Table of Contents

This article includes the following sections:

  • Primary Household Setting
  • Household Name and Salutation Format Setting (Formal or Informal)
  • Preferred Names
  • Managing Households of Two or More People
  • Changing the Head of Household
  • Deceased Persons

Primary Household Setting

All records with a single household will automatically have that household set as the Primary Household. This will apply whether or not the Primary Household box is checked during the household linking process.

If a record has multiple addresses and you must identify a different address as being the primary complete the following:

  1. Right-click the necessary address in the Households box
  2. Select Set as primary household for this person.


Household Name and Salutation Format Setting (Formal or Informal)

Gnosis supports the automatic generation of Household Names and Household Salutations of up to 2 individuals using either the Formal or Informal methods of addressing, with an additional option to manage households of more than 2 individuals.

You may choose the standard that you wish to implement by setting the preference for this option in "Settings > Preferences & Settings | General" as depicted below:


Information combinations:

(strict formal option is turned off/not checked)

  • Household Name: Mr. & Mrs. John and Elizabeth Doe
    • Titles will not be included if these fields are not set in the record(s)
  • Salutation: John & Beth
    • Preferred Name, if one exists, will be used in in the Salutation text.

Strict formal is turned on/checked:

  • Household Name: Mr. and Mrs. John Doe
  • Salutation: Mr. and Mrs. Doe
    • Preferred Name is not used in the formal text.

Changing this setting will only affect all future records created. Existing households will not be affected. 

To change all existing records, please send a support request to ask for all auto-calculated household names and/or salutations to be reset.  If you want all manually overridden values to be reset to the new standard also, please clearly specify that request in the same support ticket.

When calculating the order of names in the combined name calculation, the system will place the head-of-household in the first position and another adult person in the second position. 

Preferred Names

  • Used to track the nickname or preferred name of an individual:
    • First Name: Jonathan
    • Preferred Name: Jon
  • This field is not required.
  • When using the informal household name settings (see above), the Preferred Name will be used in the system-generated Salutation.
  • Merge fields in Gnosis Communications: if inserting the Preferred Name field into Gnosis communications, the First Name will be inserted for records where no Preferred Name is set.

Managing Households of Two or More People

If there are more than two members of the household and the system cannot determine which is an adult (based on age or household role setting) then the household name will be set to the system default phrase - generally "The Household" - or the name of the person identified as the Head of Household, an option also specified in the above-referenced settings area.

To override the system text, check the boxes proceeding the Household Name and Household Salutation fields to enter your desired name text. For example, a family household of multiple individuals may be overridden as

Household Name: The Smith Family

Household Salutation: Smith Family or John, Jane, Sarah, and Joe.

Changing the Head of Household (HOH)

When 2 people are being linked by a household, the person record that initially had the household information will automatically become the HOH. 

If you wish to change the HOH to another person you can do so in two different ways:

1.  During the household linking process, check the box to set the second person as the HOH.


2.  If records are already linked by household, complete the following:

  • Open the record of the person to set as the new HOH and simply click the radio button to change the HOH setting. (This process automatically removes the HOH distinction from the other record.)
  • Save Changes
  • Close and reopen the record to see the updated Household Name and Salutation fields, if you using the system-generated text. If you are overriding the system-generated text, you will need to either update the text manually or remove the check on the fields to apply the system text.


Deceased Persons

If a person has passed away and their Household Name and Salutation are using the system generation text, when their Record Type is updated to Deceased the person's name will automatically be removed from these two fields upon closing and reopening their record. 

If the system text has been overridden, you will need either update the text manually or remove the check on the fields to apply the system text. See also Updating Deceased Person Records.

See also,



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