Location Field Style Guidelines

+11 votes
276 views
Am I correct in assuming that location fields should be limited to places such as towns, states, counties and countries, and should not include church names, house addresses and the like? I am aware that some projects have very specific rules to this effect, but others simply work within the guidelines on this page. If venue names such as churches or a private residence should not be included, can this page please be updated to clarify, and suggest that venues be included in the biography? Otherwise it can be argued that a church is a place.

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Location_Fields
in Policy and Style by Leandra Ford G2G6 Pilot (109k points)
retagged by Gillian Thomas
In Australia we just use the town/city name, state, Australia.

We don't do parishes, shires, whatever. That's mostly an American thing where you get things such as Madison, Dane, Wisconsin, USA - with no indication to poor non-Americans that "Dane" is a County.

In the place Category in the UK, it is for the community. Details of roads, churches, etc are for the Biographies, unless there is a Category for something specific like a Cemetery.

In Wales, Cemeteries are sub-Categorised under the Place, County. There may also be a sub-Category for a Manor House of significance. 

We believe the cleaner the Place Category is, the easier it is for people to add to that place. Details like the Hospital of birth are better left in the Biography.

An itsy-witsy bit bossy? Perhaps, but it seems to be working.

Category: Picton Cemetery, Llanasa, Flintshire

@Steve. I don't mind someone being bossy if the rules are clear. Some of this discussion comes up because the rules aren't clear. They can be interpreted different ways in different countries.
After that I like your comment about a clean Category. In my view, there are too many categories, and way-way too many linkages between categories. More chaff than wheat.

5 Answers

+3 votes

That depends on what country you are in. It is usually County, State (is there is one) and Country. Towns and Church names etc. are usually added into the biography if you want to add them.

In order to request that page to be updated you will need to submit a proposal. You can find out how to initiate a proposal on the Help page Developing New Rules.

by Laura DeSpain G2G6 Pilot (336k points)
It would appear from the two responses here, I'm not developing a new rule. I just want to remove the ambiguity on the help page to avoid arguments with people who get upset about having their managed profiles changed.
You are right, you are not changing a rule. You are wanting the Help pages changed. That usually requires that you prepare a proposal on what exactly it is you want changed. What changes, how you would have the Help page changed specifically. In other words, write up how you believe it should be changed. Explain what it is that would make it easier for members to understand.
+7 votes
Oh, I have always assumed that I should be as specific as I can be. Why shouldn't buildings be included, if we know them?
by Deborah Pate G2G6 Mach 4 (44.1k points)
I usually add the church to a marriage place field if I know it. It seems ridiculous not to be specific.
Buildings being added will generate a Suggestion, I think.  Buildings should be included in the Biography information.
+9 votes

Though the help page Leandra referenced does not specifically say things like street names should not be placed in the location data fields, if you look at this page re location suggestions, it does say that street names should not be placed in the location data fields and says placing such information in the location data field will generate a suggestion (see 601.) So, the help page does not accurately reflect what WikiTree says in another place and expects in practice. If something is going to generate a "suggestion" it should certainly be noted on the help page.

by Nelda Spires G2G6 Pilot (324k points)

Thanks for that link, Nelda. 614 has a good summary, and there are equivalent errors for death and marriage fields. 

614 Birth location too long: The birth location is too long. This error generally occurs when extraneous information such as the street, or hospital name is entered into the birth location. Such information properly belongs in the biography.

+6 votes
I usually put the church/street/hospital whatever in the biography. Even if it's only a farm between two towns I try to check to which town the farm belonged or belongs to and put that town in the Location Field. The farm comes in the biography.
by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (723k points)
+3 votes
In some locations (Slovenia for my family) the house number is a vital part of the location information because it separates one family with the same surname from another. It is very common to use this house number in the location of birth/death.
by Emma MacBeath G2G6 Pilot (764k points)

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