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Nordic Project, Name Fields and Location Fields

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Draft for discussion - Work in progress

Sweden now has Space:Sweden_Project_-_Name_and_Location_Fields should it be worked out by each country instead??


Nordic Names, WikiTree Name Fields and Location Fields

The purpose of this page is to explain and present how names are added correctly to the name fields for Scandinavian profiles of "ordinary people" (with some practical examples). Separate guidelines/rules will be worked out for Nobles and Royal families (including priests as well?)

WikiTree has a comprehensive and detailed explanation of name fields which can be found here, Name_Fields, but please note that different rules are also a reality because WT says we should use their convention instead of ours. For example, middle names are something that in fact does not exist in many European countries.

WikiTree calls the field for given names “Proper First Name” which can give the impression that only one name is allowed, perhaps you have even experienced a warning text. However, multiple names are allowed and the message can be turned off in your settings.

In the text explaining the Middle Name Warning it actually says “Some cultures do not have middle names at all, and therefore certain members do not need to see the Middle Name Warning. If you select this setting, it will be turned off.”

Therefore, multiple names are quite acceptable to add to “Proper First Name” when working on Scandinavian profiles.

Current Nordic pages;

Other pages for "inspiration" how to do/express this work;

Also related; but as Leif says "Letting unskilled data doctors with no real understanding of old Norwegian naming practice loose on this may well create more problems than it solves."

Name fields for Nordic profiles

This is an attempt for compressed general rules that apply when filling in the Name fields for Nordic profiles. For more comprehensive understanding of Nordic names, please see information available for each the countries.
Current Nordic pages;

Proper First Name

  • Proper First Name:
    • Denmark:
    • Finland:
    • Iceland:
    • Norway:
    • Sweden: All first names at birth mentioned in an official birth certificate or baptismal record.
      Example: Carl Gustaf or Ingrid Victoria Sofia Louise Margareta

Preferred Name

  • Preferred Name:
    • Denmark:
    • Finland:
    • Iceland:
    • Norway:
    • Sweden: Do not assume that the first of two (or more) given names is the preferred name unless it is documented by sources. It would sometimes be just as wrong to separate Carl Gustaf as it would be to separate Mary Lou.

Other Nicknames

  • Other Nicknames:
    This field can include multiple names separated by commas. The field is for nicknames or other names which the person was known as.
    • Denmark:
    • Finland:
    • Iceland:
    • Norway:
    • Sweden: Example; Calle (nickname for Carl), Drottning Silvia, Gamle Jon i Bua

Middle Name

  • Middle Name:
    Please note that anything entered in this field will be handled as a first name in searches. If there is no real middle name, the button for "No Middle Name" should be marked.
    • Denmark: Middle names were not recognized by Danish law prior to 1904.
    • Finland:
    • Iceland:
    • Norway:
    • Sweden: Sweden did not really have middle names until modern times (with very few exceptions) and this field should not be used at all on most profiles. An acceptable dispensation for using this field can, for example, be when used for a patronymic name of a noble house profile in order to help separate multiple profiles with the same name.
    • Early Scandinavia Project uses the middle name field for bynames, such as Blåtand (Bluetooth).

Last Name At Birth

  • Last Name At Birth:
    This field should contain the first documented last name of a person. The change from patronymic names to family names
    • Denmark: Fixed inheritable family name required after 1829 which defaulted to a frozen patronymic name if there was no non-patronymic family name. Until then, patronymics would be used, if not noble family.
    • Finland:
    • Iceland:
    • Norway:
    • Sweden: For Sweden, LNAB is usually found when a youngster leaves home to start working or get married. Changing from patronymic names to family names took a long time in Sweden (earlier in towns than in the countryside), generally starting abt 1875-1880. Patronymic exceptions earlier than that time period could be found among nobles and descendants of immigrants (usually upper class, like officers and merchants) and among people living in towns.
    • Early Scandinavia Project uses patronymic LNAB (even if last names might not actually been used in the timespan).

Current Last Name

  • Current Last Name:
    For non-living people, it should be the last name they were using at the time of their death.
    • Denmark:
    • Finland:
    • Iceland:
    • Norway:
    • Sweden: Please note that (most) Swedish women would not take their husband's last name until modern times (1900's).
    • Early Scandinavia Project Same patronymic as LNAB.

Other Last Names

  • Other Last names:
    This field can include multiple names separated by commas. This field could be used for last name variations and alternative spellings of last name.
    • Denmark: Can be used for "tilnavn", an "extra" name (often descriptive name) used to distinguish a person from others with the same or similar name.
    • Finland:
    • Iceland:
    • Norway:
    • Sweden: (For Swedish nobles, before being registered at Riddarhuset, it can be used for their house name. See instruction for Royals and Nobles.)
    • Early Scandinavia Project Nordic spelling variation of the patronymic LNAB.

Not forget to adress farm names... this is a great explanation from g2g discussion... Farm names were used more as epithets than actual names for a good portion of Norwegian genealogical history- a means of differentiating between people with the same name, sure, but not hereditary or permanent.

  • When did each Nordic country start to use Family Names?

Denmark 1829, added above.

  • When did women of each country start to use husbands name?

Sweden: In 1920 it was made compulsory for a woman to take her husband's name as a married name.

  • Explanation of prefix and suffix...

Translation of Prefix from Swedish Wikipedia (beside prepostions): Prefixes are also articles that belong to a family name (of the type von, af, de and la).

WikiTrees definition of prefix is: This is for a name prefix or title such as Mrs, Sir, Dr, Gov, Sgt, etc. If a person has multiple prefixes or titles use the highest, last or preferred one, e.g. Capt over Lt.. The prefix is limited to 10 characters.
This needs better explanation, why is Mrs an example but not Mr, what do the abbreviations mean in Nordic languages.

Location Fields

Once again, WikiTree says we should use their convention instead of ours. Applied to locations, this means using place names in native languages and using the names that people at the time used, even if they now no longer exist. That sometimes means using historical counties for example, not the modern-day regions.

As a general rule, entering almost any location better than no location. So if you only know the country, please add it to the location field.

Do not include a house number, street address, building name, church, hospital, etc., in the location field (unless it represents an administrative division, such as a parish). This kind of information should be added to the biography.

Examples of correct location given in Location Field:

  • Denmark:
  • Finland:
  • Iceland:
  • Norway:
  • Sweden: Village (or farm name), parish, county, country.

Please note that the suggested place names from FamilySearch's database may not always be correct and you do not need to accept any of the place name suggestions. You can also turn these suggestions off... Link

Examples: use "Sverige" and not "Konungariket Sverige." Sweden will not generate and error.Country names in English are OK, but adding Tyskland (Swedish) instead of Germany or Deutschland will generate a DataBase Error/Suggestion.


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