Can we control how married women are listed?

+3 votes
New to WikiTree (thanks to Eastman newsletter). Have started adding a few pages, but was startled to see that married women are listed not by their birth names, but by their married names. This is opposite of everything I've learned in my training. Is this a setting that I can change somewhere? Thanks.
WikiTree profile: Anna Jauch
in Genealogy Help by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (838k points)
It's a recent change at WikiTree .I agree it's contrary to my way of doing thiings. I think it was answered by Chis and can not find it the G2G searches .Will get back on it later .
It's actually contrary to the way most genealogical information is recorded-- in genealogical journals, in genealogical software, etc.
Thanks , Debby , for the link . I just looked at all my married ladies to make sure the changes were  synced correctly and only one missed the loop . Sort of a controversial issue for me .
I guess they are thinking out of the box and some times staying in the box is more comfortable for some of us. Other than that, WikiTree seems to be a great place to plant a family tree.
I agree . So many positives outweight the differences here . After 20 years , it's a nice place to work on .
I prefer that the maiden name be used on the profile page.  Since most (if not all) family tree software I've seen and/or used have the maiden name then perhaps that's where the consistency should come in.  Using the married name can cause more confusion.  For instance, I did not change my name when I married and my given name is the same as my mother's name.  So on wikitree my mother and I both have the same name first and last names.  Obviously I know which is me and which is my mother, but others looking at the information might not readily see that and could be confused.  

The explanation given on why this decision was made really does not make a lot of sense.

I think I'll just stick with and my Reunion software.
Chris and other Wikitree'ers,

Eileen's comment and decision to leave wikitree raises a concern you should attend to IF you want to attract serious family researchers to Wikitree. I came THIS close to leaving WikiTree for this exact same reason. How Wikitree handles maiden and married names of women is completely contrary to how it's done throughout the rest of genealogy. In the case of Eileen, the wikitree practice has turned her off enough to leave. She spoke up about it. How many people will leave without comment?

If you want to remain "out of the box" and predominantly a community of people who do not follow standard genealogical research practices, then so be it. Continue on.

But if you want to build a family tree with well researched information, then that's going to require attracting people who follow accepted genealogical research practices. The current current practice of using women's married names the way you do works against that.
Just getting going myslef. Instead of a new thread:

The way that naming conventions work out does not seem straightforward or consistent to me. I understand (the reasoningbehind) having the header show Mary Miller, when that was the person's preferred name at end of life. What I don't get is why Mary Ida Springer would only be compared to a list of Mary Millers to see if the profile already exists, and...

I have one female (my mother actually) who shows up with her childhood name in the profile header (Arden Fitz), but the way I would expect in the body of the profile, e.g. Arden Patricia "Pat" (Fitz) Wiggins.

Then Mary Ida Miller, who married a Springer, shows up as Mary Miller in the header AND as "Mary Ida Miller, was Springer" in the body. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make these consistent. Sandi

1 Answer

+2 votes
Best answer
Hi Jillaine,

WikiTree's naming convention is developed to show each person's name in different ways depending on the context. For women, this can get a bit complicated:

1. Everyone is categorized by their birthname in their WikiTree ID.

2. On their profile page, the name at the top is the name that they were most commonly known by. (For example, if you had an ancestor named Elizabeth Smith, but her preferred name was Lizzie, and she married a John Jones, the name at the top of the page would be Lizzie Jones.)

3. The profile page shows each person by all of their known names. Elizabeth Smith would show up as "Elizabeth (Lizzie) Jones, formerly Smith."

4. Female ancestors are still shown by their birth names on traditional family trees and Ahnentafel.

5. Female ancestors are searchable by both birth and married names.

You can choose to have women shown only by their birth name by using it as her "Current last name", but that isn't recommended. By listing female ancestors by both names, it makes it easier for people using the Internet to search for ancestors to find them. If I know that my great grandparents are John and Lizzie Jones, but have no idea about her birth name, I still have a chance of finding her by using Google to search for something like "Lizzie Jones died 1947 Boston."
by Erin Breen G2G6 Pilot (286k points)
selected by anonymous
Thanks for the answer, but I'm very sorry to learn that's how it's done here.
Although I found it a bit confusing at first, I have to say that this method has helped me to avoid creating duplicate profiles.  After all, the point of this site IS collaboration, so if I can save myself the trouble of going back later and weeding through all of the duplicates because someone else has already added my ancestor, AND I was able to find her right away, I'm happy for it.
Use of married name works against merge efforts
I have yet to experience anything but frustration when it comes to merging and the use of married names. The proposed matches are horrible no matter which search tool I use.

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