The 668,912 pages of this wiki have been created in various ways.

Articles about individual people are now mostly, and best, created in an automated fashion through use of the "Create or edit article" menu item near the top of most pages - which brings you here if you click it - to lead to the "Form:Person" link below it. (If we have one of our occasional software glitches, there's a manual work-around.) See "Start a really new person page" below for a walk-through.

Pages that usually need manual creation will include:

  • "Place" pages: see Familypedia:Model place page but check some of this page below if you are new to Familypedia
  • "Surname" pages: simply
    "[[... (surname)]]"; see Template:SurnameArticle/doc for the easy standard way to create such an article with useful links already in place
  • History of a couple - a page that will be incorporated (to reduce duplication) in two or more individuals' articles: see Familypedia:Couple histories

Check whether the article exists

If you want to start a page for an individual or a place, please save yourself and other researchers time by ensuring that there is not already a page for that person or place (possibly under a slightly different name). Type the name in the "Search" box, touch your "Enter" key, and see what hits you get. Hits with your search term in their page names should be listed before hits that have it only in their text. Check out any that may be your person or place. (If it's under four letters long, the Search may not work; if so, try adding a word such as " surname" or a state name for a bigger search term.)

The inbuilt search function is often "hopeless". If you get a long list of hits you may prefer an alternative method. Some of them are well illustrated in the following paragraph from a talk page reply by our most experienced contributor, helping a contributor who was checking for a Moses Hill:

Sorry, the built in "Search" function is hopeless. "Searching for duplicates" would normally mean just checking Category:Hill (surname) to see if he is there. You can also use Special:WhatLinksHere to see if any other page links to him, and Special:PrefixIndex to find all the pages whose names start with "Moses". You only have to worry about anything more complicated if you are thinking of someone like an Anglo-Saxon king or German landgraf, where there is a lot of variation in the possible name to use. Thurstan (talk) 02:55, October 17, 2016 (UTC)

Use an individual's existing page if there is one

If you find a page that has the right name and you don't know if the dates are right but they could be, we suggest that you use that page as if it were the right one. (It will be easier to copy your additions to another page later, if a difference is found, than to merge two pages about the same individual.) Write notes about apparent differences somewhere in the article itself or on its talk page.

Create an individual's page from a link

If your person is named in another article, please start there. Best choice is to start from a child of your person; reason: if your person appears as a link in the standard infobox - the box at top right - then as soon as you click it you go straight to "create with form" mode and should (if the software is working properly) get maximum information already in the input form.

If the name is not in the form of a link, please go to the page's edit box and turn the name and dates into a link (either by highlighting them and clicking the "Internal link" button (third from the left) above the edit box, or by putting double square brackets around the name and the dates). Edit the text if necessary, so that it is in this form: [[Firstname Middlenamesifany (preferably at least one) Lastname (year-year)]]. Do not include a question-mark, an en-dash, a slash, or square or curly brackets or "&" anywhere in the name; and quotation marks may be troublesome too. Space after last name but no spaces around the years. Estimate birth and death years if unknown, omitting the "year" if death year completely unknown. So you might have something like John Smith (c1855-). Then Publish the page.

Click on that link, and you should reach one of two types of page:

  1. Edit with form: This is the highly recommended way of creating a new page about an individual. The form looks a bit formidable (!) but will save you and other users time in the short-to-medium term by linking and displaying relatives of the person in a semi-automatic manner. See "Start a really new person page" below.
  2. Ordinary wiki edit page: An ordinary editing screen with a big empty box for typing and a collection of little typing-aid buttons above it. You may just use it as it is, but a much better idea is to copy the pagename and use it to create a page using Form:Person, accessible from the "Create or edit article" menu above, then following the procedure in the "Start a really new person page" paragraph just below this one.

Start a really new person page

So the name of your individual does not appear as the page name of, or anywhere else on, an existing page?


Hover your pointer over the "Create or edit article" menu item above and move it down a fraction to click Form:Person, then, in the panel provided, enter the name, with birth surname and at least one middle name and birth and death years if known. Do not include a question-mark or a forward slash (/) or any square brackets or curly brackets or "&" anywhere in the name.

(The advanced or "verbose" form, which you can use on a subsequent edit, allows you to enter exhaustive information concerning fine details such as alternative names, citing primary versus secondary sources, third and subsequent marriages, and so on. Eventually we should have such things as residences and events and honors and migration and education semi-automated too.)


If you clicked on an infobox link on a child's or spouse's page, two or more boxes may be already filled. Check that they are what you want, but don't change the one you came from unless you rename that person's page.

You can usually "tab" from one box or "field" to the next.

Fill in what you know about the person concerned, including at least the following:

  • "Given name"
  • "Surname"
  • "Short name" (your choice, but best choice could be the name the individual was addressed by as a child, including the birth surname, because it heads the infobox and is used elsewhere; and either in the "short name" or in the "long name" adding a woman's married surname is OK after the maiden name, and you can include titles such as "Sir"); the long name appears in the mini-biography if it differs from the short name

Highly desirable additional entries for the first edit (because it gets useful links established sooner) are sex, parents, partner(s), and at least one child if any. NOTE: because we have so many articles, the "autosuggest" function can go crazy if you type just a single letter in a parent or spouse box, so it's best to paste the names there.

If there were two or more spouses or other partners with whom children were produced, put them in the Spouse box, in chronological order of children and/or association, joined by plus signs. If the partner name (in a liaison that resulted in a birth) is unknown, please leave a blank, which generates "unknown parent" at the top of the children box but doesn't put a useless link in the infobox.

Fairly desirable at this stage are children of the first and second marriages (if any), also joined by plus signs. They would be more fiddly to add later. However, on a woman's page, if the husband already has a page with those children shown, leave or make that section blank because the system will eventually display them automatically and will update them without double typing.

For each parent, spouse, or child shown on an individual's form, the name should be the existing or future page name, including date(s). Remember: Do not include a question-mark or a slash or any square brackets or curly brackets or "&" anywhere in such a name. Double quote marks can cause problems too.

If you have any "source" websites open, paste their URLs into "Notes" and/or "Sources" boxes. Make a mental note to add other references at next edit.

Please take care not to delete any curly brackets or what is between pairs of them.


Please add a brief "Edit Summary" such as "New" or "Intro" then click "Publish". (You may start with a "Preview", but it looks somewhat unlike the final page and you may get a message about having not entered an edit summary - annoyingly untrue if you have entered one.)

The page will probably not show everything you entered yet, because "Semantic Forms" work in mysterious ways not quite like normal wiki pages. (Short explanation: templates display data extracted from the page, which doesn't exist until the page is published.) Don't worry! Hit "Edit" and "Publish" again and you should be all OK.

Things you can do on subsequent edits are mostly listed at Help:Articles (also accessible from that top menu).

Start a really "new" place page


If you want to start a page for a place, and a page for it does not exist and you can't start one using a link on an existing page, create a link as described under "Create link or tweak an URL" below or just edit your address bar to add the intended name after "/wiki/". Wherever possible, use the article name that Wikipedia uses for the place.

Then go to Familypedia:Model place page/procedure for detailed recommendations.

Later edits can do numerous enhancements.

Births, deaths, etc, at that place

After publishing the place page, see for the related page showing births etc at that place,

Create link or tweak an URL

If you need a way to start a page that's not about an individual, a good place to go is your User page (because it is so easy for you, if logged in, to reach from anywhere on the site) or a subpage of it (e.g. User:yourusername/New pages), where you just add a link. Wherever you choose, just type the name of your article, surround it with double square brackets, preview, and publish. When the revised page appears, you should see a link with the title you just inserted.

  • If the link is in blue, then the article already exists; you can go to the article and add any information you feel it needs.
  • If the link is in red, the article doesn't exist yet; click the link and you will end up on a blank page showing a "create" invitation, where you can insert whatever you want according to whatever format you want.

Another way to start a new page is to manipulate the URL of whatever page you are on; the standard format is " name", with no need to use underlines or CamelCase.

People not mentioned on the wiki yet

If you want to start a new page for someone who does not link from any page here, please use Form:Person. Follow the procedure in the "Start a really new person page" section above.

If the person has a Wikipedia article, then, before finalizing your article, please ensure that you have read Help:Copying from Wikipedia. Please then also create a page with exactly the Wikipedia name, then "redirect" it to Familypedia's name.

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