TMG-L ArchivesArchiver > TMG > 2003-03 > 1048791439
From: "Teresa Ghee Elliott" <>
Subject: RE: Entering Place Names for Clarity was Re: How to record English names was RE: [TMG] Place Prepositions: A strategy?
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 12:57:22 -0600
I am finding all of this fascinating, but did want to point out I
started the thread with English names since that was my example. I am
curious to hear how to record other place names as well. I may never
visit (unless they get busy on that tunnel) but I would like to
accurately record the names.
Teresa Ghee Elliott
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From: Doreen & Peter Neilley [mailto:]
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 10:29 AM
Subject: Entering Place Names for Clarity was Re: How to record English
names was RE: [TMG] Place Prepositions: A strategy?
May I suggest that in the future, before you ignore the point someone is
trying to make and jump on them for specific examples they use, that you
learn your history. You said: "The three you cite are not valid
... Banff is in Aberdeenshire". Yes, Banff is in Aberdeenshire - now!
quote from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1959 ed. "Banff, royal and
burgh, seaport and capital of Banffshire, Scotland." I have ancestral
certificates which state "Banff, Banffshire". Scotland changed the names
several of her shires / counties in 1974. Then in 1975 several of the
/ counties were superceded by regions. Similar geopolitical changes
in England and Wales, not to mention Ireland. To do British research
properly, you have to know what the name of the parish and county used
be, and what they come under now, otherwise you will not find some of
To quote you, "The only one where confusion could arise, as far as I can
recollect, is Durham and these are nearly always referred to as Co.
and Durham City." Well, aren't you the lucky one to only see documents
people have been so kind as to spell it out for you! Have a look at any
of Great Britain:
Derby, Derbyshire, England.
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England.
York, Yorkshire, England (which I have seen on *official* documents as
Waterford, Waterford County, Ireland.
Limerick, Limerick County, Ireland.
Cork, Cork County, Ireland.
Inverness, Inverness Shire, Scotland.
Stirling, Stirling Shire, Scotland.
Peebles, Peebles Shire, Scotland.
And that is from a quick 2 minute perusal of a road atlas, without even
looking at Wales, and which only accounts for the names as they existed
of the date of teh atlas, 1998.
Now, please tell me, when someone writes "Cork" for the 16th and 17th
century, which do they mean? Would you like to see the documents I have
where it says only "Durham", not Durham City or Co. Durham? And if you
really want to be politically correct, I have read a posting on another
from an English school teacher who says that to say Co. Durham is wrong,
that you should write Durham Co. And other postings that say Durham Co.
awkward because Co. is also the abbreviation for Company, and there are
Durham ... Co. out there. Now try some of the European and North
place names which create the same problem; town or geopolitical unit?
figuring out whether the entry "New York" in 1832 (nothing else) refers
the city or the state.
And yes, before you write back to inform me that the discussion was
place names, I did realize that, but I think the principle of this
discussion goes beyond just English names.
Maybe I didn't make myself clear in my previous posting: because of the
problems I have encountered when using information sent to me by other
people, information found in old documents, and the vagaries caused by
historical geopolitical changes, I have decided that *I* will, for the
purpose of clarity for readers of my work, enter any possibly confusing
names in the format "Somerset House, Somerset County" (ONLY a county?
sure the residents of Somerset appreciate that remark!), not just
"Somerset". "Devon House, Devon Shire". "Elgin, Elgin parish, Elginshire
(now Morayshire), Scotland". The point I was trying to make in my
posting was that this is something other people should at least think
before making a decision on *their* style.
To your way of thinking and extent of knowledge, my previous posting
examples may not be the best, but I still stand by my point - there
less confusion if people would take the time to think about how other
might read the work, and then take the time to enter as much information
is necessary to make things clear to others. If you are only doing your
genealogy for yourself, then it really doesn't matter. But if you are
*thinking* that someone else might be interested in it in the future,
do them a favour and put it all in, even if it isn't *politically
Don't be so naive that you assume that everyone else understands things
same way you do. I may know what I meant by what I wrote, but when I
my information with someone less versed in history and geography than I
can I be sure that *they* will know?
Doreen Neilley, positively politically uncorrect but my writing is
always understood by my readers
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeff Piper" <>
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2003 12:29 PM
Subject: Re: How to record English names was RE: [TMG] Place
> The three you cite are not valid examples.
> Somerset is only a county, Devon does not exist as a town and Banff is
> The only one where confusion could arise, as far as I can recollect,
> Durham and these are nearly always referred to as Co. Durham and
> Jeff Piper
> Stanley Co. Durham
> Land of the Prince Bishops
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Doreen & Peter Neilley" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Friday, March 21, 2003 4:57 PM
> Subject: Re: How to record English names was RE: [TMG] Place
I haev looked at this problem for a number of years, trying to decide
to do. Then I got so mad looking at some information that didn't make
whether it was the town of Devon or Devonshire, the town of Banff or
Banffshire, etc, that I decided that in the interest of not frustrating
future readers, I would be not quite so politically correct. I now
all counties and shires in Great Britain as Somerset County, Devon
Banff Shire, etc. It might not be right, but by gum, it's easy to know
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