Genealogy applications, such as geni.com (the web app that I use), ask me to fill the middle name of profiles that I add. My ancestors usually have two personal names, one of them even has four personal names, but I am not sure which one of them is the "middle". I am not sure what "middle name" means at all. Should I just leave the "middle name" blank, and put all the personal names under "first name"?
Most of my British ancestors have only one or no middle name which makes it easy i.e. I would leave the middle name field blank for those without one.
However, my 4th great grandmother (Louisa Dorothea Wedderburn Hope Moore) does have four personal names like your worst case so I will use her as an example of what I do in Ancestry.com which has two name fields:
- First and Middle Name: Louisa Dorothea Wedderburn Hope
- Surname: Moore
If I were using software with separate fields for First, Middle and Surnames then I would do:
- First: Louisa
- Middle Name(s): Dorothea Wedderburn Hope
- Surname: Moore
You should write as the system gives you ability. I'd propose the next conventions:
- middle name only for patronyms. Such are usually used in countries with Cyrillic alphabet like Russia
- if there is two or more first names - put them all into First Name field
- if there is title like baron or graf (earl, count), please write BR/GR in Title field. Also DR for doctor here goes
Also please use "pseudonym" and "show as" fields for alternate spelling of names.
You may agree or use your own set of rules/conventions.
Of course, geni sucks in many meanings. It is not clue-oriented database, so it is difficult to express some things like: - difference between "no name" at all and "unknown" name - if one particular person NEVER had a couple (if you do not add one, somebody may think that the couple may exist). - the same thing with dates
To be honest I don't know ANY good program or site for professional family tree growing...