aka vs nickname vs incorect spelling (alternate name)

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William F Stratton

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Mar 13, 2024, 10:18:20 AMMar 13
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I have passed GEDs between Family Tree Maker and GEDitCOM II several times trying to clean up some issues. The last time I did this I passed 1071 individuals to GEDitCOM and it passed 1100 back into FTM. I founnd most of those names as what had been alternate names. It seems that FTM brought everyone who had an alternate name in as new names show as Preferred in FTM.
This is easy to fix but it brought up a question I have thought about before and that is:
How should the facts of "Nicknames" vs AKA vs "alternate names" (created when names are misspelled in source documents) be entered into the record?

theboo...@gmail.com

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Mar 18, 2024, 1:26:42 PMMar 18
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Not sure if I'm right about this but I have just started to do it this way:

I use the name type. Add a new name and click the blue info item at the right hand end then enter the Type as required.

So AKA for somebody who uses an alternate name, apparently deliberately. Eg one of my people was Maria Cady but, for much of her younger time she used her stepfather's surname so she went by Maria Mitchell.

You can use Maiden, Professional name, etc so Archie Leach might be entered as Cary Grant with the name type of PROFESSIONAL.

You can also just add the text to the GEDCOM in form

1 NAME Cary Grant
2 TYPE PROFESSIONAL

You can also add types to the Menu by editing the Default (or other) Style in the right spot but I forget where I did that.

I added ALTSPELLING for those cases where the name is spelled differently in say, a baptism record, or whatever but it's obviously not an AKA.

If I'm committing a heinous mistake here,  please somebody point it out.

Cheers

Mick

theboo...@gmail.com

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Mar 18, 2024, 1:28:33 PMMar 18
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I should also have added that FTM does things weirdly in this case, or used to, using non-standard tags for AKA etc.

Mick

On Thursday 14 March 2024 at 00:18:20 UTC+10 wfstr...@gmail.com wrote:

William F Stratton

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Mar 18, 2024, 5:59:42 PMMar 18
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Thank you for your input. Seems like a reasoned approach.

John Nairn

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Mar 18, 2024, 7:46:55 PMMar 18
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I don't know how FTM handles aliases, but both the GEDCOM standard (and therefore GEDitCOM II) have several options. The choice of option might depend on the specifics of that individual.

The simplest (in my opinion) is to have a single individual record for each person. For something as simple as a nickname, that can be entered in the name details section. The name details can also define the type of name, its language, and enter translations into other languages.

If someone changes their name, you can add a second name to an individual (I have seen other genealogy applications that don't allow a second name which maybe why FTM created more records). In GEDitCOM II, choose Tree->Attach->Event Attribute... and pick option to add "Name". A new name field appears. You probably want to attach a source or note explaining why a new name is entered or when it occurred (if it was a name change). Adding names is also an option for entering different spellings of name (different languages are better entered in the name details). Although this is standard GEDCOM practice, importing GEDCOM data with multiple names into to other software might cause extra name to be lost.

In rare cases, you might want to have two individual records for the same person.  Some examples would be someone who led a double life, someone in the witness protection program, or a secret agent. To use this path create the two individuals and edit separately about their two lives. You can then link then as "aliases." In GEDitCOM II (in the Default Format), open the "Other" tab and click the "Alias" icon (hopefully it is obvious which one) and select the other individual record. Note that alias links are one-way links. If you want each one to link to the other, repeat the alias link for each one.

John Nairn

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