Help:Name Fields for European Aristocrats

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Categories: Styles and Standards

Project:European Aristocrats

Listed below are the standards for the name fields on profiles of European Aristocrats. These assume you are familiar with WikiTree's basic rules on Name Fields. It is very important to understand all these guidelines and rules before doing any significant editing. PLEASE READ ALL OF THEM ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.

These rules have been developed through discussions in the European Aristocrats Project. Please join the project and ask any questions you may have there before making significant edits to these profiles. If you're unsure, ask the group by posting a question on the G2G forum (be sure to tag it with euroaristo). That's what it's for.

Following is a brief outline of the naming standards, followed by a more concise description.

PROPER USE OF DATA FIELDS FOR MEDIEVAL AND EARLIER PROFILES:

  1. PREFIX FIELD: This is for a title such as 'Sir' or 'Reverend'. A man who was knighted was called Sir. Do not use this field for long titles, such as 'Earl of Angus'. Titles such as that belong in the 'Other Nickname' field. Don’t use this field for ‘King’, ’Duke’, ‘Lady.’ For medieval and earlier profiles, ‘Sir’ or 'St" are almost the only acceptable uses of the prefix field. Do not use "Sir" as a prefix before 1205 (Wikipedia, earliest documented use). The title 'Lady' was used only for the daughter of a king until the 1500s and then always with 'The' capitalized, as 'The Lady Margaret.'
  2. PROPER FIRST NAME: This is first name at birth, in the person’s native language. It should be one word only.
  3. PREFERRED NAME: This is the name of the person as they were generally known/called/referred to. It would also have a numeral (i.e. I, II, III) with it if they are known as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd. Example: Henry III of England - his proper first name is Henry, preferred name is Henry III.
  4. OTHER NICKNAMES: This is where their title belongs (i.e. ‘King of England’, ‘Queen of Scots’, ‘Lord of Dunmow’, etc.). Titles may be used to distinguish various members of lines with similar names, such as Master of xxx. Titles include any title granted by a Crown and may include Constable, Sheriff, Chamberlain or similar. Titles may include numbers (i.e. either ‘Earl of Arundel’ or ‘3rd Earl of Arundel’ is acceptable). This is also where any actual nicknames (i.e., ‘The Younger’, ‘The Poor’, ‘Talvas’, ‘The Loyal’, ‘Copped Hat’, etc.) and translations such as Eléonore, Leonor, Eleanor belong. Do not put any nicknames in quotations. Separate multiple names with a comma. If there is any doubt, particularly for pre-1500 profiles please ask the relevant project.
  5. MIDDLE NAME: Very few people in the middle ages had a middle name, so this tends to be blank. However, this space may be used for a patronymic, if it is not the LNAB.
  6. LAST NAME AT BIRTH: This is the name they had (or would have been known by) when they were born. In most cases, it is one word. Exceptions to this are ‘de Vere’ and families that had ‘St’ as part of their name (such as St John, St Aubyn, St Hilary, St Liz, St Pol, St Sauveur). See below for PREFIXES IN LAST NAME AT BIRTH FIELD:
    • Names like St John: "St" is a prefix which stays with the surname; that is, "St John" goes in the LNAB field, and St is not dropped nor separated out into the prefix field. Do not put a period after the St and do not spell out the word Saint.
    • The common ‘de’, ‘du’, ‘le’, ‘la’, ‘de la’, ‘von’, ‘van’ before a surname does not go in the LNAB field; it goes with the surname in the Current Last Name field while the surname, ONE word, goes in the LNAB. Example: Last name at birth: "Villefort", Current Last Name: "de Villefort". There are some exceptions to this rule, such as de Vere or de la Mare. Members of these families should have both words in the LNAB field. Please contact a lead in the Euroaristo project for naming clarification.
    • Names that include ‘Fitz’: Fitz- names should be written with mid-caps, that is, a capital letter for the father's name. For example, write FitzAlan, FitzGeoffrey, FitzGerald, etc. This is the same pattern as used in names with Mac-: MacMurray, MacDonald, etc. Do not leave a space.
  7. CURRENT LAST NAME: For people who are known by last names that are commonly prefaced by prepositions ("de," "d'," "von," "van," "of," etc.) or articles ("the," "le," etc.), the Current Last Name should include that prefacing preposition or article. For example, Roger de Mowbray, while his Last Name at Birth is Mowbray, has de Mowbray as his Current Last Name. For nobility, the country, dukedom, etc., may be used here, with a preposition, as for example, of England or de León.
    • Women generally take their husband’s CLN, although not a patronymic. The last name at death is the name used here.
  8. OTHER LAST NAME: This should include alternate last names and last name variations, separated by commas. Prior married names for women occur here. This is not the place for titles (those go in the Nickname field).
  9. SUFFIX: These were not generally used in the Middle Ages. Modern usage includes Jr, Sr, III, IV, and so on. For kings and queens the number should go as part of the Preferred First Name instead of in the Suffix. For example, VI is not an appropriate Suffix for King George VI. Do not use "Esq." unless it is found on a contemporary document.

NOTES/RULES REGARDING PROPER USE OF FIELDS AND USE OF PUNCTUATION, ETC.

  • PUNCTUATION: The correct style is to NOT use a period after a prefix such as Rev or Capt or St.
  • There is no leeway on the rules for prefixes and suffixes; that is, those fields cannot be used for anything else.
  • SUFFIXES IN LAST NAME: Jr, Sr, III, Esq, for moderns, and occasional KG, KB, GCVO, KCVO, GCMG, KCMG, GCSI, KCSI, GBE, KBE, KCB, and AK for medieval profiles go in the suffix field. NOTHING else goes in the suffix field.
  • TITLES: Titles do not go in prefix or suffix fields. They go in the biography. However, what people were called (King of England, Duc d'Angoulême, Lord Mountbatten, the Fat) belongs in the OTHER NICKNAMES field.
  • ALTERNATE SPELLING OF LAST NAME: alternate spellings go in the Other Last Name field (example: William d’Aubeney would have LNAB Aubeney, CLN d’Aubeney, OLN de Albini, d’Aubigné)
  • PATRONYMICS: Patronymics are middle names (unless nothing else is available).
  • WELSH NAMES: Welsh names are different. For Welsh naming conventions see: Name Fields for Welsh Aristocrats and are discussed in the Wales Project.
  • We use the native language of the person within reason. Wikipedia is very useful for providing translations and alternate alphabets.
  • NUMERALS: These go as part of the preferred name in medieval and older profiles (i.e. Richard III, Henry VIII).

Contents

Last Names at Birth

Most early European aristocrats did not have surnames in the modern sense.

Despite our rule about using native naming conventions (see Use their conventions instead of ours) it's important for the structure of WikiTree that every profile have a Last Name at Birth (LNAB). LNABs are used for the WikiTree ID, in FindMatches and searches, on surname index pages, for alphabetization on your Watchlist and elsewhere.

Although it might be more technically correct to use None or No Last Name as the LNAB, as we do with Unknown, we have decided that the value of this is outweighed by the utility of having an approximation of a family name.

How we choose LNABs

Imposing a surname on people who didn't use them is tricky. The group discussed how to select an surname.[1] we keep in mind:

  • We'd prefer to call a family line by a house name, i.d., a "patronymic," rather than use a title, place or location, a "toponymic." [2] For example, Plantagenet was chosen instead of England.'. Wikipedia is useful for determining Houses, as, for example, with the Kings of Scotland. A woman marrying a Plantagenet does not become a Plantagenet.
  • According to basic WikiTree style, LNABs should be in the language of the person being profiled. See Use their conventions instead of ours. For example, Normandie was chosen for the LNAB while Normandy is used in Other Last Names.
    • However, if we are using a place name for the LNAB, and that place no longer exists, we use the modern version of the place name.[3]
  • LNABs should not include prefixes or prepositions. For example, Normandie was chosen for the LNAB while de Normandie is used in Current Last Name.
  • EuroAristos project members decided that Fitz- names should be written with mid-caps, that is, a capital letter for the father's name. For example, write FitzAlan, FitzGeoffrey, FitzGerald, etc. This is the same pattern as used in names with Mac-: MacMurray, MacDonald, etc. Do not include a space. As WikiTree users encounter these names, we request that they change the capitalization for consistency.
  • Category pages can be used to group people in more flexible ways and explain any confusing usages. Titles which change families, such as Earl of Northumberland or Duke of Norfolk, are examples where categories function well.

For the LNABs that have been established, see Proper Spelling of LNABs.

For others, ask on G2G using the euroaristo tag.

Rules for Individual Name Fields

Prefix

See Name Fields#Prefix.

Although the Prefix field is appropriate for modern titles, it is not used with aristocratic titles. However, Sir is the appropriate title for knights.

Instead of the Prefix field, aristocratic titles should be part of the Nicknames. For example, King is never an appropriate Prefix.

Proper First Name

See Name Fields#Proper First Name.

This is the First Name at Birth, in the person's native language.

Preferred First Name

See Name Fields#Preferred First Name.

This is the First Name at Death.

It is not what we call them or even what history calls them. Use Other Nicknames for that. This is the name they would have been called in their time and place at the end of their life.

Middle Name

See Name Fields#Middle Name. Occasionally, patronymics can be used as Middle Names.

Other Nicknames

See Name Fields#Other Nicknames.

This is Other First Names, Also Known As or Aliases.

This field includes names that the person has in various languages and actual nicknames, separated by commas. This is also the place for titles, according to the consensus reached in December 2011.

Last Name at Birth

See the list of LNABs here.

If the LNAB isn't there (many won't be) or you're not sure about what to use, ask the group by posting a question on the G2G forum and tagging it with euroaristo.

Current Last Name

See Name Fields#Current Last Name.

This is the Last Name at Death, Preferred Last Name or last "Married Name.

For people who are known by last names that are commonly prefaced by prepositions ("de," "d'," "von," "van," "of," etc.) or articles ("the," "le," etc.), the Current Last Name should include that prefacing preposition or article. For example, Roger de Mowbray, while his Last Name at Birth is Mowbray, has de Mowbray as his Current Last Name.

Other Last Names

See Name Fields#Other Last Names.

This is for Alternate Last Names and Last Name Variations, separated by commas. Previous spouses' surnames for women are placed here.

Suffix

See Name Fields#Suffix.

This is the Suffix at Birth, rarely used in the Middle Ages. Modern examples are "Jr," "Sr," and "III." Suffixes should only be used if contemporary documents reveal the usage.

For kings and queens the number should go as part of the Preferred First Name instead of in the Suffix. For example, VI is not an appropriate Suffix for King George VI.

Examples

Richard I of Normandy

Prefix:
Proper First Name: Richard
Preferred First Name: Richard I
Other Nicknames: The Fearless, Sans peur, Duc de Normandie
Middle Name:
Last Name at Birth: Normandie
Current Last Name: de Normandie
Other Last Names: of Normandy
Suffix:

Henry VIII of England

Prefix:
Proper First Name: Henry
Preferred First Name: Henry VIII
Other Nicknames: King of England
Middle Name:
Last Name at Birth: Tudor
Current Last Name: of England
Other Last Names:
Suffix:

Edward Longshanks

Prefix:
Proper First Name: Edward
Preferred First Name: Edward I
Other Nicknames: Longshanks, King of England, Hammer of the Scots
Middle Name:
Last Name at Birth: Plantagenet
Current Last Name: of England
Other Last Names:
Suffix:

Donald of Mar

Prefix:
Proper First Name: Domhnall
Preferred First Name: Domhnall I
Other Nicknames: Donald, Domhnall mac Uilleim, Mormaer of Mar
Middle Name:
Last Name at Birth: Mar
Current Last Name: of Mar
Other Last Names:
Suffix:

James Stuart

Prefix:
Proper First Name: James
Preferred First Name: James I
Other Nicknames: King of Scots, King of England and Ireland, James VI of Scotland
Middle Name: Charles
Last Name at Birth: Stuart
Current Last Name: of England
Other Last Names:
Suffix:

John of Gaunt

Prefix:
Proper First Name: John
Preferred First Name: John
Other Nicknames: Duke of Lancaster
Middle Name:
Last Name at Birth: Plantagenet
Current Last Name: of Gaunt
Other Last Names: of Lancaster
Suffix:

Robert de Brus (1243-1304)

Prefix: Sir
Proper First Name: Robert
Preferred First Name: Robert
Other Nicknames: Lord Brus
Middle Name:
Last Name at Birth: Bruce
Current Last Name: de Bruce
Other Last Names: le Brus, de Brus
Suffix:

  1. Special thanks go out to WikiTreer Roger Travis for helping to develop and clarify this and other policies. Other participants in the WikiTree European Aristocracy Project have also been instrumental in developing the policies on this page, including Kathy Alvis Patterson, Lindsay Stough, Lianne Lavoie, David Robinson and Lance Foster.
  2. The rationale: This is WikiTree, a family tree site. If it comes down to a choice, we're more concerned with genealogy than history. Wikipedia and other sites are better for historical studies.
  3. This was mentioned on https://groups.google.com/group/WikiEuroAristo/browse_thread/thread/e9864128543156cd?hl=en#


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