Forums: Index > Watercooler > Middle names

I wonder whether this recent development in facts articles contains a solution to some, if not all, the problems around patronyms. Example:

{{showfacts children}}}}


{{set general info
|given name = Catherine
|middle names = 
|surname = Mills
|sex = F
|father = William Mills (?-?)
|mother = Sarah Cameron (?-?)
|short name = Catherine Mills
|full name = 
|titles = 
|siblings = Catherine Ada Mills (1870-1904);
|alternative names = 
|image = 

How is it used?[]

Of course, the "middle names" thing will have to work, which it seems not to be doing in the above example (or it would say "Ada"). When the "Ada" gets filled in, where will it be shown except (automatically) in a list of facts and (arising from deliberate entry by a contributor) in the "full name" and possibly the "short name"?

Other names not in the middle[]

Its definition might want to include family-type names that come after the surname (as in, for example, some Iberian traditions). Otherwise how do we handle them?

Another consideration is that with middle names separated from given names there will be a strong desire to enter someone's normal name as the given name even if it is the second name (as in George Bernard Shaw and J. Edgar Hoover, for example). This could further extend the scope of "middle names" to include the occasional "first name". Otherwise how do we handle them if the "given name" is second?

Rename parameter or add another one?[]

Result could be a change of nomenclature from "middle names" to "other names". Unless we make true "middle names" distinct from "other names"?

But can we do anything with them? Will any user want to do a search for middle names or any "other" names? Possibly. Will someone searching for "John" find a page that has "Arthur John" as its "middle names"? If not, the names might be better separate, e.g. name-m1, name-m2, etc, or name-o1, name-o2...

Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:35, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Other cultures have even more complexities; see as an example. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 14:46, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

In Dutch, there is a distinction between "calling name" (Bernard, Edgar) and "given names" (George Bernard, J. Edgar). This does imply typing something twice, but that cannot be avoided. "Short name" is then a "calling name"+"surname" while "full name"="given names"+"surname". This then also allows to introduce short forms of names (Bill v William).
We also need to option to insert something between the given names and the surname (e.g., patronyms) and after the surname (e.g., titles, surname of mother). rtol 05:41, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, it could become enormously complex. I tend towards allowing different inputs of types of name and titles but not trying to get the program to arrange them. User enters full name as a separate parameter/box entry, then types or pastes "short name" too (Bernard Shaw, Bill Smith) then types or pastes the individual elements in further boxes so that they can all be searchable (and put into concepts or whatever). I've seen Welsh genealogy sites with indexes of first names because of the very common practice (not unlike that of Netherlands and Scandinavia) of using a variant of the father's name as the child's "surname". So we could want "first" names and given names searchable with SMW. Of course in Hungary or the Far East the surname is first. Yes, Phlox (responding to your note on the Dutch patronymics forum), a box for patronymics will be good; but it's only one of several desirable additional types of name. Matronymics would be another (not combined, because users who know which they want will prefer to have a shorter list; but if they can be properties they might be subproperties of "family name" or "parent-based name" along with "surname"). We could all re-read Family name before finalizing. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 14:46, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

A number of errors here. See continuation of this thread -> Forum:Person name properties. ~ Phlox 02:07, 27 July 2009 (UTC)