Is there a way to separate political and ethnic place names?

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Is there a way to separate political and ethnic place names?

TJMcK
This post was updated on .
Another place names question...  I just need some perspective on my struggle with the organization of place names...

This question would be best understood by those who have worked with European/Eastern European place names (as that is what I am dealing with).  I have done MUCH reading on this subject over the last couple month or so...  and for 15 years I just plugged in a place name and never giving it much serious thought.  But since I've changed to Gramps v.4.x., I've been compelled to deal with this mess -- and frankly, it's long overdue (because understanding the place names produces greater understanding of ones family and their neighbours).  Okay, this all may be something you already know...

Here is a conclusion that I've come to about Place Names.
To properly organize place names, it is important to distinguish between:
1) place names created by government and political organizations (this is at times difficult because at any given time there could be several governments having claim of a certain area). And;
2) place names, that some sources refer to as "ethnic" derivations -- I tend to call them cultural or religious derivations ( esp pre-19th century, both culture and religion are almost one in the same) Parishes, settlements, colonies, etc fall into this group.
There are potentially more groups or categories:
3) one that I call "geographical regions" (a desert, range of mountains, rivers, etc -- for this discussion I won't include this category -- but these places contain very useful information, that usually is more permanent then all the other categories of place names. and;
4) "military" place names (Peter reminded me of this -- see msg later in thread)

I've been finding it nearly impossible to lump different categories/groups together (although I have and it created a mess of names).  The main reason for separating them was somewhat obvious to me after a little thought -- political boundaries and cultural/religious boundaries rarely have respect for each other.  Their boundaries are almost always different -- so lumping both categories can be confusing.

But lately I've been only using/entering/editing mostly political place names, as I have chosen to research the current place name and work backwards in history. However, I'm finding a huge hole developing in my data, as much (or most) of the sources come from church records and personal accounts. Yet, I'm feeling the need to find a way to make a distinction between these in my data.

I've tried using the "religion" event to enter local names in the description field, but I feel that putting that name doesn't give it the priority that it has had in the past -- being equally or even more used in the context of my research. (And entering names in the description field is going to lead to inconsistencies)  I'm now considering creating two base/primary categories in  the Place Name tree view, but of course this will be printed in all of the reports. :(

So... if you've read this entire post, thanks for your time!  And maybe you have an opinion about this subject, or maybe you have devised your own way of organizing different categories of place names -- or not.  Either way it would be nice to hear some views on how I might best work with this issue, given the current resources that Gramps allows...

Tim K.
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Re: Is there a way to separate political and ethnic place names?

Peter Merchant
On 26/12/15 03:41, TJMcK wrote:

> Another place names question...  I just need some perspective on my struggle
> with the organization of place names...
>
> This question would be best understood by those who have worked with
> European/Eastern European place names (as that is what I am dealing with).
> I have done MUCH reading on this subject over the last couple month or so...
> and for 15 years I just plugged in a place name and never giving it much
> serious thought.  But since I've changed to Gramps v.4.x., I've been
> compelled to deal with this mess -- and frankly, it's long overdue (because
> understanding the place names produces greater understanding of ones family
> and their neighbours).  Okay, this all may be something you already know...
>
> Here is a conclusion that I've come to about Place Names.
> To properly organize place names, it is important to distinguish between:
> 1) place names created by government and political organizations (this is at
> times difficult because at any given time there could be several governments
> having claim of a certain area). And;
> 2) place names, that some sources refer to as "ethnic" derivations -- I tend
> to call them cultural or religious derivations ( esp pre-19th century, both
> culture and religion are almost one in the same) Parishes, settlements,
> colonies, etc fall into this group.
> 3) there could be a third category of place names, but these are least
> common.  I call these geographical regions (a desert, range of mountains,
> rivers, etc -- for this discussion I won't include this category -- but
> these places contain very useful information, that usually is more permanent
> then all the other categories of place names.
>
> I've been finding it nearly impossible to lump different categories together
> (although I have and it created a mess of names).  The main reason for
> separating them was somewhat obvious to me after a little thought --
> political boundaries and cultural/religious boundaries rarely have respect
> for each other.  Their boundaries are almost always different -- so lumping
> both categories can be confusing.
>
> But lately I've been only using/entering political place names, as I have
> chosen to research the current place name and work backwards in history.
> However, I'm finding a huge hole developing in my data, as much (or most) of
> the sources come from church records and personal accounts. Yet, I'm feeling
> the need to find a way to make a distinction between these in my data.
>
> I've tried using the "religion" event to enter local names in the
> description field, but I feel that putting that name doesn't give it the
> priority that it has had in the past -- being equally or even more used in
> the context of my research. (And entering names in the description field is
> going to lead to inconsistencies)  I'm now considering creating two
> base/primary categories in  the Place Name tree view, but of course this
> will be printed in all of the reports. :(
>
> So... if you've read this entire post, thanks for your time!  And maybe you
> have an opinion about this subject, or maybe you have devised your own way
> of organizing different categories of place names -- or not.  Either way it
> would be nice to hear some views on how I might best work with this issue,
> given the current resources that Gramps allows...
>
> Tim K.
>
>
Interesting thoughts. Thank You. Immediately I look at a British census
record because it does list both a civil parish or Township, and also an
ecclesiastical Parish or district, and I never record this latter. And
then if you go to marriage or birth certificates they can be
ecclesiastical or civil.

I see the need for an overlapping mapping somehow.

You have given us something to think about.

Peter M.

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Re: Is there a way to separate political and ethnic place names?

ACProctor

----- Original Message -----
From: "PeterMerchant" <[hidden email]>
To: <[hidden email]>
Sent: Saturday, December 26, 2015 8:55 AM
Subject: Re: [Gramps-users] Is there a way to separate political and ethnic
place names?


> On 26/12/15 03:41, TJMcK wrote:
>> Another place names question...  I just need some perspective on my
>> struggle
>> with the organization of place names...
>>
>> This question would be best understood by those who have worked with
>> European/Eastern European place names (as that is what I am dealing
>> with).
>> I have done MUCH reading on this subject over the last couple month or
>> so...
>> and for 15 years I just plugged in a place name and never giving it much
>> serious thought.  But since I've changed to Gramps v.4.x., I've been
>> compelled to deal with this mess -- and frankly, it's long overdue
>> (because
>> understanding the place names produces greater understanding of ones
>> family
>> and their neighbours).  Okay, this all may be something you already
>> know...
>>
>> Here is a conclusion that I've come to about Place Names.
>> To properly organize place names, it is important to distinguish between:
>> 1) place names created by government and political organizations (this is
>> at
>> times difficult because at any given time there could be several
>> governments
>> having claim of a certain area). And;
>> 2) place names, that some sources refer to as "ethnic" derivations -- I
>> tend
>> to call them cultural or religious derivations ( esp pre-19th century,
>> both
>> culture and religion are almost one in the same) Parishes, settlements,
>> colonies, etc fall into this group.
>> 3) there could be a third category of place names, but these are least
>> common.  I call these geographical regions (a desert, range of mountains,
>> rivers, etc -- for this discussion I won't include this category -- but
>> these places contain very useful information, that usually is more
>> permanent
>> then all the other categories of place names.
>>
>> I've been finding it nearly impossible to lump different categories
>> together
>> (although I have and it created a mess of names).  The main reason for
>> separating them was somewhat obvious to me after a little thought --
>> political boundaries and cultural/religious boundaries rarely have
>> respect
>> for each other.  Their boundaries are almost always different -- so
>> lumping
>> both categories can be confusing.
>>
>> But lately I've been only using/entering political place names, as I have
>> chosen to research the current place name and work backwards in history.
>> However, I'm finding a huge hole developing in my data, as much (or most)
>> of
>> the sources come from church records and personal accounts. Yet, I'm
>> feeling
>> the need to find a way to make a distinction between these in my data.
>>
>> I've tried using the "religion" event to enter local names in the
>> description field, but I feel that putting that name doesn't give it the
>> priority that it has had in the past -- being equally or even more used
>> in
>> the context of my research. (And entering names in the description field
>> is
>> going to lead to inconsistencies)  I'm now considering creating two
>> base/primary categories in  the Place Name tree view, but of course this
>> will be printed in all of the reports. :(
>>
>> So... if you've read this entire post, thanks for your time!  And maybe
>> you
>> have an opinion about this subject, or maybe you have devised your own
>> way
>> of organizing different categories of place names -- or not.  Either way
>> it
>> would be nice to hear some views on how I might best work with this
>> issue,
>> given the current resources that Gramps allows...
>>
>> Tim K.
>>
>>
> Interesting thoughts. Thank You. Immediately I look at a British census
> record because it does list both a civil parish or Township, and also an
> ecclesiastical Parish or district, and I never record this latter. And
> then if you go to marriage or birth certificates they can be
> ecclesiastical or civil.
>
> I see the need for an overlapping mapping somehow.
>
> You have given us something to think about.
>
> Peter M.
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> Gramps-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/gramps-users

It's certainly true that there are separate (but related) ecclesiastical and
administrative hierarchies. However, geographical entities can be separate
again, and even local and national administrative hierarchies are separate.
I plan to write about the latter, one day. However, my solution to this --  
which you may like or dislike -- involves an extra link between related
entities in two different hierarchies. For instance, the ecclesiastical
parish might be found on a baptism record, and a registration district on a
civil birth certificate; they are clearly parts of different hierarchies,
even though there is some physical overlap in those places.

There was an old post about my solution at:
http://parallax-viewpoint.blogspot.com/2014/03/related-entities.html. It was
designed to also accommodate places that were split or merged, and also for
the general scheme to be applicable to Groups (e.g. regiments or companies)
as well as places.

The tough bit it how to let the end-user know that places are "related"
while being parts of different hierarchies. I have no good solution there.

    Tony Proctor


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Re: Is there a way to separate political and ethnic place names?

Ron Johnson
In reply to this post by TJMcK
On 12/25/2015 09:41 PM, TJMcK wrote:

> Another place names question...  I just need some perspective on my struggle
> with the organization of place names...
>
> This question would be best understood by those who have worked with
> European/Eastern European place names (as that is what I am dealing with).
> I have done MUCH reading on this subject over the last couple month or so...
> and for 15 years I just plugged in a place name and never giving it much
> serious thought.  But since I've changed to Gramps v.4.x., I've been
> compelled to deal with this mess -- and frankly, it's long overdue (because
> understanding the place names produces greater understanding of ones family
> and their neighbours).  Okay, this all may be something you already know...
>
> Here is a conclusion that I've come to about Place Names.
> To properly organize place names, it is important to distinguish between:
> 1) place names created by government and political organizations (this is at
> times difficult because at any given time there could be several governments
> having claim of a certain area). And;
> 2) place names, that some sources refer to as "ethnic" derivations -- I tend
> to call them cultural or religious derivations ( esp pre-19th century, both
> culture and religion are almost one in the same) Parishes, settlements,
> colonies, etc fall into this group.
> 3) there could be a third category of place names, but these are least
> common.  I call these geographical regions (a desert, range of mountains,
> rivers, etc -- for this discussion I won't include this category -- but
> these places contain very useful information, that usually is more permanent
> then all the other categories of place names.
[snip]

The 4.1 hierarchy system allows a "small" place to be enclosed by multiple
places.  Maybe that's the (partial) solution to your problem.


--
"I compare what the data tells me.  I don't do things by votes or authority."
Lawrence Krauss


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Re: Is there a way to separate political and ethnic place names?

ACProctor

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron Johnson" <[hidden email]>
To: <[hidden email]>
Sent: Saturday, December 26, 2015 2:50 PM
Subject: Re: [Gramps-users] Is there a way to separate political and ethnic
place names?


> On 12/25/2015 09:41 PM, TJMcK wrote:
>> Another place names question...  I just need some perspective on my
>> struggle
>> with the organization of place names...
>>
>> This question would be best understood by those who have worked with
>> European/Eastern European place names (as that is what I am dealing
>> with).
>> I have done MUCH reading on this subject over the last couple month or
>> so...
>> and for 15 years I just plugged in a place name and never giving it much
>> serious thought.  But since I've changed to Gramps v.4.x., I've been
>> compelled to deal with this mess -- and frankly, it's long overdue
>> (because
>> understanding the place names produces greater understanding of ones
>> family
>> and their neighbours).  Okay, this all may be something you already
>> know...
>>
>> Here is a conclusion that I've come to about Place Names.
>> To properly organize place names, it is important to distinguish between:
>> 1) place names created by government and political organizations (this is
>> at
>> times difficult because at any given time there could be several
>> governments
>> having claim of a certain area). And;
>> 2) place names, that some sources refer to as "ethnic" derivations -- I
>> tend
>> to call them cultural or religious derivations ( esp pre-19th century,
>> both
>> culture and religion are almost one in the same) Parishes, settlements,
>> colonies, etc fall into this group.
>> 3) there could be a third category of place names, but these are least
>> common.  I call these geographical regions (a desert, range of mountains,
>> rivers, etc -- for this discussion I won't include this category -- but
>> these places contain very useful information, that usually is more
>> permanent
>> then all the other categories of place names.
> [snip]
>
> The 4.1 hierarchy system allows a "small" place to be enclosed by multiple
> places.  Maybe that's the (partial) solution to your problem.
>
>
> --
> "I compare what the data tells me.  I don't do things by votes or
> authority."
> Lawrence Krauss
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> Gramps-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/gramps-users

Except that the containment wouldn't be exact Ron: there's overlap rather
than containment in this instance. Every place in a given management-style
hierarchy -- which includes Places as well as Groups -- should have a single
bounding parent, and that bounding would be exact if the hierarchy is a
correct one.

    Tony Proctor


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Re: Is there a way to separate political and ethnicplace names?

ACProctor
In reply to this post by ACProctor
>
> It's certainly true that there are separate (but related) ecclesiastical
> and
> administrative hierarchies. However, geographical entities can be separate
> again, and even local and national administrative hierarchies are
> separate.
> I plan to write about the latter, one day. However, my solution to this --
> which you may like or dislike -- involves an extra link between related
> entities in two different hierarchies. For instance, the ecclesiastical
> parish might be found on a baptism record, and a registration district on
> a
> civil birth certificate; they are clearly parts of different hierarchies,
> even though there is some physical overlap in those places.
>
> There was an old post about my solution at:
> http://parallax-viewpoint.blogspot.com/2014/03/related-entities.html. It
> was
> designed to also accommodate places that were split or merged, and also
> for
> the general scheme to be applicable to Groups (e.g. regiments or
> companies)
> as well as places.
>
> The tough bit it how to let the end-user know that places are "related"
> while being parts of different hierarchies. I have no good solution there.
>
>    Tony Proctor
>


Apologies but I just noticed that the article I cited was out-of-date, so
I've just updated it. My Place entities contain Creation/Demise sections,
analogous to Birth/Death for persons, and the SplitTo and MergeFrom elements
are now present in those sections.

    Tony Proctor


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Re: Is there a way to separate political and ethnic place names?

TJMcK
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by ACProctor
ACProctor wrote
There was an old post about my solution at:
http://parallax-viewpoint.blogspot.com/2014/03/related-entities.html. It was
designed to also accommodate places that were split or merged, and also for
the general scheme to be applicable to Groups (e.g. regiments or companies)
as well as places.

The tough bit it how to let the end-user know that places are "related"
while being parts of different hierarchies. I have no good solution there.
Great comments, Tony.  And your related blog topic is detailed and very meaty -- I think we are on the same page.
You mentioned another group that I missed: military boundaries, which are very common during war-time activities (but tend to be confined to a very precise time).

I must say that I think that Gramps developers have done a great job in creating this new and very useful tool (although at first, and maybe to some, it may be more work to enter place names -- it is more complex -- for me it has been a big learning curve)  One specific example that has come with the new development of Gramps place names is, that I can write important historical events (notes) about broader regions (eg a District), and that information is always accessible to every location within that District (whereas before that was difficult to do, if not, impossible). This has become invaluable to me, especially since I'm so forgetful (and my dbase is very large) -- as I said before, understanding important historical information (like migration trends of a community) is invaluable for research.
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Re: Is there a way to separate political and ethnic place names?

Nick Hall
In reply to this post by TJMcK
On 26/12/15 03:41, TJMcK wrote:
> I've been finding it nearly impossible to lump different categories together
> (although I have and it created a mess of names).  The main reason for
> separating them was somewhat obvious to me after a little thought --
> political boundaries and cultural/religious boundaries rarely have respect
> for each other.  Their boundaries are almost always different -- so lumping
> both categories can be confusing.

You can enclose a place within two different hierarchies.

>
> But lately I've been only using/entering political place names, as I have
> chosen to research the current place name and work backwards in history.
> However, I'm finding a huge hole developing in my data, as much (or most) of
> the sources come from church records and personal accounts. Yet, I'm feeling
> the need to find a way to make a distinction between these in my data.

When you encounter a place name in a source, you will need to use your
experience to work out the location the place.  This is normally easy.

Link the place where you conclude the event occurred to the event.

Record the place name as it appears in the source as an attribute. Don't
forget to link the attribute to the source.

Finally, decide if you need to enhance the place hierarchy by adding
another "enclosed by" place.  Create as many hierarchies as you find useful.


> I've tried using the "religion" event to enter local names in the
> description field, but I feel that putting that name doesn't give it the
> priority that it has had in the past -- being equally or even more used in
> the context of my research. (And entering names in the description field is
> going to lead to inconsistencies)  I'm now considering creating two
> base/primary categories in  the Place Name tree view, but of course this
> will be printed in all of the reports.:(

This is not a good use of the event description field.

Different place hierarchies can be identified by the place types of the
places they contain.  However, we may find it useful to add a hierarchy
type to place-to-place links.


Nick.


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