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Draft Proposal for the Suffix Help Page

Cochoit-2 14:02, 2 January 2018 (EST)


Suffix

The suffix field on wikitree is to be used for a limited number of specific instances. These generally conform to existing naming customs in the Western world. Generally, you do not need to put all of someone's earned honors in this field, but only the highest honor. The rest can and should appear in the biography.
As a general rule, suffixes should be those which could be reasonably regarded as part of a person's name (used on official documents or in signatures) or an important part of their identity.
The suffix is limited to 10 characters. As a matter of style, it is preferred that full stops (periods) not be used.
Generational Designations
Used according to standard form for people of consecutive generations with the same name in order to distinguish them. It was not unusual for the designation of Sr or Jr in primary records to change within a person's lifetime pre-1700, so these suffixes are more of a generational counting system and may not always match the original records.
  • Sr, Jr, III, IV, V, etc.
Honors of Nobility
Used for specific honors granted by the government or inherited. Most of the examples apply to the British honors system, but other countries often have similar examples.
  • KG – Knight of the Garter
  • KB – Knight of the Bath
  • KT – Knight of the Thistle
  • KCVO - Knight Commander of the Victorian Order
  • Bt (or Bart.) - Baronet
  • See the wikipedia list for others KBE, KCMG, KTS, KA, KP, AK, GCVO, GCMG, KCMG, DBE, KCSI, KStJ, VC, GC, DSC, DSO, DFC, CBE, OBE, MBE, OM, CH, PC, FRS and FRSA commonly found as part of the British honors system.
  • MP - Member of Parliament
  • Esq - This is an honorific which has changed over time, and once had an important meaning. It should only be used on pre-1700 profiles where the designation occurs in the primary records.
  • Gent - This is an honorific which has changed over time, and once had an important meaning. It should only be used on pre-1700 profiles where the designation occurs in the primary records.
  • yeoman - This is an honorific which has changed over time, and once had an important meaning. It should only be used on pre-1700 profiles where the designation occurs in the primary records.
Academic Degrees
Post-nominals for academic achievement should generally be those which could be reasonably regarded as part of a person's name (used on official documents or in signatures) or an important part of their identity. Most other suffixes indicating an academic degree can be included in the biography if desired. Examples include:
  • MD – Doctor of Medicine
  • PhD – Doctor of Philosophy
  • DO – Doctor of Osteopathy
  • JD – Juris Doctor
  • LLD – Doctor of Laws
  • DD – Doctor of Divinity
Military Branch
It is common practice to add a military branch in the suffix if a military rank is given in the prefix. It is often not necessary or appropriate to add a rank and branch to every person who served in the military, but should be added when it meets the standard of "reasonably regarded as part of a person's name (used on official documents or in signatures) or an important part of their identity." The use of these suffixes should follow the customs and conventions of both the country and the military service in which they served.
  • Examples for the United States: USA, USMC, USN, USAF, & USCG
Religious Orders
It is standard practice for many priests and nuns to include a post-nominal indicating the order to which they belong. Examples include (there are many):
  • CM – The Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians or Lazarists)
  • CMF – Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians)
  • CP – The congregation of the Passion (Passionists)
  • CSC – Congregation of the Holy Cross (Holy Cross Fathers)
  • OFM – Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans)
  • OMI – Oblates of Mary Immaculate
  • OP – Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans)
  • OSA – Order of St. Augustine (Augustianians)
  • SJ - Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
Miscellaneous
Suffixes specifically not allowed:
  • "Lord of ..." - Lords of a manor are not a true title and should not be used. They can be included in the biography.
  • Kt or Knt - as a designation of a Knight Bachelor. This title properly has a prefix Sir and no suffix. In very rare cases where other prefix designations make the insertion of Sir otherwise awkward, then these post-nominal letters may be used. This would be an unusual situation. Sir and Kt. should never occur together in the same name.
  • Personal coding systems - it is quite common for people on their personal family trees to use the suffix field for a coding system. Some societies and organizations also use coding systems, which give these designations some degree of ligitimacy. These often appear in wikitree following gedcom uploads. Because wikitree is a world tree shared by all, these codes should be removed. If they are widely used by the community outside of wikitree, and they are felt to be helpful and useful, please include them in the biography.
  • Suffixes indicating profession - For example, CPA, RN, etc.
  • Died young, d.y. or infant - Sometimes found in the suffix to indicate the person died in childhood, but the exact date of death is unknown. Please include this sort of biographical detail in the biography.




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