Help:Location Fields

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Place Name Suggestions

WikiTree utilizes FamilySearch's Place Research database to make suggestions for location names based on what you type.

You will see a pin icon map.gif next to suggestions. If you click it, you'll be taken to the research details page at FamilySearch for the location. This may be necessary to see the years in which the place name was valid.

You do not need to accept any of the place name suggestions. They may not be the ideal way to record the place name on WikiTree. See our style guide below. In particular, the suggestions may not be in the person's own language. See the Language Selection page for more explanation.

Hiding place name suggestions

Beneath the location fields on any profile's edit page you will see a small link that says "hide place name suggestions." If you click this, the automatic suggestions will not appear.

Some members prefer to hide the suggestions because they want to see the automatic suggestions from their web browser, i.e. the ones based on names they have entered in the past. If the FamilySearch suggestions are not hidden, the browser's suggestions are overridden and will not appear.

Location Field Style Guide

Here are the standards adopted by the WikiTree community for what to enter in birth, death, and marriage location fields.

Our guiding principle is the same as the one for Name Fields: "use their conventions instead of ours."

Applied to locations, this means using place names in native languages and using the names that people at the time used, even if they now no longer exist.

Place names, and even boundaries, change over time. They also have different names in different languages. We aim to use the name that was used by the people in that place, at the time of the event you're recording. This standard is often difficult or even impossible to apply, but it is an ideal that members from all over the world can agree upon.

For example, when recording the birth place of someone born in Port Royal, Acadia, in the 1600s, you should use "Port-Royal, Acadie" rather than the English "Port Royal, Acadia" or the present day "Port Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada".

Use the full place name for counties, states, provinces, d├ępartements, etc. Examples: Rhode Island, not RI; New Brunswick, not NB; Hampshire, not Hants; Seine-et-Marne, not S-M. Abbreviation of country names is acceptable as long as the abbreviation is standard and is recognizable.

Do not include a house number, street address, building name, church, hospital, etc., in the location field unless it represents an administrative division, such as a parish. This should be in the biography instead.

Tip: If you're unsure of the name in the native language, look it up on Wikipedia. Every place page will say in the first line what the name is in each of the official languages of that country, e.g. see Germany.

Uncertain locations

As a general rule, entering almost any location better than no location.

See Help:Uncertain Locations for the details of our policy on uncertain, estimated, modern and translated location names.

Location Categories

The rules above apply to Category:Categories as well. For example, Ottawa, the capital of Canada, used to be called Bytown. So, someone who lived there before 1855 would have called it Bytown, not Ottawa. That person should go in Category:Bytown, Canada West. Someone born after 1855 should go in Category:Ottawa, Ontario. (Note that Category:Bytown, Canada West is a subcategory of Category:Ottawa, Ontario so the people born before and after 1855 won't be completely separated from each other.)

For more information on location names in Category:Categories, see Category Names for Regions.

Also see the G2G discussions:

We used to recommend using the native language for all location-based categories. However, this involved a lot of difficulties, particularly when a location had multiple official languages. So, we switched to having parallel categories in multiple languages.

If you have questions, ask the Categorization Project by posting in G2G using the tag categorization.

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This page was last modified 12:38, 11 May 2021. This page has been accessed 67,574 times.