There is a method for the madness, a way to make sure there is clarity.
It may not seem important now, but when you pore back over 20+ years of research, you’ll be glad you followed these general guidelines because it makes it easy to pick out a last, maiden, married or nick name at a glance. Always try to record names in their entirety having your research to support them.
SCHMIDT not Schmidt.
There should be no parentheses for the unmarried female: JINGLEHEIMER
John Robert SCHMIDT, Jr.
This will usually hold true unless the dad is named after the grandfather. If that is the case, the son becomes the third:
John Robert SCHMIDT III
Be aware that sometimes, after the death of the dad, the son drops the “Jr.” Also be aware that because a sibling would often name a child after one of his own brothers, the “Jr.” designation was to let people know which one was the uncle, and which one was the nephew.
While females don’t carry designations such as “junior” or “the third,” their names can be even more confusing—think about girls who are the daughters of sisters who married brothers. A young Elizabeth SCHMIDT may not be the daughter of Elizabeth (JINGLEHEIMER) SCHMIDT, but rather the daughter of Elizabeth’s sister, Jane (JINGLEHEIMER) SCHMIDT, who named her daughter after her favorite sister, Elizabeth.
John Robert “Bob” SCHMIDT, Jr. or: Ann Elizabeth “Betsy” (JINGLEHEIMER) SCHMIDT.
Ann Elizabeth “Betsy” (JINGLEHEIMER) SCHMIDT MILLER SANTIAGO.
In this example, Ann was born a JINGLEHEIMER. She married a SCHMIDT who died of cholera. After an appropriate mourning time, she married a MILLER who was killed in the war. Her last husband was a SANTIAGO. Each one of her last names could provide clues to more genealogical records.
What’s in a name? Genealogically speaking—perhaps a wealth of clues for research!
Learn more in this helpful article: The Importance of Names and Naming Patterns by Donna Przecha via Genealogy.com.