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Consistent use of maiden name

Consistent use of maiden name

Posted: 12 May 2012 2:57PM GMT
Classification: Query
I've found a large branch of my family tree on another Ancestry.com public tree. However, the maker of that tree has followed a convention of using a woman's maiden name as a middle name and listing her by her married surname once she has married. I have followed another convention of maintaining her maiden name throughout. So, what might be the appropriate, or most ethical, ways to incorporate this new branch into my tree? Should I edit each female person's name to comply with the convention I am using, or should I just bring them all into my tree as-is?

Re: Consistent use of maiden name

Posted: 12 May 2012 5:06PM GMT
Classification: Query
I always incorporate information from other people's trees by hand, one name at a time. I use FTM. I create a new source that is the other person's tree and, for every single last fact, I cite that source. And yes, I would convert into your system. Using maiden names isn't required but it's widely considered the best system to use, and the least confusing.

Remember, the names on that other tree are just hints for your own research. You need to independently verify each one. Hopefully the person has provided enough citations (or will share them if you message them and ask...I don't upload citations to Ancestry, I just use them on FTM...except for the ones that Ancestry does automatically. My tree is up there to connect with others who might share part of my tree, not to be a definitive source).

There are no ethical dilemmas in changing the formatting. Do it the way that works for you. Yeah, it's easier to click and add than to do things the way I've suggested, but it will be so much more satisfying to do it right. And it will save you time later, if there is a discrepency somewhere (and there will be many) and you have your cites so you can track it down.

Congrats on finding a relative! That's one of the best parts about doing this.

Cyndi

Re: Consistent use of maiden name

Posted: 12 May 2012 5:30PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you Cyndi! I appreciate your help and heartily agree that all those discoveries you make, large or small, are a large part of what makes this so interesting and fun.

I keep my tree private because I agree that relationships should be firmly established rather than just putting potentially incorrect information out there. The consequences of that can grow exponentially over time as others copy that information into their trees, a practice that makes information in public trees suspect until proven otherwise. I always check the sources of information in other trees, but sometimes a certain branch seems very likely to be correct and I incorporate it "provisionally" to mark an area that needs further study. I'll keep my tree on Ancestry private until everything is verified sufficiently, or until Ancestry provides the ability to mark individual branches private within a public tree. Got to add that to the Ancestry.com wish list.

Thanks again for your quick response and help.

Bruce
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