Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Why does have name and date standardization?

Recently the Family Tree started showing red icons with a warning message that dates and places were not in standardized format. Many users are confused about exactly what the message is supposed mean and what they are supposed to do. First of all, it is important that you understand the message and what it is asking before blindly changing both names and dates. The instructions for entering standardized dates and places is easily found in the Help Center. The link to the Help Center is in the upper righthand corner of every page on the website by clicking on the "Get Help" menu link.

Here is a screenshot of the drop-down menu that appears with an arrow pointing to the Help Center.

If one of the Frequently Asked Questions does not address the standardization issue, then search for "standard date name" and the article will come up. You can also go to the article by clicking on this link to Entering standardized dates and places.

Carefully read and follow the instructions. The most important statement on this page is as follows:
Note: FamilySearch recommends you use the name of the place at the time of the event. This matches with sources and facilitates hinting. FamilySearch is working to connect historic names of places with their modern names.
This is extremely important because it allows you, the program and other researchers to find records that match the individual being researched. Historical records are very often associated directly with the location as it was at the time an event occurred. This is particularly important in Europe and countries where the international boundaries have changed many times over the years.

The key to keeping your place names correct is in this statement in the article:
Instead of clicking the standardized place, click somewhere else on the screen. The system leaves the place as you type it but connects the place with the standardized place.
This is really a simple procedure, but it is crucial to the way the program works. The answer to the question in the title is simple, it enables the program to find your ancestors.


  1. When I standardize the place manually I write the change reason as "standardized"

  2. What I have been seeing the last 2-3 weeks are notices that a date or place is not standardized, but they are! It is a waste of time when you have to go to the value, click around, and have the standard come up exactly as it was before. This has got to be either a bug, or with a new interface, something the new algorithm does not recognize. I have taken screen shots and will be sending the in.

    1. What is happening is that the date was entered, even correctly, but it was not standardized. It is the standardized link that is necessary for the searches to work properly.