Author Topic: How to refer to the same place over time.  (Read 961 times)

Offline manukarik

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How to refer to the same place over time.
« on: Saturday 12 December 20 18:56 GMT (UK) »
Working on my family tree, I decided to refer to places as they were known at the relevant period in time (possibly with the modern-day details in the notes or a GPS reference). However, this is proving difficult.

Some are straightforward, for example, Barrow-in Furness was in Lancashire but is now in Cumbria. Or Deeping Fen in Lincolnshire changing its name to Deeping St Nicholas.

Places in outer London could be situated in a county (Kent, Middlesex, etc, later the County of London) and then there are Boroughs, etc).

Some counties are mostly ceremonial or the ceremonial county covers a different area to the present-day county.

I tried to make sense of this by referring to the Gazetteer of British Place Names http://gazetteer.org.uk/  but have found this only to be of limited help.

What do you do or suggest? Is there a list somewhere? Or do I just go on the information given on BMD and Census entries?

For example,  I have Bermondsey, London, England; Bermondsey, Surrey, England; Bermondsey, London, Surrey for the same place and then with boundary changes or local government changes may have it entered as something different again. It's very confusing!

Is there a definitive list somewhere that I can refer to?

Clarkson, Tolladay, Prevost, Killick, Hicks

Offline chris_49

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Re: How to refer to the same place over time.
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 12 December 20 19:36 GMT (UK) »
 I don't know about a definitive list, but I always refer to the county that pertained at the time of the record, and, since I have very few events in my records after 1974, that refers to the pre-1974 counties which lasted for centuries with only minor boundary changes. so for me Barrow was always in Lancs.

It always annoys me when software like GR "suggests" modern counties and districts for events centuries ago, like "Merseyside" or "Avon" but I've learnt to ignore it.

It does mean that for places that moved county a choice must be made. So I put Alderminster in Warwickshire, though it used to be part of the great Rorschach blob that was Worcestershire - I chose the correct county for the event (a marriage) even though the groom (age unknown) might have been born when it was still in Worcs.

Skelcey (Skelsey Skelcy Skeley Shelsey Kelcy Skelcher) - Warks, Yorks, Lancs <br />Hancox - Warks<br />Green - Warks<br />Draper - Warks<br />Lynes - Warks<br />Hudson - Warks<br />Morris - Denbs Mont Salop <br />Davies - Cheshire, North Wales<br />Fellowes - Cheshire, Denbighshire<br />Owens - Cheshire/North Wales<br />Hicks - Cornwall<br />Lloyd and Jones (Mont)<br />Rhys/Rees (Mont)

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: How to refer to the same place over time.
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 12 December 20 20:17 GMT (UK) »
I don't know about a definitive list, but I always refer to the county that pertained at the time of the record, and, since I have very few events in my records after 1974, that refers to the pre-1974 counties which lasted for centuries with only minor boundary changes. so for me Barrow was always in Lancs.

It always annoys me when software like GR "suggests" modern counties and districts for events centuries ago, like "Merseyside" or "Avon" but I've learnt to ignore it.

Wholeheartedly agree.
The town of my birth was divided between the modern local government units of Greater Manchester (named South-East Lancashire and North Cheshire, abbreviated to SELNEC) and Lancashire in 1974. The whole town is geographically in Lancashire.
Cowban


Offline manukarik

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Re: How to refer to the same place over time.
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 12 December 20 21:36 GMT (UK) »
Thank you chris_49 and Maiden Stone.

Will have to come to a decision and stick with it!
Clarkson, Tolladay, Prevost, Killick, Hicks

Offline Ruskie

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Re: How to refer to the same place over time.
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 13 December 20 00:21 GMT (UK) »
I would opt for the place names as they appeared then.

Maybe add a note explaining any changes, or add ‘then’ and ‘now’ eg. Bermondsey Surrey, now Bermondsey London (or Greater London or whatever it is).

If you left it as Surrey, as long as it can be found by anyone looking at your tree, that is the most important thing. I am not sure that anyone would look at Bermondsey Surrey and think it was a different Bermondsey from the London one. Having said that, how much you explain the place names may depend on a number of factors, such as knowledge of yourself and those who you expect might view your tree. For example if your family live in the USA or The Far East you might need to clarify that Bermondsey is in London and London is in England. It is quite possible that they won’t know where Surrey is anyway.  :)

It just comes down to personal preference.

Genuki might be useful:
https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/LND/parishes

Offline manukarik

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Re: How to refer to the same place over time.
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 13 December 20 00:50 GMT (UK) »
Thanks Ruskie!

My preference is to refer to places as they were referred to at the time, but also to be consistent. I'll have a look at genuki as suggested.

Depending on the source used, a place might be referred to slightly differently. I'll have another think before I start changing the place names in my family tree software.

Thanks again....
Clarkson, Tolladay, Prevost, Killick, Hicks

Offline Andrew Tarr

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Re: How to refer to the same place over time.
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 13 December 20 09:52 GMT (UK) »
My preference is to refer to places as they were referred to at the time, but also to be consistent. I'll have a look at genuki as suggested.
It's no help saying this, but you are trying to include the fourth dimension in what is basically a 3-dimensional system.  I don't think there is a way to do that without introducing the chance of mis-searching.  If you think of your data in today's geography, adopt today's nomenclature - and where there have been changes you might add (then in Surrey) for example.
Tarr, Tydeman, Liversidge, Bartlett, Young

Offline Jeuel

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Re: How to refer to the same place over time.
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 13 December 20 10:27 GMT (UK) »
It has always irked me that my brother was born at Broadway Close, Sanderstead, Surrey and he died at that address, but when I registered it, it had to be recorded as Broadway Close, South Croydon, Surrey.  South Croydon and Sanderstead are separate and have their own railway stations. 
Chowns in Buckinghamshire
Broad, Eplett & Pope in St Ervan/St Columb Major, Cornwall
Browning & Moore in Cambridge, St Andrew the Less
Emms, Mealing & Purvey in Cotswolds, Gloucestershire
Barnes, Dunt, Gray, Massingham in Norfolk
Higho in London
Matthews & Nash in Whichford, Warwickshire
Smoothy, Willsher in Coggeshall & Chelmsford, Essex

Offline manukarik

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Re: How to refer to the same place over time.
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 13 December 20 10:47 GMT (UK) »
My preference is to refer to places as they were referred to at the time, but also to be consistent. I'll have a look at genuki as suggested.
It's no help saying this, but you are trying to include the fourth dimension in what is basically a 3-dimensional system.  I don't think there is a way to do that without introducing the chance of mis-searching.  If you think of your data in today's geography, adopt today's nomenclature - and where there have been changes you might add (then in Surrey) for example.

Andrew Tarr - I accept what you are saying. However, if I were to search for information at a certain date I would need to search for where the place was considered to be at a certain time. For example, I was born in Barrow-in-Furness. If I were to search for my birth certificate, I would need to look for records in Lancashire and if I were still living there I would need to look for more recent documents in Cumbria, wouldn't I? I've maybe set myself an impossible task. To my mind and as you suggest, there is a need for some form of cross-reference. I either go the route you are suggesting and note where the place was considered to be at the time. This is a valid approach. Or I take the opposite approach and use the way the place was referred to at the time and note how it is referred to now. I am using Rootsmagic, so have the option of using a GPS reference with a link to a map.

I am perhaps being a little naïve in thinking what I am trying to do would be easy, but it is, I guess, possible, to some extent.

I value all thoughts on this and am simply trying to clarify the matter in my head before I add too many more places with different counties, boroughs, districts etc.
Clarkson, Tolladay, Prevost, Killick, Hicks