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What's in a name?

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  • What's in a name?

    Not sure where this best fits, but this was my best guess.

    Names. Those of us who spend a bunch of time here and on other genetic genealogy sites have collected lots of names. I use Genome Mate to help keep them all straight, but I'm sure there are other options.

    Now that Genome Mate allows us to import the names from Ancestry (still no chromosome info available), I thought I'd go through all of my names in alpha order to see if I can find matches across Ancestry, FTDNA, 23andMe, and gedmatch.

    Not so much.

    Ancestry encourages the use of login ID's instead of names. They will allow you to use your name, but you can't change it. Gedmatch encourages the use of real names, but will allow the use of nicknames. FTDNA insists on real names, but a few people have gone around it and used nicknames. 23andMe is mostly real names.

    Once you get past that, you find that women sometimes use their maiden names and sometimes use their married names. On Gedmatch, it's not at all uncommon to use first initials and last names. On Ancestry, if you test someone else and attach them to your account, they will show as only their initials (no option to display name that I can find).

    So where does this leave us? Here's what you'd see if you were looking at the info of me and my parents.

    Ancestry - me - TeresaJill, mom - K. H. (test not complete)
    23andMe - me - Teresa Heberer (my maiden name), mom - Kathy McCombs (her maiden name), dad - Wayne Heberer
    FTDNA - me - Teresa Hulvey (married name), dad - GW Heberer (test not complete)
    Gedmatch - me - TJ Heberer, mom - ?? don't know and can't look it up, dad - GWHeberer

    It's easy to see how someone might be confused.

    So, is there some agreed upon standard somewhere? If there isn't, there should be. Personally, I think women should use their maiden names.

    Has anyone had any luck convincing these companies to allow you to change your name on their site so that it aligns with the others?

  • #2
    Found a way to change name here and on 23andme

    I was able to change my name on FTDNA and 23andMe with no hassle. It appears that Ancestry will be a bit more difficult.


    • #3
      Originally posted by TeresaJill View Post
      I was able to change my name on FTDNA and 23andMe with no hassle. It appears that Ancestry will be a bit more difficult.
      Go to your DNA Home page at Ancestry and click "Settings". You can attach whatever name you want to your DNA results.


      • #4
        Teresalill: Please give us instructions on how to change our name at FTDNA and 23.

        Moberly Drake: Many thanks!


        • #5
          At both companies I think you just sign in and edit your account info, though I strongly advise using the real name of the person who did the test both here and at 23AndMe, whatever nickname you may use at Ancestry. Especially here. I also advise listing a woman by her maiden name or including her maiden name at the very least.


          • #6
            Changing your name

            Ancestry - On the DNA Home Page under settings you have two choices. Your ID or your real name (as they see it). I have yet to find a way to change your real name.

            FTDNA - Got to My account > Personal Profile > Edit Contact Info

            23andme - Click on your name on the upper right then Edit Profile.

            When I created my Ancestry account years ago, it never occurred to me that anyone would ever see anything other than my ID, so I used my married name instead of my maiden name.


            • #7
              Now, if we can cajole the guys at Gedmatch to do a name change for us............


              • #8
                Originally posted by marietta View Post
                Now, if we can cajole the guys at Gedmatch to do a name change for us............
                I would be happy if was just available for use..... It's been down for quite some time.


                • #9

                  I haven't attempted to change a name on gedmatch. It's been down since it occurred to me that I was making things difficult for others to sort out.

                  Please oh please come back Gedmatch. I donated recently in the hopes that if we all donate, they'll have money to do it right. I believe their instability discourages some people from uploading their private info.