Location errors

+26 votes

I was looking into errors for location fields.

I allready set 2 errors, that are wrong:

  • Unknown location: It should be empty
  • Y Y; and Y/ locations: I think it is error at GEDCOM imports.

For other errors I need some hints.

Is comma separated form (house nr. street, city, region, country) the only correct format? Or are there other acceptable forms?

  • General: house nr. street, city, country
  • General: house nr. street, city, region, country
  • USA: house nr. street, city, state, country
  • USA: house nr. street, city, county, state, country

My opinion is that from left side names can be missing if not known. From right they should always end with country (current or historic one). I also think both languages are acceptable (local and english). Preferred is local, but there are too many english names to correct them all to local.

Are there any other guidelines on Location fields.

Regards Aleš


in WikiTree Tech by Aleš Trtnik G2G6 Pilot (831k points)
retagged by Dorothy Barry

That sounds like good idea. 

I added errors 603, 633, 663 USA used to early. I will extend it to any country that has defined range. I will make a system so users will be able to define valid range for any country, but for now, post a message here and I will add it. USA will stay separated due to big number of profiles.

Can someone write a short guide of what to use instead of USA in location field. I will include it here http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Project:Database_Errors#603.2C_633.2C_663_USA_used_to_early since I am not that familliar with American history.

I had a thought about location error checking. dbpedia and Wikimedia has a pretty good basis for checking when state and countries were founded. It might be a bit processing intensive, but the locations given in WikiTree entries can be passed through a check to those entries to see if a given state, county, city, or country existed at that time.

There will probably be a lot of missing profiles, but we can start by just worrying about the well documented instances and building from there.


Absence of a county IS an error. There are many cities that have the same name as a county so if you only see City, State, then you don't know if the city is a city or a county in those many instances where they are the same name. 


That only applies in USA , Canada and perhaps Australia.
Surely, that applies in the UK also.  Think of Lincoln, Gloucester...
GPS Coordinates was invented to explain a physical location to avoid miss understanding. I believe that is good enough also for WikiTree

Magnus right now at Latitude: 59.326445
Longitude: 18.071739

Anyone who could guess my location?

Nearly I was Looking for graves inside Storkyrkan and was on my way to the Royal Palace. The last 3  days I have been around tracking info about a painter David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl which has taken me to at least 10 different churches, palaces and museums see http://davidklockerehrenstrahl.blogspot.se

Next step is to describe all his paintings, students in Wikidata. After that you can ask cool questions like give me all paintings that Ehrenstrahl has painted or the painters he was influenced by...


See http://mymuseumapp.blogspot.se/2016/10/ehrenstrahl-and-his-influences.html


I'm not up on this conversation, but I wanted to make sure people knew the following: we will be using FamilySearch's Places API to suggest place names. This could be put together soon. It means that effectively we will be adopting their location names style. (We still have our "use their names, not our own" overarching rule. You won't need to accept the name suggestion and can change it.)

Looks like a good idea if a change is made to also have more language versions of a place in WikiTree...

  "places" : [ {
    "id" : "5061509",
    "links" : {
      "place" : {
        "href" : "https://familysearch.org/platform/places/5061509"
    "names" : [ {
      "lang" : "en",
      "value" : "Paris"
    }, {
      "lang" : "fr",
      "value" : "Paris"
    } ],
    "type" : "http://familysearch.org/v1/Place"
  } ]

Compare Wikidata fot Paris Q90

8 Answers

+5 votes

http://file:///C:/Users/Owner/Downloads/12%C2%B033'23.4_N%20124%C2%B011'51.7_E%20-%20Google%20Maps.html if you zoom in & then click once on the red marker you get the above. So sorry I do not know how to make a Video of this action :)

by Anonymous Vickery G2G6 Pilot (264k points)

URL is wrong looks like you point on a local file on your disc.....  c:\Users\Owner..... you must upload a file or page if we should access it.... or you need to send us the whole PC to Sweden ;-)


+8 votes

For the Netherlands I agree to the general format, with minor modifications:

street house nr. , city, municipality, province, country

I fully agree to:

My opinion is that from left side names can be missing if not known. From right they should always end with country (current or historic one). I also think both languages are acceptable (local and english). Preferred is local, but there are too many english names to correct them all to local.

by Living Terink G2G6 Pilot (304k points)

Also in Slovenia we have house nr after street, region is optional, and in case of small villages that repeat in Slovenia, nearby city or municipality is added.

Slovenia: street house nr., city, (region), country

+11 votes

Reposting from different thread.

I am also preparing timeframe for country names so users could define valid timeframes.

commented 2 days ago by Aleš Trtnik G2G6

I have a question - will an "error" still come up if "USA" or "United States" is put into PARENTHESES = (USA) after a colony designation for dates before 1776 ??  Say a colonial Virginia profile that is marked:  "Jamestown, Virginia colony (USA)"  ??   I would request that the (  ) be allowed to help others realize that this person lived in a territory that would become this State.  Can you do that ? 

Chet Snow - A WikiTree Leader

commented 18 hours ago by Chet Snow G2G6 Mach 1

I looked at parentheses and they are used for everything. If this is common use, It should also be documented in http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Location_Fields 

Here is a report for all non letter characters in location field.

http://www.softdata.si/osebe_staro/ales/wikitree/Location Nonletters.htm

by Aleš Trtnik G2G6 Pilot (831k points)
Hi Again

Thank you for the location field URL in your comment.  Questions:

1) Is this the Location field only - I see a lot of dates in it (were they put on the wrong line on the profile ?)  Obviously dates 00-00-0000 or 00/00/0000 should be an Error in the Location field!

2) I see some people use parentheses, sometimes used strangely, I see that but I still would like to see them ignored by your algorithm so we can indicate a "future" or possibly a "past" nation for outsiders and it not be an error.  I see some are using the European/International symbols = like (D) for Germany or (F) for France. They should not be identified as errors in my opinion - in Location field.

1.) These are all 3 location fields (Birth, death and marriage). Yes all those numbers are errors. That is the reason for this thread. I am trying to establish what are correct forms of location field. Then I can make appropriate errors for all wrong forms.

2.) So (country), (country code), (state, USA) can be added as last parameter and it means today's country of historic location.


  • Albemarle County, Virginia Colony, (USA)
  • ..., (PA, USA)
  • ..., (United states)

For Slovenia and similar

  • Ljubljana, Slovenia, Yugoslavia  [english language before 1991, Slovenia was republic in YU]
  • Ljubljana, Slovenija, Jugoslavija  [local language before 1991, Slovenia was republic in YU]
  • Ljubljana, Jugoslavija, (Slovenija) [local language before 1991, This would follow guidelines, but I would prefer previous case]
  • Ljubljana, Slovenija [after 1991] 
  • Ljubljana, Austria-Hungary, (Slovenia) [before 1918] 

For European countries and similar

  • ..., DDR, (D)
  • ..., Deutches reich, (D)
  • ..., Deutches reich, (Deutchland)
  • ..., Deutches reich, (Germany)
  • ..., (F)
  • ..., (France)
Hi Alecs

Yes, this is what I would like - I have also Asked ALL the LEADERS to comment and when I have their opinions, I will add this concept as one we "encourage" to the Location Field Style Guide with appropriate examples if they agree it's helpful.

In my opinion this is an easy way to let Today's Readers know the basic places our ancestors lived etc. -  in today's terms - while keeping the ancestor's own terms for the NON-PARENTHESES text.

So, let's give the Leaders 24 hours and I will be in touch with you tomorrow about the errors definitions.  OK ?

I do NOT see this as a G2G discussion but as a Style Guide something the Leaders will decide.  To me it is basic common sense - Ancestry.com puts "United States" without quotes on ALL profiles in what is today the United States of America and that's where a LOT of these pre-1776 "errors" come in - people imported Gedcoms without editing....

Best wishes and I APPLAUD YOU for taking on this task!

Chet Snow
Hi Again Alecs

OK, I've had a communication from Chris - he is our Founder - and he requests we WAIT on implementing any changes to the Location Status Indicator guidelines and Error finders.  So please put this "on hold" until we get a Green Light (as in "GO").   Thanks,  Chet
Should I remove location errors (600) until then or can this errors be corrected?
Because Chris says they are about to post new Location guidelines, I would WAIT on this until it has come down from the Sysops Team.  That's my suggestion but you can write him and ask if you want.  No one had told us they were working on these guidelines but I am glad we are discussing it - and different Leaders have very different opinions!  Again, keep up your good work - there will ALWAYS be some new errors to correct with such a large database being worked individually by "amateurs" like our members.



I think I didn't answer to this I have a question - will an "error" still come up if "USA" or "United States" is put into PARENTHESES = (USA) after a colony designation for dates before 1776 ?? 

It will not. My condition is ([Default].[Birth Location].AsString In Like "*USA", Like "*United states", Like "*United states of America"). That means that only if location ends with USA,... is candidate for error.

Hi Alecs

Thanks for the reassurance.  We will wait for Chris's guidelines now.  Chet Snow-2128
+9 votes

I also found this discussion on the subject: http://www.wikitree.com/g2g/68640/how-to-name-places-in-pre-1776-usa

by Aleš Trtnik G2G6 Pilot (831k points)
+10 votes

I have quite a few among my seafarers that died "at sea". The error report is complaining that the "Death location too short". Suggestions?

by Bobbie Hall G2G6 Pilot (362k points)

Do you know the location?

In Wikidata people add GPS coordinates see map of location WikiTree people has passed away at.

See map with +30000 locations of birth and dead and buried

Then you have some that is under the radar of the db error software. I guess as WikiTree has no location strategy it's just a check of the number of characters....
  1. Jemison-24 born  Aboard Ship in Mid Atlantic
  2. Astor-2 died Titanic
    the correct place I guess should be as Wikidata has Q430672 and that is the location of Titanic Q25173 41°43'57.00"N, 49°56'48.98"W 

FindAGrave ha started to support adding GPS coordinates from the app they have of the location of the grave. Really easy to use and much much easier to find the location of a grave see video me using the app at 1:20

Maybe you can add the name of the sea or ship or route he was on.
+9 votes
Do you really think this is a high priority? I just started working on errors, but chasing done the USA before 1776 seemed like a lot of make work.  What are the high priority errors? Finding out how names changed over time can be a big headache. Doing Waymarking, I am finding most locations here changed multiple time as they were settled. Also counties divided many times. GPS locations for things like cemeteries is helpful, Find A Grave uses them. Also I am finding records may be kept in multiple places. Where did they really die, it may not be where they were buried. Multiple places may have a record of the event, same with births.
by Sue Hall G2G6 Pilot (172k points)
+8 votes
There was no Belgium before 1830 (and after that it ought to be Belgique or België depending on the region). Before 1830 it is generally possible to have a town, region, country - except for the Prince-Bishopric of Liège, I think.

Since 1977 many Belgian municipalities have merged: example: Klerken, gemeente Houthulst, West Vlaanderen, België.

Parentheses are often used where I live. For the département in France, ex: Brest (Finistère) or for the canton in Switzerland, ex. Payerne (Vaud).

Thanks for your efforts. I reiterate my wish to keep the present rule (use localities names as they were there and then).
by Isabelle Martin G2G6 Pilot (586k points)
+3 votes

Would like to join placement names for Canada, espciallq Quebec Province to add, edit and delete place names to correctly portray correct places.

by M Cunning G2G1 (1.7k points)

Related questions

+15 votes
1 answer
228 views asked Jun 16, 2016 in The Tree House by Jim Vondrak G2G6 Mach 1 (11.5k points)
+8 votes
2 answers
+4 votes
1 answer
+9 votes
2 answers
+12 votes
1 answer
+13 votes
4 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright