Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Looking for Opinions/Advice

1. Is there a rule regarding which version of a surname to use when there are several to choose from? I'm sure many if not all of you have come across a surname with variations. How do you decide which version of the surname to use in your database and printed family history? I'm looking at a name that is recorded (in Polish church records) as Pełc, Pałka, and Bałko, all in roughly the same time period but by different priests. I don't have the option of looking up the name in other sources because as far as I know these are the only sources (In Poland back in the 1700s and 1800s the priests were the "official" record keepers.) I know I can list alternative spellings using the "aka" feature in Legacy but which name do I put in the surname box?

2. If all the records you have (and will cite as evidence) use Latin versions of first names, do you use the Latin version of the first name in your database software and printed family history, convert the names to the native language version (in my case Polish), or use the English equivalent since everyone I plan to share it with speaks English as a native language?

Thanks for any feedback left here. I have checked Evidence Explained but I couldn't find these specific issues addressed. It's certainly possible that I just missed them. It's a big book and I must admit I haven't read it cover to cover.

So let me know what you think. How do you deal with these issues?