"British Colonial America" is being added again.

+12 votes
211 views
I'm seeing a lot of profiles being changed, perhaps with the Data Doctors project, under the 603 suggestion, supplying "British Colonial America."

Wasn't there previously a consensus that the term would not be used, and that the Province name or Colony name would be the last field, i.e. Massachusetts Bay.

Also seeing "Colonial America."
in Policy and Style by Bobbie Hall G2G6 Pilot (206k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
Honestly, if someone wants to spend their days going around adding "British Colonial America" to everything, I guess I don't mind letting them have that joy.
I stopped using the term some time back as many people on WikiTree  seemed to be taking offence. It is however a technically valid description that appears on period maps.

The problem with "Massachusetts Bay" is that term would not be familiar to most of the world's population. America should be added to it, as the term America was in use starting in the mid-1500's, and is also on maps.

Where did you see "British Colonial America" on a contemporary map, George? I've only seen the term in modern sources, such as history textbooks.

As for "Massachusetts Bay," I consider it a valid name for the body of water on the east coast of Massachusetts. I think I have a couple of ancestors who died in Massachusetts Bay (i.e., they drowned, or died on board a ship). But, the terminology on the FamilySearch dropdown suggestions used on WikiTree notwithstanding, if people want to use an historically accurate name for the political jurisdiction where their land-dwelling "Massachusetts" ancestors lived, it should be Massachusetts Bay Colony or Province of Massachusetts Bay.

My typo; I should have said British North America. If you search engine does not pop them up send me a private message with your e-mail and I will send you a copy of the most prominent one. I have no problem with Massachusetts Bay Colony or Province of Massachusetts Bay, other than it should be tagged as America as well, as WikiTree is international, I do believe an effort should be made to think outside the box with our naming conventions.
If the intent is to use a location name that the then-population would have been familiar with, I believe that we should add the word "Colony" to the Massachusetts Bay designation.  Surely these people did not believed that they lived in Massachusetts Bay - but they could well have believed that they lived in Massachusetts Bay Colony

Agreed Hayward & Ellen. Regarding the Massachusetts portion, it was Mass. Bay Colony (or Plymouth Colony) until 1693, then Province of Massachusetts Bay until the revolution. I've given up fighting that battle, though I do change profiles that I manage to the location that I know, and can document, is correct. 

As for "British Colonial America" or any other variation, they did not call it that. The colonists in this area frequently appended "New England" when giving a full name to a place, such as in their wills. If anything additional needs to be added to the place on our profiles, it should be that. On rare occasion, I've seen "America" added, rare enough that I couldn't prove it if I needed to.

Our convention is to use the place name as they called it, not something that comes from elsewhere and a different time, right?

An old thread here, I know, but the term British North America didn't come into use until after American independence was achieved in 1783.  It began to be used informally as the administration of the remaining North American colonies began to be reorganized, and most conspicuously in the Act of Parliament that confederated Canada.  

The problem of what to call the colonies along the Atlantic seaboard is compounded by the fact they were never unified under a single colonial administration.  The united Colonies under the Continental Congress might have filled that role, but historical events took a different turn.

Thanks for your commentary, James. The issue is what is used in the birth/marriage/death fields. If one used British North America, it would be one thing, but British Colonial America is an altogether different animal. Before Independance the areas were various Provinces and Colonies, not unified, and therefore no "Country" should be assigned. When one adds British Colonial America, one is making up a name for a place that did not exist. The argument is that using only the Colony or Province name is insufficient since people might not know where in the world it is/was. Google is your friend, in that case. If I don't know where a place is, I google it. Why people feel the need to over-describe a place is beyond my understanding. (I'll get off my soap box now :) 

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