Place and place detail handling


I know, so many questions. :slight_smile: Not sure best topic for this, but I’m curious to better understand when place detail becomes part of the fact/event heading and when it does not and what the rational is.

For this consider the following:

Here the “Mayo Clinic Hospital” place detail did not become part of the “Death” event label. But when I attached the evidence and added the “Residence” and “Cremation” facts/events as part of the process as that information is on the certificate it took the corresponding place detail for those facts/events and made it part of the label and does not display the place detail as part of the place/location name as I expected.

It also seems once the fact/event label is created it can not be changed or edited either. I’m wondering on GEDCOM export what happens with those labels, is it tagged a “Cremation” event or as a custom event “Cremation Paradise Memorial Cemetery” which people certainly wouldn’t expect.

Personally I’d prefer the fact/event labels to be just that with nothing appended and the details provided below, but that’s probably because that’s the format I’m used to.

The suggested format for place is a four tier hierarchy and I know the standardized places in FamilySearch appear to be modeled on that concept, but nothing prevents us from making it as long as we want right? If we do so can that cause any unexpected problems elsewhere in the code if a four tier hierarchy is assumed?

The idea of a four tier place hierarchy just seems fatally flawed to me as I know of numerous cases in my tree where it runs five deep like “Wapping, South Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, United States”. The idea of place being a locator constructed in most specific to least specific sequence which can be nested as deep as one wants seems more flexible and models reality. For example “Apartment 109, 14500 Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, Maricopa, Arizona, United States” is a very specific place but you need a six tier hierarchy to support it. Place details in my mind would be better called place name in that scenario. For example “Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church” is a place name and the place it is associated with is located at “11300 North 64th Street, Scottsdale, Maricopa, Arizona, United States” although in practice the actual address is often omitted.


P.S. Another thought about fact/event labels. It really would be nice to be able to edit/change them and keep underlying data. For example the recent support for Census vs Residence events, I may have some Residence events I want to change to Census. Or perhaps I created a marriage event based on a derived record and later discovered that the date was really the date of a marriage banns or license instead of the real thing. Or I created a death date from a Find-A-Grave record and later discovered the death date was really the interment date and not the actual death date. That sort of thing.


I see part of my problem from day one is I thought place detail was meant to contain what did not fit in the (City, County, State, Country) format. Sometimes I can’t see past my own nose as so far I can string together as much as I want in the place field. That being the case then what is the actual purpose of the place details field as it seems superfluous?


There are two different things going on here: fact value and place details. If they’re getting mixed up, please let me know. Let’s take an occupation fact in a GEDCOM exported from RootsMagic:

1 OCCU Fact Value
2 DATE 1 JAN 1900
2 PLACE Illinois, United States
2 ADDR Place Details

Fact Value records the type of occupation, and Place Details records the address or other information about the place. You could certainly put Place Details as part of the Place field - nothing wrong with that. You can have as many levels as you want in a place. But RootsMagic and GEDCOM files allow you to have a separate ADDR (Place details) field, so we do too.

When we generate facts from evidences and display the result, place details are displayed in front of the place – Mayo Clinic Hospital in your image, and the fact value is displayed on the first line after the fact type – 14500 Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, #109 in your image.

You can edit the fact value and the place details by finding the evidence that contains them and editing that evidence. Same goes for other fact data – if you want to edit the fact data, just edit the corresponding data in the evidence.

Are you sure you didn’t accidentally put “14500 Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, #109” in the fact value field instead of the place details field? If we are mixing up fact values and place details fields, please let me know (and please include a URL showing an example).

Oh of course! Thank you for explaining it, it makes perfect sense now.

When adding an evidence you provide separate fact details and place details fields for the principal or primary event and that works fine. But on the people panel when adding all the additional facts in the document the field is explicitly labelled fact details and not place details and I overlooked that and treated it as place details when entering the Residence and Cremation events.

It seemed intuitive to do that too, but is no longer an issue if I keep everything related to place in one field and don’t try to break it apart.


I see. I was running out of room and most people don’t use place details (most tack it on to the place like you mentioned), so I left it out. Tacking place details onto the place is probably the better approach. When we show maps, we will just ignore the details when we calculate latitude and longitude.