How to handle profiles for two people who appear to be the same person w/ different names(not talking about a merge)

+4 votes
I have come across a Madison Vickers Jr , born in 1863, who is with his family on the 1870 and 1880 census records.  In other records, I have come across John Wesley Vickers, who has the same parents, same year of birth, same siblings, born in same county of Missouri as Madison.   The only records I have for Madison are those two census records.  I have a lot more on John - wife, children, grave, obituary, etc.

I put a note on the profile I set up for Madison that he may actually be John Wesley Vickers.  Should I do a separate profile for John?  If not, how do I add John's information to Madison's profile?
WikiTree profile: John Vickers
asked in Policy and Style by Carolyn Martin G2G6 Pilot (125k points)
recategorized by Steve Schmidt

I think it's the same person. It doesn't happen a lot, but sometimes people decided to use different names from what their parents called them. In the early censuses, the name was probably reported by the parents and in the later ones, it was probably self reported.


"United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 December 2018), John W Vickers, Jefferson Township, Cedar, Missouri, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 50, sheet 3A, family 53, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,847.

I guess "other nicknames" is probably appropriate.

3 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
If you believe John and Madison are the same person, then it would not be appropriate to make a profile for John.  The note you put in the bio is good.  I think you could just expand the bio to add your facts and sources about John - maybe divide the bio into a Madison section and a John section.  If it later turns out they are different people, it wouldn't be too hard to disassemble something like that.
answered by Herbert Tardy G2G6 Pilot (340k points)
selected by Carolyn Martin
Should I use Madison as the proper name, and John Wesley as the preferred name?

I think that makes sense, given that he seems to have chosen John Wesley at some point and then stuck with it.  Again, those are easy changes to make if new evidence comes out.

Thanks for the star, Carolyn!  smiley

Thats what I would use.  I have an uncle who used 3 different middle initials. Appears on census with a different name, and the DC of his son has a nickname that was used by his cousin. This has created a number of trees at other sites to confuse the cousin with him, different wives.  the people who have to two mixed up have never read a census or interviewed the descendants.
After adding more sources, I decided to use John as the proper name and put Madison in the nickname area.  When I tried to add the marriage record the profile was putting Madison as the husband instead of John that was on the record. I also had to remove "Jr" as it did not fit with John.

Thanks for everyone's help.
+2 votes
In the 1900 US Census for Jefferson Twp., MO, John W Vickers father is Martison Vickers (I think it's actually Madison) mother is Rhoda Vickers. John W Vickers was born in August 1863 in Missouri. He could possibly ber a twin of Madison Vickers, Jr., who was born 1863.

"United States Census, 1900,"  database with images, FamilySearch
answered by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)
I think the twin hypothesis is a pretty tough sell, since there is only one son the right age in both the 1870 and 1880 Censuses.  You'd have to find a convincing record of twin John living with another family during both censuses.
I agree.  If twins, one would think they would both be on the census.
I went looking for Madison Vickers, and I can't find evidence of a twin in the early census.
+4 votes
As a person who had both parents change their names, and who at age 32 changed her name I would say yes, that is probably how it went, and Herbert is right about how it should be on the profile
answered by Navarro Mariott G2G6 Mach 7 (78k points)

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