One of the features of Genealogy Browser is the ability to automate place standardization when you are entering data about your ancestors. However, the system is not foolproof, and so automatic place standardization in some circumstances won't occur.
This can really hinder your efforts at OneGreatFamily because non-standardized place names may cause individuals to not match, blocking a merge that could bring more leads to your attention.
For example, I was researching an ancestor of mine when I found that my father had abbreviated some places when he entered the data, causing them not to match. For example, he listed my great-, great-, great-, great-grandmother as being born in Hull, Ykshire,, England. In doing some research, I have confirmed that this was actually Hull, Yorkshire, England.
There are several reasons why Genealogy Browser may not be able to automatically standardize a place. Keep these in mind when you are entering or editing your family tree information:
- Don't use abbreviations in the place of city names. For example, use "Salt Lake City" instead of "SLC", use "New York" instead of "NY" or "NYC" and use "Baltimore" instead of "Balt."
- CA can be interpreted as either Canada or California and DE can either be Denmark or Delaware. So please, even if you are sure you are using a standardized abbreviation, please spell it out.
- There will always be 4 elements separated by 3 commas in every place name, as shown here: city, county, state, and country. Genealogy Browser will automatically try to break down each location appropriately. You should double-check that it does it correctly.
- Don't write in the actual street address in the place box. You can put addresses or buildings in the notes section.
- If you don't know, leave it blank. Often people will put "???" or "unknown" or "unk." You should avoid doing this because the site will search for matches to fill blanks for you.
- Make sure and always put the country. It may be obvious to you and others which country it is, but not to the OneGreatFamily system. The more information the better when entering information.
We have a tool to help if you have any questions on whether you're entering the place correctly. To the right of the birth, death, and other places, you'll see this pencil icon. Click on that icon and Genealogy Browser will show you how it breaks down the current entry into city, county, state, and country. Look in there to make sure your places look correct so you can have your records standardized with the rest of OneGreatFamily's records. By cleaning up your place names, your will increase the likelihood of OneGreatFamily finding additional ancestor leads for you, which means you could see more ancestors added to your family tree.