Help on Name Type

I was looking at the Primary Name fact and noticed a field in the name panel called ‘Name Type’ which has a drop-down of blank (default), AKA, Birth, Immigrant, Maiden, Married, Nickname, and Other Spelling.

I tried the online help by searching for name, name type etc but was unable to find any information on name type.

All of my names in my family tree are from birth. I was wondering whether I should change the drop-down for each person to Birth?

Also, If I didn’t known a person birth surname but I know their surname from marriage, should I enter their married surname and change this drop-down to Married. Previously, I have left their surname as blank.

I am just abit confused over whether to leave the name type blank and would like some advice or more information on what other people do.


There is absolutely no requirement to use ‘Name Type’ at all. That is simply for ease of recording. A more common use of this field would be when there are Alternate Name facts. Some people do actually enter a female by her maiden name, which is the standard, and to make it easier to find in the index, they do enter an Alternate Name fact and designate it as Married. In one case in my tree, I have a man named Robert Alan Smith, however he spent most of his life known as Oscar Smith, up to and including his death certificate. So I entered him as Robert Alan Smith in the Primary Name field and as Oscar Smith in the Alternate Name field with the designation of Nickname. I could also have reasonably used AKA. This way he shows in the index as both. You know that it is an alternate name if it is preceded by a + in the index.

SO what this all boils down to is whatever makes it easier for you to keep track of name variations which you may find throughout the various records you look at.


So in this case, would you use the Name Type of ‘Maiden’ for the Primary Name, and for the new Alternate Name, use ‘Married’ for the Name Type.

I also have a person in my family tree or decided to use his middle name as his first name and I used an Alternate Name field, but I didn’t use the Name Type. Adding Nickname (unless he changed it by deed poll but I have no evidence of this) is a good idea.

I didn’t realise alternate name showed in the index. Obviously, the option of showing alternate names must be on (mine was off for some reason). This could make finding people by their married name easier I suppose.

Thanks for the information. It gives me some ideas.

I don’t personally use any name types for primary names as I always enter maiden name as primary…however there is no reason to not do it if it makes sense to you.