Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Surname in CAPS and Missing Maiden Names

Some great questions from my friend Dee who writes to inquire:


I have just migrated to Roots Magic 6, and am setting up my database. Now I realize a lot of this is personal choice but have to ask:

  1. Is there a benefit to having surnames in all CAPS?
    I suggest permitting the software program to insert CAPS for the surnames, just from a readability standpoint. These ol' bi-focals provide challenges to this ol' gal sometimes. I wouldn't type the surname in caps because you don't always want them to show up that way in a report.
  2. How do you suggest entering females whose last names you do not know? I dislike leaving the line blank bur don’t want to have the husband’s surname listed there either.  UNK is an option but is it a good one?
    Simply insert the name as you know it, and don't worry about the maiden name until it is determined. You won't mind the blank line in printed reports, as this may encourage folks to write in the correct info.

    Using the husband's surname is definitely out, even though the woman is known by that name during her married years. It will totally skew things if, for instance, you have a Mary Jones marrying a Thomas Jones, where Jones is indeed Mary's maiden name. You want that "surname" field to reflect the woman's maiden name. Leaving it blank means it is unknown at this time.

Regardless of your "genealogy management program" these points will help in data entry. If you are having challenges choosing software, may I suggest:


Happy family tree climbing!

Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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