Adding Names in Family Tree Maker

Name Editing Window in Family Tree Maker for Mac 2Storing names in genealogy software seems simple enough at first glance, right? While Family Tree Maker makes it comparatively simple, it’s still a bit tricky when adding name variations, AKAs, suffixes, titles, and multi-word surnames.

Learning how to enter names will speed your evidence capture so you can focus on the fun family history activities: research, analysis, and storytelling. Those fun bits will be easier too! All the information and evidence will be organized.

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What All Reunion 9 for Mac Users Must Know About Surname Prefix Sorting

Surely somewhere in your genealogy there’s at least one ancestor with a surname prefix. You know, those names that start with “Mc,” “von,” and so on? If you do, you need to know that Reunion has special rules for sorting names with these prefixes. If you don’t set it to sort the way you want, your index may not be sorted as you think it is. This can make finding a person in a list difficult including the index that is included on some reports.

Have no fear! I’ve dug into all the intricacies to figure it out and simplify it for you. In this video from the MacGenealogist Archives, Surname Prefix Sorting in the Reunion for Macintosh Genealogy Software, I point out the pitfalls and show you what your options are, including one you may not know about even if you are familiar with the prefix words preference options.

Find and Replace Names with Accented Letters in Reunion 9

An often overlooked feature in Reunion 9 is find and replace. I think this is because we tend to use the Find button on the toolbar instead of using the Find | Anything menu item.

At the bottom of the Find menu is a item called Replace…. It enables you to find and replace all occurrences of one piece of text with another. The search text can be sensitive to lower and upper case. It can limit the changes to marked people. It can also apply the change to all fields, or all source fields, or limit it to one these selected fields:

  • First and middle names
  • Last names
  • All names
  • Addresses
  • Places
  • Memos
  • Facts
  • Notes
  • Structured source fields
  • Free form source fields

One example of a use for this feature is replacing names without properly accented letters with an appropriately accented name. In this video from the MacGenealogist Archives, Find and Replace Names with Accented Letters in Reunion 9 for Mac Genealogy Software, I’ll show you how to make such a change without having to visit each family card. Along the way I’ll show you how to insert accented characters when the need arises.

How To Cite Sources with Misspelled Names in Reunion 9

At first it’s surprising how often our ancestors names are misspelled in artifacts. After a short time it becomes commonplace. All family historians need a method for dealing with this common occurrence. Capturing the error while simplifying information retrieval is a matter of including the misspelling in the citation, followed by the correct name in square brackets. This approach is recommended in Elizabeth Shown Mills’ must-have book, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. This video from the Archives will walk you through how to properly cite such a source in the Mac genealogy software, Reunion 9.