Place Research Tool for genealogy research is the new way to search the huge database of geographical information at FamilySearch.
Place Research Tool helps you find standardized information for place names with links to GPS-generated maps, variant spellings, and changes to place names over time.
In addition to helping genealogists search for exact spellings and locations, FamilySearch indexers also use this database. Place Research Tool has its origins in the now superseded original Standard Finder.
The image above shows the new Place Research Tool results page, complete with map. To the right is what the search results page looked like under Standard Finder.
I wrote about Standard Finder in this blog some time ago, noting its ability to advance place name research. This is particularly helpful for areas where the borders changed frequently and place names varied between different languages. At right you can see an ancestral village of mine that was once was Rawitsch in Prussia and now is Rawicz in Poland.
The new Place Research Tool for genealogy research is even better with the addition of mapping, which helps you identify and order the correct microfilm for your research from the Family History Library.
Have you been sent GEDCOMs or family group sheets from other researchers with impossible place names that simply do not exist? Place Research Tool for Genealogy Research can help you find the correct spellings for place names and geographical locations for events in your family history tree, identify related information like counties and provinces, and help you track how those names changed over time.
According to FamilySearch, “As a standalone database, Place Research Tool can be of assistance to researchers in determining proper spellings of locations, checking if locations exist as well as determining alternate name spellings/variants to expand research.”
So before your next search on a place name in the LDS Family History Library Catalog for microfilm, or even to see if that place cited in someone else’s research even exists, use the Place Research Tool for genealogy research first.