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Resolving place names - including the word "county" for county

Resolving place names - including the word "county" for county

Posted: 27 Aug 2013 11:06PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi all,
I'm frustrated with the fact that when I go to resolve a place name that has a city, county, state, FTM resolves it withOUT adding the word "county" after the county. I assume there isn't a way to have FTM default to that format? I prefer to include the word "county," but it gets annoying having to enter it half the time.
Thanks for any input.

Re: Resolving place names - including the word "county" for county

Posted: 27 Aug 2013 11:12PM GMT
Classification: Query
Different strokes for different folks - I dislike the fact that about half the time I have to REMOVE the word county. For me, it is redundant and a bit messy to have the word County. For some addresses, with a long city name, plus possibly a Ward #, a long county name and a long state name, the address wraps. That's ugly in the timeline, IMHO.

I just wish that the databases were consistent. Sometimes on the same record, from the same census, one line will have "USA" and another will have "United States" and yet another will have nothing. That should be a relatively simple programming fix.

Re: Resolving place names - including the word "county" for county

Posted: 27 Aug 2013 11:16PM GMT
Classification: Query
Ha! Go figure! I've actually struggled with whether or not to include the word. The only reason I include it at this point is when I have a county, but not city. That way at quick glance, I know the difference.

Consistency would be key, eh? :D

Re: Resolving place names - including the word "county" for county

Posted: 27 Aug 2013 11:19PM GMT
Classification: Query
I use Township and County in all of my manually entered locations and do not use the Resolve Places feature in FTM. For example, Township, City and County names can be the same for a location. How do I know the difference?


Re: Resolving place names - including the word "county" for county

Posted: 27 Aug 2013 11:31PM GMT
Classification: Query
Consistency is also my aim.

I have many paternal family members who lived in Philadelphia in the early 20th century. The city and county name are the same, so that can be a good exercise to key/type "Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA" a few gazillion times :-)

If I am working from a street address, then I do use the double Philly. If I am unsure or have incomplete information, I only use Philly once - I am still "correct," just not as precise.

My maternal side has been in Georgia for a few hundred years. Georgia has 159 counties, and many of the same names are used for cities/towns, usually not in the same county. I know this this fact only too well because my 8th grade Civics teacher required us to memorize all 159 counties, with the names of the county seat, and we were drilled spelling bee style every Friday!

Long story to say I had a long internal debate about the use of the word "county" in my research, and finally came down on the side of "not."

Then there is my Irish branch, where County would normally come before the name of the county - another reason, for me, to not include it, since there would be a lack of consistency.

Re: Resolving place names - including the word "county" for county

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 10:45AM GMT
Classification: Query
Well, if you always resolve to never enter a township without the county name or a city without the township and county, you'll always know which it is by how many nested names you have. For example, if you're entering the city of Columbiana in Ohio, never enter it as "Columbiana, Ohio", always "Columbiana, Fairfield, Columbiana, Ohio". That way, when you see it as just "Columbiana, Ohio", you know that it means the county.

And if there is no city and township by the same name, you can skip the township name and enter it as "Columbiana, Columbiana, Ohio". There should be no confusion because there is no Columbiana township.

Re: Resolving place names - including the word "county" for county

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 10:59AM GMT
Classification: Query

In Burlington County New Jersey there is Burlington City, Burlington Township, Pemberton Borough and Pemberton Township.

If I enter Burlington, Burlington, New Jersey, USA or Pemberton, Burlington, New Jersey, USA how do I know which locality I am referring to?


Re: Resolving place names - including the word "county" for county

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 12:16PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 28 Aug 2013 12:19PM GMT
It's nice to say always enter a full, place name; but many of us started genealogy when we were keeping notes in spiral binders. When we converted to digital records, we had to deal with what we had. Also, some records simply won't give the whole place name and you are left in a quandry.

I do what pretty much what a previous poster does.

If a county only, I always add "County" to be sure to distinguish it from a town or city or hamlet, etc.

If I have place that doesn't give a county and I can't find it in a county finder or Wikipedia, I just leave it the way it was in the record.

I normally try to put "twp" (which is accepted modifier to a place name that will not interfere with resolving a name) for townships to distinguish from other place names in that county.

If the record gives me a name that is not in PNA or Wikipedia and is probably a historical place name, or the place had different boundaries at the time of the record, I don't resolve those place names - I just leave them alone. This means that the heirarchical view will be incomplete, which is why I don't use the heirarchical view much as it only includs resolved names.

I am still plagued by the "resolve" feature not handling five part place names. There are some place names that are both a hamlet and a village in a New York County. Or a division of the City of Los Angeles and also an unincorporated "place" in the County of Los Angeles.

Re: Resolving place names - including the word "county" for county

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 12:51PM GMT
Classification: Query
I agree with BurgessDonnelly on this one, consistency is primary. You can leave county in or out but be consistent. Part of the equation has a little to do with your audience, it also has to do with how you intend to finally use the data. Since many of my clients are in the US, I always add the Norwegian equivalent of State which is "Fylke" and the US equivalent of county which is "Kommune". This way they can understand the Norwegian structure. But when I am researching in the US for someone in Norway I would include the term county or township. I carry this thru for the entire set of places. In my personal database I never use the divisional terms because I generally know them already and then when i eventually update the book or make a family reunion presentation, I write a chapter or talk about the various divisions so my readers and listeners understand the divisions.

In general I do not use the PNA at all because I can't alway trust it, and I also use place for more detail like cemetery names and house addresses. I also use Google Maps to map locations and find X/Y coordinates and then store them in the GEDCOM database, which unfortunately FTM does not support. I also keep an small database of historical place names with hopes that place gets expanded in my primary database.

Re: Resolving place names - including the word "county" for county

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 2:01PM GMT
Classification: Query
I never regarded the PNA as more than an indicator as more than providing a prompt that something might be wrong. In the case of the UK, there is a distinct dearth of places in any event unless there has a been a great expansion since FTM2011 and then they might well be wrong.Most English counties are actually shires, with shire appearing as part of and at the end of the name, but it is often not used, Somerset is a prime example. Of those which are actually counties by name only one, my own uses county as part of the name, normally shown as Co. Durham, but for those few places that actually appeared 2011 and earlier the PMA insists on showing Durham which is the county town, not the county.
I couldn't agree more about context. If someone is not going to publish on line or however, it is fine if they want to abbreviate by missing out all the vowels or using the abbreviation for New Brunswick for Nebraska etc . But if you do then someone looking at a place needs to recognise it, even if they have to google to see where it is, as I did with Arnold for example, when reading an newspaper article.
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