How do you remove 'Last Name at Birth" from a man.

+2 votes
Hi,  How do I remove a "Last name of birth"  or maiden name on a man?

My cousin made the profile, but is no longer active, and has not been on Wikitree since 2016.
in Genealogy Help by D A G2G Crew (690 points)
retagged by Lynda Crackett

Last Name at Birth is the anchor name for creating a profile at WikiTree, David. There is no reason to remove a LNAB; however, it can be changed if it is incorrect.

WikiTree operates under the presumption that everyone has/had a LNAB; basically it is a family name or surname and it is not gender specific (some cultures do use gender-specific versions of family names, though). For cultures that don't use surname-type identifications, we use Unknown as the LNAB.

Maiden Name and LNAB are not synonymous terms; maiden names are a subset of LNAB (and sometimes one's maiden name isn't one's LNAB - food for thought!).

The profiles at WikiTree don't require an active manager tending them. Most Open/White Lock profiles can be edited by any full member; however, some may be restricted to pre-1700 or pre-1500 certified members or require collaboration with a project.

If you want access to a locked profile, you should follow the procedures noted in the Collaboration section of the relevant profile.

I have added the arborists tag as the ensuing responses raise some questions about whether we are dealing with one individual or two in the profile that is being discussed.

4 Answers

+4 votes
G'day David, Who is the person you are talking about please.? If a person is no longer active , you can become the manager of that file. Regards
by Rionne Brooks G2G6 Mach 6 (61.0k points)
Hi Rionne,

The person I am trying to fix is James Porter Leazenby.  Someone listed his "last name at birth" as Porter.  As a man he does not have a maiden name. (Mathis - 940).


+5 votes
Why would you want to remove his surname? Last name at birth is the surname on the birth or baptism. It is only classed as a maiden name when you are working on a female profile.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (630k points)
Looking at David's contributions list it looks to me that he has changed the parents of a guy and thus also wants to change the LNAB of the profile. Without clear sources for this, I find it a bit worrying.
Hi Linda,

Mathis is not his last name at birth.  The name on his birth certificate is Leazenby.  It is also Leazenby on his marriage documents.


OK, I understand now what you are trying to do. Your next step should be to collaborate with the current profile manager to confirm that she agrees with the changes you have made and ask her to change the LNAB. If you then discover that these were in fact two separate indiviuals, as suggested by Philip, then she may want to restore the original information, disconnect her man from your family and ask you to create your man from scratch.
+3 votes
Hey David,
Welcome Back to WikiTree!
I think it important to step back and discuss "Where are we going, and how best to get there."
As stated by others, it is possible to change LNAB on a profile you manage, but in the WikiTree system, it is very uncommon, and therefore intentionally made difficult.

Our ultimate goal here in the WikiTree community is to eventually have a profile for every individual person who was ever recorded as living. In order to reach that goal, it is important to remember that every profile represents a real person, and that person is likely connected to many other people. Therefore, as we are adding profiles, and making connections, the work we're doing should be with the intent of impacting the families of many others. That's why we do not delete profiles, and only merge when absolutely certain.

Looking at your contributions list, it appears you may actually be attempting to change profiles from one person into someone else entirely. This is not the WikiTree way, as by doing so, you are basically deleting one person to make another. The correct way to go about this would be to sever the incorrect relationship connection and create the correct person's profile to go in it's place. Just because Bob father was Jim rather than John, doesn't mean John didn't exist... therefore we shouldn't eliminate John by making him Jim. Otherwise, it's nearly impossible to see how your change has impacted John's 3G-Niece who's Family Tree is now completely incorrect.

I encourage you to take some time to read through the help menu and tutorials found in the upper right hand corner. In the end it could save all of us (including yourself) a great deal of time and frustration.

Thank you!

- [[Rich-1922|P. Rich]]
by Phillip Rich G2G6 Mach 4 (44.0k points)
Hi Philip,

Thank you for your suggestions.  The only person I have actually changed, i have sourced the correct information within the profile.  I thought that would be all that was necessary.  Sorry,   I really don't understand where the incorrect information came from.

Other profiles I have corrected or added information also has the source listed within the profile.

I will try to be more careful in the future.

Hey David,
I must apologize, AND I Thank you for your courteous response. As I read back through my response to your original question, I realized it was worded in a way that comes off as scolding. That was not my intent at all when I wrote it, I am Sorry for the tone that came across.

Anyway, we all start somewhere and I remember well how overwhelming it was for me. The angle I believe you may be missing here is that it's not that your data is incorrect, but the process used to correct the data. But not to fear, as long as the LNAB isn't actually changed yet it's all later out in the changes log.

00:14: David Adkins uploaded Mathis-940.jpg for James (Mathis) Leazenby.
[Thank David for this]
23:34: David Adkins edited the Birth Date for James (Mathis) Leazenby. [Thank David for this]
23:29: David Adkins edited the Biography for James (Mathis) Leazenby. [Thank David for this]
23:27: David Adkins edited the Biography and Current Last Name for James (Mathis) Leazenby. [Thank David for this]
23:26: David Adkins removed James Mathis as the father from James (Mathis) Leazenby. [Thank David for this]

It's all reversed order but... March 10 James Mathis had all his data changed, including his parents, date of birth, and current last name. Basically erasing James Mathis son of James Mathis, to turn him into James Leazenby. But what about James Mathis who no longer has a son named James Mathis? Don't you think his family will miss him?

The correct answer is James Mathis-940 needs to be disconnected from the incorrect spouse and a profile for James Leazenby-???? needs to be connected in his place. If the James Leazenby b. 1910 does not already exist, he should be entered from scratch.

To state it another way. We're all working on the same worldwide tree. Every profile represents a person, whether living or ancestor, active or absent, they're all supposed to be individuals who live or once lived. If you have good sourced facts that say that person's DOB is listed incorrectly, great! He'd appreciate you setting the record straight... But to change him into a different person, His ancestors now have to figure out why he's gone... Does that make more sense?
OK, as I look closer, you also changed his spouse's info and added another spouse... How did we get here and where are we going?
+1 vote
Sharon was active last week... The manager of Mathis-940.
by Phillip Rich G2G6 Mach 4 (44.0k points)

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