name errors in transfers

+1 vote
recently I have seen many profiles from ged.coms where the middle name is listed as part of the first name.

Is there a reason?
in Policy and Style by John Beeson G2G3 (4.0k points)
The responses to my question just beg for a reply.

In the interest of an accurate and good record of our ancestors, don't we owe it to them to make sure the information in a profile is as correct as we can make it?

given that this difference with some ged.coms is known, wouldn't it be prudent and fair to our ancestors to "correct" this on profiles by profile managers who upload the ged.coms?

Doesn't seem a good or fair thing to leave the corrections to someone else .

Not wanting to "ruffle" feathers, but I just don't understand not fixing things to make it right on WikiTree.

4 Answers

0 votes
I can only speak of what happens with my Gedcom imports. I create them from my family tree I keep on Ancestry. Ancestry does not have a separate field for middle name. You have to put first & middle name in the first name field. When you upload a Gedcom from the tree the first & middle name are treated as the first name.
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
0 votes
The GEDCOM format really only has spots for a "Given Name" and "Surname", it doesn't have a "middle name" section.
by Richard Damon G2G1 (1.0k points)
+2 votes
Middle names are a relatively new phenomenon, at least for commoners. If a 200 year old birth record lists Joannes Baptista as first name  Baptista is not a middle name in the modern sense but serves only to distinguish the John in question from another John, let's say Joannes Nepomucenus. Likeweise, Maria Anna may have been referred to later as Marianne or more likely just as Anna.

Is it better to leave those names in the first name field or to put them in an artificial middle name field?
by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (541k points)
In my case Jeremiah is a prolific name in the tree. The first one I can find, although undocumented, in the 16th century, was Jeremiah, who had sons named Jeremiah, who had sons name Jeremiah,etc. Some named two sons Jeremiah. Most of these were known by their middle names after 1680. So it seems like middle names are necessary. On the other hand, birth surnames of the wives were omitted. All this makes it hrd to research.
0 votes
As the other answers say, GEDCOMs don't generally have a middle name field. We used to try separating a middle name out when importing GEDCOMs, but it resulted in too many mistakes (eg. Jean Baptiste being split into first name Jean, middle name Baptiste). So, we switched to just leaving it all in the first name field.

I wouldn't say that that's really "wrong", per se. While properly my first name is Lianne and my middle name is Elizabeth Marguerite, you could also say that my given name is Lianne Elizabeth Marguerite.  The line between first and middle names is a bit fuzzy, I think.

That being said, you're welcome to change them manually in the profiles, moving the middle name to the middle name field when appropriate. We just can't automate it, since that information is not usually present in the GEDCOMs we're importing.
by Lianne Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (423k points)

I can certainly understand what you have said about automation and what some others have added.

Middle names are fairly common in many countries (not all!) today.  Generally the use of middle names in USA has become a standard and is recognized as such.

Even WikiTree has provisions/entry for a middle name!

I have been working primarily with my extended family in the USA and that is where I find the combining of middle and first on profiles.  I agree that due to factors such as transferring via some ged.coms, the first and middle are combined.  Does not make it right, but I recognize the real world facts.

I just think that if one knows that a middle name was given and used that it should be corrected after import to WikiTree.  To me, that is a part of clean-up imcumbant upon the responsible profile manager.

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