Unknown county categories [closed]

+16 votes
I see that the Virginia now has an Unknown County category, and a note under the state category that individual profiles should not be there.  Will Unknown County categories be set up for other states as well?
closed with the note: sort of answered, went off-track
in Policy and Style by Nan Starjak G2G6 Pilot (397k points)
closed by Nan Starjak
I don't see the logic of adding the Southern Colonies tag?  This is a question about categorization, not about Virginia or the Southern Colonies project.

I added the Southern Colonies tag because the Virginia Project covers post-USA Virginia & a subproject of the US Southern Colonies project cover pre-USA Virginia. I thought the question was about Virginia too.
No, it's only about whether a particular category is going to be extended to other states.  That's why I used the categorization tag.
sorry. if you feel the additional tags are inappropriate, you can remove them.
I just think it confuses people who come along later, if tags have nothing to do with the original question.

4 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer
I don't know why you couldn't just use the state if you didn't know a town/city/township/county. It would seem that eventually the person would be moved out of there. I haven't seen discussion on this, but will look.
by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (772k points)
selected by Nan Starjak
HI! I'm going through Category:Virginia and moving people profiles out of it so that the other pages under Category:Virginia can be seen more easily. When the person has no more detail than just Virginia, I move the profile to the Unknown county category. Only people categories should be in Unknown county category. Once I get through moving the people profiles from Category:Virginia to a more specific location category, or Unknown county, the Unknown county category can be added to the Virginia Project's task list as a collection of Virginia people profiles needing research.


ps- I was going to ask for help identifying more specific Virginia locations for the Unknown county, Virginia profiles when I finished going through the people profiles currently under Category:Virginia.

Since this issue now has more visibility, I could use the help now!

If you manage Virginia profiles, please go to Category:Virginia, click "Limit to Watchlist" and change Category:Virginia to move the profile out of the category. If you want to research the Unknown county profiles, that'd be great too. Thanks!





+6 votes
How are they working it?  Is this for towns which it's unknown which county the town is in?  Or is it place names which may be used in more than one county?  Or even places which may be partly in each of several counties?  I know in Columbus, Ohio while it's mostly in Franklin County, it's got some incorporated areas in Fairfield County and in Delaware County.
by Living Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (449k points)
The one I saw (Virginia) is being used for people that are listed as being from Virginia, but you don't know what county.  There's a lot of that, the census just says what state they were born in, and you may not know anything else.

I don't know if they're also using it for place names.
Note: Virginia's cities aren't included in counties -- they are "independent cities." (Thus, in Virginia having a city name but not a county name is not necessarily a problem.)
Only about 40 Virginia cities are Independent Cities, which are "considered county-equivalents for census purposes".  The rest are part of a county.
Some states, like Texas, have a lot of towns that strattle county boundaries. If you have a street address on a Census, you can sometimes sort it out. But you have to remember that street names get changed, too, so you have to be careful.

At any rate, "Unknown County" might make sense in such circumstances.
+7 votes
"Will Unknown County Categories be set up for other states as well?"

Well, speaking as one new member of the Categorization project (and not for any other members of it!), and also as the new Maryland subproject person in the U. S. History project, I personally don't plan to set up an unknown county category in Maryland.  At the moment.  

One of the plusses of WikiTree is that we have a lot of different people with different interests and different ways of doing things, and they all contribute.  Today, I personally don't see a lot of value in categorizing people by state or county;  perhaps tomorrow I will.  (It's a non-issue for Maryland because someone else has already set up county categories.)   I do see the value of categorizing people by the ship they arrived on, the land grant they lived on, or the very early colonial county they were associated with. Two people associated with Lower Norfolk County, Virginia, in the early 1600s probably had some connection with each other, and that is important for genealogy.  But aside from that, I won't be going out of my way to spend my time categorizing Maryland people by state or county.  If I'm working on a profile and I see it is already categorized by state, but the county is known, I'll probably recategorize it by county because it IS important to categorize people by the lowest possible level.

In a sense, profiles that are linked to the Maryland state category rather than a county category, ALREADY constitute a "to do" list; they don't need to have an interim move to an "unknown county" list from which they'll ultimately be moved to a county list when known.  But I really think we need to honor people doing things differently in ways that work for them that don't massively get in the way of others;  Liz has taken on Virginia responsibilities and if an "unknown county" category helps her and others working with her on Virginia, more power to them!  And if someone working on another state feels that an "unknown county" category will be a helpful way to spend their time, great.  I don't see a problem with it.  And if I find myself working on a Virginia profile, I'll be a team player and do what the others are doing!

One issue that Liz is responding to by not wanting people profiles on the state page is that WikiTree puts people profiles and space/topic profiles together.  So at the bottom of your state category page you've got an alphabetical list that includes Jackson, Abraham; Jones, Henry, and Jordan River Redevelopment, all in the same list.  It would be nice if they could be two separate lists;  you do want some space/topic profiles linked to a state category, and having a number of personal profiles interspersed can make spotting things difficult.  But when you move the people profiles to the county categories, where you might also want to link some space profiles, you've just moved that problem to another level!
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (478k points)
edited by Jack Day
You are so right, Jack. There really should be 2 different areas, for people profiles and space pages. I'm not sure how difficult that would be to set up, but it sure would be helpful.
+6 votes
This doesn't exactly answer the question, but one of the peculiarities of Virginia is that cities are NOT in counties. Cities are completely separate entities. The City of  Fairfax, for example, has a separate government from Fairfax County. To further confuse the masses, one can have a city mailing address but live in the county. For example, I grew up in Fairfax County, but our mailing address was (City of) Falls Church because our mail was delivered by a Falls Church post office.  This often leads to inaccurate records, as in the case of my father's death. He died in our home in Fairfax County, but many records say Falls Church because that was the mailing address. And any record that says Falls Church, County of Fairfax, Virginia is inaccurate because the two are separate jurisdictions. Incorporated towns, however, ARE in counties, for example, the Town of Vienna IS in Fairfax County.  Is that clear as mud now?  Welcome to Virginia!  :-)
by Robin Kabrich G2G6 Mach 4 (49.1k points)
And yet, those Virginia cities USED to be in counties, so it maybe depends on what time period you're talking about.

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