptised, and of course there is only a burial record). That was their convention, actually.
Thank you.
+11 votes
I know there is a previous G2G discussion on this subject, and it had to do with numbers in the suffix to indicate child #1 with a specific name vs, the second child with that name.  The decision from that discussion was to put "the elder" or "the younger" in the nickname field, or to put "died as an infant" in the nickname field.   

I am still looking for that G2G discussion.....
answered by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (440k points)
Yeah, Robin's right. What you're trying to do, Philip, is considered a "hack" and we don't actually support it. If someone removes it, it needs to remain removed. I just make sure to mark that someone had no spouse (click on add a spouse, and on that page it will give the option to mark as never married) and make a note in the biography that they died in infancy.

The verdict on the "infant" in the suffix field was still out there - no decision had been taken or communicated. The "hack" is on the side of the Error Database and the data doctors with all due respect Abby. I have never used the option of actually adding a spouse to mark a person as have been unmarried - this is not the issue here - it is (as I said above) simply a way to distinguish in one glance when one sorts through a selection of search results those that died as infants to avoid unfortunate merges caused by merge proposals by arborists for one (many died in infancy had their names reused by other children in the same family).

But what Robin says makes more sense - though there were many people with actual nicknames as "[...] the Elder" - the nickname field would be a more appropriate field to place died as an infant if the Error Database are having issues with the suffix field.

Thank you Phillip.  I have had one second child with the name of the first child merged away several times , dispite notation in the bio as well as questions as to where he went. I like to see infant in the suffix field it immediately alerts me to what I'm dealing with.
Agree with Philip on this, If I didn't miss something I recall the same, there was not really a decision made about this, I have now changed a lot of 'infant' suffixes to 'died young' . Adding it to the nickname field, doesn't help, because if I look at the whole family from one of the parents profiles, the nicknames won't show, so for families that had a lot of children that passed away and siblings born later were given the same name one would still have to check all of them (it's maybe hard to explain but it just makes it a lot easier if you're working a lot on very often duplicated families with dozens of children with repeated names and duplicates after a lot of merges). Adding it to the suffix is the only way that makes it all clear right away, that's also the main reason why this was invented I assume ?
Oh, I see this better with your comment, Bea. We still don't want to use a hack, but I was thinking search results. The death date shows on those so it's clear that someone died young. If you're worried about merges, a PPP may be appropriate to keep that from happening. Otherwise, let me drop a bug in Chris's ear about adding death dates to the floating information that comes up when you scroll over a name in a list. Then you'd have birth and death, if that would help.
Now that's a great solution Abby ! If 'hovering' above them would show both dates it's for sure is doing the trick and no longer a real need for adding died young or infant to the suffixes, so I hope Chris thinks the same and able to get this fixed :D

Thanks Bea, Abby. This will help somewhat (and that is also why we Project Profile Protect all of the profiles to avoid conflation of siblings). It is just painful to see how much unrest and anxiety this causes - I (and WikiTree!) nearly lost valuable team members because some couldn't understand the context and thought that I was deliberately not complying to WikiTree rules - I had seen this system used in the New Netherlands project even before our own project had even started), and because of the constant fear of "meddling" with the process of validation (from not only data doctors) and the knawing feeling of "what [have we done now] again?" (Abby I actually thought you meant that I had "hacked" the field by resetting the data and that this was against the code of honor) ... I got three six down votes on this (the last time I counted), there is still inconsistency regarding the "hack" (why just because it is part of a legal system are I, II, III and also Sr. and Jr. allowed on US profiles but forbidden elsewhere) ... It is not healthy.

But I closed the feed. The South African suffix fields will (in time because there are still hundreds if not thousands of which the de Pama -genealogical number has to be moved to the bio) be totally empty and what the rest of the WikiTree community does with that field, will not be our concern anymore. We have to and will focus on getting this project "right". Stubbornly against all odds but in compliance with.

I always add the following at the top of the bio in red: 

"This is not  duplicate profile, she had a younger sibling with the same name"

 

+8 votes

I removed the suffix. I see that (twin) and other stuff are being removed as well. Please do not give me any more down votes on that - I'm really honestly too dedicated to this project and contributing to the overall integrity and validity of WikiTree to deserve the two I already got.

Though if that is being removed then I, II and Jr. should also be removed (because again it is mainly used in the US and it is an Anglo- convention - it is unfair to other cultures - we have to remove the South African de Pama genealogical numbering system from the suffix fields, which is totally ok, but to me using the I, II if etc. if it does not refer to aristocracy, is double standard).

answered by Philip van der Walt G2G6 Pilot (137k points)
edited by Philip van der Walt
I understand the frustration on the numbers issue, but with American names, the II, III, IV are legal parts of the name and usually are on birth certificates.  So, I think it completely appropriate for them to be in the suffix field.  That said, I have absolutely no idea what the South African de pama numbering system is, and if it is a legal part of names....thanks for giving me something to google!  :D
+24 votes
This is a difficult question because homonymous siblings are frequent up to the 20th century. And inadvertent merges of siblings do occur. I personnally dislike adding something to the name fields (like, "First", "Second", "died Young".. whatever).

So, I try to state it clearly at the BEGINNING of the bio: "Not to be confused with xxxx, his brother, who was born (give birth date, hopefully different from the one who is profiled). I even wondered if it would be interesting to develop a "Homonymous siblings" pattern box.

Please be aware that sometimes two siblings with the same name get to adult age. It is not always the recycling of the name of a child who died in infancy. At least in my culture (French, RC) it was not uncommon to have a much elder sibling (say 10 years older) be the godparent of the younger one, with the same first name. Families dealt with that by using nicknames, so that their official baptism name was rarely used. Unfortunately, we have no records of what the call names were.

The next thing to do - after fleshing up the bio to make it clear there are different profiles with the same names - is to set up a Rejected Match. This would at least delay a bad merge, though it's not completely foolproof.

And last - why are death dates not visible in search results? If they are not, it would definitely be a good improvement to add them.
answered by Isabelle Rassinot G2G6 Pilot (205k points)
I would love to see death dates in search results and when we hover over the name link as well Isabelle.  This would be a great G2G discussion post!

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