WeRelate:Scotland - Organization of Places/How you can help

Getting the place pages for Scotland organized will require the help of many people to make sure we've got the "bones" sorted out, and then putting some "meat" on the "bones". By the "bones", I mean making sure we have a page for each traditional county (done), a page for each parish, presbytery and synod, and that all of the existing village/town/inhabited place pages have been properly named and properly contained by their parish. The table at the bottom of this page lists each county, identifies a volunteer coordinator, and shows what work has been done in that county. If you would like to help out with a particular county, please contact the coordinator listed below, or if no coordinator is shown, you may volunteer to put your name in the table. The process of sorting out a county has three phases:

  • parish page set-up
  • village page clean-up
  • presbyteries and synods

Details for each phase are provided in sections below.

Contents

Parish Page Set-Up

The first and most important task is to make sure that there is one Place page for each parish in the traditional county. You must start with a good list of the parishes in your county. There are several good sources for this:

Once you have a list of parishes, you'll want to determine for each one whether a WeRelate page already exists for it, or whether you'll need to create a new one. To check for an existing page, go to Werelate:Places, and put the name of the parish in the search box, with "Scotland" in the "Located in" box, and hit the search button. If nothing comes up, you'll need to create a new page. If one or more places come up, you'll need to determine whether one of those corresponds to your parish. (Keep in mind that sometimes two places have the same name. Look at the existing place page to see if it's in the right county, and if it seems to be the right place.)

When creating or revising a parish page, verify all of these elements:

  • page name should be of the form "Myparish (parish), Mycounty, Scotland" (for example, Place:Arbuthnott (parish), Kincardineshire, Scotland). If you found an existing page, you will need to use the "Move" function to rename the page to the proper name.
  • preferred name - verify that this is the correct preferred name of the parish
  • alternate names - provide any alternate names or spellings that you know of
  • type - should be "Parish" (with capital P)
  • latitude, longitude - please fill in coordinates for the "kirktown" or parish town, if possible. a good resource for finding the lat/long for a place is multimap.com. pick "Great Britain & NI", and then enter the name of your parish. with luck, it will go right to it, or it will give you a list of possible choices, and the choice will be obvious. if you find it, then it will show you the lat/long in the info under the map. (you want to use the decimal form shown in parenthesis, e.g., 57.063 / -2.281). If the place is not found, try looking it up using streetmap.co.uk, which has a more comprehensive index. Sometimes the parish town has a different name than the parish, or sometimes the town is called "Kirkton of Kilarg", and you have to put that exactly into multimap, because it's not clever enough to find it just by putting in "Kilarg".
  • located in - this field should be the traditional county that the parish is located in (as listed on GENUKI or the GRO list), in the form "Mycounty, Scotland" (e.g., Kincardineshire, Scotland). After you type the comma, you should see a pop-up menu that offers you one or more choices based on the WeRelate index of places. Choose the one for your county. The from field should be left blank, and the to field should be filled in with "1975" (the year that all traditional counties officially ceased to exist).

Edit the content so that it contains the following at a minimum, if possible:

== General Info ==
'''Arbuthnott''' is a parish in the traditional county of Kincardineshire.

== Research Tips ==

== Links and Sources ==
* {{link-fhlc|3392|Arbuthnott}}
* [http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/sct/KCD/Arbuthnot GENUKI Arbuthnot page]

<br/>{{place-stub}}

You can cut/paste the above into the editor window. Be sure to fix up the details appropriately:

  • change Arbuthnott to the name of your parish
  • change Kincardineshire to the name of your county
  • fix the FHLC link to point to the right catalog subject number. if you're editing an existing page, you're likely to see something that looks like {{source-fhlc|3392}}. that's the number that you want. if you don't have that, go to the FHL catalog index for Scotland, click into your county, click 'view related places', and then look for your parish. what you're looking for is a 3 or 4-digit number buried in the middle of a long URL just after "subject=". change the 3392 in the example above to the subject number for your parish. (you can 'show preview' for your page, and test the link to see if it goes to the right place.)
  • fix the GENUKI URL to point to your parish (if GENUKI has a page for your parish, otherwise delete that bullet)

If you are editing an existing page, and it has some appropriate content on it (e.g., some info copied from Wikipedia), by all means leave it there if it seems appropriate to do so.

If you want to see an example of what a "bare bones" parish page should look like when you're done, look at Place:Arbuthnott (parish), Kincardineshire, Scotland.

Village Page Clean-Up

Once the parishes are set up, the next step is to find all of the existing pages for towns, villages, and inhabited places in your county, give them the proper name, and move them into their parish. Most of the existing pages were created based on an automated process that combed several sources (e.g., the FHLC, the Getty Gazetteer, Wikipedia, etc.), and their page names and place "types" are inconsistent. To find the existing place pages in your county, look on your county's page, and look in the box on the right that lists "contained places". Ultimately, this list should only contain parishes, a city if your county has one, perhaps a few significant towns, and perhaps some regions. Currently, it may contain a long list of "towns", "villages", "inhabited places", and "unknown" type places. That is the list of places that need "grooming". (Note if there is a separate page representing a post-1996 unitary authority that overlaps with your county, that page may also have "contained" places that belong in parishes in your county, and need the same clean-up process.)

For each place page that needs "grooming", you should do the following:

  • determine which parish the place is in (and also to verify that it is indeed in your county). some good sources for figuring out the parish are:
  • Vision of Britain online gazetteer - put the place name in and click 'search'. look for historical gazetteer references from Bartholomew or Groome (both circa 1880s) which are very helpful, and will tell you the parish and traditional county.
  • GENUKI Gazetteer - put the place name in and click 'search'. it will list nearby parishes and places. the parishes will list the places that they contain.
  • Google - trying putting in the place name and the word "parish" and/or "history" and see what you find about the history of the place
If you cannot determine the parish, if you have some problem identifying the place, or if you have some other problem (like two pages for the same place), see the procedure below for "problem places".
  • rename the page appropriately. Use the "move" function to rename the page to the proper name. Depending on the size and significance of the place, it should either be "Mytown, Mycounty, Scotland" for places that are large enough to be known throughout the county, or "Mytown, Myparish, Mycounty, Scotland" for smaller places (or places whose names are not unique within the county). Also, if a town or village has the exact same name as its parish, you should add "(town)" or "(village)" after the place name to distinguish it from the parish, i.e., "Mytown (town), Mycounty, Scotland".
  • verify preferred and alternate names.
  • set the "type" appropriately. When editing the page, make sure the "Type" field is "Town", "Village", or "Inhabited place" as appropriate. See discussion on Scotland - Organization of Places about towns versus villages and inhabited places. In general, keep the "type" to those three: town, village, or inhabited place. Other attributes of a place -- e.g., if it was a royal burgh, or a county town, or the kirktown -- should be included in the description.
  • verify the lat/long. Even if there is a lat/long already entered, it may be useful to verify it. many of those came from the Getty data, which seems to be slightly off. The easiest way to find lat/long is to use multimap.com.
  • set "located in" to the parish. The "located in" field may show a county, a unitary authority, or simply Scotland. This should be changed to be the parish page. If you just type the parish name and a comma, you should get a pop-up menu that shows you the parish. (Note that the index that enables the pop-up menu is updated nightly, so if you've only just created the parish pages the same day, they may not show up yet. If they don't show up, you will need to enter your parish's full page name, e.g., "Myparish (parish), Mycounty, Scotland".) Generally, the "from" and "to" will be empty, and the "previously contained" list will be empty, unless you have specific information to put in there.
  • content. As this is just a "bones" phase, and not yet putting "meat" on the "bones", there's no need to edit the content of the page. However, if you have discovered anything interesting in the process of doing the above, feel free to put that information in.

For an example of what a bare-bones place page should look like, see Auchlunies, Maryculter, Kincardineshire, Scotland.

If in working through your list, you may encounter problems -- e.g., no such place can be found, or there are several places with the same name and you can't clearly determine which one is the "right" one, or there are multiple WeRelate pages that seem to be describing the same place. If you hit a "problem place" and you don't know what to do with it, please edit the page and do the following:

  • set the "Type" to "Problem place"
  • set the "Located in" to be your county (or you can simply set it to "Scotland" if you're uncertain about the county)
  • add a note in the content briefly describing the quandary you encountered

This will flag the place to the attention of the county and Scotland coordinators, and they will resolve it.

Presbyteries and Synods

This last step is not as essential, but it's a nice bonus. There are church records at the presbytery and synod level as well as the parish, and it is useful to provide the connections. Your county will probably only relate to one or two synods, and you'll have roughly one presbytery for each six or eight parishes. What you'll need to do is start with a list of your parishes. For each parish, first determine its presbytery and synod. Some good sources for this information are:

  • Vision of Britain - put your parish name into the search box, and look for links to old gazetteer entries for your parish by Bartholomew or Groome (both circa 1880s). either of those would give a long paragraph description of the parish, and should include presbytery and synod info.
  • GENUKI Scotland pages - click into your county and then look for the parish information. the parish pages may include presbytery and synod info. (varies by county -- some do and some don't).

Look to see if pages already exist for your presbytery and synod. The existing synods will all be listed on the Scotland page. If you click to the synod page, it will list all of the presbyteries within it. If yours are not listed, you will need to create them.

To create a synod page, go to WeRelate:Places, and enter the name for your synod page in the "Go to or Add a place page" title box, and hit the "Add new page" button. The name for your synod page should be "Synod of XXX, Scotland". Fill in the form as follows:

  • preferred name should be "Synod of XXX"
  • type should be "Synod"
  • lat/long should be copied from the parish where the synod met. if this is not obvious (e.g., the synod doesn't have the same name as a parish), then leave this blank.
  • located in should be "Scotland".
  • text should be copied from the following example, making appropriate changes:
The Synod of Aberdeen is a historical synod of the
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Scotland Church of Scotland], with jurisdiction corresponding generally
(but not completely) to the traditional county of [[Place:Aberdeenshire, Scotland|Aberdeenshire]].

Historical records of the synod from 1651-1929 may be found at
[[Source:The National Archives of Scotland|National Archives of Scotland]]
under the reference number GB234/CH2/840.
  • to determine the reference number and year ranges of the historical records for your synod, go to the National Archives online catalog, put the word "synod" plus your synod's name in the field labeled "AnyText", put "ch2" in the "RefNo" field, and pick "and" for "word options", then hit the "search" button. You should discover the reference for your synod's records.

To create a presbytery page, go to WeRelate:Places, and enter the name for your presbytery page in the "Go to or Add a place page" title box, and hit the "Add new page" button. The name for your presbytery page should be "Presbytery of XXX, Scotland". Fill in the form as follows:

  • preferred name should be "Presbytery of XXX"
  • type should be "Presbytery"
  • lat/long should be copied from the parish where the presbytery met. often the presbytery will have the same name as one of the parishes in it. if it is not obvious, then leave this blank.
  • located in should be the appropriate synod page ("Synod of XXX, Scotland").
  • text should be copied from the following example, making appropriate changes:
The Presbytery of Alford is a historical presbytery of the
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Scotland Church of Scotland], with jurisdiction comprising
a dozen parishes in central [[Place:Aberdeenshire, Scotland|Aberdeenshire]].

Historical records of the presbytery from 1718-1962 may be found at
[[Source:The National Archives of Scotland|National Archives of Scotland]]
under the reference number GB234/CH2/8.
  • to determine the reference number and year ranges of the historical records for your presbytery, go to the National Archives online catalog, put the word "presbytery" plus your synod's name in the field labeled "AnyText", put "ch2" in the "RefNo" field, and pick "and" for "word options", then hit the "search" button. You should discover the reference for your presbytery's records.

Once the synod and presbytery pages have been created, you should link them to the parishes. For each parish page, edit the page, and in the "Previously located in" field, enter "Presbytery of XXX, Scotland||". (The place page template will change in the future to allow multiple "located in" entries, but for now, we need to put it in "Previously located in", but leave the "from" and "to" dates blank.)

Once this is complete, you should find your synod listed on the Place:Scotland page. If you click into the synod page, it should show a list of the presbyteries. And if you click into the presbytery, it should show a list of the parishes. Similarly, you should be able to follow links upward from a town, to its parish, to its presbytery, and to its synod.

Adopt-A-County Status

County coordinator # parishes parish pages place pages presbyteries
Aberdeenshire TomChatt 84 complete done complete
Angus 54
Argyll 48
Ayrshire 45
Banffshire 24
Berwickshire 32
Bute 7
Caithness 10
Clackmannanshire 4
Dumfriesshire 43
Dunbarton 12
East Lothian 24
Fife LSnellgrove 61 in progress
Inverness-shire 31
Kincardineshire TomChatt 19 complete done
Kinross-shire LSnellgrove 5
Kirkcudbrightshire 31
Lanarkshire 40
Midlothian 28
Moray 20
Nairnshire 4
Orkney 21
Peeblesshire 16
Perthshire LSnellgrove 76
Renfrewshire 21
Ross and Cromarty 35
Roxburghshire 33
Selkirkshire 7
Shetland 25
Stirlingshire 23
Sutherland 14
West Lothian 13
Wigtownshire 17
Fundraiser
Help fund new features!