Why would a birth place be displaying as the wrong country?
I looked up a multi great grandmother and found that she was stated as born in Greenland on the fan chart. That seemed odd, so I looked up her record. No, she is definitely listed as born in Germany. And yet, even the Timeline assigns her to Greenland, which doesn't match the actual birth field for her record.
What has gone wrong?
Checking the timeline map is actually quick way to make sure all the places on a person are standardized at least close to correctly.
Just click over to the map and check the position of all the pins. If most cluster in the same place, but one or two are on the other side of the world, you know the check those places.1
It's kind of hidden. I'm not sure why FamilySearch doesn't make it easier to find. Start at the bottom of any page:2
FamilySearch site map: https://www.familysearch.org/site-map
On it, see the link named Places.2
Hi Thanks for visiting Family Search Community and posting your question. We looked at the record for Geertuij VERWOOLD (LZLG-6RQ) and note that there is a difference between the place of birth (Germany) and the standardized place of birth (Greenland). You can see this by going to the details view of the person page. Click on edit by birth in the vitals section and note the difference between place of birth and standardized place of birth. You can correct by clicking the drop down arrow in the standardized place and choosing the entry you would like. Or you can type in the correct place of birth and then choose the correct standardized place. Once this correction is made, you should see the proper place of birth listed. Let us know if you have further questions or comments. Thanks.3
Thanks! I wouldn't have thought to look there. Fixed it.0
Great, glad you were able to fix it. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving.0
Yes, I have used that method before. There are lots of cross checks on data. This is something I discovered from the Fan Chart and ticking the countries or location option. Greenland definitely stuck out! Sometimes the map method does require some investigation, but sometimes the people just moved, especially within the country (e.g. US). I just wasn't sure how to fix it. In this case, just because it showed Germany on the home page for the person didn't mean that was the recorded data in the system.0
Unfortunately what a lot of people never notice or never understand is that every date and place in Family Tree is actually entered and recorded as data twice. Each one is stored as the displayed version and as the standardized version. The displayed version is what we read on a person's detail page while the linked standardized version is what the computer uses in all program routines, such as the timeline map.
A lot of people probably never need to know the difference because their ancestors lived in areas where the Places database is very complete and the displayed date or time can almost always be the same as the standardized version. Other people are very familiar with this function and its importance because their ancestors lived in places where only a tiny percentage of locations are found in the Places database. For them, what you can read on the detail page is almost never the same as what shows on the map. The detail page may show a town while the map pin just shows the province it is in.
Regarding the error in standardization that you found, there is a good chance that it got introduced when someone was not paying attention when attaching a source through the Source Linker. I have run across times when attaching a source that gives a place name of just Bergen, which from the record clearly is Bergen, Norway, and the Source Linker will pick as its standardization Bergen, New Jersey, or some other Bergen.1
Those are very good points. I'd never understood those differences even though of course you see them when attaching a record that has been transcribed and the field doesn't match a standardised place in the database or was exactly what was written.
What is your advice for that case? Do you keep the exact transcript and ignore the standardised info offered when attaching say a census record, or do you choose the standardised info? I see that sometimes the presentation shows an error if the info isn't the same in some cases.
As for the autoclick for Bergen or even Greenland, I too see those options. Sometimes in German records the place names are difficult to know if the record is about a village or town or district or even a state! Sometimes I just guess based on the year in which the place name was in existence as the best option. I also prefer that over the current names because that's when the record was created. Same thing can happen in the US records where boundaries were changing so frequently in the 1800s re counties and even states. I have ancestors from "Kentucky" when it was still a region of Virginia. That one's tricky. Pennsylvania in some cases as well.1
My advice? Unfortunately, that would be to do what you think is best and be as accurate as possible. Use sources and standards to help determine but not necessarily dictate how you present your final conclusion.
The purpose of the displayed value is to communicate as clearly as possible to all other researchers where an event actually took place. The purpose of the standard value is to assign the closest possible latitude and longitude to that place.
Say I am attaching an 1865 Norwegian census record:
but I know from checking the actual census record that the event place is wrong in the index (actually it was OK but I tampered with screen shot to illustrate my point). I'll correct it to show the actual place, including all the detail included in the census entry:
But that place name does not exist in the Places database yet. So I pick the best standard possible. Usually this will be one geographical level up:
Then I will attach the source. After that, since sometimes the Source Linker doesn't work quite right and the standard doesn't make it onto the record, I'll make sure the final result does show the correct place linked to the best standard, adding the standard one more time if it didn't stick. In this case is did (hovering your mouse over the place name for a few seconds causes the attached standard to pop up:
In this situation, the timeline map will put a pointer in the middle of Fjell county. That is is best it can do because the farm Skauge is not in the Places database yet and the program has no idea where it is.1
That's great. I get it.
It means that I can include the church or cemetery name in the exposed info and the standard geography in the standardised field. Thanks. I'll start doing that. I can see how this allows for things like about or before in the date field.0
Exactly. Cemeteries are a good example. The city of Stavanager, Norway, has 31 cemeteries but only 5 of them are in the standards database. I also like to include street addresses in birth and census record entries when available and when far enough in the past to not be a privacy concern. Family Tree's dual entry system allows this.
If you have never wandered through the Places database, which contains all the standards, to see its strengths and weaknesses, it is at: https://www.familysearch.org/research/places/?pagenum=1&pagesize=200
Wow! I didn't even know this area existed. How does one get to the /research/ area generally? I don't see it listed in the drop down menu choices. That would be a good one to add somewhere.0
Talk about burying the lede! (I think that's the right type of 'lede', as in newspapers, I think?) Anyway, Site maps used to be very valuable and in this case, appears to still be. I'll take a look. There seems to be a lot of goodies buried at the bottom of the page.1
Thank you for your answers to this question. I have found them very useful. I do a lot of source linking and have found on several occasions the source link didn't want to add the name on the record as it had been recorded. With occasionally someone ending up in an entirely different country or place/town. Now I always make sure to check the location and your answer will enable me to try to ensure I can put in the correct location, 'none of the above' doesn't always work when the system thinks otherwise. Some ways of doing something are hidden in plain sight. I have definitely bookmarked this question.
Once again many thanks
@JanW2 Your comment about Virginia / Kentucky and other states is spot on. I hesitate to correct other people's data with out contacting them, and if the record is not a relative of mine, I do not correct at all, but I will leave a comment. See my example below. I am conflicted a bit because some families become associated with the county or state (or country!) that came later. However, If that discrepancy of time/place isn't noted somewhere, they may not find the vital records they are looking for. I recently gave a presentation in a local genealogy workshop on Virginia court house records, and knowing the date vs political boundaries is one of the biggest stumbling blocks. And it's not just a USA problem. A brother in law has an ancestor who claimed Polen, Germany as a birth place. Curious - and suspecting what was going on - the actual town **at that time in the late 1800s** was ethnically Polish, but within the jurisdiction of unified Germany.0
I don't participate in this community often, but this has been an interesting exploration under the hood of FS. I've learned more things than just the answer to the original question. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.2
I have tried to post a comment here and it vanishes. Very disheartening.1
Please try again Gail. I know what you mean though, the ether gets hungry every so often. I think it is best to type it up in a word/page document then do a copy paste. I have just lost a very long post, sigh. 😕2
Well, I don't think it's going to work. The 3rd attempt disappeared. But I have a screen shot of it before I clicked post. I wonder if it will go.1
Gail it did disappear. I read your original post but could not see the photo. On the screen shot I can. I wonder if it is to do with posting a photo from somewhere else. I had the same problem with a suggestion about a YouTube video. Maybe it is because of restrictions. This way looks to have stayed in place. Screenshots seem to be the way to make a photo post stay in place.
I think you were just really frustrated, I understand, tech can be so annoying at times, so no worries.
I'm sending you a virtual hug [🙂] to cheer you up.
Keep hunting, when you succeed you will feel on top of the world. New stuff is out there almost daily.
@Gail S Watson I have encountered Selz in my own work. It is one of many German colonies in what was then the Russian Empire. See https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Black_Sea_Germans
I have requested some additions to the FamilySearch gazetteer (now called Places); the wait usually is a few days or weeks. That is the most satisfactory result, because the place name is precisely located on the map on each person's timeline.1
@Gail S Watson ( & @Cedar Kedar )
As an aside ...
I believe, I might know, WHY your 'Comment' KEEPS Disappearing ...
It is most likely to do with the "Images"; being, included in your 'Comment'; and, "Image Moderation" ...
I have ALREADY raised an "Idea" (ie. "Feedback"), on the problem/issue, a few days ago ...
'Category' = Suggest An Idea
HOME > FAMILYSEARCH HELP > SUGGEST AN IDEA
"Community.FamilySearch" Forum. FAULT / FLAW. "Comments" DISAPPEARING, once AGAIN ...
Perhaps, you can (ie. if possible, may be able to, please) "Escalate" that "Idea" (ie. "Feedback").
[ 'Thank You', in advance. ]
As, such, is NOW, a REAL 'nuisance' ... to say the least ...
[ There was also a post in one of the 'Groups', in this "Community.FamilySearch" Forum, on the matter ... ]
I know that this does not help/assist; but, I hope that this may provide you with some additional, insight; and, perspective - with your particular problem/issue.
Attention: @Mark McLemore
Thanks for tackling this. I keep getting email alerts for posts by Gail and then when I click the link they weren't there. Thanks for explaining why this might be happening.0
I am sorry for 'butting in', on this post of yours ...
But, I thought, that is such was necessary ...
And, I am certain that you do not mind ...
And, by the sounds of things, it has helped/assisted you, from another perspective ...
The problem/issue, has been 'driving me crazy', for a number of Days now; especially, in my 'Comments', I often include "Images"; and, then, my 'Comments', 'literally' DISAPPEAR ...
ps: By the way, understanding, 'Place' Names; and, "Standardization", with regards to 'Place' Names, can take a bit of ... 'getting one's head around' ... I am glad, that matter has been addressed for you.
@dontiknowyou Thank you! I do have many of the resources listed there already bookmarked. I've heard Merv Weiss speak at online conferences twice and he is pretty amazing. Are you aware of the Google Earth mapping project? It is ENORMOUS! Below is a link to just the Kutschurgan colonies where Selz was located, but the overall site has thousands of German colonies mapped all over Eastern Europe that was originally the Empire of Russia. This site also has some plat maps which appear to be hand drawn during World War II from around 5 or 6 of the colonies Kutschurgan colonies. The maps list the surnames for every house. Making the assumption that most houses stayed in the same male line since the 1800s I compiled a spreadsheet of surnames vs colony name, and I've determined that hubby's great grandfather probably wasn't born in Selz, but his wife was. It is pretty clear (to me, anyway) that in order to minimize inbreeding, marriages were carefully orchestrated. Each colony seems to have a concentration of specific surnames that lived there. They are not evenly distributed, and Selz has the highest number of Usselmanns, hubby's ggrandmothers maiden name. I can't remember where I found the highest count of Hoffarts (hubby's ggrandfather's surname, but it was nearby, Baden, I think. Only Merv's spreadsheet of his 2018 work in Crimea contains the wives maiden names, so for Strassburg I entered the maiden names in my spreadsheet as well for Strassburg, since that is what he was able to digitize. I can't remember if I detected any pattern of where wives came from to marry Strassburg husbands. It's been over a year since I was nose deep into this stuff, and am now on a different branch of the family.
@Brett . Done. I added a comment to your other post on the disappearing issue.1
I think a lot of people don't realize the powerful tool FamilySearch has provided to us in its method of handling place names. The "standard" is just a way to put a pin on the map as close as possible to the spot on the globe an event took place. Those co-ordinates or geocode go down to four decimal places. So places can be defined down to a scale of every 0.0001 degrees which at the equator is very roughly about 11 meters. So, theoretically, we can have a new standard every 12 yards.
But as far as the displayed name, we have 256 characters we can use if necessary. We can be just as detailed and precise as we desire to describe where any event took place.
So when you get in a situation as complicated as some of those in Eastern Europe (which when I hear about I am really glad my wife is from western Norway where the boundaries have been very stable over long periods, particularly if you just ignore, as most people do, the periods it shifted between Denmark and Sweden and just always call it Norway.), take advantage of what we have been provided with and don't get stuck in the straight jacket of "standards."0
@Gail S Watson yes I have seen that excellent project!1
@Gordon Collett I don't quite understand what you mean by displayed name. That is what must be standardized or you get that red exclamation mark.
By the way, you might be glad of the nice Norwegian place names, but what about their historic surnames? I do have Danish immigrants on my dad's side, and I'm almost given up on one branch of that tree.1