Why do only women have the last name Umn?

+6 votes
I think Umn is an abbreviation for Unknown maiden name but it is being used as a last name   for about a dozen women but no men.  Examples would be found at  https://www.wikitree.com/genealogy/UMN
in Policy and Style by Joseph Fox G2G5 (5.3k points)

2 Answers

+11 votes
Best answer
Joseph, a lot of records show women only with their husband’s last name, and without knowledge of who her parents were, there’s no way of knowing what the maiden name was. This is especially true the further back you go in the records. Some obvious examples are census records and gravestones.

“Umn,” I believe, shouldn’t be used. It should be “Unknown” in my opinion. Uniformity of style would make it easier to recognize what’s there.

Good catch.
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.5m points)
selected by Rubén Hernández
Thanks, Rubén!!
+9 votes

In some cases, a little bit of research can find records, which can then lead to more records. Once you find sources for the correct last name at birth then you can coordinate with the profile manager to change it.

Take, for example, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Umn-16

She really needs more sources like https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MDQP-8KK

And this one 

Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1963," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N9GR-8M4 : 9 March 2018), Martha Melvina Hebdon, 15 Mar 1914; citing Cemetery, Murfreesboro, Rutherford, Tennessee, v 45 cn 271, State Library and Archives, Nashville; FHL microfilm 1,299,628.

Name Martha Melvina Hebdon
Event Type Death
Event Date 15 Mar 1914
Event Place Murfreesboro, Rutherford, Tennessee
Gender Female
Marital Status Widowed
Race White
Age 74
Father's Name John Gillum
Mother's Name Bethia Gillum
Burial Place 3rd Dist
Burial Date 16 Mar 1914
by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (487k points)
I do agree with you that good sources are best but if sources are missing for any reason, the abbreviation Umn should not be used for the maiden name.
Oh yes, I agree they should be unknown. But before changing them to Unknown perhaps a LNAB can be found (such as Martha above).

I've also found quite a few women with a single letter as their LNAB. This often turns out to be either the first letter of their middle name or of their LNAB, as inscribed on their tombstone.

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