Multiple middle names

+12 votes

For some reason, my great-grandmother Carrie and her sister Lida gave some of their children multiple middle names.  So my Aunt Orra was Orra Maude Goldie Fern.  She always signed her name Orra Fern.  I guess when you have so many middle names, you can choose the one you like best.  Recently, I thought I should add the middle names of my Aunt Lida's daughter, who usually went by either Belle or Maude, but whose full name was Belle Marie Mary Maude Ida Irene Inita Rowena Ignacia Inez.  I dutifully added in all those names recently, and it looks crazy.  For some reason her half-sister Hazel doesn't have quite as many middle names.  She is Hazel Gladys Laurel Lillian Corinne Muriel.  I live in fear that all those middle names will trigger an error in some future report.  

WikiTree profile: Maude Richardson
in The Tree House by J. Crook G2G6 Pilot (203k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
There doesn't appear to be a problem with multiple middle names triggering a suggestion, per se. Any related suggestion would be caused by another factor, such as unique name, a comma, prefix/suffix used as a name, or similar non-standard naming factor.

The only other problem might be if you ran out of space in the naming field!
Maybe there isn't at this time, but suggestions multiply, so it could become an error at any moment.

4 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer

You don't have to fill them all in the middle name field if it makes the name look "weird" at the top of the profile. You can simply add one in the field and put the entire name into the biography section. If someone is doing a search, they are not going to enter "Belle Marie Mary Maude Ida Irene Inita Rowena Ignacia Inez Richardson" They might enter "Belle Marie Richardson," though.

by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (835k points)
selected by Mindy Silva
Well, except there's that whole rule about using the names they were given at birth.
We should enter all the names that we find that are verified by a primary or other highly reliable source. One researcher may have a different name than another researcher has, so having all known names will help them match the individual.
Which is why you put the name in the biography, so people can look down and read it.
+11 votes
I have the same thing, but on the male side.   You would think they wanted to be king....

Herman Wallace John MIchael Pohlman....and it will trigger and error, just mark it as false.
by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (711k points)
+9 votes
In some countries, in some time periods multiple names were common, and can be key to differentiating between people. If only part of the name is entered it would seem that the search ability becomes compromised.

I would enter the whole name.
by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (402k points)
Again, it would be in the biography which, hopefully, people would read.
+2 votes

As to the importance of middle names and our ancestors in particular from Scotland and England, iI can’t say it better than Hugh Wallis-

“I believe that middle names are an invaluable resource for finding clues to family relationships. Strangely I have seen very little written about their use as research pointers in any of the literature, nor have I seen this issue discussed much on the mailing lists. I have not seen any middle name indexes or search tools available anywhere either. BUT - often a person's middle name is the same as the maiden name of their mother or a grandmother or reflects some other familial connection (maybe the name of a patron or benefactor). It may also be the father's surname for births occurring out of wedlock. It seems obvious to me, therefore, that they have significant value in genealogical and family history research”.

If you have English or Scottish ancestry his site will be invaluable to make connection through middle names.



by Linda Bell G2G6 Mach 2 (29.3k points)

Related questions

+5 votes
1 answer
+13 votes
4 answers
+5 votes
2 answers
+8 votes
12 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright