Friday, November 25, 2011

File Sharing and Brick Walls - Part 3 - Place Names

Continuing Clean Up of file. Again, this is for my purposes with no reflection on the person who sent me this file, but our common goal is to attempt to attach a brick wall.

Earlier, I addressed how to import a GEDCOM file, then how to address Unknown Names. Each of us needs to identify these unknown names as we each have them.

This next step is to deal with Place Names. For this example, at this point, Historical Place Names may not play a role in this brick wall. But, for me, based on some observations in this file, the use of the Map feature will be important. In the 1700's the travel between Dutchess County, New York, to Woodbridge, New Jersey, to Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey needs to be looked at. For me, at this point, the use of the Map feature is important. Who had an event (or Fact for Family Tree Maker) in the various locations will be important.

Going to the Places Workspace and looking down the Left Column is an ICON that indicates that that Place Name is not in the format that the Place Name Authority (PNA) of Family Tree Maker 'wants' or suggests. This ICON will appear any time a new Place is entered as seen in the upper right of this screen.

At the top of the Left Hand Panel is a Resolve All option (its in that green bar). Clicking on Resolve All will bring up a Chart of all of the Place Names that are not part of the Place Name Authority. However, it is NOT required that we accept or use the PNA. In this specific case, MOST, but not all suggestions will be accepted.

There are four columns. with out check marks. The first column indicates that the user accepts the suggested PNA name. If the list looks like the entry is really a Description, then the 2nd column can be used for that, and there are other choices.

There are several here that I will leave as Unresolved (those in blue). They appear to be valid place names, but at this point, I am just cleaning up the "easy ones". There others can be resolved later. At this point, it's data consistency that is important for me, for this project.

The Unresolved ICONs are still on the left, and they are the ones I chose not to resolve. What is important, at this point, is that I have a good look at who has a Fact that took place in Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey AND I can see where it is. There are zooming in and out which will be used later. But This gives me a good handle locations within this file.

Copyright © 2011 by H R Worthington


  1. Hello,

    As a "novice family history researcher" and an FTM user, I am finding this series most useful. With reference to place names, would it be best to use current place names instead of those shown on, for example, census returns? Using the old names, FTM will not resolve these, but I know full well what the current name of that place is, which FTM does resolve. The original names are include in the source citation, in any case. So, would the current names be best entered in the 'place' field?
    Thanks again for the series,
    Craig Milne (Canada)

  2. Craig,

    I think that I mentioned it, but I use BOTH. That is, an historical place name, but might also add the current place name. I may have talked about this in another PlaceWorkspace blog post.

    For example: St Annes Parish, Maryland, won't show up in the PNA, but it was a place in the 1600's. Parishes existed before Counties in Maryland. There are a couple of places to look up Historical Names to Current Place Names. Historical Place Names may not help with the Map feature, which may be important.

    So, I'll double enter the Fact.



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