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How to document

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Re: How to document

Posted: 18 Mar 2014 5:18AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 18 Mar 2014 5:34AM GMT
This is a very good question. Many are dismayed to see folks refer to the place where their ancestor came from in 1875 as "Czechoslovakia" for the reason you mention -- it didn't exist until 1918. Others (like me) do not like to see Austria-Hungary, but technically it would be correct to include it. I use a style something like yours, but I leave out the South and North because I haven't got a good idea where the dividing line is, and the region where my ancestors came from is very narrow anyhow. I do make a point of getting the diacritical marks (accents, hooks, etc.). Mostiště, Moravia The point is that someone following your research can find the location. Consider also that mid 19th century spelling might have differed from contemporary spellings, or the record might use the German spelling. I use the contemporary one. Because the genealogy software tends to abbreviate reports if the location gets too long, I usually only enter the village, then Moravia or Bohemia.

However, I have seen cases where the next larger town in the organization is also included, i.e. Mostiště, Žďár nad Sázavou, Moravia. This is helpful if your village is one of the dozens named Nová Ves. Historically this wasn't correct, however, as the next larger village back in the 1800s appeared to be Velké Meziříčí for Mostiště, for example.

Many comments have been made about the "changing boundaries" but my ancestors did not generally come from any village affected by this situation. I did run into a case where a person's grandmother was listed as coming from 4 different places in the US censuses. Sure enough, she was from a village right on the edge, and during each of those 10 years it changed from belonging to one of the Czech states, then Poland, then Germany, and finally Czechoslovakia. I had to read history to find that out. So it's possible that in one century the family village could have been in Moravia, but in another century, Bohemia. I do have one of those, literally on the border between Bohemia and Moravia. It seems that some of the books are in the Zamrsk archives and others in the Brno archives, but it might be because one set is Catholic, the other Evangelical. Or half the village might have been in Bohemia, the other half in Moravia. Fortunately, since this is back in the 1600s, if I find out that I've got the wrong country, I won't have to change many records.

On a similar note, what do American researchers do with female surnames? Do you use "ova" at the end? Or "in" as given in a German spelling record? (Svobodin, for example.) How about Latin spellings? Do you keep "Josephus" because it's that way in the record, or do you change it to "Josef"? How about "Franz", "Frantz", "Franc"? I know I am inconsistent here, having changed some to a Czech spelling, leaving others as in the document.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
nanee13 18 Mar 2014 5:03AM GMT 
marylevesque2... 18 Mar 2014 11:18AM GMT 
nanee13 19 Mar 2014 4:25AM GMT 
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