Friday, September 27, 2013

Short locations

There are some people that fuss when I tell them that they should record their place names in the standard 4 field convention. 

Town/city, County, State, Country
Purvis, Lamar, Mississippi, United States

You are working with a database program that does everything in “fields.”  If you keep your information in the correct fields then you will have no problems with searching and sorting.  This also helps when you are sharing files between programs either by direct transfer or by GEDCOM

I agree though, that this format really isn’t what you want to read in reports.  You might want to check and see if the program you are using has a “short location”  option.  This is a powerful tool.  You can tell the program how you want your locations to print.  This is what it looks like in Legacy. 

PurvisScreenshot from Legacy Family Tree

I still have my short location pretty long because I don’t like abbreviations but I could have easily put

Purvis, Mississippi
Purvis, MS
Purvis, Lamar County, MS
Purvis, Lamar Co, MS

It is totally up to you but for consistency’s sake I would choose one style and then stick with it.  I can tell Legacy to use the short locations when printing reports to make them more readable, especially for the non genealogist.

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis

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