Surname Unk vs. Unknown?

+1 vote
347 views
There are about 1300 profiles with the surname Unk, including the mysterious Unk Unk b. 1479. I have a strong suspicion they are supposed to be Unknown to match the WT convention and they were imported from a different system that used Unk as an alternative. Also, there could be someone with that surname of course, but I haven't found a real profile yet.

My quick scan of a couple of these is they are so low quality I really wonder the utility of keeping them or even changing the surname to Unknown. It's a lot of work to find information on mysterious people, so I don't see a lot of utility notifying profile managers.

Is there anything specific we should do to tag these so they get fixed? It appears to be a mostly post-1500 problem so I wondered if the pre-1500 error projs. had figured this out. Thanks!
WikiTree profile: Unknown Unknown
in Genealogy Help by Kirk Hess G2G6 Mach 5 (59.2k points)

3 Answers

+2 votes
https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=unk

Surname found most frequently in Texas and Michigan. Also in OH, AZ and KS in the USA. In England most frequently found in Shropshire.
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.1m points)
+1 vote
Elixabeth Unk
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
christening:
11 February 1738
Acton, Suffolk, England
residence:
England

Celia Elizabeth ...unk
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
christening:
12 January 1905
Christ Church, Greenwich, Kent, England
residence:
Greenwich, Kent, England

Unk
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
christening:
13 February 1807
Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
residence:
Yarmouth, Norfolk, England

Ann Unk
England and Wales Census, 1871
birth:
1799
Morpeth, Northumberland
residence:
1871
Westoe, Durham, England
other:
South Shields, Westoe

Elizabeth Unk
Mother
Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953
birth:
Emg

Elizabeth Unk
Mother
Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953
birth:
England

Unk
Mother
Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953
birth:
England

Sarah Ann Unk.
Mother
Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953
birth:
England

Martha Unk
Mother
Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953
birth:
England

Sophia Unk.
Mother
Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953
birth:
England

Ann Unk
Mother
Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947
birth:
England

Hanna Unk
Mother
Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947
birth:
England

Thomasina Unk
Mother
Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953
birth:
Wallsall, England

Mary Unk.
Mother
Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947
birth:
Unknown, Eng.

Emma Unk
Mother
New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949
birth:
England

Unk
Father
New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949
birth:
England

Unk
Mother
New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949
birth:
England

Mary Unk.
Mother
Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001
birth:
England

Elizabeth Unk.
Mother
Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001
birth:
England

Unk Unk
Mother
Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001
birth:
England
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.1m points)
+1 vote
James Unk
Illinois, Cook County Birth Registers, 1871-1915
birth:
16 December 1882
Chicago, Cook, Illinois

Unk
Michigan Births, 1867-1902
birth:
14 September 1898
Deerfield, Lenawee, Michigan

Unk
Michigan Births, 1867-1902
birth:
17 November 1898
Deerfield, Lenawee, Michigan

Janos Agoston Unk
California Birth Index, 1905-1995
birth:
22 April 1986
San Francisco, California, United States

Emilia Ida Unk
California Birth Index, 1905-1995
birth:
20 June 1988
San Francisco, California, United States

James Unk
Illinois Births and Christenings, 1824-1940
birth:
16 December 1882
Chicago, Cook, Illinois

James R. Unk
Rhode Island Births and Christenings, 1600-1914
birth:
1 February 1892
Providence, Rhode Island
residence:
1892
Rhode Island, United States

John M. Unk...
New Jersey, Births, 1670-1980
birth:
11 August 1869
West Hoboken, Hudson, New Jersey, United States

Unk
Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915
birth:
11 July 1871
State Alms House of Tewksbury, Massachusetts

Christine F Unk
Kentucky, Vital Record Indexes, 1911-1999
birth:
1921
Scott, Kentucky, United States

Ethyl Unk
Kentucky, Vital Record Indexes, 1911-1999
birth:
7 September 1912
Ohio, Kentucky, United States

Lonnie H Unk
Kentucky, Vital Record Indexes, 1911-1999
birth:
28 February 1911
Butler, Kentucky, United States

Arthur Unk
Wisconsin Births and Christenings, 1826-1926
birth:
16 October 1892
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
residence:
1892
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Emma Unk
Wisconsin Births and Christenings, 1826-1926
birth:
11 November 1885
Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
residence:
1885
Wisconsin, United States

Stelle Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
28 January 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan

Margaret Mary Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
22 March 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan

Babe Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
22 March 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
death:
22 March 1887

Mary Cecelia Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
13 May 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Edith Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
28 May 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan

Mary Gertrude Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
18 September 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.1m points)
Mary Grace Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
9 February 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Francis Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
7 November 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Helena Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
14 December 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
James Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
28 April 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Joseph Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
27 May 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Abraham Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
30 May 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
James Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
2 June 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Frederick Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
2 June 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
William Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
29 June 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Vincent Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
19 July 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Lawrence Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
11 August 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Charles Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
23 September 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Gregory Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
30 October 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Hughbert Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
30 October 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Gertrude Grace Unk
Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
birth:
27 November 1887
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Julia Unk.
West Virginia Births and Christenings, 1853-1928
birth:
27 August 1861
Harrison Co, W Va
... G...Unk
Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940
birth:
2 October 1894
Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States
other:
, Cook, Illinois
James Unk
Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940
birth:
16 December 1882
Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States
other:
, Cook, Illinois
Mary Unk
Mother
New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909
birth:
U.S.
Elizabete Unk...Le Lezins
Mother
Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003
birth:
U.S

Do those names appear in the actual records, or is this another of those erroneous constructs (like all those people born in Reusel-de-Mierden) that originated with genealogy software and/or the work of transcribers?

They're from familysearch.org .

If unk is and abbreviation for unknown, it could have a period after the unk.

You could check with familysearch.org regarding whether they are actual records or constructs.

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