Portal talk:Place


Items to include [19 April 2009]

  • Naming conventions - that places, optimally, are titled as they existed around 1900. Also-located in information can be included within the place page.
  • That much work still needs to be done on place pages. There are duplicate pages for towns and there are titles for towns that do not follow the above convention.
  • Potential place renaming projects--Jennifer (JBS66) 21:23, 5 February 2009 (EST)
  • Cemeteries as places vs them as sources.
  • See this discussion: Cemeteries as Places

Perhaps I'm in error, but I had the idea, somehow, that a Place page already existed for each U.S. county, that they were sucked in from the FHL, or from Wikipedia, or something. At least, I haven't not found a Place page for any county I searched for -- until now. There doesn't appear to be a page for Dubois County, Illinois. I haven't created one yet, waiting to see if I searched for it in some weirdly wrong way. . . . --Mike (mksmith) 10:52, 19 April 2009 (EDT)

Hmmm, I don't see Dubois County, Illinois in Wikipedia, Ancestry.com census for Illinois in 1900, or FHLC (they have Indiana). Do you have any more details on this place?--Volunteer Admin - Jennifer (JBS66) 11:04, 19 April 2009 (EDT)

Oops. I meant to type "Indiana." There is indeed a page for Dubois County, Indiana. "Never mind. . . ." Our state society's annual spring seminar was all day yesterday and I'm still tired. I should probably go take a nap. --Mike (mksmith) 13:18, 19 April 2009 (EDT)

Baltimore City vs. Baltimore County (and others) [23 April 2009]

I was creating a census Source page for Baltimore and found that, in the place-name box, if you type "Baltimore, Maryland" you will get on the drop-down list a bunch of possibilities like Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, United States|Baltimore (independent city), Maryland, United States, all of which assume that the City of Balitmore is a part of Baltimore County. This is flatly incorrect. Baltimore is indeed an independent city, but it's an entirely separate entity. It has no legal connection whatever to Baltimore County. I know I can create a new Place page (and I will, if that's what is needed), but the fact that there are so many variations on this for Baltimore gives me pause. So I went checked on Norfolk, Virginia, which is also an independent city. The main possibility there is Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia, United States|Norfolk (independent city), Virginia, United States -- the same incorrect assumption. Does anyone have a suggestion or some thoughts on this? --Mike (mksmith) 15:10, 20 April 2009 (EDT)

We've gone back and forth about this. We decided 2-3 years ago to incorrectly place independent cities inside a county because in most cases the counties physically surround the city, and the way our search works, by putting the independent city "under" the county, searches on the county will also bring back events/sources in the independent city, along with the towns that really are in the county. Baltimore, St. Louis, about a dozen cities in Virginia, and I think one or two other cities are affected. That's why you see so many possibilities for Baltimore, because it kept getting renamed until we settled on the 'put it under the county' option.

Having said that, in the meantime the search engine has advanced so that if you were to add the county as an (incorrect) "also located in" place for the independent city, you could rename the independent city to remove the county from the title. For example, if you were to add Place:Baltimore, Maryland, United States as an also-located-in place for the city of Baltimore (with a note asking people not to remove it because it makes the search engine work better), you could rename the city of Baltimore to Baltimore (independent city), Maryland, United States. The "also-located-in" causes searches for the county of Baltimore to include Baltimore city. If you decide to do this for Baltimore, would you please do it for the other independent cities as well so that we're consistent?--Dallan 14:45, 23 April 2009 (EDT)

New portal place project [29 June 2012]

I seem to have started a new Portal:Place for Ontario, Canada. Yes, I am a new member of WeRelate, but I don't have a very large family and am not geographically placed to research offline the ones I have. Besides, I live in the UK and over here each individual search for original data costs money.

As with Quebec, Canada which already has a "Portal:Place", the Province of Ontario has gone through an era of municipal reorganization. Many of the place names of 1900 are still there, but they refer to different government structures and, in some cases, different geographical places. The reorganization started in Ontario when Toronto became a metropolitan area in 1953. Since then many counties have followed suit, and both Toronto and Ottawa have done it twice!

When you think about it, 1953 can be two generations ago. There are a whole lot of genealogists and family historians who have only lived under the new regime (or at least found they like genealogy or family history since the new regime started). Wikipedia, our first reference for geographical details, starts its articles with the present state of affairs and only gets to the tasty bits for WR users in the History section (if there is one). And, even if one of our volunteers brings in a history section under the normal process, it may not see the light of day on WR for several months.

As a result, there are a lot of places in Ontario that need a clean up. I have started going through them county by county--always working with my fingers crossed that I get the facts right.

  • Since "Research Tips" for most places were minimal, I have also worked out a template titled "Ontario Archives" which can be added to every place page explaining where the main records are kept in the province and the online providers who have linked to this information. To this template I have now added a new county- or region-based one for online sources of more local records. These are often run by the local genealogical society whose websites can contain all sorts of hints as to where records might be. They may also have produced an appropriate paper publication, e.g., a cemetery or census transcription.
  • Ontario's first form of regional government was the "District" system which was abolished in 1849. There is now a place page for each of the Districts--marriage registrations for the period 1788-1849 refer to Districts, not Counties; land transactions, wills, and disagreements which went to court will also have been filed under the District in which they took place. Counties and townships existed under the districts, so references can now be made in the place pages for counties and townships back to the district which might need to be searched.
  • Similarly, new places were invented after the 20th-21st century reorganization which now need a place page. There may be a member of WR who wants to add someone who died in West Carleton Township. This is a new place page as of this morning. (West Carleton Township only existed 1969-2001, it's now officially in the City of Ottawa.)
  • The municipal reorganization is probably the reason for a good many duplications of Ontario place pages on WR. These are being redirected as they are discovered. Each area that now makes up the City of Toronto has been duplicated. It is probably better to combine each pair or group of three and make notes in the "Also located in" box.
  • Our friends at Wikipedia do not always produce an objective description of a place. Maybe we shouldn't reproduce it word for word, but still it contains details that are useful and it may take too much time to find the same facts elsewhere. I have invented a new phrase which may be contentious: "The text in this section is a precis of an article in Wikipedia." If it's got to go, please tell me. It's a halfway house to the "moreinfo" template.
  • On the other hand, I have found maps in Wikipedia that are really useful. I have not reproduced any images on WR yet and I don't want to attempt this new piece of learning just at the moment. The link "Map of Ottawa and Carleton County from Wikipedia Commons" is a temporary crutch. The facility to add outline or diagrammatic maps to WR could be very useful. Could sketchmaps might be better than the Google maps for large geographical areas--townships and larger?. Wikipedia has done this on Whitby, Ontario and the surrounding townships.
  • Latitude and longitude coordinates are being added, using the data from National Resources Canada. I note the discussion in the portal forQuebec, Canada about not being too specific about coordinates for large geographical areas. When it came to townships described as being on a lake shore, co-ords were sometimes adjusted so that that appeared to be the case on the small Google map.

This is a review of the type of changes I am making and the reasons for making them. Constructive comments appreciated. --goldenoldie 08:04, 29 June 2012 (EDT)

Ireland vs Republic of Ireland [27 January 2013]

Is there a difference between Ireland and Republic of Ireland? We have many pages that direct to them, therefore, I would like to understand what the difference might be, if there is one, or which is considered primary or correct for referencing this particular country for WeRelate purposes.--Khaentlahn 17:03, 26 January 2013 (EST)

Definitely. The Republic of Ireland did not exist until 1922. Ireland refers to the entire island including the six counties which make up Northern Ireland. There was a great deal of emigration from Ireland to the North American continent during the 1800s. Those people all came from Ireland, and they didn't all pass on the information as to what county they hailed from.
WR prefers to consider places as they existed in 1900. There has been a lot of discussion on this on the Talk page of Ireland. I believe it is on my User Talk page and that of Pkeegstra. --goldenoldie 17:55, 26 January 2013 (EST)
Then my next question is, has there been a definitive answer on whether both should be used or whether they should be combined into pre-1900 standards?--Khaentlahn 18:09, 26 January 2013 (EST)
The previous discussion occurred at WeRelate talk:Place Patrol under the heading "Another problematic place: Ireland" [2 Dec 2012]--not that long ago. The two user pages for discussion of place names and their hierarchy have very similar names. --goldenoldie 02:02, 27 January 2013 (EST)

Lieutenancy areas in the United Kingdom [10 March 2013]

Two questions:

Do we really need lieutenancy areas as a specific "type" of place?
If we do, where do we put a definition?

From Wikipedia:

"Lieutenancy areas are the separate areas of the United Kingdom appointed a Lord Lieutenant - the representative of the British monarch. In many cases they have similar demarcation and naming to, but are not necessarily conterminate with, the counties of the United Kingdom.
In England, Lieutenancy areas are colloquially known as the ceremonial counties, although this phrase does not appear in any legislation referring to them. The Lieutenancy areas of Scotland are subdivisions of Scotland that are more or less based on the counties of Scotland, making use of the major cities as separate entities.[1] In Wales, the Lieutenancy areas are known as the preserved counties of Wales and are based on the counties that were use for Lieutenancy and local government between 1974 and 1996. The Lieutenancy areas of Northern Ireland correspond to the six counties and two former county boroughs."

Personally I think lieutenancy areas are surplus to WR requirements, but those members who work on family trees for members of the peerage may think otherwise. Comments from others appreciated.
from UK resident --goldenoldie 06:57, 10 March 2013 (EDT)

Place Needed: Africa [24 May 2013]

Could we have a placename for the continent of Africa? I tried to add it myself but it reverted to [[Place:Chad]]. If we can't described Africa as a continent, we could at least describe it as a "general region" (as we have done for "At Sea").

Often gravestones are memorials to several members of a family who died in far-away places beyond the concept of the family back home. --goldenoldie 16:07, 24 May 2013 (EDT)

London, England [13 March 2015]

The boundaries of London were established when the County of London was formed in 1889. Prior to that much of what we consider as London today was in the surrounding counties of Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent and Surrey. In 1965 another reorganization has occurred which named the metropolitan area Greater London which extended the area to include much more of the original surrounding counties than formerly (see the map "County of London superimposed upon Greater London" in Wikipedia --a long way down the wiki-page), and also reorganized some of the boroughs which had been part of the original County of London.

Has there been any discussion on WeRelate as to how we go about naming places within London? I only joined WR in mid-2012 and I am not sure what to delve into in the archives--there is nothing on the "Talk Pages" for London or Greater London, nor in the "Talk Pages" on the Place Portal. But does anyone recall what there might be hiding in "Watercooler" or "Support"?

Currently, we have places in located in the surrounding counties which ought to be in the County of London and other places located in the County of London which were not in the capital until 1965. Having solved similar (but not half so difficult) problems for Greater Manchester, Merseyside, and Yorkshire, I am game for sorting out London, but I would like to read other people's opinions on the topic before I start. --Goldenoldie 10:33, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Sentences in introduction requiring alteration [4 January 2017]

"Omit the province for the UK and other countries where it's common to list the county directly under the country."

The UK doesn't have provinces; it is made up of four individual countries each of which has a separate set of pages within WeRelate. So, can we change the sentence to
"The United Kingdom is presented under its four countries: England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Each of the countries is made up of parishes within counties."

We may need a United Kingdom page just to explain this again, and also to mention

  • the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are also treated as separate countries
  • until 1922 the island of Ireland was all one country

"Omit county/district in countries where it is rarely used. Information how places are organized for each country can be found on the country's homepage." Change to
"Some other countries have no intermediate step like county in their hierarchies. These will be noted on the country's homepage."

--Goldenoldie 14:52, 4 January 2017 (UTC)