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

Monday, December 14, 2015

Resolving the Standardized Place or Date Warnings on

If you have been working on the Family Tree lately, you will have seen these large, red warning markers advising you that the dates and places are not standardized. This is another housekeeping measure designed to allow the program to make the data searchable and to find record hints. In the example above, the dates and places are all non-standard but the number of warnings seems to stop at three. Unless the user "corrects" the problems with the dates and places, the warnings will keep appearing. Recently, added marriage dates and places to the warning list.
See "What’s New on FamilySearch—December, 2015."

I have written about standardized places and dates in a number of blog posts in the past. But these recent additions warrant additional comments. As I have written previously (search for "Genealogy's Star standard date place"), standardizing a place can lose valuable and correct information about the name of the place at the time an event occurred. This occurs when the actual place name is not in the Standardized list of options. Dates do not usually have that problem but they can when referring to certain time periods in the past, particularly those involving the calendar change from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar.

Fortunately, there is an extensive Help Center article on the process of adding a non-standard date or place. For help, see "Entering standardized dates and places." The key here is when entering a nonstandard date or place, you do not click on the standard, but you click somewhere else on the screen. The system then leaves the place as you type it but connects it with the standardized place.

It is really important to standardize (including the exceptions) all of the dates and places. In addition, it is a clear message to the user that we should all be more consistent, more careful and more accurate in entering dates and places.

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