Place names in MLS

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
jbh001
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Place names in MLS

Postby jbh001 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:40 pm

I'm not exactly sure where to post this since it applies to both MLS and new.FamilySearch.

We have a handful of members in our unit that were born outside the United States. MLS has a field for birth place and also birth country.

Here is what I have noticed. Since the data from MLS eventually feeds into the new.FamilySearch database the birth place seems to be carried over but the birth country does not.

So my question is, in order for place name to display correctly in nFS which of the following is the correct way to enter the information in MLS?

Option 1.
Birth Place: Berlin, Berlin
Birth Country: Germany

Option 2.
Birth Place: Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Birth Country: Germany

This also begs the question, if Option 2 is correct does that imply the following?

Option 3.
Birth Place: Logan, Cache, Utah, United States
Birth Country: United States

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:59 pm

jbh001 wrote:So my question is, in order for place name to display correctly in nFS which of the following is the correct way to enter the information in MLS?
When I look at my own personal information in MLS and in new.FamilySearch I find my data is entered as indicated in option 1 in MLS and my new.FamilySearch information displays correctly to include country for the birth place.

If the members born outside the United States are missing the country information in new.FamilySearch then I think the problem would be with new.FamilySearch.

I did notice that in my place name there are three levels for the place name before the country. In the example you gave there were only two levels before the country. I would at least try adding an additional comma in the MLS place name to signify the absence of the third level.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:07 pm

jbh001 wrote:I'm not exactly sure where to post this since it applies to both MLS and new.FamilySearch.

We have a handful of members in our unit that were born outside the United States. MLS has a field for birth place and also birth country.

Here is what I have noticed. Since the data from MLS eventually feeds into the new.FamilySearch database the birth place seems to be carried over but the birth country does not.

So my question is, in order for place name to display correctly in nFS which of the following is the correct way to enter the information in MLS?

Option 1.
Birth Place: Berlin, Berlin
Birth Country: Germany

Option 2.
Birth Place: Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Birth Country: Germany

This also begs the question, if Option 2 is correct does that imply the following?

Option 3.
Birth Place: Logan, Cache, Utah, United States
Birth Country: United States

As membership clerk, I have always used Option 3. My own personal reasoning is that I see that field as a complete birth place string, even though that assumption doesn't entirely sit with how the UI is set up and with the fact that there is a separate field for the country. However, I do this also so that the country will show up in the birth place string on the Blessing certificate.
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:43 pm

On questions like this, I like to check the Test data base.

What I found is that for individuals born in the US, the county is not listed as part of the Birth Place. However, for individuals born outside the US, the country IS listed as part of the Birth Place.

Go figure.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

scion-p40
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Postby scion-p40 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:51 pm

Hmmmm . . . those are the same instructions that we were given when preparing temple submissions a couple of decades ago, then the rules were changed.

It seems to me that the lack of accurate historical place names in nFS would be an issue for the living as well as the dead. :rolleyes:

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:57 pm

I went through the test data base and found similar results to what Russell found. However, I also found some US birth places with "Usa" in the place name. Perhaps it does not matter whether the country is included for the birth place for US born members but does matter for other countries. It looks like option 3 will work regardless of what country the member is born in.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:00 pm

RussellHltn wrote:On questions like this, I like to check the Test data base.

What I found is that for individuals born in the US, the county is not listed as part of the Birth Place. However, for individuals born outside the US, the country IS listed as part of the Birth Place.

Go figure.
I'm not sure what the context is of your reply.

Are you saying that in the MLS test database, sample birth places are listed as Logan, Cache, Utah; and Berlin, Berlin, Germany; but not Logan, Cache, Utah, United States?

Or are you saying that in nFS, they show up as Logan, Cache, Utah; and Berlin, Berlin, Germany; but not Logan, Cache, Utah, United States?

I am specifically wondering how MLS data translates to nFS data. For example, does my MLS option #1 in my initial post yield an nFS result of Berlin, Berlin; or Berlin, Berlin, Germany?

It already appears that an MLS entry of Logan, Cache, Utah does not yield and nFS result of Logan, Cache, Utah, United States. And if that is that case, should I be correcting the place names in MLS to include the country when it is missing from the birth place (i.e. so that they look like my option # 3 in my original post)?

I'm thinking this needs a response from both the nFS and MLS "officials" since they are the ones that ought to know the intent of the way things were designed the way they were for both MLS and nFS.

jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:08 pm

jdlessley wrote:When I look at my own personal information in MLS and in new.FamilySearch I find my data is entered as indicated in option 1 in MLS and my new.FamilySearch information displays correctly to include country for the birth place.
When I look at my information in nFS, I notice that the place names appear exactly as they appear in MLS without the country being appended if it is missing.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:10 pm

jbh001 wrote:I'm not sure what the context is of your reply.

Are you saying that in the MLS test database, sample birth places are listed as Logan, Cache, Utah; and Berlin, Berlin, Germany; but not Logan, Cache, Utah, United States?


That was the jist of it. However, jdlessley (and I have confirmed) that some are in the format of "Logan, Cache, Utah, Usa", so for US ones, you can find it either way.

I have no idea how they show up in nFS since generally one can't see living people.

I had a old MLS help file, but found the instructions were inconsistent. Some indicated to use the country in the birth place and made no mention of a "Birth Country" field, while others that did mention "Birth Country" showed Birth Place examples that lacked the country.

I'm just sticking to the facts and will let the reader draw their own conclusion.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:14 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I had a old MLS help file, but found the instructions were inconsistent. Some indicated to use the country in the birth place and made no mention of a "Birth Country" field, while others that did mention "Birth Country" showed Birth Place examples that lacked the country.
Then it sounds like we need some official clarification on the inconsistent MLS instructions.


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