Improving the Gazetteer


Orange    Help and Guidance 2021: Modified Page: Version 1.1



The Gazetteer underpins the detailed relationship between the main levels of the GENUKI structure (Counties and Parishes) but more importantly links into that structure the many other places that may be of interest to genealogists. In particular the searches for Nearby Churches (used in the Churches Directory) and Nearby Places (used in the parish pages) are dependent on this information.

The aim is therefore to improve the precision of the information - thus making the tests of Nearby more accurate - and to add more places.

Improve precision  

With the adoption of the editable maps within the Gazetteer edit screen it has become easier both to identify the need and to make the improvements. The editing process is described here.

  • Approximate locations. When the gazetteer was generated initially, the entries contained only approximate locations. For England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man the entries only specified the kilometre square on the map in which to find them, and some entries remain in this state. Maintainers need to find a more exact location for the places in the gazetteer marked as approximate. The Shortcuts > Gazetteer page  has a link for each county, listing all the places with an approximate location, with links to find them on online maps.
  • Incorrect locations. There are some locations that are completely wrong so these do need correcting.

    A useful method is to ensure you have a Nearby Places link at the top of town and parish pages. Use that to identify the places that have approximate locations ('~' is shown on the distance value). Click on the grid reference to show the online map and use the point and click interfaces these provide to get an exact location. There is a minor disadvantage in that the place names on maps are placed in the nearest empty space so some judgement is required and hopefully some local knowledge. For large places such as towns and cities, the town centre is a good choice for the exact location. For smaller places such as villages the location of the parish church is a useful alternative.

Extend content


  • Missing places. Compare the list of your Gazetteer nodes (Shortcuts > Gazetteer then click on the blue number) with your list of towns and parishes. Add any towns or parishes that aren't in the node list..

  • New places. Add the larger places that don't have a town or parish page of their own. Two sources which you could use for possible additions (which are also likely to be the sorts of names for which users will search) are the 1891 census database (search it on registration district names), and Brett Langston's places in registration districts.

  • More new places. If you have your own gazetteer, find the additional entries it has in comparison to the GENUKI gazetteer, then add them to the GENUKI gazetteer.

  • Places on maps. Get out your maps, and go over the county section by section, adding in the places you find missing from the GENUKI gazetteer.

  • County boundaries. Check if there are additional entries that need adding to a county or which need evaluating to see if they are in your county.

Copyright warning

It would be a breach of copyright/database right to systematically copy placenames and grid references from a map or gazetteer that is in copyright. NPE OS maps are a useful additional source that is out of copyright and can be found at: http://www.npemap.org.uk/