It's difficult sometimes to decide which name to use as the primary name when there are several to choose from. Most genealogy programs allow us to enter an alias...that's not the issue. How do I decide which to enter as the primary name? Case in point...
My husband's great great grandmother is listed as Duanna Morehead in 1848 in Vermillion county, IN probate court papers (Box 124) when her step-mother sued her in a petition for dower from property Duanna inherited when her father died.
In the 1850 census for Vermillion, Vermillion county, IN (pg. 107a) she is listed as Duanna Morehead.
On 21 Sep 1859 she marries Joseph Dicken and the marriage register (Vermillion county, IL - Bk. A, Pg. 290) lists her name as Duanah Moorehead:
In the 1860 census for Vermillion, Vermillion county, IN (pg. 132) she is listed as Duanna Dicken :
In the 1870 census for Camargo, Douglas county, IL (pg. 268a) she is listed as Duanna Dicken:
On 9 Jul 1872 she passed away and was buried in Broadus cemetery, Douglas county, IL. Her headstone is engraved Dauanah Dicken.
So my question is...which name should I use as her "primary" name in my database? Duanna? Duanah? Or Dauanah? I would normally lean toward the marriage record, except in this case it appears to be a register that is all written in the same hand. It isn't anything she signed herself. Do I assume the headstone is the most correct? Her husband was alive when she died, wouldn't he have known how to spell her name? But then more records appear as Duanna, so does that one win because it has the majority? Eeny, meeny, miny, moe... Which would you use?