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 Place Formatting

Consistent formatting, spelling, and punctuality in place names, and place names containing only place information, is important for many reasons:
  • less ambiguity -- there are many cases of a city or town in a state multiple times, in different counties, or a city and county name being the same
  • automatic color coding by county or province
  • linking people and places to individual county or province pages (under Places -> State & County Resources, or View > Surname Resources)
  • more consistent Google mapping links
  • matching in the Account > Find New Connections logic.
The data entry fields are separated into separate fields -- first, a state / country list.  Selecting one then populates the corresponding county / province list, and select one here then populates the city / town list.

For places in the US, enter places in the form:
State (2-letter abbreviation), County name (including " Co"), City and other location information.
Examples:
NC
NC, Martin Co
NC, Martin Co, Williamston
NC, Martin Co, Williamston, Woodlawn Cemetery
MD, Baltimore Co
For independent cities, enter the state and city. If the name of the city is also the name of a county, differentiate by adding "City". Of the many in Virginia, below are the most common.  (Others that are contained within a larger county, I list those with the county.)
Examples:
MD, Baltimore City MD, Baltimore City, Woodlawn Cemetery

VA, Alexandria VA, Bristol VA, Charlottesville VA, Chesapeake
VA, Danville VA, Franklin City VA, Fredericksburg VA, Hampton
VA, Hopewell VA, Lynchburg VA, Newport News VA, Norfolk
VA, Petersburg VA, Poquoson VA, Portsmouth VA, Radford
VA, Richmond City VA, Roanoke City VA, Staunton VA, Suffolk
VA, Virginia Beach VA, Williamsburg    
For other countries, enter the country, province, and city. For Ireland, select the county in the form "Cork Co".
Examples:
England, Middlesex, London
Ireland, Cork Co, Cork
France, Ile-de-France, Paris
For some countries the county or province to use may not be clear. Here are some links to maps for suggestions:
England, Scotland, WalesIrelandFranceGermanySpainItaly

Boundary changes:  See the separate page on boundary changes.

Questionable / Uncertain places: To the right of the entry field is a checkbox for marking a place as questionable or uncertain. Instead of typing a ? or "probably" or something like this in the field, just check the checkbox and leave the text to be the place itself.

Unknowns
: In cases where a state or country is known, but efforts to find a county or province have not been successful, then just enter the state/country and city.

Helps
For help in finding places, click the Globe icon.  A website will come up with more information about the place, if found.  Alternatively, try GNIS or Wikipedia.  If you can't find a place anywhere, then it's probably not correct.

Updated: 3-30-2012