In my database, locations are "all" entered in the form City, County, State, Country (mostly the US). But I have two I am not sure how to handle. One relative was born "at sea" (between England and the US--you can see it in the ship records). For this person I just entered "at sea," was there a better way to do that?

The answers to the question What is the correct location for a person born at sea? address recording and storing the result when in a text format. I am just wondering what to put in the location part of my database (currently Legacy)

4 Answers 4


If you need to fit a location like "at sea" into a data format that requires hierarchical fields like you describe, you should put the "at sea" designation into the "country" field. This is because when at sea one is not in any country, and thus the location is at an equivalent level in the hierarchy to the countries of the world.

  • True, so long as the birth occurred on the "high seas" and not in the territorial waters of a nation state. The date of birth will indicate approximately how far into the voyage the event took place. A day or two before disembarking might mean that the ship was already in US waters.
    – Fortiter
    Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 12:21

You could consider putting Atlantic Ocean into the Country field. Since you know the relative was born "at sea" between England and the US, a more specific location (Ocean name) can be used.


I'm not sure what I would do if "at sea" was the only information I had, probably just enter it, as previously recommended, in the "country" field. I would also add, in the description field, whatever detail is available (e.g., "between Southampton, England and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada").

I have one relative who died on a cruise ship in territorial waters, whose POD I've listed as "off Barbados, British West Indies". This is not that different from, e.g., the one whose POD is listed on the death certificate as "Hwy 41 outside Chicago".


I have three fields that I can use for a Death fact / event. Date, Place, Description. I use the Description field. My "at sea" deaths have no additional information, so that is what I enter. If I have additional information, I would put it into the Place field, if that was the additional information.

I do think, that this is one of the area, where it is Users Choice.

Hope that helps,


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.