TMG-L Archives

Archiver > TMG > 2000-01 > 0947997498

From: "Wolfgang Fred Rump" <>
Subject: Re: storing Places and Names [was: Re: TMG-L: Citations and Sureties...]
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 23:38:18 -0500

On 15 Jan 00, at 18:12, bob gillis wrote:

> > But the more difficult project is to define the place itself either
> > within or without the basic dataset. If I may take use an example
> > for Oldenburg. For a long time there was only a Grafschaft
> > Oldenburg, then came the Herzogtum and then the Großherzogtum. The
> > dates are important so that any event which occurred during that
> > time and place would use the proper description without the user
> > having to reference the history books each time to find out just
> > what the place was called at that moment. You do the research once
> > and enter it into the computer and he knows the rest. That's what
> > computers (ie software) are supposed to do.
> >
> The recommended convention for place names is to use the name as it
> was at the time of the event.

Precisely. Yet the church records from which we get most of our
data are not too specific about what they were called at the time.
Typically in German records they only reference the farming
community (Bauernschaft) within the parish (Kirchspiel) - if that
much. So it is up to us valiant researchers to figure out the rest of
the location equation as to what it was really called up the religious
or civil hierarchy. This is the database I'm talking about and which
the immediate records do not show us. So rather than simply filling
in Oldenburg we define exactly what this Oldenburg place was
really called (politically) by our forebears. Ideally we could add
other data into such a geographical dataset like who ruled from
where etc.

> > Similar scenarios could be painted for US states which were
> > states but territories etc or for counties which split from one
> > large to several smaller ones. I don't think the concept is that
> > difficult to understand. It is basically bound by a set of dates for
> > a proper location name.
> >
> The amount of programming for a genealogy data base to _know_ what
> place to have by the date would be enormous.

I don't think so because the actual choice would still be made by
the researcher. The computer would only be the guide. I would
already have data such as:
16xx-17xx | Grafschaft | Oldenburg
17xx-18xx | Herzogtum | Oldenburg
18xx-1920 | Großherzogtum | Oldenburg
in my location database.

Then as Hans Schmiel comes up with a baptized date which fits
into one of the above ranges and I enter Oldenburg, it would
instantly offer the argument which fits that time frame. Nothing
complex about that. I can then accept or reject the response.

Let's not make this more difficult than it is. The work would still be
ours up front.


4788 Corian Court
Naples, FL 34114

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