On 9 February 2013 12:20, doug <dougrb@o2.co.uk> wrote:
On 09/02/13 02:20, Martin Steer wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 08, 2013 at 02:14:45PM +0000, paul womack wrote:
>> As I get more into genology, I have come to realise
>> that my initial approach to "locations" was not adequate.
>> I now wish to improve matters, which will involve
>> a good deal of labour.
>> My initial concern is my sheer ignorance
>> of English convention for the various
>> "regions" for which information is available
>> (county, parish (are organisational parishes the
>> same as church parishes), towns, and electoral
>> areas.
> Yes, this is a nightmare.

Certainly is!

Roughly speaking the hierarchy goes:
Locality or Parish
However in BMD records the parish if recorded is generally
the church parish; in censuses the electoral parish.

Other people will no doubt want to correct me. They'll be
justified because of the confusion in the system!

What makes it very trying is that in relatively recent times
many of the counties have been frequently re-arranged; and
over the centuries towns and particularly villages have
disappeared or been renamed. If you're familiar with these
changes you can cope by using gramps Alternate Locations;
but if you're using historical records and are unfamiliar
you may not even be aware that you'd need them. I get caught
out all the time.

As a half-solution I try to locate every place by its
lat/long on the map using Google, Yahoo (often better for
historical locations), GENUKI, etc. etc. so that at least it
can be placed in the Geography View. It has features for
precision that I've not begun to explore yet.



I don't know of any consistent way of doing this.  In the North West of England the Places were categorized on the mid 19th century 6 inch ordnance survey map as 
- Counties which contained
- Hundreds which contained
- Parishes which contained 
- Townships
and then there are
- Extra Parochial Districts
- Boroughs
- Cities
- Wards
- Towns
- Villages
(I think 'extra parochial district' was a catch-all)

There's also Poor Law Unions which were a group of parishes in which the Poor Law Rate was collected to pay for the Work House. The Registration Districts were based on these.

A place name could be recorded with a combination of the above that varied with time and purpose; Hundreds were used in the 1841 census and townships were used in legal documents and sometimes in the census and are important if you want to search the Rates Books.

To make matters complicated some parishes crossed county boundaries. To make matters even worse Counties, Parishes and Townships could be in a number of non-contiguous parts; for example there was an area near Windsor Berkshire that was in Wiltshire, a piece of Gloucestershire in the middle of Wiltshire, and the township of Bollin Fee in Cheshire seems to be in at least three parts (I've given up tracing its boundaries)

To make matters even worse there have been several civil and ecclesiastical boundary changes several times since the middle of the 19th Century. And finally civil and ecclesiastical parishes are not always the same.

I try and record the event with the place name given in the source, I always give the County and I try to give the latitude and longitude wherever  I am afraid I'm not always consistent about using locality, parish and city in the gramps place name fields.

I think I'll take up macramé instead.