Why not change Northern Ireland to Ulster? [closed]

+6 votes
Why is Northern Ireland being changed to Ireland? Yes, I know that "Northern Ireland" did not exist before before 1921 but when a person is identified as being born in Northern Ireland that means that they were from one of six counties: Antrim, Down, Armagh, Londonderry, Fermanagh, or Tyrone. By switching that to just Ireland you are losing valuable information that might assist a future researcher. At the very least when making a change like above the editor should make a note in the biography explaining what they did.

I would like to propose that when one discovers a "Northern Ireland" before 1921 that they change it to "Ulster, Ireland". Ulster is one of four Irish provinces, and is located in the north of the island of Ireland. It is made up of nine counties, six of which are in Northern Ireland (a part of the United Kingdom) and three of which are in the Republic of Ireland.
WikiTree profile: Sarah McGhee
closed with the note: Question was not clear.
in The Tree House by Eugene Quigley G2G6 Mach 7 (76.3k points)
closed by Eugene Quigley

The person making the change indicated quite clearly what he had done and why "(Adjusted Place Name/s to fit with Database/Profile/Spelling conventions (Corrected for time period - Not Nthn Ireland before 1921).

  The possible use of the name Ulster for Northern Ireland,  was politically controversial and ultimately rejected.


If you know that she was born in one of the nine counties, then state which one, with a source. At the moment the profile is unsourced 

I think my question failed - OF COURSE I would say she was born in Armagh if I knew that to be true but I don't. As for sources the only source that I have found to prove Sarah Clark was a person is on her son's marriage record which is now referenced on the page.
The confusing bit is how someone would know it was the future NI if they didn't know the county. This would only come up if someone had an original record that stated city or county and recorded the profile without that information. If someone didn't really know what Northern Ireland is though, I wouldn't trust their judgement on terminology, so "Ireland" is about all that seems justified. I'd only use "Ulster" if the original record specifically said Ulster, and even then the provinces haven't really been relevant political divisions for a long, long time.
I was told by a now deceased family member, who emigrated as a child from Scotland to Canada, that all my Irish ancestors came from Northern Ireland and settled in Scotland before their descendants came to Canada. At the time, she didn't elaborate and I didn't ask further. This was true of the Quigley family - of which she was one. She specifically told me they were from Armagh and I have found records that corroborate that. She, grand aunt Lizzie, was sort of the unofficial family historian of her day and pretty much everything she told me has been verified. I wish I had asked more questions.

1 Answer

+3 votes
Not all of Ulster is in NI and NI isn't Ulster. If you know the county, why not just say the county? Armagh, Ireland - is there some ambiguity there?
by Living Buckner G2G6 Mach 5 (52.3k points)
Yes, I realize that - I did try to define what I meant in my original post - I guess I failed. I did error in my example - I should not have mentioned Armagh as I don't don't know that to be the case. If I did know they from Armagh I wouldn't have written the original post.
If someone just says Northern Ireland without the county before 1921, I'd just change it to Ireland.

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