How to remove all Suffix, Prefix and Alternative name

Hi all,
I’m looking for an easy way to remove people’s “alternate names” as it totally messes up database preview.

I’m also looking for an easy way to remove all “Suffix’s” and “Prefixes” from my database.

Any help would be gratefully received.



If by “database preview” you mean the names index in the left sidebar, it has an option to display or not display Alternate Names. On the Index title bar, there is a 3 Dots icon. Click the icon to see the Alternate Names option and to turn it off.

There is no “easy way” to remove the Alternate Names completely. There is no “easy way” to remove all Suffixes and Prefixes from your database. Doing it from inside of RM would be a one at a time operation. You can do a search or make a group of individuals with Alternate Names or Suffixes or Prefixes so you could find them all. very easily But you would have to delete each one by hand. RM has a NameClean tool, but it does not address the ability to remove Prefixes and Suffixes and Alternate Names

RM’s database is a relational database based on SQLite. The Alternate Names and Suffixes and Prefixes could be removed “easily” using SQLite. But doing so requires programming skills and the use of SQLIte by users is not recommended nor supported by RM. There is a user site about the use of SQLite with RM at SQLite Tools for RootsMagic

-If you merely wish to “visually” remove Alternate Name from People->Index only:
Use three-dot menu -to uncheckmark Show alternate names.
-The tedious way to remove Prefixes/Suffixes is Search and Replace via Tools (or Command Pallette) Search (Names - Prefix) (and Names - Suffix) then leaving the “Replace with” block empty

Anything further requires external manipulation of the .RMTREE file via a SQLite-compatible tool using Structured Query Language commands -or- tedious edits to an exported GEDCOM (for re-import to a fresh new database)

Thanks for the 3 dot tip. That’s all I need on that issue

Missed that whilst trying to learn other basics.



Thank you for the tip (s)

My son knows SQL. Getting him to do something is a different matter, though.

Pre and suffix’s just slow or kill a search engine if you are using a third party piece of software. I’m also a republican (NB. small “r”) so, Sir this and Lady that do not interest me

Thanks again


I had sort of forgotten about this approach. It might not actually be all that tedious because there are probably a fairly limited set of prefixes and suffixes in use. So for what I might do for prefixes would be to do an Advanced Search on Prefix => Is Not Blank. It will find all the people who have a prefix. I would look at the first person in the list. Suppose the prefix was Rev. I would then do the Search and Replace to replace all the Rev. prefixes with nothing. Then I would repeat the Advanced Search to find the next prefix which might be Captain and Search and Replace all Captain prefixes and replace them with nothing. Etc. The same technique would work for suffixes.

Thanks Jerry.

Yeah doing it this way will work easy on Prefix’s. Good shout.
Would the Suffix => Is Not Blank…Replace with a “blank” field work??
Same with “Nickname”

Suffix’s will be much harder for me as I do a lot pre 1500 Scotland where almost everyone has a title and/or surname that represents where they come from rather than a family name. Where they come from is already in the BMD detail so having this extra info in the name just confuses search engines


Yes, it works but it’s very tedious. I was thinking that I had very few suffixes in my database, like only Jr. and Sr. But I had a lot more than that. I also had inconsistencies like Jr. with a period and Jr without a period. If I got rid of Jr without the period first it also changed the Jr. with the period to just a period. So it’s very messy. Some of them are easier just to do with a one off edit of individuals in the results from the Advanced Search.

Upper case R or lower case r … Whichever you are doesn’t change how the individuals appear in the historical records using their prefix from that time. And knowing the prefix may reduce confusion with other like-named individuals.

Personally, I would find a different piece third party software if if the prefix and suffix portions of the name are causing that much slow down. I would also argue certain suffixes should remain. Such as Jr., Sr., III etc. This are often important in determining which Henry Smith is which!

It is Ancestry

Dates will do for me rather than Jnr. or Snr. etc.
They are not used in Scotland-Europe and I don’t intend to start.
I have approaching 1000 tree’s and one source, my 25th ggf. A lot of people needing to come together.
Everyone has a different way of uniquely identifying an individual so it becomes insignificant. Content in Pre and Suffix should be in a profile not as a searchable field.

If I say I have just finished the “Sinclair (St. Clair)” family tree back to the Viking saga’s and up to circa 1600. It comprises of around 200,000 people and most have a description, title, nickname etc. None of which are automatically searchable on the interweb.
There are probably around 40 Henry Sinclair’s in this tree so anyway you work it, it won’t work adding a number.

If I’m piecing together and merging/synching Gedcoms, Imported tree’s and homemade Ancestry tree’s The individual names have to be the same to merge properly.


Yeah, sure, one source for 1000’s of trees. Sounds like rather sketchy genealogy to me. As for prefix and suffix in a profile? I am not certain how you think this all works, but those items have their own fields for a reason. I also can assure you that having data in those fields is NOT slowing down Ancestry searches. If you elect not to use them, great, it is your genealogy. I just feel really bad for whoever has to sort the mess out after you join your ancestors in Fólkvangr or Valhalla, which ever is applicable!

How many primary sources are there from the Viking times?
More than the name has to match when you are merging. Like birth and death dates and places, parents, siblings, etc. if you are just merging individuals solely based on a name match, you are going to end up with one big hot mess.

Enough of this.
I came onto this site with questions to help me as I’m no geek.
I got answers from some kind sympathetic folks speaking plain English.
I do not need a lecture as, pre-retirement and Covid, I was one.

I do hope this justification is “sketchy” enough for you…

  1. I’m not a “Sinclair” but “you are not Scottish If you don’t have one” in your tree.
    Source for tree The “Scottish peerage” and the Sinclair genealogy
  2. My source for my 23rd ggf is the “Doomsday book” which mentions the grandson (French and Bretange history takes it further back). The
    grandfather is mentioned as being “the first of his kin to be in Britain”. He was
    part of the Norman conquest of Britain. DNA ethnicity confirms my Norman heritage.
  3. Grandfather is also mentioned in the official account of the battle of Hastings in 1066
  4. Grandson granted lands in Scotland by Scottish King David…Scottish historical record
    (I have the official Scottish Archaeological society statement of significance)
  5. Castle, near Glasgow, still exists as Crookston castle which morphed into Lord Darnley
    Stewart’s castle through marriage. He married Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots
  6. My widowed 23rd ggf re-married the 1st High STEWARD of Scotland. After 6 high
    STEWARD’s the name morphed into the very first STEWART.
  7. I had missing maternal gf and 3x paternal ggp. Did 3 DNA tests to find them +
    Gedmatch therefore generated lots of tree’s. I also had an adopted mother.
  8. I get around 3 requests a day for help, most requiring another new tree.
  9. Decided to do a one name study on the migration of my family in all it’s 25 spelling
    variants finding that there is only one other source and that is a, USA only, anglicized
    version of a German/Dutch sounding name.