Name editor - have I missed something?

5.1.5 win10. Been using Gramps for 2 years.
So I know about the name editor and have used it where names have changed.
However I have not made an entry for “married name” for the women that marry and change their name.
Have I made a mistake not doing this?
I haven’t seen any effect not doing this, but have I missed something?
Do you make this entry and link it to the marriage citation?

This an awkward part of the name editor. Which might be appropriate since the legal fiction of couverture is also awkward.

The stubborn insistence in genealogy that women be represented with their maiden surname seems wrong to me. Most of these women with happy marriages spend 4/5ths of their lives with their husband’s surname. In some cases, their grandchildren or great-grandchildren don’t even recall the maiden name. And it is often true that the obituary for an elderly women fails the mention her parents or maiden name.

So, I like to use the multiple surnames feature to include BOTH her patrilineal & taken name origin attributes. It relieves the need to drill down to each daughter in a family to discover which was “Mrs. Smith”.

There seems to be no extra functionality with using the Married Name name type. Since its use means hiding either the birth name or the taken name, I just ignore that feature.

I do wish Gramps had some “née” name display formats.

e.g., “Mrs. Martha Jane (née Jones) Smith”


I haven’t used this feature, but suspect it might be most useful to me in cases where the married name is something other than the husband’s name, for example something hyphenated like Smith-Jones. Or maybe in cases where the woman kept her maiden name as her married name, since that seems to be the exception within my data.

As for the citation, it may or may not apply to the marriage event. It would depend on what sources show the married name.

Somewhat related, does anyone track what name(s) people used as their signature? For example, whether they used their full first and middle names, or used initial letters, or omitted one or both of them. Or, in the case of married women, how they signed their name, both during marriage and widowhood. I have not yet done this, but as I collect more examples of handwriting, I’m thinking about organizing a collection of signatures somehow.

Yes. Ultimately, decisions about whether and how to store data often depend on how easy it is to display it or search for it.

I could not find a date field either. Like the person used this name after xxxx or between or before.

I suspect that different people use this feature differently. I have adopted the basic policy that I only use the married name for women when I have been unable to determine the maiden name. That happens most often when the woman is listed as a daughter-in-law or sister-in-law without a maiden name in an obituary, although I occasionally encounter situations where other records give a married name and don’t provide a maiden name. I’ll have to admit that I do not know if there are any women in my database that have kept their maiden name or taken a name other than their husbands at marriage or I would probably use married name in that situation.

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I do not normally add the woman’s married name to her record. The instances where I will are when the married name falls outside the cultural norm. The hyphenated name or if she does not change her name.

The other instance where I would have the woman’s married name is if they also have an adult Title name: “Dr Mary Junes”.

And as always with multiple names for a person, which name gets slotted as the Preferred Name? Normally I leave the Birth name.

My report of choice to send to relatives is the Narrative Web. I add a disclaimer of how I handle married names in the introduction pages. I add the caveat that I may not learn of all the instances where the woman does something outside the cultural norm.

On a woman’s second+ marriages, I add the woman’s name at the time of the marriage to the marriage’s Description field.

And of course in modern times, married name changes are not just for the women.

There is a feature in the Web Calendar where Gramps will make the change in the report. In this instance the option asks if Gramps should take the last name of the first or last spouse when there have been multiple marriages. So a consistency of data entry is needed by the user.

You can but I just utilize the Date field for the name especially if the woman takes back their birth name at the time of a divorce. I would add the citation for a married name if on the certificate the question is asked what the married name will be going forward. I have noticed this is a relatively recent addition to the forms and most historical forms just make the assumption that the woman’s name will change.

I have not tracked the signature name. Historically, there are few instances where we would see their signature. But I do multiple name entries over a person’s lifetime. A person is not known as “Reverend” or “Sr” at the time of their birth so these (and others) get their own name entries.

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I do when signature name is different from name wrote by the officiant, often i put it as preferred name

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