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slowjim

How to record a person known only by a nickname

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slowjim

In the interest of consistency and presenting a professional appearance to my tree, I need to know is there some standardized fashion for recording an individual who was known only by 'Red'. No given or surname. 'Red' is the only name available at the moment. He had a relationship with an ancestor that resulted in generations after him, so I need to put something down for him which will not be confusing. Could it be "Red" Unknown or just Red or "Red" or Unknown and then Red in the nickname row? Is there some recognized method for dealing with that?

Thanks

James R Brown
Our Family Tree

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Chris Lloyd

I tend to use the nickname field for the  - in your case - "Red" and put (Unknown) as the first name and surname

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Brett
8 hours ago, slowjim said:

Is there some recognized method for dealing with that?

Tamura Jones describes this situation (https://www.tamurajones.net/GenealogyNameBasics.xml) and says "When you do not know a particular name part, simply leave the field blank. Do not enter a fantasy name."

Many use Unknown etc and it works for them. I prefer to follow Tamura and not record an unknown name field. However, this creates display anomolies in TNG. If no first name and surname are recorded but another name field is recorded for the parent, such as Nickname, there is no record shown in the Family section. Below, John  has a father recorded, with only nickname field completed. Note there is no Father row shown in the Family section.

image.png.

Below, John  has a father recorded, with both the date of birth and nickname fields recorded. A Father line does appear.

image.png

Below is the Father record.

image.png

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slowjim

In principal, I like Tamura Jones' view of accurate naming. However, I am not sure I care much for the results you get in TNG or other software that just is not setup for no name. I believe whatever most accurately and clearly describes the situation regarding the subject individual is the way I want to go. I do not know his name. In English, 'Unknown' pretty well conveys that. 'Unknown' is not likely to be confused with a real name as perhaps some abbreviation might. It's just a bit messy, that's all. I was hoping there was some universal standard for addressing that problem, but I guess there is not.

Thanks for your answers and suggestions.


 

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Robin Richmond

I've read articles that identify "____" (the number of underscores was not specified) and "__??__".   On the other hand, I use "??" for surnames,. and leave the first name blank if I don't know it.  These three approaches (like "Unknown") have the advantage of avoiding the problems that Brett and shlowjim  described.

Also, if a person is routinely addressed by a nickname, I just make it part of the firstname field and put it in parentheses.  That gets the nickname into charts,, and takes care of one of the situations mentioned above

On a related front, I don't know of a convention for indicating when people are/were known by their middle name. It could be done by including the midde name as a nickname, but that either gets redundant or omitted, depending on how nicknames are included in full names.  So I put such names in quotes; e.g. I am Joseph "Robin" Richmond.  Of course. casual visitors to my site won't know for sure what that means, but I think that it is reasonably self-evident. and not intrusive in any event.

- Robin

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