Genealogy: fun tool

Since I am adding location data today, here is an example of what it can do:

44 of possible 256 256 ancestors mapped.

There are few things quite so dull as filling in geolocation data, so to keep myself motivated I am occasionally playing with the Family Tree. When you see the progress, well, it is pretty cool.

There are thousands of places in our ged, locations where people were born, wed, lived, worked, died, were buried. Most of these are just names – Riverside Hospital, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States. That is five different places, each one encompassing the previous one. And each one has a slightly different geographic center.

And the names of places change over time. Fort Ville-Marie became Mont Réal and eventually Montréal simply because the village was overshadowed by the mountain. In a completely different way the region where it was located became, in the 1500s, Nouvelle-France and through titles Canada in Nouvelle-France, Nouvelle-France Royale (1663), Montréal district of Canada in Nouvelle-France, Province of Quebec (under British rule in 1763), Lower Canada, United Province of Canada, Quebec Province of the Dominion of Canada, Quebec Province of Canada, which it retains today (with other names as well.)

Under most of these name changes the borders of the region also changed. Montréal’s borders most noticeably altered in the 2002 municipal reorganization, which saw most neighbouring urban regions merged into a ‘megacity’, but demerger referendums beginning in 2004, under the then-new Liberal government, allowed some of the forcibly merged communities to partially decouple.

The point of this is that places are not fixed over time, and this is something GED does not handle well. On the other hand, each ‘place’ can have a fixed, apolitical, geolocation. So what I am doing is tracking down the physical ‘where’ of a place at a given time. The precise location of Fort Ville-Marie is not the same as Montréal today, so events which happened in 1636 use the name of the place then to get the right location, and things which happen in 2017 use the name of the place now for the same reason.

And I am all the way up to places that begin with the letter ‘B’.