With what can I replace the illegal colons (separators) in Swedish birthplaces?

+6 votes
I was working on Sugg. 645 (no country in POD). When I tried to save my work, the program refused to accept it, because "The following must be corrected: Invalid characters in Birth Location." The original beginning of the birth location was "Överå 2:1". After reading some internet discussion, I decided this might mean Överå 2, no. 1 and changed it to that in order to be able to save my work. Is this the best way to get rid of the colon in these locations (there are about 85 in birthplaces and 25 in death places)?
WikiTree profile: Jonas Pålsson
in Policy and Style by Karen Gunn G2G6 Mach 1 (11.7k points)

2 Answers

+4 votes
What is the actual birth location?  Does it really have colons in it when it is found in documents?
by Linda Peterson G2G6 Pilot (558k points)
I doubt that this comes from a birth document. The source seems to be a book which is located in the Swedish library system, according to Worldcat. There are about 90 locations with this format that have been caught by Suggestion 602. I am hoping to find an alternative that would mean the same thing but use WikiTree valid characters, which I think are , . [space] - ' ( ) [ ].

I think you are right about it coming from a book, where these "addresses" are probably based on taxation records, but could also come from household records.

Hmm. When there are actual birth and death dates, not estimates, they must come from the ministerial books of birth/baptism and death/burial. Where there are never ever those property numbers given as locations - just the name of the hamlet or the name of the farm in question.

So the proper location for birth/death would be just Överå, not the full info about where they lived - which could be placed in the biography for preservation.

I would say: "Överå, Sidensjö, Västernorrland, Sverige"

Thank you, Eva. I'll adjust the profile.
+9 votes

(I know this was not the kind of colon you wondered about, but this can be useful for someone else who searches for a question about colon in Swedish placenames.)

Often when you see a colon in a Swedish place-name it marks omitted letters in an abbreviation. (Only used when letters are kept both before and after the omitted part.) That could be for example "L:a" for "Lilla" or "N:a" för "Norra".

In particular "S:t" för "Sankt" is common in the names of many parishes. Outside of Wikitree that is the most common way of writing these names. For example the Swedish Wikipedia page for Malmö S:t Johannes parish is "Malmö S:t Johannes församling"; on their own web they only say "S:t Johannes"; in the Swedish church archives the archive is called "Malmö S:t Johannes kyrkoarkiv" (if you search for "sankt johannes" there you will not find it).

So the answer in these cases is that you should find out what word is abbreviated and spell it out per normal Wikitree rules, for example "Sankt".

(Personally I think the rule is bad for the "S:t" placenames where it is so established to use the abbreviation, but that is another issue. It is similar to places like "St Ives" in Cornwall. You can see here how most people born there have their birthplaces naturally written as "St Ives, Cornwall, England" – for them it's OK, just because English and Swedish have different orthographical rules about how to write such abbreviations.)

by Per Starbäck G2G6 Mach 1 (15.7k points)
Thank you, Per. I have come across parish names like this in the Suggestions lists, and yours is a useful explanation.
Thanks for that explanation. That is helpful

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