How do you correct an inaccurate surname which is not just a variant

+3 votes
I've come across this twice in the last two weeks in Data Doctors Challenges. Today's example is with Arbogast-332 who is really Elbert Michael Lantz. His mother's maiden name was Arbogast but his father was Simon Peter Lantz; Elbert's gravemarker on the FindAGrave link I put on his record shows his last name was Lantz. I couldn't find a registration of birth in Family Search. I changed the name to Lantz in the current last name field but can't change Arbogast. The problem is that his name does not show up on the list of Lantzs when searching for Elbert Michael Lantz because technically his last name at birth was Arbogast which I think was not recorded properly.
WikiTree profile: Elbert Lantz
in WikiTree Help by Ann Lansing G2G2 (2.3k points)

3 Answers

+2 votes

Adopt the profile, then see Number 9.  If you don't want to manage the profile, you can orphan him after you correct the error.

by Herbert Tardy G2G6 Pilot (605k points)
Thanks! But as Lynda Crackett comments below, I was worried about his name at birth unless I saw birth record/baptism which I didn't find on quick search. Will search more carefully for record and change if need be.

His parents were married in 1876, at least three years before his birth.  The earliest census I can find him on is

"Kansas State Census, 1895", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 11 November 2017), E M Lantz in entry for S P Lantz, 1895.

His WW I draft card gives his date of birth as 3 Dec 1879:

"United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 March 2018), Elbert Michel Lantz, 1917-1918; citing Salina County, Kansas, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,643,837.

I don't see any records naming him Arbogast.  For someone born in 1879, a birth record might not exist.  Given the social conventions then and now, I think the odds are overwhelming that he was born Lantz.  In my opinion, you would need bulletproof documentation to use any LNAB other than Lantz.  Happy hunting, and good luck!

Hi Herbert! I thought the same thing. I was composing research notes with a link to the marriage of his parents in 1876, 3 years before his birth, and was going to ask if it would be okay for me to change his name on that basis. I thought it would be and your answer that came in as I was going to ask that question has now been answered!
+2 votes
Best not to change it until you find a birth or baptism with the name Lantz. He may have started life with his mother’s name and taken the name Lantz later.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (630k points)
Thanks Lynda! I certainly thought about this because some children are born before marriage and I didn't want to assume he was born after marriage, which is why I commented on not finding his birth certificate. Will look for more definitive proof of name at birth before changing. His WWI draft card listed him as a Lantz but again would like to see better proof.
+2 votes

His parents were married in 1876, three years before his birth.

Simon P. Lantz

mentioned in the record of Simon P. Lantz and Martha Arbogast

Name Simon P. Lantz
Event Type Marriage
Event Date 02 Jan 1876
Event Place Appanoose, Iowa, United States
Gender Male
Age 30
Birth Year (Estimated) 1846
Spouse's Name Martha Arbogast
Spouse's Gender Female
Spouse's Age 19
Spouse's Birth Year (Estimated) 1857

Citing this Record

"Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934," database, FamilySearch( : 3 November 2017), Simon P. Lantz and Martha Arbogast, 02 Jan 1876, Appanoose, Iowa, United States; citing reference , county courthouses, Iowa; FHL microfilm 1,007,083.

  • No image available

Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934

by Deb Durham G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)

At the time of the 1880 census he was in the household with both parents, aged 6 months.

Elbert M Loutz

United States Census, 1880

Name Elbert M Loutz
Event Type Census
Event Date 1880
Event Place Liberty, Osborne, Kansas, United States
Gender Male
Age 0
Marital Status Single
Race White
Race (Original) W
Relationship to Head of Household Son
Relationship to Head of Household (Original) Son
Birth Year (Estimated) 1880
Birthplace Kansas, United States
Father's Birthplace Indiana, United States
Mother's Birthplace Iowa, United States
Sheet Letter B
Sheet Number 340
Person Number 2
Volume 1






Simon P Loutz Self M 34 Indiana, United States
Martha E Loutz Wife F 24 Iowa, United States
Elbert M Loutz Son M 0 Kansas, United States

Citing this Record

"United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch( : 29 August 2017), Elbert M Loutz in household of Simon P Loutz, Liberty, Osborne, Kansas, United States; citing enumeration district ED 216, sheet 340B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0392; FHL microfilm 1,254,392.


View the original document. The original may contain more information than was indexed.

United States Census, 1880

Great find, Deb!

This is probably the result of adding the child via the mother's profile without altering her current last name or perhaps connecting the husband. The result is the mother's LNAB is filled in for the child and if it isn't caught by the creator prior to saving, you have a misnamed profile. It' happened to me. Now I am ever vigilant when creating new profiles. wink

Thanks Deb! I did change the last name to Lantz and put a note in Research Notes. I agree, I thought it was just a mistake in that could easily happen when the profile was created.

Related questions

0 votes
0 answers
21 views asked Dec 29, 2019 in The Tree House by Taylor Worthington Gilchrist G2G6 Mach 8 (84.3k points)
+2 votes
2 answers
+5 votes
1 answer
79 views asked Oct 26, 2017 in Genealogy Help by John Walker G2G6 (9.7k points)
+5 votes
2 answers
84 views asked Oct 15, 2016 in Genealogy Help by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (869k points)
+4 votes
2 answers
+3 votes
1 answer
+4 votes
1 answer
74 views asked Nov 18, 2016 in Genealogy Help by Mary White G2G Crew (690 points)

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

disclaimer - terms - copyright