Can GED load be enhanced to split first name up into First and Middle (remainder after 1st word)

+4 votes
Currently GEDcom load place First name "as is".  I am seeing LOTs of manual correction needed when GEDcom contains a name such as Winston Spencer Churchhill, where new WikiTree profile First name is initially populated with Winston Spencer.  These need manual correction, which we do.   Some GEDcoms require a LOT of manual intervention. If the GEDCOM load process was adjusted such that new WikiTree profile field First name is populated with just the first word of GED first name field, and the remainder of GEDcoma first name field goes into Middle name, this would SIGNIFICANTLY reduce amount of manual effort needed to correct these.

Assuming, of course that incoming GEDcom does not contain a middle name field, but that can be detected programmatically also.

IE if resulting profile has no middle name and first name contains multiple  words Then retain first word in First name and move remaining characters into Middle name.


This won't correct all problems, but it will correct those where the incoming GEDcom person has simple error such as two names in first name field.

So energy can be better focused on correcting those that truly need it,

informal research on 3 small GEDcoms just loaded:

83 total people

30 had simple first only in First name

40 had first+second in First name

3 had first+second+third in First name

10 had more elaborate name warranting attention (nickname etc)

So this required 53 profile edits to correct

With above solution that would reduce to just 13 edits,  a 75% reduction.
in WikiTree Tech by Simon Dodge G2G Crew (360 points)
retagged by Abby Glann

1 Answer

+5 votes
Middle names are time and culturally specific, particularly the US American custom of abbreviating them to a middle initial. And unfortunately in this respect WikiTree is American. There are many situations where more than one name are still considered a single first name, for instance in Spanish customs Juan Pablo is not a first name/middle name but considered a double given name, or German knows many double names that are not always contracted into one name or hyphenated: Maria Anna, Hans Georg, Franz Xaver to name just a few.

In short, your proposal would create more editing work for people not working with US names.
by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (534k points)

Thanks for pointing this out.  These were not US centric BTW, but from UK, but I understand your point. Thanks for making me aware (I had assumed that such names would appear as a single name IE JuanPablo)  So I'd enhance my suggestion by making it an option at GEDcom load time, IE make the requestor answer the question: "Do you want names to be split up or not ? " 

In order to serve such a wide community as WikiTree intends to serve, we need to make the software flexible. 

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