Friday, February 11, 2011

Counties Count

Counties Count

Often when genealogy information is shared I run into a problem with place names. The person who first recorded the name of a place where a life event occurred didn't write down the county name. The result is that we really don't know where the person was living at the time of the event. This is because in some states the same place names were used more than once. It's bad enough when two places in the same state have the same name. Imagine the confusion when there are more than two.

Another problem with place names comes up when a county and a town in that county have the same name. How am I supposed to know whether the person who shared the information was referring to a town within a county or to the county?

When I first started doing genealogy I didn't take this problem into account. I've come to regret that. In recent years I've been working to correct the problem. I decided I'd use the abbreviation, "Co.," after the county name. For example: Bellevue, Sarpy Co., NE or just Sarpy Co., NE when I don't know the town name.

This week I have been editing the place names in my RootsMagic Conger family file. Yesterday I complete a first pass through the place name file associated with this family.

The place name edit project reminded me of another place name issue. Often when cemetery names were recorded, and shared, the person who wrote down the cemetery name failed to include the town and county name. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to determine where the cemetery is located. Another cemetery name issue is failure to accurately record the cemetery name. This probably happens because many cemeteries don't have name signs.

Mr. Dickie
11 Feb 2011

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