Multiple Surnames

Work has started to allow for multiple surnames, based on GEP 21. Work is happening in a development branch and upgrade is finished, as well as import/export to xml. Still a lot to test. Daring developers are invited to try the upgrade on a copy of their data. Main thing is that patronymic is a surname type, and no longer a different name field.

The more interesting work of updating the interface has to be tackled next. I don’t want to slow down the default data entry of a person’s name, but on the other hand have to allow for entry of multiple surnames. My current idea is to give the normal surname fields (prefix, surname, connector, origintype (=patronymic, inherited, …)), together with a button: Add Second Surname. Toggling this, hides this simple entry, and brings up a list entry. I’m thinking of an editable table, with an add button, remove button, up and down arrow to rearrange the order.

Problem is that things must remain understandable on first use. People might mistake the Add second surname button for an alternate name. I guess I’ll just try it and see how it works. If anybody has cool ideas, let me know!



  • Ian Goddard

    I’m concerned about making Call name validated. As things stand it’s difficult to handle families where given names are repeated in different branches and/or generations. I resort to thinking in terms of “John Goddard of Scholes” or “William Goddard III”. There isn’t a field to insert such disambiguation so in some databases I use the Call name. So I would have Surname: Goddard, Given name: John and Call name: John Goddard of Scholes. In such databases a validated Call name is going to give me a lot of red ink!

  • lcc

    Hello Ian,

    I think in the case described one could resort to alternative names, perhaps with a custom description. “Identifier name” maybe.

    As for your work Benny, it is quality work and movement forward, development. When this is finished Gramps will probably be establishing the leading elite position of genealogy software. It will be a pioneering change, which all others will follow, sooner or later.


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