Talk:New York County Creation Dates and Parent Counties

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This information already appears on the county pages (or should). What is the value of having a separate page like this rather than sending readers directly to the county page? It is fine information, but this page seems redundant and unnecessary to me. DiltsGD 16:07, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

The decision to have this state and 49 other states was made by the Sysop management. And very useful as well because it shows in a single page the quick succession of condensed information because not all information are shown on county pages. Dsammy 18:00, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

The unwise redundant multiplication of pages makes the Wiki confusing and unreliable. When readers are forced to decide between several pages that may contain the same information they are forced to read each page, and are left wondering if there is yet another page with slightly more information that they have not yet discovered. Contributors may be surprized by the use of multiple pages for the same information and update only the one they know about. This will lead to one page being more reliable than another and cast doubt on the credibility of the Wiki. Having two pages with the same information is wasteful of both contributor and reader time. This page should be deleted, or the county pages should be deleted. Having two pages with similar information is inherently bad for the Wiki. If the justification for this redundant page was that "not all information are shown on county pages," then the wiser choice would have been to put that information on the county pages. It is sad that so much time has been wasted creating this beautiful page and the other 49 state pages, but for the good of the Wiki they need to be deleted.

Another way this page is ill-advised is that county formation information belongs at the county level. It is a county topic. This page is a statewide page for a county kind of a topic. Mixing county and state level information introduces another level of confusion for contributors and readers. Putting county level information on a statewide level page is fundamentally off-topic. We need to focus on keeping information at the appropriate level to keep the Wiki as simple, straightforward, and readable as possible.
DiltsGD 13:31, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Let's put this another way... are you saying we should hop around the counties only to discover the neighboring counties were created from different counties or whatever when one page will tell us at a glance which way counties are tracked back? This answer apply to one you put up for Pennsylvania, too. Dsammy 18:18, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Were the equivalent pages on Wikipedia produced as a holding tank until they could be distributed across the county pages? Here is an example: I like that nice big clickable map at the bottom of the page. I can see how it would be twice the work to keep both pages updated. But then again, I wonder how often this type of information would need updating??? Murphynw 19:54, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
The answer is no. The question of a holding page never came up at all. You will have to ask the Sysops for the reason for these Creation Dates Pages, which predated your employment with the FHL. Dsammy
How about that nice big map at the bottom of the page? Murphynw 21:48, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Nathan, I like it. Murphynw 21:51, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Redundancy is a problem I keep running across, as well. Because it is difficult to rename/combine/delete pages, the problem multiplies. Add to that the one-off pages created by the Historical Records Collections folks, e.g., Illinois, Cook County County Birth Records (FamilySearch Historical Records) which is really a part of the broader Cook County, Illinois topic, which has a section for Vital Records. Another example would be the Newberry Library article.  There is a small section about libraries in the Cook County, Illinois article that covers the Newberry Library, and pre-dates the full article. While the full article has more details, the small section has information not contained in the full article. How should the two articles be reconciled?  This is a broader conversation, but an important one to resolve, document and communicate clearly. Regarding the New York county formation article specifically, I personally find information easier to quickly glean from tables like the New York County Creation Dates and Parent Counties page, which could/should probably be linked to a brief mention on each county article. The problem with widening the scope is that good info can get buried sufficiently that few people read long enough to find it. Lise 14:54, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

I doubt that genealogists ever need to know the county formation dates of more than one county at a time. But even if they did, I cannot believe the minute or two saved by such readers looking up multiple county formation dates on this page would be worth the mass confusion, chaos and thousands of hours lost that will result from establishing the precedent that every piece of information can be allowed on at least two pages.

No, it is far more important we establish here and now that information should be on one-and-only-one page. Where appropriate links or references to that information can be given on other pages. No good can come from organizational duplicity on the Wiki. The MoS should reflect, and every effort should be extended to keep the appearance of information on one Wiki page only.

Likewise, it is equally important we establish here and now that information must be on pages at the appropriate organizational level. County information belongs on county level pages, and state information belongs on state level pages. No good can come from mixing two different levels of information. Putting county formation data on a statewide page is poor Wikicraftsmanship.

These principles apply to New York, Pennsylvania, all the other 48 states, and every page of every nation, state, province, principality, county, shire, canton, city, town, village, crossroad, or topic of the Wiki. DiltsGD 15:38, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
If that is wasted, then wy did Wikipedia does it anyway? I know of many counties created from more than 2 counties and even more, parts are even returned to parent counties, so forth. Personally I find these creation dates are extreme important to know where the records are and even overlapped as it is in the case of Hamilton County whose records were kept in neighboring counties for at least first 20 years of it's existence. Plus side - it is a lot easier to see all essential information on one page to know the whole bigger picture than HOPPING around trying to get pieces of the puzzle. Dsammy
If only we could embed AniMap into the Wiki, like the website. Graphics trump verbiage. Murphynw 20:29, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Your logic is faulty. And AniMap isn't free. Where were you when Tech Mtg was looking into Google Map type maps? And furthermore, let's ban at least two certain books for having the crime of using same concept - HandyBook For Genealogists and RedBook - from the Family History Library and centers. Those two books along with Linkpendium formed the basis for these pages. Dsammy 07:22, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Map at bottom of creation date pages, that is better and make it clickable. Watch out for copyrighted ones to avoid. I just discovered Rhode Island map is copyrighted, but I already asked Jason Harrison to create new one to replace it - the one showing outline of towns, anyway. Dsammy 18:47, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Use case still exists
I asked Dsammy to create the pages in question roughly two years ago. It is true that back then, we had barely any county pages, so the data added by these county creation pages was new to the wiki. But although some county pages contain said information now, the main use case that spurred the creation of the pages in question still exists today.
When a family history states that my 6th great grandfather was born in 1725 in Loudoun County VA, I want one page that'll tell me just how wrong that is and which county archives I should really be searching. If I had been a patron at a library before the creation of the wiki, I'd turn to the Red Book or Handybook for county creation dates and parent counties because each of these books give this data for every county of a state, presented in one succinct table.
As it turns out, Loudoun County was created in 1757 from Fairfax. Fairfax was created  in 1742 from Prince William. Prince William was created in 1727 from King George and Stafford counties. King George County was created in 1720 and Stafford was created in 1666. If I use the wiki's county pages to find that information, I have to visit five county pages. Given the unusually large size that county pages are growing into, scanning for this information on even one county page is simply no fun compared to a succinct table.
When I'm trying to figure out which counties' records to search for an ancestor, I don't want to have to go to five pages to figure it out. I believe the use case where a patron would get confused by the existence of these County Creation Dates and Parent Counties pages is a fringe case which is less common than the use case where a patron wants to find all this information for all a state's counties on one succinct page. I also like the fact that the pages in question show progeny counties. I haven't tried to find progeny county information on county pages, but again, I prefer it all in one succinct table. RitcheyMT 16:02, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Existing articles are not updated to incorporate information about and links to Historical Records articles. These articles need to be more integrated into the wiki as a whole. Look, for example, at the Cook County Births article. Then check "What links here." The answer is nothing - except for the main "Vital Records" article that it was split off from, and a mention in a Community Meeting. Articles shouldn't be islands, especially articles about important resources like Historical Records Collections. Lise 17:47, 9 November 2010 (UTC)I suggest that further dialogue on this topic take place on the forum thread "
There is now a forum thread "[1]."