Fix Place Names

Ancestral Quest – Standardizing Names

Recently, I was asked how to correct errors on Place Names so that they would be standardized. To show this, I created a new database with two people and one marriage. Below is the Edit Individual screen for the husband.

This record has some things we need to look at. It contains two names: John and Doe. It contains five standard dates: 27 Jan 1851, 5 Feb 1859, 4 Mar 1886, 18 Sep 1903 and 1870. It also contains two non-standard dates: Before Burial and After Death. It contains two Place Names: Centerville, Davis, Utah, United States and Centerville, Davis, UT. It contains two Temple Codes: SGEOR and LO. At one time, temples used two character codes. One of the problems this caused was where people used LO for either Logan or London.

There is also a record for his wife, Jane Buck, along with names, dates and temples for her record.

The non-standard dates, the too short Temple Code and the non-standard Place Name containing an abbreviation, can all be changed in the following way.

On the Menu Bar click Edit -> Replace Names/Dates/Places….

This brings up the Replace Names/Dates/Places screen. On the top right is a selection box where you can choose which type of data you want to replace. Below the box is a description of what that selected name type could contain, and where it might be found. The image above shows the Regular Names parts for John Doe, his Nickname Jack, and his wife Jane Buck. We get the pull down window by clicking on the extreme right part of one of the two entry fields: Find What, or Replace With. The pull-down button doesn’t show up until you click, so don’t let it confuse you. You could also type in the unwanted version, but selecting from the list allows you to see all names in the list, and you may just find others that you want to change.

The Place Names are broken into these individual parts.

Here they appear as they were entered.

We are not as likely to find a long list of Other Names. Influenza was John’s Cause of Death.

These dates are all non-standard. The standard dates do not appear on the list.

Here we might decide to change instances of LO to Logan, or maybe not, since some of them may actually be London. Lets go back to the Full Place Names.

We should avoid abbreviations, specially where they are not commonly understood around the entire world. This file has two versions of the location of Centerville, so we will click on the one we want to eliminate, and place it in the Find What field.

Now place the correct version of the name in the Replace With field. This can be done by typing it in, or by selecting it from the pull down list. When the value has been entered, click on the Replace button.

Ancestral Quest finds the first example of the unwanted version and asks you to confirm that you want to make the change. If you click Yes, AQ will replace the Place Name in this record, then find the next instance, and present it for confirmation. If you click No, AQ will proceed to the next, and ask you to confirm. If you click Yes to All for any example, all following instances of the unwanted Place Name will be replaced. Note that the check mark indicates that we want the unwanted name to be removed from the list if all instances are changed to the other value.

The pull-down window now shows that the corrected version is still in the list, but the unwanted name has been removed. Click Done when you have finished editing.

Back on the Edit Individual screen we see that the unwanted Place Name has been replaced in the record. This is much easier and faster than correcting the values from the records where they are shown.

Suggestions/Questions about AQ Will Do or Subjects discussed here? Leave a Comment.

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