A CCR asked me what "FNU" , "LNU" and "MNU" meant when seen on GEDCOMS and charts. The abbreviation "FNU" or "Fnu" stands for "First Name Unknown." The abbreviation "Mnu" I ASSUME (and we all know what the Marines define that as don't we?), stands for "Married Name Unknown" as I DO NOT use this term. The reason for this has to do with standardization for the purpose of creating GEDCOMS. I have provided some guidance from our File Managers Page below:
II. NEVER-NEVER-NEVER use the word 'unknown' or a '?' or 'Private' or 'Mr. Smith' or 'Mrs. Brown', or anything generic in a blank, when the information is either not known, or confidential! Leave that space empty. The exceptions to this rule:
If a first name is not known = FNU i.e., FNU COBB
If a male surname is not known = LNU i.e., Robert LNU
If a married female surname is not known = LNU (husabnd's surname in parenthesis). EX: First Name: Martha. Surname: LNU (COBB)
For unknown children, DO NOT put anything like ... 5 Cobb children ... in the space for an individual's name. Add a General Note to one of the parents indicating they had this number of children, but their names are unknown.
Nicknames should be placed in "quotes" behind the persons first and middle name.
A good many people "cheat". If a female has been married before, they will simply put either her maiden name or former married name in parenthesis between her first name and new married surname. This way they avoid having to create another marriage event in their program database.
Unfortunately, GEDCOM cannot decipher which name was which, and if the end result comes out correct, you have just witnessed a small miracle! Make the extra effort to create another marriage event for the woman, even if you do not have her previous husband's full name. Bob Cobb - File Manager: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~cobb/jos.htm