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Entering Place Names in FTM: Specifically County and Country

Entering Place Names in FTM: Specifically County and Country

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 7:42PM GMT
Classification: Query
I use FTM and all my ancestors are either from Norway or the U.S. When I enter place names into FTM I include the country name...even for those from the U.S. I've seen family trees where people don't enter the United States as part of the place name and it makes me wonder why? When someone from another country looks at their family history, most likely they may not know what country you're referring to.

Also, I always enter the word "County" after the name of the county. That's not usually the case on records found on Ancestry.com and I don't like that. For example, in Ancestry.com I'll see: "Fargo, Cass, North Dakota". Instead, I think it should be: "Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota, USA".

What is the general consensus out there regarding the entering of place names?

Re: Entering Place Names in FTM: Specifically County and Country

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 7:57PM GMT
Classification: Query
I assume there's some standard that someone will toss out but I have no idea what it is.

My own entries show the country even though 90% of my tree is in the USA.

I don't append "County" to county names. The place names are separated by commas. If I have a city/town/enumeration district/etc. I always include the county after it separated by a comma. If there's only one place name to the left of the state it's a county. I'm yet to find a town that I can't find a county to put it in except for Richmond and a couple of others that are listed as "Independent Cities". For those I use "Independent Cities" as the county designation.

Re: Entering Place Names in FTM: Specifically County and Country

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 9:13PM GMT
Classification: Query
This is one of the reasons I DONT USE THE "PNA". It is less than useful for many of the places in my Norwegian Farm areas and never good for historical places which in Norway have changed in the last 200 years.

I always put the country in, and I am always researching the true county and kommune information in the USA and Norway and other places around the world. Do not get in the habit of not supplying information simply because "everyone knows" syndrom.

Re: Entering Place Names in FTM: Specifically County and Country

Posted: 27 Jan 2013 4:51PM GMT
Classification: Query
I always use country names. Borders move over time. As you move farther back in a family tree and are working with more historic location names, the country name becomes even more essential.

Another point is to use the historic names of places. You can use the GPS coordinates of a place to link it to the current location for mapping and a note to indicate the current place name. Records tend to stay with the governing body, not the physical location. So when the border of a county, state, or country change the records don't generally get passed over to the new governing body.

A good example is what is currently the state of Texas in the United States. During the period from 1519 to 1848, Texas was part of France, Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Conferate States of America, and the United States. Historical records for these periods were retained by the governing body, so depending on the period of time you are researching, you may need to check records located in France or Spain for a location you simply entered as Texas in your tree.

Re: Entering Place Names in FTM: Specifically County and Country

Posted: 27 Jan 2013 11:34PM GMT
Classification: Query
I use the Place Name Authority. If the PNA flags the name I want to use I reply ignore. My nonstandard name becomes an entry in the place name list. When I enter that name again my nonstandard name is one of the options I can choose from. This insures I stay consistent in both format and spelling of the name.

Curt

Re: Entering Place Names in FTM: Specifically County and Country

Posted: 28 Jan 2013 1:27AM GMT
Classification: Query
I use USA as the country for my US-based family - takes some work since ancestry's records are annoyingly inconsistent - some have USA, some have US, some have United States, some have United States of America, some have nothing.

I do not use the word "County" - I find that to be "overkill" adding to a sloppy appearance, especially in reports.

I have several family lines from Ireland - before the division into Northern Ireland and Eire/Republic of Ireland - as well as France and several other countries. I work hard to be consistent.
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