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keeping track of changing surnames

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By gloriad648 - Posted on 05 July 2006

<<<"......I've standardized all my spellings to conform to today's language.
At first I left the old names, they are quaint and add a certain flavor to my tree.
But my tree is too large and unwieldly for that now.........">>>

Long ago I stopped entering the exact name written on church or legal records,
there were simply too many variations. Even some priests spelled their names
three different ways on the same record.

So like Ernie and Alicia and others with large data bases, I started standardizing
all my surnames and keeping the original spelling in the notes - but quickly ran into
even more of a problem. With thousands of surnames over a span of 400 years,
it was very difficult to quickly pick out the individual I was researching, especially
when sharing information with someone else.

Now what I do is a kind of trick entry: if there are 100 Joses with the same basic
surname, the Joses born in the 1800's or later are entered as Jose; the ones born
in the 1700's are entered as Joseph; the ones born in the 1600's as Jocephe. For
women, Josefa for 1800's or later, Josepha for pre 1800's, or Getrudis for one
century, and Xetrudis for another. With this way of entering names, I can still keep
something of the 'original flavor', as Ernie says, and also at a glance I can tell in
which century the individuals were born, as those born in the same century will be
grouped together. Same with the surnames: LOPEZ is for the ones born after 1800;
LOPES for the ones before 1800. CALVILLO for those born after 1800, CALBILLO for
1700's. BASQUES for 1600's, VASQUES for 1700's, VASQUEZ for 1800's.

Gloria Delgado

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