Should person be "filed" under maiden name or current last name?

+6 votes
87 views
I had a merge the other day with an earlier entry.  My individual was listed as Jane Doe under birth name.  The original merge entry was listed as Jane (Doe) Brown.  So the person is now "filed" under Brown-10000 rather than Doe-20000.

I see in the style guide that the preferred way is to list this person as Jane Brown, formerly Doe. i.e. current last name followed by birth surname.  But what surname should she be listed or "filed" under?  

Without specifying one or the other style to follow it seems to complicate things, especially searches. Should there at least be a way to cross reference?
in Genealogy Help by Prescott Smith G2G Crew (690 points)

1 Answer

+3 votes
 
Best answer
In creating a profile, the appropriate names go into the data field as specified.  Birth/maiden name (sometimes "Unknown" - should never be "Doe"), then current surname (married and name at death) with alternatives for previous marriages or name changes.  Any of these will show up in searches.  I am found searching by maiden name as well as married name.  There will still be one ID number per profile and the ID is birth surname.
by Lauren Conte G2G6 Pilot (113k points)
selected by Mary H.
Doe is the hypothetical birth name above, not substitute for "Unknown"..  I see that in searches you are correct for the above.  Even with the paretheses the birth name is located.  But I saw no instances where the Wikitree style was followed, i.e. "Jane Brown formerly Doe".  And is this likely to be the preferred way as women increasingly--for professional reasons--retain their birth name having invested in it for many years?  It will be a great mess changing all  this over in 10 years.  Gays are rarely going to follow this pattern, whatever the sex.
Hi Prescott,

Yes, I know you weren't using the name Doe, just threw that in there for anyone reading who thought that might be an option.

"Jane Brown formerly Doe" is what is seen when looking at the profile, but will not show up that way in a search.  As you have seen, though, both names will still direct anyone looking for that particular person to the correct profile for instances when they only know one name or the other(s).  As for preferences and "the future," I think WikiTree has given as many name fields as possible for all the possible surnames one person can have throughout their life.  In any event, the ID number is based on the birth surname.  Not going to worry about the future, as I'm just trying to handle records from the past.  :-D

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