My biological parents gave birth to 9 children. When my birth father died, the 4 youngest children (including me) were put up for adoption and our names were changed. (4 different adoptive families)

In the family tree, I want to show each of us under our birth parents with our adopted names shown under them as follows:

New first and middle name (born birth last name) followed my new adopted last name and in another spot - show full former name.

Is this possible and, if so, how do I do it?

My family tree is currently on My Heritage.

3 Answers 3


Wikitree would let you do this very easily. It has the possibility to add any number of last names, variant spellings, maiden names, or, in your case, the names of both your biological and your adoptive parents. (I am not familiar with the MyHeritage format, but since you use the word "currently" I infer that you may be open to moving your tree.)


MyHeritage lets you enter a person's given names, surname and married name however you want. It is your own private tree at MyHeritage so you don't have to follow a common standard.

I too have many people who were born with one name, and later changed it or used a different name, especially those born in Eastern Europe speaking a different language who then came to North America.

The method I chose is to put the birth name first in parenthesis followed by the current name, e.g.,

For given names: (Jacob) John Gerald

For a surname : (Smith) Jones

I also put known-as or self-used names in double quotes following the official names, e.g.

(Jacob) John Gerald "Jonny"

The only real consideration is when using the one-click link to find records for the person, it will use all the names you include. The search appears to ignore the parenthesis but doesn't seem to like the double quotes.


What I did on Ancestry (and it's a private tree, so it's not inflicted on anybody else) ... at least until I come up with something better! ...

Adopted Jones has adoptive parents as primary parents with birth parents as "additional parental relationships."

Now, the birth parents also have a child as Born Smith with the same vitals as Adopted Jones .... because they're the same person. Born Smith shows up as an AKA for Adopted Jones.

When I look at Adopted Jones family, only he shows up. But when I look at Birth Parents, both Born Smith and Adopted Jones show up.

Yeah, it's awkward. I want to see if I can make Born Smith show up as something when I look at Adopted Jones, but I understand why they don't. {Hmmmm. Wonder about listing them as a foster child ... hmmmm}

Anyway. It's clumsy, and it's kludgey, but it makes switching between birth family and adoptive family way easier ... for ME as always ... FWIW, YMMV, JM2C ...

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