Family surname name changed in BSA systems

I have spoken to my Council Registrar about this and have been advised that they cannot fix this problem.

In my Troop we have a family with the surname “O’Meara,” an Irish family name of which they are quite proud. However, in Scoutbook and other BSA systems, the ’ has been removed and the capital “M” changed to a lower case “m,” so their name appears as Omeara." Both the parents have asked me to try to fix it. Our Council Registrar has told me that the BSA system will not accept an apostrophe in a name so it has to be truncated.

The apostrophe has been around since the 1400’s and is found in many Irish and Scottish surnames. We are supposed to be inclusive so why are we now designing a system that basically says to this family, “your name is wrong so we are going to change it?”

@edavignon your the ’ Guy

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Your registrar is incorrect. BSA systems handle an apostrophe in the last name just fine. The legacy Internet Advancement had a problem with this but none of the new tools have an issue.

The BSA systems record for my children and I have the apostrophe in our last name and there are no issues.

Edit: The “Scouts address you as” field in Scoutbook does change all characters except the first of a word to lower case. This does not come from Akela or ScoutNET but is entered by the individual into Scoutbook. I have an item in the backlog to fix this but it is low priority.

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Ed: I apologize for not including French surnames among those that often include the apostrophe.

I will add that our Council Registrar also said that this issue creates more work for them as they often have to go into certificates and other documents that pull surnames from the BSA database to put the apostrophe back in the Scout’s or adult’s name.

Hmmm . . . when I did recharter on line, I corrected their name and restored the apostrophe and the uppercase “M.” However, in both Scoutbook and the name was changed.

How do I explain to my Registrar what she needs to do fix this as she is convinced that apostrophe’s will not be accepted?


I heard back from my registrar. She said they can put the O’Meara in ScoutNET. To search in ScoutNET for the family, they need to search for O%Meara not O’Meara.

% is a heck of a diacritical mark! :wink:

When I saw this, I had a Monty Python moment:

“…Farles Wickens with four M’s and a silent Q!”

@CharleyHamilton - and now for something completely different…

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