Forums: Index > Watercooler > County-based categories

(First paragraphs here have been moved from Forum:County Pages and slightly updated.)

Main category[]

Some of you may have noticed that many of those U.K. and U.S. county pages your people now link to have no corresponding categories yet. There will eventually be lots of useful pages and subcategories collected in those county categories (as illustrated at Category:Greene County, Ohio).

See for how easy it is to create the category page for any U.S. county:


[[Category:Counties of California]]

Exactly the same group of three templates in the top line, and only the state name varies in the bottom line.

BUT WAIT!! As noted below, it is now even simpler while including a little more info: see Template:ctycat. If you don't want to include (or leave provision for) the year the county was established, carry on as above. But for virtually no more work than for the above procedure, with something short enough to remember so you don't have to refer to this page, you can put in more information, including a link to WikiMedia Commons (a great source of free images). Example: {{ctycat|Ohio|....}} will do the rest of Ohio; see Fayette. Robin Patterson 02:36, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

At present we have to do it manually. Only a few of thousand to go! Any keen contributor with many interests in a particular state can fill his or her clipboard with the standard block of category page content for that state and get to work on that state's "List of counties..." (usually found as the top article in the category "Counties of ..."). I have done a dozen or more. I'd better volunteer for Washington because I have relatives there, but it's an easy one so I should find others after that.

Canada can probably use exactly the same model, but its pages have not been bulk-copied yet. Very similar process for U.K. counties (which do have most county pages in place), but with a different first template (mainly because the English-speaking history is many centuries longer). India has hundreds of districts done (though that may be only the tip of the iceberg?) and a slightly different template. Australia and New Zealand are under construction.

Robin Patterson 06:57, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Making it much simpler[]

Now I should try my hand at parameter-provision by drafting a corresponding simplification of the three-line thing in the above section. Other people may want it, though I'm happy pasting from this page (which is very easy to open because it is on my "Bookmarks" widget). Robin Patterson 11:26, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Try Template:ctycat. Robin Patterson 02:36, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Related categories[]

"Born in ...", "Married in ...", "Cemeteries in ...", and so on. They can all have the county navbox at the top, but it needs a little tweak using "mainpage=" (as described in its instructions) and it should be followed by Template:Catmore+ to lead contributors to the creation of articles. The "Resided in ..." and "Born in ..." categories may also have a link to a roughly-corresponding Wikipedia page usually called "People from ...". Some of the cemetery categories and others may have WP near-equivalents worth linking to.

See an example at Category:Resided in Greene County, Ohio.

Thurstan has suggested we devise templates to simplify creation. Any volunteers?

Robin Patterson 06:57, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

I have created Template:Born in UK and tried it in Category:Born in Gloucestershire and Category:Born in Kirkcudbrightshire as a demo. Is this what we need? Is there a better name for it (and for corresponding Template:Died in UK etc)? Thurstan 05:58, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Brumbies top the table again! (That's a Southern-Hemisphere in-joke.) I've added categories and the WP link (which is appropriate for "Born" and "Resided"). And an explanation of how and where to use the thing. Tests just fine on Gloucs, where I added an explanatory sentence that fits in perfectly naturally. Robin Patterson 11:26, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm lazy enough to have suggested omitting "in" from the name, but the latest Wikipedia trend is to make template names self-explanatory at the cost of some extra typing. We can devise a short-cut redirect anyway. Template:b-uk?. Robin Patterson 11:26, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

The equivalents for USA and India and Australia etc may have the state as second parameter but can always include the country in the line of text at the bottom. Robin Patterson 11:26, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Before we create too many other "Born" and "Married" and "Cemeteries" etc templates, we should probably invite specific comment from other active contributors. Robin Patterson 11:26, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Others have had two weeks to comment. Time waits for no man. Please see Genealogy:County navigation templates and use its talk page if you feel inspired or discouraged. Robin Patterson 13:38, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Relationship to contents of navbox[]

Working with the above links reminded me that there are distinct time-savings in having an article match its category name: you can create a link to the article from the category using Template:catmore+), and a link from the article to the category by using {{PAGENAME}}, both of which are amenable to template-help as above. That is an argument in favour of having the navbox links leading to categories and/or ordinary pages rather than to subpages. Readers are invited to read or reread Forum:County subpages - categorising; it is not yet quite too late to comment if anyone has any problem with the way that monologue is tending. Robin Patterson 10:32, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

There is another reason for making the navbox link to categories (irrespective of what the articles or subpages are called). The categories can exist long before the pages do, and there is no incentive to create a main page for the category (whereas there is a lot of encouragement for people to categorise any article they create). Example — Category:Cemeteries in Williams County, Ohio exists because someone created and categorised a page about Edon Cemetery, Florence Township, in March 2007; however, there is still no content on the "Cemeteries" article page (which I created three months ago as part of a random improvement process, and subsequently moved from subpage form to "Cemeteries in" form) and the page is in higher-level categories but not in Category:Cemeteries in Williams County, Ohio. Someone whom the old page link could have led to the page in the last three months (or who might have realised that the link was red in the previous 15 months) might have concluded that the wiki covered no cemeteries in that county. At least the category contains one, and the template has been altered so that the link goes to the category. I plan to continue diverting links in the navbox to the relevant categories; the sooner the better, so that the handful of existing pages linked from specific county navboxes don't get deprived of all useful inward links (which they may do if they have not been categorised properly). Robin Patterson 15:28, 11 October 2008 (UTC)