City Categories

+8 votes
Are there guidelines for city categories? How long you lived there?  Did you own property? etc.

Just discovered the Cemeteries project and added categories to some profiles.  Looked at other profiles in those categories and found a bunch of city categories ... so, what qualifies as enough to put a city category in a profile?

Let's take me for an example ... 20 years in Tacoma, Washington (yep), 3 years in West Lafayette, Indiana (maybe), two years in Columbus, Georgia (maybe), six months in Baltimore, Maryland (iffy), three months in Ann Arbor, Michigan (iffy), a year in Korea ... various cities/bases ... (iffy), fourty years in Colorado (yep) ... Oh, and I stayed in Banff, Alberta for three days!!, and Charleston, South Carolina ... on and off for 20 years, a week at a time, total, almost a year ... I'm so confused ...

And, further, I have lots of relatives that moved a lot ... put all those places in for each?

Thanks for listening ...
in The Tree House by Bob Jewett G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

5 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

For me Categories has three purposes and I dont just add born death but also if a person lived in the area and i would like to learn more about the area or need to understand were I find more genealogy resources

My simple thought is use categories when it adds value... 
what adds value for you depends what kind of genealogy you are interested in... for me just adding names locations death places is not interesting. I would like to understand the context. Why did people emigrate to North Amerika, why did a women have to stand in front of all people in the church when she had an child outside marriage, what happened to a soldier wife when her husband died (she had to leave the house in 3 months and often tried to marry the new soldier), what was a "backstuga", what kind of title was "sexman" or when the priest wrote "slag" as death reason what did he mean, why started some people emigrate to New Zeeland in 1870 and how was the three month long trip and how was people received in the new country can we see parallels with people emigrating today... 

To learn more I feel categories can help you

  1. Group people ==> easier to i.e. research a small farm etc. and see what people belonged to this farm over time and find other people who has done research about farms in this area
  2. Make genealogy research easier
    We add good genealogy resources on categories. 

    In Sweden all the church books follow the administrative units of parishes ==> we group people per parish see project SPC Swedish_Parish_Categories
  3. Add Context ==> You add a category that a reader can click on to get more context about it (The value of adding context)
    1. Explain more about an area - like a city
    2. Explain old occupations
    3. Understand death reason you find in old church books 

Example of a category to gather genealogy resources

Category:Götlunda_(R) a Swedish Parish that has related church books ==> we add links to make it easier to find 

  1. understand the administrative history of the parish
  2. old pictures of the area
  3. old portraits people has uploaded
  4. maps with old farms marked out
  5. old maps how the landscape looked in 1600
  6. genealogy societies you can contact
  7. discussions forums specialized in this parish or specialized in transcribing Church books from this area.....
  8. geographic name registers for this parish that help when transcribing old church books.....

by Living Sälgö G2G6 Pilot (304k points)
edited by Living Sälgö
+4 votes

This has been discussed in G2G before. I'm not aware of any formal guidelines. I use town/city categories when I think that the person had enough association with the place that someone might find value in seeing them listed in the category. (And I hasten to add that I'm not consistent about remembering to categorize people.) Based on that principle, I am more likely to categorize somebody in their 18th-century small town than in 20th-century New York City, I don't bother with a place category if the only thing they did in the place was get married, or if they died there while passing through town on a train, or if they were in the town only as students at a local university or preparatory school or military personnel at a local base (there are other categories for all of those relationships), or if it's not clear whether they actually lived there at all. Beyond that, I guess it depends on my mood. ;-)

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
+4 votes
I know I've seen a similar question before, but I couldn't find it, so I'll give you my take on it.

I don't add a location category to a profile unless the place was significant to the person.  Even though someone may only have been in a place to marry, that was a notable event.  So I might add the category for Gretna Green if a couple eloped and married there. A two or three year stint in a place between ages 3 and 6 wouldn't be enough unless something happened that made that place important for the person.
by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (364k points)
0 votes
by Maryann Hurt G2G6 Mach 9 (91.7k points)
+2 votes
The others have said it best.  Put the place category on a profile if it would be helpful to you and others.  A small farming town is very important genealogically because people tend to be related over time.  In trying to sort out my Welsh ancestors, their places were quite important.  At the moment I'm focusing on some Asian profiles and place is quite important in grouping them with others who were in the same place at the same time.  I suppose I might put New York City on a profile, but I woudn't expect much to come from it because it's too big a group.  And even if there were a lower profile category for the street they lived on, it would be rare that others on the same street would be related to them
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (472k points)

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