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Pro Genealogy Naming Conventions?

Replies: 7

Be Cautious With Middle Initials

Posted: 2 May 2013 8:41AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 2 May 2013 10:47AM GMT

Be Cautious with Middle Initials.

Lower case Spencerian writing is hard enough to decipher, but upper case is especially easy to misinterpret.

I have reached the point that although I enter a name with an initial as an alternative name, I enter the name without a middle initial as the primary name until I can at least see a second instance of it, or the full middle name to verify. I have gotten burned too many times where the middle initial was simply wrong - especially from hand-written census records.

This is doubly true for women. Women often used the first letter of their middle name as an initial when young, but used the first letter of their maiden name as their middle initial after marriage. This seems to be true for the majority of American women from at least 1850-1900 and even outside of that range. If you have a woman with a married name in the 1800ish to 1900ish era, chances are better than 50-50 that the middle initial is the first letter of their maiden name. This is true for headstones, as well as census and other entries.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
lauriemrgn 26 Apr 2013 6:05PM GMT 
silverfox3280 28 Apr 2013 6:55AM GMT 
David Abernat... 28 Apr 2013 4:18PM GMT 
kj_norway 28 Apr 2013 10:25PM GMT 
kj_norway 28 Apr 2013 10:41PM GMT 
silverfox3280 29 Apr 2013 3:18AM GMT 
silverfox3280 2 May 2013 2:41PM GMT 
kj_norway 2 May 2013 4:24PM GMT 
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