Reconsidering the Last Name At Birth Field for American Indians (and anyone else) who never had and never will have a Last Name at Birth
I suggest revisiting the policy of inserting a band, tribe, or nation into the Last Name at Birth field for American Indians who never had and never will have a LNAB. The policy is disrespectful, and - perhaps more importantly for genealogists - it creates false information. The current programming and policies exclude people who do not fit the boxes. Dakota can be a tribe, and it can also be a real last name, and I have seen made-up stuff become facts over time. It doesn't seem to me to be a programming impossibility. The entry form already has a radio button for no middle name; why can't a radio button be added for no surname? (And - of course - it would be wise to include an explanation that this is different from unknown surname. Actually why not add a radio button for unknown surname?) The system already indexes profiles with the surname "unknown." Why can't it index on "no surname" as well (without adding "no surname" text to the profile)? As it is, there are inconsistent and sometimes goofy (or sadly disrespectful) solutions being entered. A profile for Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake - which was held up as a sample - actually had Sitting in the first name field and Bull in the last name field until I pointed it out. American Indians deserve a better solution.
This proposal has evolved. Since completing programming to accommodate a null LNAB field is completely possible but improbable in the near future due to limited programming resources, the proposal now is to enter "No Surname" in the LNAB field for those who did not have a LNAB.
- Reconsidering the Last Name At Birth Field Apr 29, 2020.
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