Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA

At the moment I am focusing my attention on the location Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

I made an Illinois Resource page on my website and one for Cook County, Illinois.

I am attempting to clean up all references to Chicago in my database.

A little discussion here about the locations format I have opted to use in my database. It is important that I have a consistant method of listing locations. The method I have chosen is city, county, state/province, country, with United States written as USA.

So, for Chicago, all my entries should read "Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA".

Now of course I had all sorts of variations, like "Chicago, Cook Co., Ill." etc.

I need every location to be in the same format so I can better use the search and list functions of my genealogy program.

If every location was correctly formatted, I could for example see a new birth record set available at familysearch.org for Cook County, Illinois and query a list of all people born in Cook County during the years of the record set. Then I could improve my source citations on all of them by looking them each up.

Part of this formatting process involves moving all cemeteries to the address field and out of the location field.

Another part of this formatting process involves moving the Wards and similar districts from census locations to the description field in the Residence event from census records.

The amount of time cleaning up just ONE location in my database is staggering really. And there are still all the people who have blank locations or just the county and state or just the state with no city that should have Chicago listed somewhere.

Lots of good things happen while I work on my location cleanup. I find death records for people who had no death information.