* How to Enter Place Data for England?

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edmacke
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How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by edmacke » 20 Mar 2018 20:12

Here's a question for those of you on the wrong side of the pond ;)

I'm trying to be better about entering full place information. Here in the good old US of A, that usually means "City, County, State, USA".

What's the best practice for England? For example, see the 1841 England Census example below.

What the heck are Civil Parish, Hundred, County/Island, Registration District, and Sub-registration district? Did they invent these just to make my life confusing, or was that just an added bonus? Most importantly, what would you use for Place for this guy?
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Tony Jones
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by Tony Jones » 20 Mar 2018 22:02

A parish is the relevant smallest unit of place, with parishes being collected into hundreds (something to do with area I seem to remember) and hundreds make up a county.

In general in the UK, a place is city/town/village , county, country, so Reading (where I live) is Reading, Bershire, England. In your case I believe I would go for Tamworth as the place as Tamworth, Warwickshire, England and then the street address added separately against the fact. In some places you might (Ancestry does this a lot) get a town sliced into parishes (in my mind centred around a church where the registers were kept). I have lots of ancestors in Norwich, Norfolk, England and Ipswich, Suffolk, England but within these sizable cities the parishes are often given as part of the place name, eg Ipswich St Peter.

I'm sure others can be more definitive and point to some links.

I would suggest look at genuki which explains this really well and breaks the UK down into all levels of place: http://www.genuki.org.uk/
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by BobWard » 20 Mar 2018 22:03

I use Parish (or city/town if that is called out), County, Country.
Last edited by BobWard on 21 Mar 2018 02:54, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by edmacke » 20 Mar 2018 22:49

Excellent. Exactly what I was looking for... thanks!!

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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by LornaCraig » 20 Mar 2018 22:56

To add to the comment by Tony Jones about a city or large town being divided into several parishes, the opposite problem can arise in rural areas. There might be several small settlements within a single parish. (And a 150 years later one of those small settlements might have grown to dwarf all its neighbours!)

The 1841 census was not as precise as later censuses. Often, particularly in rural areas with sparse populations, it just named the parish at the top of the page but it might turn out that the family you are looking at actually lived in a small hamlet (tiny village or settlement) a few miles from the village which gives its name to the parish. In your example Middleton is the parish. Middleton is also the name of the main village in the parish, so unless there is any more information in the image I would record the place as Middleton, Warwickshire, England.

The structure of city/town/village, county, country is the one most commonly used, so you can usually ignore Hundreds. Registration Districts were an administrative invention for purposes of censuses and recording births, marriages and deaths, and often covered several towns or villages. For that reason if the only information you have is the name of a registration district it is best to record it as such, e.g. ‘Tamworth Registration district’. In fact Middleton village is about 4 miles from Tamworth.
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by tatewise » 20 Mar 2018 23:01

Ed, the more you investigate the UK place names the more complex you will you discover it to be.
Even we struggle to make sense of it at times, especially as some boundaries keep being rearrange.

Centuries ago, records of Baptism, Marriage & Burial[/] were kept by the Church that carried out those ceremonies for their parishioners who lived in the Church Parish.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parish_(C ... f_England) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_parish.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred_(county_division) for details of a Hundred.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counties_ ... ed_Kingdom that describes modern counties.
But most UK genealogical records were recorded in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historic_ ... of_England and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historic_ ... s_of_Wales.
The boundaries of Counties keep changing, so the same Town can be in different Counties at different dates.

I suspect County/Island records either a County as above, or the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands as explained below, which are not part of the UK.

You mention England, but other countries here include Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countries ... ed_Kingdom for details.
So for example until 1921 the whole island of Ireland was a country within the UK. Ireland was split into two separate jurisdictions in 1921: Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland. Southern Ireland left the United Kingdom under the Irish Free State Constitution Act 1922.

In 1837 Civil Registration of Births, Marriages, Deaths, and Census was legislated.
That introduced Registration Districts and Sub-Districts that were of then based on Poor Law Unions.
Those Districts sometimes did not, and some still don't, line up with Towns and Counties.
So although in your example, the boy was registered in the Fazeley sub-District of Tamworth, he might not have been born in Tamworth. You will need to get the Birth Certificate to confirm where he was born.

So some users identify in the Place field whether it is a Registration District or not.
e.g.
Fazeley, Tamworth RD, Warwickshire, England about 1 mile SW of Tamworth
as opposed to say
Middleton, Tamworth, Warwickshire, England about 3 miles SW of Tamworth

The above complications are the reason for the Standardized fields in Place records.
The Place name should record the historic Place name, while Standardized records the current Place name so it can be located and geocoded on modern maps.

See the Forum Postings linked to Knowledge Base > Places and Addresses for further discussions.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by edmacke » 20 Mar 2018 23:17

This is awesome info, everybody. I'm bookmarking this page!

I feel so worldly now... :)

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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by LornaCraig » 21 Mar 2018 01:06

tatewise wrote: So although in your example, the boy was registered in the Fazeley sub-District of Tamworth, he might not have been born in Tamworth. You will need to get the Birth Certificate to confirm where he was born.
Just to be clear, edmacke says his example is from the 1841 census, which tells us that at the time of the census the individual was living in the parish of Middleton, which was in the Fazeley registration sub-district. Regarding his birth, it tells us only that he had been born somewhere in the county of Warwickshire. And if he was born before 1837 you can't get a birth certificate. You would need to look for a baptism record.
Lorna

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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by StevieSteve » 21 Mar 2018 09:17

Just to add some parishes are so big, you may want to distinguish the areas inside them

e.g. St Pancras contains Camden, Kentish Town, Holloway, Somers Town, Euston and so on. Now you could get away with Kentish Town, Middlesex, England rather than Kentish Town, St Pancras, Middlesex, England and people would know where it was or easily find it on a map.

However in another example in Hayes, Middlesex where there's a place called Wood End., well, Wood End, Middlesex, England isn't going to be very helpful so I would (and do) enter it as Wood End, Hayes, Middlesex, England

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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by tatewise » 21 Mar 2018 09:58

Sorry, for that mix up between Census and Birth registration :oops:
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by mjashby » 21 Mar 2018 10:31

@edmacke,

The term 'Hundred' as a sub-division of a County is/was not unique to Britain (UK) and although now only really of historic interest 'over here' it is still in use (or was in recent use) in some parts of the USA. A few links to while away the hours, if you get really distracted by such things.

- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_h ... f_Delaware
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred_(county_division)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_h ... rwickshire

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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by AdrianBruce » 21 Mar 2018 16:34

StevieSteve wrote:... St Pancras contains Camden, Kentish Town, Holloway, Somers Town, Euston and so on. ...
Yes, London is a whole different ball game. Starting with the question of just what on earth does "London" actually mean. But perhaps that's for another day....
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by dewilkinson » 21 Mar 2018 20:20

I make a big effort to try and record addresses as they were at the time, but for someone who is not native to the UK this could seem complicated. I also realise not everyone would like to do it this way, each to his/her own, I'm just sharing what I do.

London - For example, I would record Islington as in Middlesex until 1889 when the county of London was formed. This remained until 1965 when Greater London was formed. The UKBMD https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/index.html site is great for helping with this. A key thing to remember with Registration Districts is that many contain(ed) parishes within different counties.

I come from Ipswich and record addresses until 1894 as within the parish, e.g. Myrtle Road, St. Helens, Ipswich, Suffolk. After then parishes were no longer responsible for administration which transferred to Borough Councils etc. So this becomes just Myrtle Road, Ipswich, Suffolk.

As stated above, where there is a hamlet I would record - Address, Hamlet, Parish, County, Country.

Unitary Authorities raise an interesting dilemma. However, they do remain part of a county for ceremonial reasons, thus I would record Peterborough as in Cambridgeshire. I think this helps position the place for non-native people.

Post codes are a nightmare, so I record them for current address as an additional attribute. The Post Office do not recognise administrative boundaries, also they are not static and can occasionally change, particularly where there are significant housing developments.
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by tatewise » 21 Mar 2018 20:56

One thing that hasn't been mentioned in this thread is the advice to establish a fixed number of Place name column parts.
i.e. Always have the same number of commas in every Place field.
e.g. For USA it would simply be County, State, Country but would probably be too few for the UK.
When there are too few known parts of the Place to fill all the column parts, then leave blanks between the commas.
The whole point of the exercise to simplify sorting Places into a logical order.
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by Gowermick » 21 Mar 2018 21:36

There is one major hurdle of sticking to one way of describing a place. As one has to consider how to search the major sites, because how they enter the place into their database, determines how one has to search.

Take a simple case of Battersea, in South London. Historically this has been in Surrey, and this has to be used in searches else one doesn’t get the correct results. BUT, and it is a big but for people not familiar with our quirky system, around 1900, Battersea, Surrey became Battersea,London, which is reflected in the database, so using Surrey as a filter won’t work.

At the end of the day, whatever method you use doesn’t matter a jot, as long as you can accurately place the marker on the map in the correct place.
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by AdrianBruce » 21 Mar 2018 21:49

tatewise wrote:One thing that hasn't been mentioned in this thread is the advice to establish a fixed number of Place name column parts.
...
Ah, but even there I suggest there are reasons not to do so. For instance
Adelaide, Province of South Australia (2 nodes for the pre-1901 scenario)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia (3 nodes for post 1901)
Forcing the first into 3 leads to either
Adelaide, Province of South Australia, (an empty final column) or
, Adelaide, Province of South Australia (an empty initial column)
Option 2 puts "Adelaide" into different columns of the supposedly fixed three in the 2 names. Yuk. Option 1 implies that the Province of SA wasn't a "proper" country - whereas, in geo-political terms, it was. Also yuk. You can, of course, invent an entry for the last column pre-1901 - call it, "Australia", for instance ;) But I feel it a shame to lose sight of the fact that the various Australian colonies were not part of a single higher political entity pre-1901.

I suspect that this sort of issue only appears where higher level units come into existence during the eras in your file. Australia or Canada, in mine. United States in others. Not really an issue for England - unless you want to mention "Great Britain" or the "United Kingdom" after the Acts of Union. All depends on how much you want equivalent stuff to end up the the same column. Personally, I've never really found the lack of fixed columns an issue. I just have to maybe think a bit more if I need to alter stuff.
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by tatewise » 21 Mar 2018 22:07

Adrian, what is wrong with Adelaide, , Province of South Australia (empty middle column) ?
Then Adelaide is in the City column and Province of South Australia is in the Country column.
So sorting on City column will bring all the Adelaide places together.
But as has been said many times, the choice is yours.
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by AdrianBruce » 21 Mar 2018 23:44

tatewise wrote:... what is wrong with Adelaide, , Province of South Australia (empty middle column)? ...
Err - not sure I really thought of that one, I was mentally keeping the Adelaide and SA nodes together. I guess my reaction to that is that while it keeps the Adelaides in the same column, it still leaves the 2 versions of South Australia in different columns. But then again, even I think I'm trying to have it both ways there, keeping SA in the same column but wanting it in the country column in one but not the other.... Hm. Even I'm confused and I just wrote that...

It's certainly a decent option, Mike, but at the end of the proverbial day, I've never found much benefit in keeping stuff in consistent columns - then again, I'm not trying to break Places down in queries or plug-ins. Other people's mileage may vary.
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by tatewise » 22 Mar 2018 00:20

Yes, those early Colonial/Commonwealth place names in Canada, Australia, etc, all pose similar conundrums, because the Country had not been established yet.
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by victor » 22 Mar 2018 11:49

Don't forget Yorkshire. It is divided into three Ridings, North, South, East plus York.
There are similar place names in more than one Riding. e.g there is Hessle in both East and West Riding. Scalby in both East and North Riding.

Victor

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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by Peter Collier » 22 Mar 2018 12:58

AdrianBruce wrote:
tatewise wrote:... what is wrong with Adelaide, , Province of South Australia (empty middle column)? ...
Err - not sure I really thought of that one, I was mentally keeping the Adelaide and SA nodes together. I guess my reaction to that is that while it keeps the Adelaides in the same column, it still leaves the 2 versions of South Australia in different columns.
Only a few early Aussies in my tree, but plenty of early Americans and Canadians. Prior to federation I have the province at the top (i.e. country) level. After federation, that drops down one notch. So, for example, I have both Milford, New Haven, , Connecticut Colony and Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

To keep all my columns at the right "level", I have a perpetually empty third column for all the places in the UK, and as I record the historical placename where appropriate, one geographical place can have several different placenames in my tree, depending on the date. I have relatives who lived in Harborne, Staffordshire, , UK, Birmingham, Warwickshire, , UK, and Birmingham, West Midlands, , UK without moving so much as an inch.

Bristol, where I have another bunch of relatives, is just as bad. In the last 300 years that city has been in 4 different counties and 3 different countries!

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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by AdrianBruce » 22 Mar 2018 15:38

Peter - so you're the UK genealogist who uses "Great Britain" and "United Kingdom" as a country! ;) I knew it had to be someone other than just FamilySearch... All joking aside, it is something to think about - most of us, I suspect, simply use Scotland, etc...

(As another aside, FS use "British Colonial America" as the country for pre-1776 North America under British rule - that keeps Connecticut, etc, in the same column, at the expense of creating a mythical place).
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by AdrianBruce » 22 Mar 2018 16:10

Peter Collier wrote:... I have relatives who lived in Harborne, Staffordshire, , UK, Birmingham, Warwickshire, , UK, and Birmingham, West Midlands, , UK without moving so much as an inch. ...
I don't think we have mentioned suburbs in this thread. Because I'm not wedded to fixed columns, I can easily add a 4th node to the front of my place-names for suburbs. So I could cope with Peter's example by using
Harborne, Staffordshire, , UK,
Harborne, Birmingham, Warwickshire, , UK,
Harborne, Birmingham, West Midlands, , UK
Not saying that's accurate in all respects but it leaves "Harborne" in the mix throughout. It is perfectly possible to do this with fixed columns - you just need to have the extra "comma space" on the front of all your three nodes names, to put them into four columns. Personally I never got on with that idea since I could never get it into my head whether to type "comma space" or "space comma space" or even "space comma" at the start...

By now I suspect Ed's retreated back across the Atlantic! :)
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by Gowermick » 22 Mar 2018 17:38

Adrian,
You are not alone with the comma space comma syndrone. FH certainly add an extra space in certain situations!
e.g. If you add a name in the form ann/smith nee??/ , FH will add a space after ann, which is rather nice.

But I’m pretty sure it does a similar thing when using commas in Place names, so one ends up with , Kent, England AND ,Kent,England - hohum :roll:
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Re: How to Enter Place Data for England?

Post by tatewise » 22 Mar 2018 20:47

I think the comma space issue has cropped up before, and the outcome was that FH tends to keep converting to comma space and any attempt to use anything else was doomed.
Of course it is easy to merge , Kent, England AND ,Kent,England into one Place record and resolve the problem.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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