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Sweden Project - Name and Location Fields

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The purpose of this page is to explain and present how person and location names are added correctly to the data fields for Swedish profiles of "ordinary people."

(Separate guidelines/rules will be worked out for names of Noble families, including Royals, and for "men of the church" who often used names in Latin. Link will be added here once done.)

If you want an explanation of standards for a whole profile, please check Space:Sweden_Project_-_Swedish_Profile_Standards as the purpose of this page is to focus only on being a guide for name and location fields.


How to add Swedish Names and Locations into WT's Data Fields

First of all, it is never appropriate to use ALL CAPS in any data field so please don’t do that (not even to mark out a call name/preferred name).

There is a comprehensive and detailed explanation of the WikiTree name fields which can be found here, Name_Fields, but please note that different rules based on geography are also a reality because WT says we should use their convention instead of ours.

That means, among other things, that when creating a profile, names (and locations) should be spelled correctly in the native language of the person/profile to avoid duplicates (spellings in Swedish using Å, å, Ä, ä, Ö, ö for example).

Another example, 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 fact, middle names are something that did not exist in many European countries until modern times. 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 can, and should, be added to “Proper First Name” when working on Swedish profiles and finding more than one given name in the sources.

If you have questions about Swedish names not explained by this page you might want to check the Category: Swedish Names. You can also ask in the Nordic Google Group and if you are not part of the Nordic Project you can ask questions in G2G, be sure to tag your question with country and also "Nordic".

Name fields for Swedish profiles

When creating a profile, ensure that names are correctly spelled in the native language of the person/profile to avoid duplicates (spellings with å, ä, ö for example).

Proper First Name

ALL given names should be added to this field. The names should be added in the same order mentioned in an official birth certificate or christening/baptismal record. Example: Carl Gustaf or Ingrid Victoria Sofia Louise Margareta.

Preferred Name

This field can unfortunately not be left empty and you should not assume that the first of two (or more) given names is the preferred name unless it is documented by sources.

It would, for example, sometimes be just as wrong to separate Carl Gustaf as it would be to separate Mary Lou. It is generally not until the latest century that first names are spelled with a hyphen and Carl Gustaf becomes Carl-Gustaf.

Furthermore, it is not unusual to find that all the given names at brith are listed in the church books so they are normally not a good source to indicate the preferred name for someone with several given names. Sometimes the names could even be inconsistent, so when in doubt, please add all the names as entered in the Proper First Name Field. You may also check the radio button for "Uncertain" to indicate that you do not know for certain which name(s) were used as the preferred name.

However, if you find any of the names underlined in a church book, that would usually indicate the call name of the person. Then the Preferred Name Field can be edited to show that name but please also remember to mention in the bio how you have come to that conclusion.

If the person was alive and known by you personally it is fine to add a preferred name.

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. Examples; Calle (nickname for Carl), Stina (sometimes nickname for Christina), Gamle Jon i Bua (Old Jon in Bua), Erik Skräddare (skräddare meaning tailor).

Please, do not generally use the Nickname field for descriptive placeholders (such as an occupation or location) unless that person would have been well known by such a description and it is documented in a source.

Middle Name

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 of "common people." The button for "No Middle Name" should therefore be marked.

Exceptions could be if a person emigrated and used a middle name in the new country (or if the use of an actual Swedish middle name can be proved with a source).

Please note that anything entered in this field will be handled as a first name in searches. This is the main reason that patronyms added as a supplement of a family name should go in the Other Last Name Field. This way we can avoid creating unnecessary duplicates and find proper matches when searching.

Last Name At Birth

In Swedish genealogy research, very few parishes have a last name added to a child in the birth notice which sometimes can make it a bit difficult to be sure what the LNAB should be.

Last names were usually not documented in church books until a youngster takes part in communion service the first time (konfirmation) or when he/she leaves home to start working or get married and in most cases, at least before 1850, it would be a patronymic last name.

Patronymic exceptions earlier than that time period can usually be found among nobles and descendants of immigrants. Sometimes also among people living in towns (usually upper class like officers and merchants).

Changing from patronymic names to family names took a long time in Sweden, generally starting abt 1875-1880 (earlier in towns than in the countryside). Usually, those who had a soldiers' name or a name taken when becoming masters of a craft (shoemakers, carpenters for example) would be the first who would use their given/taken last name as inherited family names.

If the LNAB can not be found you can use Unknown. Or you should perhaps consider adding the person later when more research has been done and the Last Name at Birth has been found. Meanwhile, research notes for the person can be made in the profile of a spouse or a child.

For more info on Swedish names, check out Category: Swedish Names

Current Last Name

For non-living people, it should be the last name they were using at the time of their death.

Please note that (most) Swedish women would not take their husband's last name until modern times (1900's). Do not assume that a woman used her husband's last name unless documented in sources.

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 the last name in order to avoid duplicates being created. Examples; Karlsson and Carlsson are two different spellings of the same name, as is Persson, Pehrsson and Pärsson different spellings of the same name. So, if you encounter any different spellings of the last name in the church books, please add them to this field.

It can also be used for patronymics in order to distinguish between several family members with the same first name and a family last name. It could also be wise to add a patronymic name as a complement for the first generation of a family using a family name.

Location Fields

These instructions are for all three location fields (birth, marriage and death).

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 that time period used, even if the name of a location is no longer being used in modern times. That sometimes means using historical counties for example, not the modern-day regions.

However, the modern spelling of locations is preferred, for example, the county Älvsborg in modern spelling and not the old one, Elfsborg. Using Sverige (or Sweden) as the country name and not "Konungariket Sverige".

Always include the country in the location field. Most correct is of course to use Sverige but Sweden is also accepted. Do no use abbreviations like SWE, that will cause an error in the database that needs to be edited.

Only add one set of location name to a location field. Do not add a second "name alternative" (such as a different spelling) or a translated location name to a location field, things like that goes into the biography section.

Please make sure that location names are correctly spelled in the native language of the person/profile (using Å, å, Ä, ä, Ö, ö for example).

Place names should be added from the smallest entity to the largest, examples:

  • Village/by (or farm name/gårdsnamn), parish/socken, county/län, country/land
  • Village/by, parish/socken, province/landskap, country/land
  • Parish/församling, town/city/stad, county/län, country/land

Real location examples:

  • Lännäs, Närke, Sverige (parish/socken, province/landskap, country/land)
  • Lännäs, Örebro län, Sverige (parish/socken, county/län, country/land)
  • Lännäs, Örebro län (T), Sverige (parish/socken, county/län, country/land)
  • Örebro Nikolai, Örebro, Örebro län, Sverige (parish/församling, town/city/stad, county/län, country/land)

Please always include the word "län" (län spelled with a lowercase L, not a capital i) if you are referring to a län/county in a location field. Since many län/county and landskap/province share the same names it can otherwise get confusing.

If you use a county letter in location fields, it should be added as a complement to the county and not replacing it. Example: add "Grinstad, Älvsborgs län (P), Sverige", and NOT "Grinstad, (P), Sverige".

Please note that the only separators allowed in a location field are: comma , dot . space, dash -, single quotation mark, ' pairs of parentheses ( ) or pairs of brackets [ ]. All other separators create an error in the database. For example, you can not write 1:st, S:t Paul or Kyrkbyn #94 without causing an error, you should write 1st, Sankt Paul and Kyrkbyn 94 instead.

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

Please note that the suggested place names from FamilySearch's database may not always be correct for Sweden and you do not need to accept any of the place name suggestions. You can also turn these suggestions off. Check beneath the location field and you will see a small link that says "hide place name suggestions." If you click this, the automatic suggestions will not appear.

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

For those of you who have uploaded a gedcom file, please make sure that the country is added to the locations fields of your profiles. It is a very common problem with genealogy software programs that they leave out the country when creating gedcoms. Also make sure that your location fields does not have any abbreviations, SWE instead of Sweden for example.

Related WikiTree help pages; Help:Location_Fields
See also; Space:Sweden, Category:Sweden, Geographical_Regions

Sweden Project - Correct Location Names - Please note, this page is still a "work in progress", however, what is already there might still be helpful. It was mainly set up as a help for Nordic Data Doctors working on place name suggestions.

Comments: 2

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Should add something to the effect of: "Care should be taken in adding farm names to life events. Often these are included in church books to identify the person rather than to indicate the place something happened. Farm names for births are generally more accurate as births tended to occur in the home, however, for weddings, deaths, and other events, unless the records specifically identify the event as occuring on the farm, there is a strong possibility of the farm not being the actual location of the event."
posted by Erik Fretheim
Could you please post this in the g2g group so it can be discussed there as the rest is? Thanks.
posted by Maggie Andersson