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Changing geographic names

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Changing geographic names

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:30 am

I note that Family Search have just released a collection "Zimbabwe, Death notices, 1904-1976". https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1838530.

I was slightly amused to see indexes for 1966 referring to "Salisbury, Zimbabwe".

Changing "Rhodesia" to "Zimbabwe" is probably only to be expected (sadly). But surely in that case "Salisbury" should be changed to "Harare"?? Either change both or change none, I suggest.

To be absolutely clear about my comments - it's only accuracy and consistency that I ask for. Events and indexes should be entered either with the contemporary names or current names - there are arguments for either. There are no sensible arguments for a mix.

(Incidentally, you could make a case for saying that the answer to contemporary / current for indexes need not be the same as the answer for the events that get logged into your database. Though I'm not sure it's a very good case).
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Re: Changing geographic names

Postby meekhcs » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:41 am

Thanks for the post Adrian. Hopefully they will add a few more years in the near future. Although I know the info I have in my tree is correct it would be nice to be able to add a source for others to follow.

Sally

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Re: Changing geographic names

Postby Mick Loney » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:57 am

According to Wikipedia, (yeah, I know) Zimbabwe didn't come into existence until 1980, with Salisbury changing to Harare 2 years later.

So in 1966, to be pedantic, the contemporary name should be Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia! It only existed as Salisbury, Zimbabwe between 1980-1982.

Mike




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Re: Changing geographic names

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:03 pm

Didn't realise that it was ever Salisbury when it was in Zimbabwe!
By the way, no one says that using the correct contemporary names is easy. Wikipedia probably is the only sensible source. Not even the documents are always correct - when I was looking at that collection (just in case) at a time when the country was actually Rhodesia, they were still using forms printed with Southern Rhodesia on the top.

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