User talk:TomChatt


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Clarifying sources

Hi Tom. Thank you for your detailed comments on the WeRelate:Watercooler! I really appreciate your feedback. Just in case I'm not being clear in the explaining sources, I've added a couple of fake sources to Family:Robert Sherrat and Isobel Spring (1) illustrating entering the URL directly into a text field, and referencing a "personal source" in case you want to create personal sources. (Don't know if you do.) Please remove them after you've looked at them.--Dallan 13:08, 18 December 2006 (MST)

Scotland parochial registers

Hi Tom,

I started a discussion at Source Talk:Scotland, Old parochial registers that I thought you would interest you. You and I seem to be the most likely to be changing the old parochial register sources.--Lauren 06:57, 19 December 2006 (MST)

Family Tree Explorer


We just launched a early release of the Family Tree Explorer. In case you'd like to try it out, I've taken the pages that you've created and added them to a tree called "mytree". So when you launch Family Tree Explorer, you should be able to click on File then Open to view your tree. I'd be interested to get any feedback you have. We're going to be working on it intensely over the next several weeks, so this is a great time to have some input into how it will turn out.--Dallan 23:37, 20 January 2007 (MST)

Anstruther in Scotland [31 October 2007]


I've cleaned up the Anstruther pages. I haven't marked any for deletion, but I did rename two and shift some of the content around. The town of Anstruther was officially two Royal Burghs, Anstruther Easter and Anstruther Wester, so there is one page for the overall town and a page for each burgh. Anstruther Easter made up the whole parish of Anstruther Easter, so the two pages (town and parish) could be combined if we prefer. The parish of Anstruther Wester consisted of the Royal Burgh of Anstruther Wester plus additional areas, so the town and parish need to remain separate. It's not the clearest of location divisions, but I think I've added enough commentary to the pages to make it understandable.

--Lauren 10:24, 31 October 2007 (EDT)

Scotland [6 December 2007]

Hi Tom, I wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about running an automated process to add "previously-located-in" entries to all places with an FHLC link that corresponds to where the FHLC says the place was located in. When I did the initial merge, I unfortunately often threw this information away. It's been critical to get this information back for places like the Czech Republic and Wales so I've written a program to automatically update the place places. I thought I'd run it over Scotland as well. In preparation for this I'm swapping the located-in and previously-located-in places where the previously-located-in field is actually the current located-in place because the program expects this. (I've modified the program to recognize your link-fhlc template.) Once I get the list of updates to be made I'd like to show them to and ask you to check to make sure they look reasonable before I actually apply them if that's alright.--Dallan 15:13, 7 November 2007 (EST)

I also moved

and put them all directly under Scotland. I hope that's correct.--Dallan 16:06, 7 November 2007 (EST)

Another question for you -- do you think we should put Place:Cromartyshire, Scotland and Place:Ross-shire, Scotland directly under Scotland, and add a see-also link to Place:Ross and Cromarty, Scotland? Were they ever located in Ross and Cromarty?--Dallan 16:44, 7 November 2007 (EST)

Sorry, more questions

  • Do we want to list places under Lewis Island, or put them directly under Ross and Cromarty county?
  • Should the places under Place:Ross and Cromarty (general region), Scotland be moved to be under Ross and Cromarty county? It appears that they might be the result of my incorrectly merging Ross and Cromarty (general region) with Ross and Cromarty traditional county.

I'm going through Scotland today to make sure that the FHLC references are on the traditional county pages and not unitary authority pages with the same name. I'll run the FHLC updater tomorrow and send you and [User:LSnellgrove]] the results to review before I apply them.--Dallan 09:26, 8 November 2007 (EST)

Hi Tom,

I'm going through Scotland for the last time before the renaming and I have just a couple final questions that I hope you can answer:

The parish of Aberdeen (aka St Nicholas) is probably best kept distinct from the city of Aberdeen. It looks like Place:Aberdeen, Scotland mostly exists just to hold a Wikipedia article on the city of Aberdeen. I would merge it into Place:City of Aberdeen, Scotland. --TC
Looking at the pages that link to Place:Aberdeen, Scotland, it seems better to redirect it to Place:Aberdeen (parish), Aberdeenshire, Scotland than to Place:City of Aberdeen, Scotland so that people like Person:Robert Spring (2) become linked to the historical parish rather than the modern unitary authority. I'll just omit the wikipedia article, since it's not appropriate for Place:Aberdeen (parish), Aberdeenshire, Scotland and Place:City of Aberdeen, Scotland already has one.--Dallan 12:08, 6 December 2007 (EST)
For the South ones, yes, but for the North ones, no. North Ayrshire mostly maps to traditional Ayrshire, except that it also contains Arran Island (and maybe some other smaller islands) that traditionally belonged to Buteshire. North Lanarkshire is a jumble, containing pieces of traditional Lanarkshire, Dunbartonshire, and Stirlingshire. --TC

Scotland is looking great(!) by the way.--Dallan 11:01, 4 December 2007 (EST)

Feedback on final place review [21 November 2007]

Hi, I wanted to make sure that you saw the proposal I left for a final place review on WeRelate talk:Place review. I'd love to get your comments on it. This is all stemming from the discussion you and I and Lauren had a couple of weeks ago. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!--Dallan 11:38, 21 November 2007 (EST)

AEComstock-desc.ged Imported Successfully [14 August 2008]

The pages from your GEDCOM have been generated successfully. You may view them by launching the Family Tree Explorer and opening the family tree into which this GEDCOM was imported.

For questions or problems, leave a message for Dallan or send an email to

--WeRelate agent 03:30, 11 April 2008 (EDT)

Joshua Walker

Hi Tom

No, no problem transferring the information. I don't routinely add that information into the text fields as its not important for my purposes on WeRelate. Heretofore it didn't much matter because the search engine was not especially effective. That's changed, so there's more reason to have the data in those fields now. Its not something I'm likely to do anytime soon myself, but it harms nothing to add it, and has, as you point out, some advantages.



A UK, England or Scotland Portal ? [24 July 2009]

Would you be interested in establishing a UK or England Portal to help raise some interest in WeRelate among UK centred researchers ? I note how a Uk and Aus portal has helped sites such as ancestry.

Theres a danger that UK researchers migh look at WeRelate and think it is predominantly US centred (OK it might be but we could change that)


Dale Rodgers (Melbourne, Australia but originally form West Yorkshire, England) HolmeVillageHome--Dsrodgers34 10:40, 19 July 2009 (EDT)

Hi Dale,

That's an interesting idea, and I would be happy to help. I haven't done a portal before, but I see that there is a template that some people are using here. Someone has created a Dutch portal for WeRelate, for example. When you make the analogy to a UK portal like has, are you also suggesting that there should be a that directs to the WeRelate UK portal page? I imagine Dallan could arrange that. How much of the portal page do you think would be relatively static content (e.g., links to UK-specific resources) versus more dynamic content that would take ongoing effort to keep fresh (e.g., featured pages)?

Cheers, --TomChatt 02:03, 24 July 2009 (EDT)

I will get to it and get back to you

Early Taylors of Concord, MA etc [30 October 2009]


Hou may have been noticing I've been editing on some pages you are watching. First off, great work you've done. It's so refreshing to come across diligent work. Thank you for your diligence as well as your generosity in sharing.

The page about William Taylor who married Mary [some think Merriam] refers to a will. Do you have this will? I'd love to see it. Or at least know the date it was written and proven. Thanks! Jillaine 15:32, 29 October 2009 (EDT)

Hey Jillaine, I just returned from traveling, and did notice the flurry of your activity on the colonial Taylors. Looks like you found some good new info, thanks for confirming the suspected error in Crane's conflating Abraham Sr with Abraham Jr. You do a lot of good work around WeRelate for which I am very appreciative! Re the will of William Taylor, my source note S2 on that page tells my whole story: I found the transcription of the will on the webpage that I cite, and it in turn references an FHL microfilm. I have not seen the will myself. But the website I reference does appear to be careful and diligent work, nicely referenced, so I would consider it on the trustworthy end of secondary sources. (Coincidentally, the travels I just returned from included visiting Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn NY, to see the grave of my great-great-grandfather Edward Taylor, his wife, some of their children, and her parents. Alas, no stone. I was able to identify the plot of unmarked land from some careful pacing, and later confirmed by relative position to adjacent plots that did have stones.) TomChatt 01:55, 30 October 2009 (EDT)

Welcome home. Re: no headstone, consider writing to the cemetery and asking them about buried headstones. There is some sort of instrument that can detect buried headstones. Given the age of the burial it's quite possible there actually IS a stone-- just buried.
Okay, on to early Taylors of colonial New England. Wow. I just did a dance through the Merriams. Found a lot of great source info for the Merriam side of things, and added it to a bunch of unsourced pages. All that and NO evidence that Mary who married William Taylor was a Merriam. You are so right. You might be curious to know how I fit into all of this. I'm researching 17th century Mass. Taylors because I am trying to find the parents of Richard Taylor of Sudbury-- my husband's ancestor. I have now confirmed that he was NOT son of William and Mary (___) Taylor of Concord. My current theory is that he's an undocumented son of James Taylor and Isabel/Elizabeth Tompkins. But at least William is off the possibilities list. -- Jillaine 22:32, 30 October 2009 (EDT)

Featured Page for April 19th [20 April 2010]

Hi Tom, just an FYI - we are featuring one of your pages, Revolutionary War Pension Application of William Crolius as this week's WeRelate Featured Page. I've added a Featured Page notation to the top of this page, and I also had to make one minor cosmetic adjustment to eliminate some white space between the first paragraph and the pension application image below. Great job on this source page, keep it up!

Best regards,

DeliJim:)--Delijim 15:35, 20 April 2010 (EDT)

Tobias Wilhoit change [17 June 2010]

Hi Tom, I may have unintentionally changed the christening date on Tobias Wilhite. I don't think I realized that it was a christening date, so I've added his christening date back and kept his birthdate as "bef" the date of christening. If I remember, I was reviewing that gedcom before I was racing out the door to work that morning, so I may have missed that one.... Also, I agree with your comment on German first names i.e. - "Johan". Normally it is the SECOND name with early Germans that is the name they are subsequently known as, so when WeRelate picks up "Johan" as the first name, I've found that I frequently have to change it afterwards...

Thanks and best regards,

Jim:)--Delijim 20:02, 16 June 2010 (EDT)

Featured Page - Week of March 21st [24 March 2011]

Hi Tom, just wanted to let you know that your Family Page: Louis Brautman and Bertha Littman, has been selected as this week's WeRelate Featured Page. Congratulations and keep up the good work! FYI - I also "lightened" the Photo of Louis Brautman to make it a little more visible.

Best regards,

Jim:)--Delijim 14:29, 23 March 2011 (EDT)

Wow, thanks! I'm honored. :-)--TomChatt 20:51, 23 March 2011 (EDT)

Another WeRelate Featured Page! [16 May 2011]

Hi Tom, just wanted to let you know that your Person Page, William Dobbs has been selected as this week's WeRelate Featured Page! Congratulations and keep up the good work! Best Regards,

Jim, Co-Administrator on WeRelate:)--Delijim 13:03, 16 May 2011 (EDT)

Nichol, Wellington, Ontario, Canada [29 September 2012]

I have done some editing of your additions to the above page. There is a message on the "talk" page there. --goldenoldie 05:19, 26 September 2012 (EDT)

Thanks, goldenoldie, for your work in systematically improving the Ontario place pages. I did a similar effort for Scotland a few years ago, and I know it is fair amount of work. --TomChatt--TomChatt 04:43, 29 September 2012 (EDT)

I was wondering whether I would have to tackle the Scottish pages next. But if you have made a start, there will be less of a need. However, have you come across a database/gazetteer that shows UK longitude and latitude co-ords? I have been using a Canadian one--rather ancient and sometimes less than accurate--but still speedier than finding things on Google Earth. Scottish interests are Dumfries and Galloway and Bute. /cheers --goldenoldie 05:07, 29 September 2012 (EDT)

I had used a resource called, but it doesn't seem to exist anymore. I just tried it, and that address redirects to (Microsoft's map service), which does seem to provide lat/longs. Hopefully you'll find that Scotland is largely sorted out. Myself and several other volunteers made a project of it several years ago. You may want to check out Place_talk:Scotland to read more about it. --TomChatt--TomChatt 05:40, 29 September 2012 (EDT)

Another WeRelate Featured Page [15 November 2012]

Hi Tom, another one of your pages, Charles Holt has been nominated and accepted as the WeRelate Featured Page! Congrats and keep up the good work.

Best regards,

Jim:)--Delijim 19:03, 14 November 2012 (EST)

More on Scotland, mainly Lanarkshire [20 February 2013]

I browsed around Lanarkshire the other day and the more I looked, the more I wanted to make changes. You may recall that in Ontario, I took the WR policy of tying everything up the way it was in 1900 and then referring forward to 20th-Century alterations to county and township structure from there. Scotland's first major reorganization occurred at exactly the same time as Ontario's and can be worked the same way.

Two UK sources, GENUKI and ScotlandsPeople, are my principal guides, but Wikipedia gets a look-in with useful descriptive paragraphs. There is also a useful series of historical maps provided by the National Library of Scotland (NLS) and a fairly new portal-type site called Scotland's Family. The last two are much better than their English equivalent: A Vision of Britain. GENUKI appears to have been organized by someone who went mad when he discovered the wonders of cut-and-paste and how URLs can link to each other, and it was set up so long ago that it more often includes data from the mid-1800s rather than more recent material. But, since that's when most ancestors were around, it's enlightening.

What's Happening [21 February 2013]

  • co-ords will be added to all pages
  • South Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire and Strathclyde will have pages to explain their existence and the areas they cover/covered -- preferably as maps -- once I find maps that show the boundaries. Just found it in a Scotland's Family page.
  • All places in Lanarkshire in 1900 will be described as such, with the "Also located in (one per line): Place | From year | To year" box used to refer to Strathclyde and the appropriate district which replaced it.
  • Any place currently situated in North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire will be made into a redirect, with the useful information moved to the new or existing "within Lanarkshire" page. (Last night I found that Airdrie did not get a mention in Lanarkshire and there were three pages with different titles for the neighbouring town of Coatbridge.)
  • Districts of Glasgow--some of which were parishes, some of which were not--all need a mention with Glasgow in the title. The "See also (one per line): Place | Reason" box will come into use here. People will pick up references to there places in censuses, registers and directories. One specific place needing alteration has been brought in from the Family History Catalog as Hutchinson and is described as "unknown". It is about to be renamed to its proper title, Hutchesonstown. I am quite sure. My grandmother was born there. Two blocks away and one was in the Gorbals, a place where one didn't want to living unless one had to in the 1880s.

Scotland needs more illustrating with maps, not just references to maps. I have traced a few using, but how much alteration is required before infringement of copyright ceases to come into play is a question. Not every organization gives the freedom of use permitted by Wikipedia.

I hope you--and Lauren and Dallan--will like the alterations coming up. I appreciate how much work you did on Scotland 5-6 years ago. --goldenoldie 07:22, 20 February 2013 (EST)

Hey Goldenoldie, I appreciate your enthusiasm and welcome your improvements. It takes a special kind of dedication to do a systematic update for an entire region, but the wiki really benefits from it. Thanks!--TomChatt 01:36, 21 February 2013 (EST)

Scotland Edit Progress [19 April 2013]

No doubt over the past couple of months you've had numerous Scotland pages that I have been working on come to your attention. In case you haven't bothered to look at them here's a short review.

With the help of three additional Scotland-wide online sources and Wikipedia, plus websites for district family history societies, I have found a lot of information on geographical and genealogical facts which are being tied together within the relevant pages. I also found a series of outline maps showing parishes which I have broken down into counties, traced, retitled and then uploaded to WR. These are placed on each parish page within the relevant county.

So far, I have stayed in southern Scotland--working around from Lanarkshire and Glasgow to Edinburgh, the rest of what was the Lothian Region, and now I am down in the Borders. Dumfries and Galloway, my chief area of interest, comes next. I'll end up with Ayrshire, Renfrewshire and Dunbartonshire before going back to Glasgow for the third time (in the hopes that the edit to come will get things "right"!). The type "city district", which I have only recently noticed, will help to describe many little bits of the city that other people's ancestors called home. The Lothians will also need another edit. I found a complete list of the districts used for civil registration and censuses on ScotlandsPeople--one of their freebies. There was an awful lot of chopping and changing during the century 1850-1950!

I was progressing well until Wednesday evening when my computer power supply blew up. A new computer is on order and I am temporarily working on a laptop which has to go to the "menders" this morning. The ROM data in the desktop (including all the maps) is safe, but I shall be without a computer until Tuesday or Wednesday. As a result there will be a short recess in production. Mental withdrawal symptoms could be high ( :>(( )

regards, --goldenoldie 04:53, 19 April 2013 (EDT)

Hey Goldenoldie, I have taken a look at one or two of the pages you've modified recently and they look great! You are really doing God's work here. :-) Good luck with getting your computer issues sorted out. Cheers,--TomChatt 15:17, 19 April 2013 (EDT)

GEDCOM Export Ready [7 July 2016]

The GEDCOM for tree Brautman is ready to download. Click here.

Surname in Place & Northumberland [16 August 2016]


I saw your message on Watercooler and noticed it mentioned Northumberland. I've been working my way through WR's database of places in England and am presently working on the county--not only that, but my next port of call was going to be Hexham. So I thought I had better warn you that you might shortly be seeing some changes to the town's page and for the more rural area closest to it.

I see you have people born in Hexhamshire and that you wrote the description for Hexhamshire 9 years ago (to the day, by some fluke!). I notice it is based on the Wikipedia article with some omissions. I have no quarrel with this; I also drop many parts of Wikipedia articles that have nothing to do with genealogy. But some are written with only present-day geography in mind, with a little bow to Roman occupation or the parish's presence in the Domesday book. What happened in the past millenium seems of little consequence to the Wikipedia writer, while it is of great value to the genealogist.

When I work on a place I am looking at the ancient and civil parishes, rather than a town or a village. This is because the church or state "authority" dealt/deals with all the people within the parish boundary whether they lived in a close community or out on a farm. I also pay more attention to places as they existed in the past 2 or 3 or perhaps 4 centuries rather than in how they existed in earlier times. Most people's genealogy is traceable only back to the 1600s, if they are lucky.

I hope you will approve of the changes I may make. Please let me know if you disagree on any points. So far I haven't made any changes--I don't even know all the townships that made up the ancient parish of Hexham before 1866. To view what has been done with this part of Northumberland so far, see Tynedale Ward. The third and fourth columns will eventually be completed. I am working through the ancient parishes in alphabetical order.

Regards, --Goldenoldie 11:23, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Hi Golden, indeed I have been very busy in Northumberland lately! :-) It's funny you've updated these places pages, as I was just looking at the stub Allendale page the other day and thinking, this really ought to say something about lead mining, which is what just about everybody there did until the late 1800s. I think you've definitely improved the Hexham and Allendale pages.

I'm not sure why you collapsed the Allenheads page into the Allendale page. They are two separate places, and in fact Allenheads has its own church, its own churchyard, and at times, its own church register. The Church of St. Peter's and Allenheads was a chapelry in the parish of Allendale. (I notice you gave a specific date of 1866 when Allendale became its own parish. I wonder if that was a "civil" event. As best I can tell, Allendale was its own parish much earlier than that, at least from the perspective of the Church of England and its records. Unless you have a strong objection, I'd like to separate Allenheads back out to its own page, with a parish/chapelry link between the two. --TomChatt 03:21, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

I try to be pretty careful when I work on place pages that someone else has dealt with before, so I breathed a sigh of relief to see you say I have improved the content for Hexham and Allendale. We do have a point of disagreement over Allenheads however. I have been trying to reduce to number of places in the WR database by listing only parishes (civil and ecclesiastical/ancient). One way is to redirect chapelries and townships to the parish to which they belong. Allenheads (to which Wilson's Gazetteer gives little mention and which I only discovered by looking at maps last night) does not appear to have had a church independent of Allendale. Bartholomew "discovered" Allenheads in his abbreviated way in his encyclopedia of 15-20 year later. I had added a paragraph on Allenheads to the Allendale article and have now added in a comment on Allendale Common because it will come up when I get to Northumberland's rural districts. I shall let you decide if you want to make Allenheads a separate entry, but do notice that by making the redirection, the references to Allenheads on person pages do not change.

The date of Allendale becoming a civil parish is a guess--based on the fact that this is the usual date given for the change in status. I haven't come across any discussion of the place of civil parishes between 1837 (could they have existed before 1837, the start of civil registration?) and 1866 when there was an act of parliament defining over 14,000 settlements across the country as civil parishes.

Chapelries quite often had their own registers, but this was not always the case. I am not a member of the Church of England and have thus had to learn the ways of the "established church" after I came to genealogy. Despite living here, I have only one traceable family link to England (where the records were with the parish church although there was a chapelry closer to the family's abode).

I glanced at the "What links here" list for Allendale just before closing down last night. You are not the only contributor. I wonder if you would not go through other user's page and remove excessive commas from places and rename places currently in red--just a general tidy up. It would be nice to add sources, but time is a commodity. I doubt if the other contributors are still part of WR. The family I inspected last night included a man who was born in 1498 and died in 1763! Meanwhile, I shall have a look at the Hexhamshires.

Regards, Pat. --Goldenoldie 06:58, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Problem re one Hexhamshire source [16 August 2016]

[[Source:Hexham, Northumberland, England. Parish Registers of Whitley, Northumberland, 1764-1903]].

Are you in a position to know whether this source refers to Whitley Chapel or Whitley Bay? I have found other situations where the original source entries were set up, either at WR or the LDS Library, by someone who wasn't familiar with the specifics of local geography. Whitley Bay hid itself under the title Whitley and Monkseaton between 1894 and 1954.

Regards, Pat. --Goldenoldie 13:14, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Hi Pat, yes, I have recently become very familiar with this Whitley Chapel, and it is indeed the chapelry near Hexham (actually graduated from chapelry to its own parish in 1764, I believe). However, I just noticed that you have eliminated the Whitley Chapel place page and made it a redirect to Hexham Middle Quarter. I had been going back and forth as to how I felt about the Allenheads -> Allendale collapsing, but I like this one even less. Perhaps that is because all of the research I have been doing in that particular area lately has been 1600s and 1700s, and from the perspective of that timeframe, if you insisted on collapsing places, it would only make sense to collapse Whitley Chapel into Hexham. Hexham Middle Quarter I don't think is meaningful until you get into the census era. Can you explain to me why you feel the need to reduce the number of place pages in the database? Why not leave the more specific place pages, but just make sure they are properly pointed to the right "containing" places. I remember when I lead the big project (nearly 10 years ago now!) to get the Scotland places organized, I don't think we were eliminating any places, we were just trying to make sure that the "containment" was organized properly. In my research, the specific geography is very important, and in fact, I'd been contemplating putting out a watercooler suggestion about the best way to capture information about even more specific places such as named houses and farms, which have been so important to me in sorting out otherwise ambiguous records. I have to admit that I have been a bursty rather than a steady contributor to WR, and haven't followed the watercooler regularly, so I apologize if this has already been hashed out there. I can see possible pros and cons of fewer vs more place pages. At the moment, I'm feeling rattled by the change, and that information is being lost, but I should think on it some more. Cheers, Tom. TomChatt 14:23, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Hexhamshire [6 January 2017]

Hi Tom Happy New Year, etc

Is there any chance you could take a look at the people and families for which you have used Hexhamshire as a place? As you will see in my placepage description it didn't really exist between 1572 and 1955. During that time it was separated into its various quarters, each of which has its own page. Having removed one wandering couple who were actually in Newcastle upon Tyne, I think your entries are the only problematical ones.

I am trying to think of a suitable phrasing to separate the old county from the new parish--or if I dare to drop the old county altogether (though that may cause more consternation).

/cheers, Pat --Goldenoldie 20:44, 6 January 2017 (UTC)