NY State place names

I got a new version of the RootsMagic genealogy program about 6 weeks ago or so.  One of the changes that was made from version 3 was to place names. It added a field called “place details” to the place names. You are now supposed to use place only for the city, county, etc. and put the names of cemeteries, schools, hospitals, etc. in the “place details.” That way the program will be able to find the towns on maps. Only problem is that I have been using the place as “free form” data for years. I have spent the last few weeks fixing places. I think that I fixed about 1200 places.

Now that I fixed all the place names then RootsMagic can use “GeoCoding” that is built in to the program to find places for mapping. One place that RootsMagic couldn’t find was Rochester. No, not the City but the other Rochester in New York State. It is a Town in Ulster County. I have been there to do genealogy research as I have “cousins” that live there.

In New York State, the County is split into a City and/or Towns. In other states (especially to the west) the Town is called as Township. Within a Town in this state there may or may not be a settled (and incorporated) area called a Village. In a few cases, Villages can even include areas in more than one Town. There are also those unincorporated areas in Towns that may have a road sign stating that they exists but have no official status. People call them Hamlets but that term has no legal status according to New York State.

New York State tries to confuse you with place names. There is a Town of Seneca but it is NOT is Seneca County. It is in Ontario County. Then the Town of Ontario is in Wayne County, not Ontario County. The Town of Wayne is in Steuben County and not Wayne County. So you have to make sure you are researching in the right place before you can go ahead with research.

RootsMagic had trouble finding map locations for some rural Towns in New York State, especially if there isn’t a Village in the Town. But searching for the same Towns on the internet also comes up with very little information. The Town that my grandmother was born in is still so rural that the Town Hall still has an outhouse. I’m not kidding!  No surprise that they don’t have a website and there isn’t any map location for it in RootsMagic.