This has to be one of my favorite genealogy tasks. It’s satisfying at least!
Like many genealogist, I have several people with incomplete names. I don’t have the first name or the last name. I may only know the person by initials. An early genealogy software program used ??? to designate “unknown” and I’ve continued to use it.
It really annoys me when I see that a person is in my database as ??? Jones or Mary ???. Even worse, ??? ???. It seems a bit disrespectful and sad that a person has lost their name. Well, they still know their name. It’s me who doesn’t know it!
So, today I’m going through the California Bride and Groom index to see if I can put some first and last names to some of these lost souls. It’s very gratifying to be able to find the information and fill in the blanks.
Of course, it’s a losing battle. There will always be people who I won’t be able to find a name for. I may not be able to find records with the right information. Or worse a woman may only be noted as “Mrs”.
Off I go to erase some of my question marks 🙂