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3955Question on noting in a program locations that no longer exist or have changed names

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  • Xenia Stanford
    Apr 5, 2005
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      Question:
      “What is the best way to note in a program the places where people were born
      when that address no longer exists. For example, my father was born at home
      on the farm near Ghost Pine Creek, which had a post office at the time. The
      post office now is Three Hills, Alberta.”

      “Should I still use Ghost Pine or Three Hills in my computer software
      program? I suppose the best way is to get a land description but that seems
      like a lot of work/research and won’t be that helpful to whoever takes over
      my books.”

      What I do in these cases is put the place name at the time of the event and
      then add in brackets [now followed by current name] e.g. Ghost Pine Creek
      [now Three Hills], Alberta.

      My mother and her brother were born on the homestead in Bladsworth, SK but
      my mother was registered as born at Kenaston (the nearest post office) and
      my uncle as born at Tessier, which was the post office closest to where my
      grandfather was working as a sectionman for the railroad at the time. The
      homestead didn’t move – both children were born in the same house on the
      same property. The place did not even change names. It was due to my
      grandfather just using a different postoffice from which to send in the
      registration. So I have both recorded as Bladsworth, Saskatchewan. Then for
      one I have added [registered at Kenaston] in brackets and the other has
      [registered at Tessier]. The youngest child was born on a farm near Looma,
      Alberta but she was registered in Edmonton where my grandfather was working
      as a labourer at the time. Here I have it listed as Edmonton [farm at
      Looma], Alberta.

      In other places not only has the name of the town changed over time but so
      has the county or even state or country. So again, I list what the location
      was at the time with full details and then bracket in full detail what they
      are now. If I find many of the same location then and now, I keep it in a
      separate index so I can look it up quickly when I want to search for where
      the records are now. For example, for France there are too many changes of
      names for the location of records – the major change was from pre to post
      revolution as pre-revolution the events were recorded in church registers
      and stored at various ecclesiastical levels. The revolutionary government
      changed the handling of records to civil authorities so every level changed
      from parish church to town hall, from diocese to arrondisement (government
      regional office), from archdiocese/province to "departement" (higher
      government regional level). However, during the pre and post times there
      were other changes - towns changed names or were placed under different
      jurisdiction. The family location may not have changed but the records are
      kept in different places over the years. Since there are so many changes, it
      would be too difficult to cross-reference each in brackets. So I enter in
      the event location field the name of the town and higher levels what it was
      at the time of the event and keep a database of changes over time and where
      those records are kept currently so that when I order a record, I know where
      to obtain it.
      I am working toward making my searchable sortable database available to
      others but if you need this information now, I can refer you to various
      sources from which I compiled my database.

      Another major area of change was the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. My
      grandparents on both sides lived in what today are totally different
      countries - my paternal from what is now Austria and my maternal from what
      is now Ukraine. So at the time of their birth/baptism, the record shows the
      country of both sides as Austria. It is useful to know where the records
      were kept during the relevant years because some of the Ukrainian ones are
      in Vienna, the capital of present-day Austria and some are in Moscow, others
      in Kiev and still others in Poland.

      I also try to use the language and spelling from the original document – for
      whatever country – but I could simplify it by using the English equivalent
      and then keeping a separate database (or list – I like to use Excel or Word
      tables so I can sort by field and also search for a particular name or
      spelling)
      e.g. Tirol instead of Tyrol; Österreich instead of Austria.

      Even in Canada names of the country and province changed. In my genealogy
      program I enter Port Royal, Acadia as Port Royal, Acadie (Annapolis, Nova
      Scotia).

      Also as Lorna pointed out, you can note the changing information in your
      source field or the general notes field.


      à bientôt,

      Xenia Stanford (president@...)
      A.G.E. Ancestree Genealogical Enterprises
      Local genealogy book sales, professional research & writing:
      http://www.knowmap.com/age/
      Column: "Nos Racines Francaise" http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette
      Scrapbooking & preservation techniques
      Phone: (403) 295-3490; Fax: (403) 274-0564


      http://www.afhs.ab.ca

      http://www.family-roots.ca
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