Name editor - Surname variations


Is there a way to manage surnames more like “places”, i.e, has a date and language attribute.

Sure names encapsulates a rich tapestry woven from identity, culture, and historical shifts with mandatory adoption of surnames during the 17th century. Moreover, as families migrated across regions and languages, surnames sometimes underwent further alterations, adapting to local linguistic norms and historical circumstances.

I couldn’t find a proper way to capture all that information.
For example: My surname is “מרקוביץ’” in Hebrew and “Markovitz” in English. But my Late father was Spelled “Markovits” with an “s” in Hungarian. some distant family ended up in Romania with the same name Spelled “Markovici” and the one in Germany Went by “Marcoviczs” and there is more…
On top of that, names often changed for various reasons so in different periods people might had different names or used different names hence a date attribute is required.

Thank you

Linux Mint 21.2
Gramps 5.1.6 and (5.2.0)

The names have a date field (first tab in name editor, last line - barely visible, I didn’t notice it before I was told). For the spelling variation of the name according to the country or the circumstances, personally I will use the field “origin of the name” by indicating for example “Geographic” and a note to tell the corresponding country.

This might be a nice ‘work around’ (I’ll check that barely visible date field)…
Still it would be nice to have a proper Name Handler, maybe something for a wish list.

I don’t remember the threads anymore but there have been quite a few long discussions on this Discourse about names, their grouping which would deserve more than a simple field in order to explain their origin or to distinguish their different meanings.

Surely your topic would belong among the names discussion topics.

You can add “Alternative names” for the same person and add dates/periods to them… but, i agree, that it would be a great feature to be able to add multiple spellings of a name with geographic, language and time information…

In Norway we can have multiple ways of spelling a name, depending on time (Danish and Swedish variants was also used in periods) and place, cities or rural etc. and we actually didn’t have what’s today called surnames until the 1920s…

As @PLegoux posted, a person can have several name entries each with a date and note entry with the ability to have a source/citation. Each entry can have their own Type to categorize the name.

Unlike places, a name with a date will not bring that name to the fore based upon the date of an event. The various name entries just add to what you know about the person.

Only one name can be slotted as the preferred name for the person’s record and you the user decides.

You can also override the display and/or the sort for each name entry different than the default name display/sort set in preferences.

Lastly, there is the Group As surname override. To be clear, this does NOT change the person’s name entry. When lists of names are grouped by surname, this feature allows you to group both
Markovitz and Markovits into the same grouping. This can be done on a case-by-case record or include all records with the same surname.

The way I handle the issue is to override both Markovitz and Markovits with the same entry: “Markovitz (Markovits)” (or user’s choice).

Thank you for the tips, @PLegoux and @DaveSch. I will definitely check them out.

To be clear, the issue is not about “normalizing” all similar-sounding names into one. On the contrary, I want to capture name variation over time period and country (region).

For non-Latin-letter languages (such as Hebrew, Russian, and Arabic), simply writing the name in that language loses all the valuable information conveyed by the name. (For example, Hebrew names do not have vowels.) Additionally, when examining a record, document, headstone, or copy of an original of any sort, the exact spelling can shed light on uncertain facts.

The Group As function is not about normalizing the name. Each person still retains their spelling of the name. Grouping allows easier finding of a person in a name list. It also allows you to see Saul Markovitz’s record next to Saul Markovits’s record to see if they may be the same person but with someone using the different spelling.

I am currently working on my Head/Herd/Hurd family. And even though one of the branches is using the Hurd variant, the clerk recording a birth uses Heard.

And to make it easier add in preferences a firstname÷lastname display order (no need to use it as the default display order), then when you grouped persons names use it as the default sorting order for that persons:

If you want to automate sorting order of grouped persons, you could use this little Supertool script I’ve made.

This will display that two Sauls next to each other in their group whatever is their lastname:

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Thank You @PLegoux I’ll sure give that script a run… And you guys really helped with some great tips.

This is likely Onomastics: where to store name etymology?

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