New Netherland Settlers Project Naming Convention

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Categories: New Netherland Settlers Project Help | Styles and Standards.

This naming convention page is for profiles that are part of New Netherland Settlers Project. These families typically do not have single-word surnames consistently down a male line and so they present a particular challenge on the LNAB decision for each person.


Naming Conventions

It is important to determine the surname and project protect the lowest-numbered WikiTree ID for that surname before merging tons of duplicate profiles, and this project has tons of duplicates for just about everybody. Each duplicate should then be merged directly into the project protected profile (PPP). (This is a technical issue - see "the redirect problem" for details and this G2G post for a great explanation.)

Naming conventions used by the New Netherland Settlers Project include:

Last Name at Birth (LNAB)

The order of preference for the LNAB of New Netherland profiles:

  1. Signature (it must be in an image) - The reasoning for this is that primary sources are rare in the New Netherland. When a signature is discovered, it is likely the only primary account of a name we will discover.
  2. Baptism record (unless the father has a patronymic)
  3. Marriage record
  4. Children's baptism records
  5. Court documents

As explored in "New Netherland Naming Systems and Customs" in the Jan 1995 issue of the NYGBR, though the British ended the use of patronymics in 1687, usage continued; therefore the New Netherland Settlers Project uses what is found in baptism and marriage records.

The first surname (or patronymic) that appears in church records for a person will be used for the Last Name at Birth (within reason). Other last names, including names later adopted by the family, are placed in the Other Last Names field where the names can be found through searches and profile creation forms.

The project does not use patronymics derived from baptism records that don't include a surname, as the Last Name at Birth. These patronymics should be added after the given name in the First Name field.

It is sometimes difficult to separate family names from other words used to describe or to disambiguate a person as people were sometimes described by location (toponymic), by profession or even nicknames they had somehow earned.

Naming of Married Women

Consistent with customary practice in the Netherlands and the other European countries they came from, married women in New Netherland generally did not use their husbands' last names. This practice changed gradually over time. The Current Last Name for a married women should not be her husband's last name unless a contemporary record shows her using that name during her lifetime (or at her death). If published genealogies or other modern sources identify her with a husband's last name that she is not documented to have used, that name may be listed as an "Other Last Name."

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