How to handle ambiuous places (RM9)

I’m importing mom’s GEDCOM files and in several places where she was not sure of of a location she put something like “Tarrant? County” or “Probably Tarrant County”.

We have many events that take place in “Tarrant County” but on a computer “Tarrant County” is not the same as “Tarrant? County”.

How do I enter a place, but mark it as ambiguous or suspect - some of these come from old family stories but we have no supporting documentation.

I have the same question about dates. Some guy might have been born in 1821, but it might have been 1831 (two sets of stories and the document that we do have is water damaged and that part can be creatively interpreted either way)

I’m not sure the version matters, but I’m on (just updated it today from

As to ambiguous dates, RootsMagic can handle a variety of modifiers such as Between/And or From/To. See the Wiki here: RM9 Wiki for Date Formats

I don’t believe there are modifiers for places, however, you might want to enter the place, even if questionable then use the notes section for that person to explain the ambiguities.

@MeMyselfI --over the years, I have used very similar info on places that I was NOT sure of-- BUT I would use ? Tarrant County or Probably Tarrant County instead of Tarrant? County–reason being that when you later want to add someone new to Tarrant County, as you start to type Tarrant, RM will pull up a list of all that you have under places and you MIGHT accidentally put a known person in Tarrant County under the unknown Tarrant county …

in the example above, all I typed was BIR and RM
has already placed the one with the ? in the place field-- all I have to do is change it to the 2nd one BUT sometimes we get in a hurry and don’t notice–as Alaine suggested, I would put a note also stating info from Mom etc…

Basically it’s whatever works for you–As for the date ranges and places your not sure of,-- a lot of these will eventually be cleared up when yo start finding documents on Familysearch, Ancestry etc such as my 2nd g-grandmother–different census had her born 1835-1855- common sense says she wasn’t 4 when 2nd child born-- immigration records had 1835-- same as earliest census–when in doubt I always go with what is on the earliest census…
Unfortunately not all of these can be solved such as my Mom said one of the Ancestors was born in Alsace-Lorraine Territory but not sure if German or French side ( a section of land that both countries fought over who owned it and passed back and forth between the two)-- can’t get any Ancestor back to the area yet…

Oh that’s a good point. I want the software to work with me, not against me.

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Regarding uncertain places–I prefer to use the Place Details field with “Probably” or “Possibly” and then the place (City, County, State, and Country). That way the Place List stays clean for other records with known locations that can be searched.

Regarding your uncertain dates–many people use a date range, circa, about, say, for instance. So your date might be expressed as Between 1821 and 1831, or 1821-1831.

For places that I don’t have evidence for, I add ,[probably], to the place name, for example:
Texas, United States [probably]
I don’t have many place names like that, but it very helpful and self descriptive. I think of it as the same as a “say date”. A date for which I have no evidence is entered as:
say 1779

For places that I can’t find in a gazetteer, I put ?? immediately following the most specific part of the place name, for example:
Newgrange ??, Hamilton, Indiana, United States

For places that could be either city or county names, I create a new place with [ambiguous] after the most specific part. For example,:
Honolulu [ambiguous], Oahu, Hawaii, United States