• #5643

    Should I be changing to quotes?

    Short answer: no, definitely not.

    The searching issue the webtrees user raised is simply due to his incorrect use of the asterisk. He was putting it in the middle of a name (Phil*lip) to indicate the nickname “Phil”. That is wrong, and yes it will make searching hard.

    There is also confusion, I think, over what constitutes a nickname, and the purpose of the asterisk vs quotes. They are not alternatives for the same purpose. They are quite different.

    The asterisk defines the name a person is “usually known by”. It should be placed at the end of that name. My own mother is a good example. Her birth was registered as Barbara Joyce /Osborne/. But throughout her life she was called Joyce. So I have noted this by entering it as Barbara Joyce* /Osborne/. This results in a display like Barbara Joyce Osborne.
    Joyce in this case is not a nickname.

    A nickname is an alternative name, usually either something completely different to any given names, or an abbreviation of one. So “Fred” might be a nickname for Frederick, or “chubby” might be the nickname of a “larger” individual. These can be entered in GEDCOM in either of two ways:
    1 – add the nickname with quotes round it (Frederick “Fred” /Smith/)
    2 – use the NICK tag
    1 NAME Frederick /Smith/
    2 GIVN Frederick
    2 SURN Smith
    2 NICK Fred
    In both the options the main name display will by Frederick “Fred” Smith.
    But only by using NICK will you also see the separate information “Nickname : Fred” as well.

    My (personal) preference is to only use the NICK tag for nicknames. I think it is easier to use, and easier for readers to understand.

    But most importantly don’t confuse the asterisk and the quotes. They are not for the same purpose.

    My personal kiwitrees site is