Should the current last name reflect the name used then or what we know them as today?

+11 votes
191 views
As I've read the help pages on names I see that the LNAB should match the records, as written in the day.  And, the current last name should reflect what the person used in their life.  And, other last names are for other names they were known by, other names used, etc.

My question is: if the person was born with one last name and used it through their life, but we know them as a different name today, should the commonly used name (that we use today) be in the current last name field or the other last name field?

For example, a man is born John Smythe.  In the parish archives, his father was a Smythe and his christening record was Smythe.

But, a generation or two later, all of his descendants use the name Smith.  Would we call him:

LNAB Smythe & current last name Smith, or

LNAB Smythe, current last name Smythe, and other last name Smith, or

if Smth wasn't used in that era, leave Smith out altogether?

thanks in advance for your replies
in Policy and Style by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
Current last name is his current last name (the last name he used at the end of his life), not his descendants.  I guess you could mention that but it seems that is already obvious.  Good luck!

2 Answers

+6 votes
If Smith was used for the descendants, that would be the Current Last Name for them (unless married and it changed). On John you can put it as Other Last Name or just explain in the bio that the spelling changed later.
by Mindy Silva G2G6 Pilot (610k points)
+8 votes
LNAB Smythe, current last name Smythe, and other last name Smith.

I always think of the other last name field (besides some other functions) as a place to put alternate spellings, especially if you want those alternate spellings included in search results.
by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Are you saying its OK to use other last names for names that were not used by the person, just names we call them as?  For example, "William the Conqueror," when he was never called that (in his country) in his lifetime.
I have to admit I'm not sure about William the Conquerer. It's several words and the Euroaristo project has a set of rules that they go by. I looked, they've put it in his preferred name.  But yes certainly for spelling variations that the person never used, but we might use, would be appropriate.
Thanks for your reply; I appreciate it :-)

Related questions

+4 votes
1 answer
143 views asked Apr 17, 2020 in Policy and Style by M Ross G2G6 Pilot (178k points)
+7 votes
1 answer
117 views asked Apr 18, 2019 in Policy and Style by Jacqueline Clark G2G6 Pilot (161k points)
+3 votes
3 answers
102 views asked Aug 8, 2019 in WikiTree Tech by Carole Taylor G2G6 Mach 5 (53.2k points)
+3 votes
1 answer
74 views asked Jul 26, 2018 in Policy and Style by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (330k points)
0 votes
1 answer
64 views asked Oct 1, 2020 in WikiTree Tech by Brian Lamothe G2G6 Mach 3 (31.2k points)
+3 votes
0 answers
+1 vote
3 answers

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

disclaimer - terms - copyright

...