Suggestions for suggestions(!) on Proper First Name

+10 votes

In cases where the Proper First Name is unknown the help text says:

  • If you're unsure of the Proper First Name, enter Unknown. Do not use NN, or something like TwinDaughter of XHusband of Y, etc.
  • If an infant died before he or she could be named, use Unnamed Infant. Do not use Infant BoyBaby Girl, etc. There is a gender field for this.

I would strongly suggest to allow the use of "NN" (Nomen Nescio) as it is generally accepted worldwide, and so would be more in line with "Use their conventions, not ours" (by the way: who are they and we?). 

Example: on the widely used Dutch resource WieWasWie a query on first name "NN" results in over 800,000 hits...


A "suggestion" report (what happened to the far more correct wording "error") could be developed "suggesting" to not use the wordings red marked above.



in Policy and Style by Jan Terink G2G6 Pilot (208k points)
retagged by Keith Hathaway
NN link talks about anonymous and not known. Unnamed Infant didn't have a name, so it is not the same. WikiTree uses Anonymous for privacy reason and unknown if not known. So using NN just mix them all together.

Aleš, I am not saying one must use NN, only that it's use should be allowed, if only to avoid the English text for non-English cultures. Otherwise the translation of "Unnamed Infant" in all languages should be allowed, to cater for "Use their conventions, not ours".

Anyway, in Dutch genealogy "NN" is widely used, and also "Levenloos" (the word used in the official birth/death certificate of stillborn children). 

But why this post. I don't remember having NN as any kind of error.

What I was trying to say is that the help text on PFN can be considered a standard, and thus could be enforced by checking for invalid values like the red marked ones in my question. I did not mark NN red because I think that should be a valid value if those PFN-checks are implemented.

For example there are over 500 "baby boy"s

I initially added a few words, that I concidered invalid. Now I am adding only names suggested in G2G if there is consensus and if I think it should be added. So watch for requests in G2G and express your opinion.

I decided long ago not to follow help to the letter, since some things were written long ago and might not be up to date.

Also when adding new errors, I evalluate the improvement of correcting something.

OK Aleš, I understand. For the time being I will propose (in another thread) specific PFN standards for the Dutch Roots project. 

Thanks for all the fantastic work you are doing on WT+!

3 Answers

+5 votes
"They" are our ancestors. ;)
by Deb Durham G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
+1 vote

I agree with Jan,

other example query on first name "N.N." results in 566.827 hits and on NN 655.595 hits.



by Joop van Belzen G2G6 Pilot (102k points)
0 votes
Further, it should be in the language of birth ... if we settle on 'unknown' then (and I'll probably get these wrong!!), if born in Italy then you should enter 'sconosciuto' or for 'no name .. nn' then 'un nome .... un' ... just a thought.
by Bob Jewett G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)

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