If you are relatively new to FamilySearch.org Family Tree and your family has been members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for some time, you have probably noticed a list of "Alternate names" associated with individuals already in the system. Here is a screenshot showing such a list:
In this example, there are 10 variations on the name of the person. Here is a list of the names:
Where did all these variations come from and should they be preserved? Both these questions raise issues that date back up to 150 years. In essence, what you are seeing are all the variations in the name of the individual recorded by researchers over the years. Some of these may actually be legitimate variations in the name as found in various documents. Unfortunately, none of these listed names has any source documentation attached. In addition, they are likely all wrong or merely duplications of the primary name shown above in the Vital Information section. This particular individual has an attached source showing his birth name as it was recorded at the time of birth. Some of the "birth names" listed are obviously wrong and as such, should be simply deleted with a comment about the fact that the correct name is now sourced. There is no need to preserve the mistakes of the past.
In some cases, there may actually be a dispute as to the way the name was recorded from different records. All of these variations should be preserved with proper documentation and references to the original sources. There is always the possibility that more than one individual is being referenced in the records and so this possibility should be preserved. In the case of a mere duplication or repetition, there is no reason to list the name more than once in the Vital Information section. I suggest that mere duplicates also be deleted. This is in the nature of a housekeeping task to "clean up" the records. In the list above, unless there is some documentation showing actual alternate names, all of these supposed variations should be deleted with the proper notation unless some existing record shows a variation in the name as given at birth.
So there is no misunderstanding. The issue here is names recorded as "birth names" not just alternate names such as a name change or later variations in the name. This list should only exist if there are records showing variations in the same individual's name in different source records.