Should spellings of the geographical Danish tilnavn be standardized?

+5 votes
I have run across a question on the Danish tilnavn.  When the tilnavn is clearly a geographical reference, should the tilnavn be entered as it is in the original document of the time, or should it be standardized in line with current geographical spellings of the place referenced.  A couple of examples:

First, I have a man whose birth name was Søren Christensen.  He had a farm in a village called Vadskjær in the current standardized spelling.  However, throughout the documents of the time, his tilnavn was given as Wadskier.  Which spelling would be the "proper" one to use for WikiTree?

Similarly, his brother-in-law was also Søren Christensen.  He had a farm in a village now called Revsgaard.  However in the time period he lived, both the village and his tilnavn were referred to as Refsgaard.

I would appreciate any thoughts on how to handle this. I hate to enter both spellings in the official fields, because some of "my people" have four or five spellings of the same place name as tilnavn over time.  I know that I will have to use notes to explain all this, but what should I enter officially in the data fields?
in Policy and Style by Gilbert Nelson G2G6 Mach 1 (10.2k points)

1 Answer

+3 votes

We have started work in the Denmark Project on how to enter names. Tilnavn present many problems in trying to fit them into Wikitree fields.  We decided on putting them in the other last name field with a name section in the biography to show how the name should be displayed and to explain which names were given, tilnavn, recent true middle names, and slagsnavn (not right spelling).  Since the Other last name field allows multiple names separated by commas, you can put both spellings there and explain the spellings in a name note in the biography.

This approach will make both spellings searchable

In a minute, I’ll find the other G2G thread and cross link it here.
by Mary Jensen G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
edited by Mary Jensen

Here is the link to the other G2G Thread where the tilnavn guidelines were discussed and decided on.

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