links[edit source]

you can convert a link to Wikipedia link by adding a "wikipedia". So New Brunswick, New Jersey can become w:New Brunswick, New Jersey and then the "wikipedia" can be hidden by [[wikipedia:New Brunswick, New Jersey|New Brunswick, New Jersey]] --Richard Arthur Norton I 02:35, January 15, 2011 (UTC)

"w:" here leads to "Wikia"; "wikipedia:" is still needed for Wikipedia. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:05, January 17, 2011 (UTC)

Questions[edit source]

Thank you very much for the questions on my talk page. I've replied there for convenience. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:05, January 17, 2011 (UTC)

Facebook[edit source]

Don't forget to add a profile for people in your family at Facebook. I have about two dozen. It lets you store high resolution photos. Each biography I write I store in 5 places on the Internet: Facebook, Findagrave, Familypedia, Knol, and Here is an example: Oscar Arthur Moritz Lindauer (1815-1866) Here is the secret link for creating a Facebook page from inside a Facebook account.

Engineering Wikia[edit source]

If you have any spare minutes in the day you may enjoy adding yourself to the list of retired engineers who contribute to the Engineering Wikia. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:58, January 21, 2011 (UTC)

Category:People of ...[edit source]

I see you energetically creating useful categories. However, one sort in particular, though it occurs frequently in Wikipedia, is one we decided was too general for use here, and even ambiguous. So, where Wikipedia uses "People of ..." or "People from ...", we use "Born in ...", "Married in ....", "Resided in ...", and "Died in ...". I've redirected some of yours, as you may see if you follow them from people pages. We have handy shortcut templates used in conjunction with some of those, particularly at state and county level. See, inter alia, Familypedia:County navigation templates. We haven't yet extended them to Romania as far as I know, but I'd be pleased to cooperate with you in adopting what we have to Romania and other countries. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 08:21, January 29, 2011 (UTC)

Administrative divisions of Romania[edit source]

I've copied Administrative divisions of Romania from Wikipedia. Lots of red links so far, but we can gradually create articles to deal with most. I recommend that you use that page for creating place-name articles (unless there are inconsistencies, in which case we should have redirects and/or cross-references). You may copy any or all from Wikipedia, noting our Help:Copying from Wikipedia page.

I see that the main administrative divisions are called counties, which can fit easily into the "county" box in our standard forms. Above them are regions (in either one level or two, depending on viewpoint!). You may like to write some notes about which regions we use for the "nation subdiv1" box, which uses Property:Nation-subdiv1. I see also that in 2010 there were proposals for reorganizing. So maybe we should not hurry.

Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:13, January 29, 2011 (UTC)

Counties[edit source]

As mentioned (lower on this page) a few minutes ago, I'm giving county pages some categories. The full slate of what I am giving to "new" pages is as follows:

{{navbox county-rom}}{{alsoWP}}

[[category:{{PAGENAME}}| ]] [[category:Counties of Romania]]
[[category:Valid name- county]]<!-- this is to offer it for autocompletion in forms -->
[[category:Valid name- county- Romania]]

The top line of that block starts with a complex template that creates a navigation box with links to three dozen existing or proposed pages about the county (almost identical to what we use for counties of the United Kingdom). It should remain untouched when you add other material to the page.

The shorter template in the top line is the template that creates a box at top right linking to the Wikipedia page. If anyone later copies some or all of the Wikipedia article, with the standard acknowledgment and link, that template can simply be deleted but it can remain there. However, if a new article is created without using material from Wikipedia, that template should be left as it is, with all new material below it but above the categories.

The three or four county pages that were already created before I started this process have been given most of those additions.

Robin Patterson 06:59, February 6, 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for responding. I'll be preparing replies to your long message over the next few hours. Robin Patterson 03:42, February 7, 2011 (UTC)

Now replied on my talk page, as you may have noticed. Somewhat inconclusive in parts. And, as noted at Forum:Romania, I stopped including the counties category on the pages. You're proceeding nicely with the categories. And I've just copied the Counties ... page from WP. Robin Patterson 00:55, February 8, 2011 (UTC)

Andrei, you've created most of the county categories. Good work, mostly. However:

  1. Some of them don't seem to have {{Catmore+}}, which is a pity;
  2. More important: some are in their own categories (i.e. members of themselves) rather than in Counties of Romania.

Maybe you can have another look at Category:Alba County then use its code to replace the others. Here it is for ease of copying:

{{navbox county-rom}}{{alsoWP}}{{catmore+}}

[[Category:Counties of Romania]]
[[category:Valid name- county- Romania]]

Warm regards. Robin Patterson 12:35, February 8, 2011 (UTC)

Questions 2[edit source]

Andrei, thank you for the recent questions on my talk page. Now answered, as far as I can, in that same section. As you will see, some of us are as puzzled as you are by some of what the site is doing. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:43, January 30, 2011 (UTC)

Surname categories[edit source]

Save yourself and others a bit more time, Andrei. Just {{SCat}} on the pages, please.

See Help:Surname. Robin Patterson 06:37, January 31, 2011 (UTC)

Given name categories[edit source]

Please note that we do not need to categorize given names. They're properties, so that you can use a query to find everyone with the same name. Note that categories take valuable server time. rtol 21:46, January 31, 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for marking them for deletion. Some admin can fix them during a maintenance run. For most sorts of category you are likely to want, we probably have models already in place. If you have ideas for a new group of categories (or anything else), you can float the ideas on the Watercooler. Robin Patterson 01:37, February 2, 2011 (UTC)

"Break" tags in articles[edit source]

Hello again, Andrei.

I'm adding some technical categories to counties of Romania, which should make them "autocomplete" and thus be easier to enter in forms.

The last one I edited looked odd. Examining the code before adding the categories, I noticed that many line breaks had been replaced by <br /> tags, notably straight after headings (so that they didn't work as headings) and before asterisks (so that they didn't work as bullets). I fixed some but by no means all.

If you are copying straight from a Wikipedia edit box, that should not happen. Maybe you have a different process, where "br" tags may get introduced?

Kind regards. Robin Patterson 06:22, February 6, 2011 (UTC)

Now more of them in Trnava Region. I've replaced the tags after the headings. I see lots of them in tables - possibly unnecessary, but I haven't looked closely at what effect they have, if any, there. Robin Patterson

Nobility[edit source]

Please note that individuals are never part of a category "Nobility of Country". Individuals can be part of the category "House of Noble" or "Title of SuchandSuch". Houses and titles are in turn part of the category "Nobility of Country" (or perhaps there are more subcategories in between). rtol 16:56, February 6, 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for being unclear. Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu is categorized as "House of Aviz". The "House of Aviz" is then categorized as "Noble houses of Portugal", which is in turn categorized as "Nobility of Portugal". Ferdinand is also categorized as "Dukes of Viseu", which is part of "Dukes of Portugal", which belongs to "Noble titles of Portugal", and then on to "Nobility of Portugal".
The convention (not always followed) is "Noble houses of Portugal" rather than "Portuguese noble houses", because the people involved may not be Portuguese at all. Ferdinand is, of course, but the nobility of Ireland, for instance, have been Danish, French and English for most of history. The early nobility of Portugal hailed from France. rtol 23:08, February 6, 2011 (UTC)

Template:S-rom[edit source]

Here's my latest offering before I go to bed. See Category:Settlements in Suceava County. How easy is that? Robin Patterson 13:05, February 8, 2011 (UTC)

Now that it's documented - {{S-rom/doc}} - you can confidently create {{B-rom}} (or {{B-ro}} for something a little shorter) and several others in the same class. You'll find models in the template categories. Robin Patterson 04:31, February 13, 2011 (UTC)

Migration[edit source]

Please don't call me sir. I'm Richard.

The migration template is simple. It compares the birth nation to the death nation. If there is no birth/death nation, it takes the birth/death locality and check whether that is associated with a nation.

There are two problems with this. First, borders change. The solution is to make sure that birth and death nation are specified. Second, people may die during a holiday or military campaign. There is no solution to this yet. rtol 15:17, February 15, 2011 (UTC)

The solution does not work when people are born and die in the same locality but borders shift. In the case of the countess, she migrated legally but not physically. Not sure what to do with that. rtol 15:23, February 15, 2011 (UTC)
Czechoslovakia redirects to Czech Republic, so Czechoslovakia is automatically replaced by Czech Republic. The solution is to edit Czechoslovakia. Remove the redirect and add contents. rtol 15:35, February 15, 2011 (UTC)
I put migration back into showfacts biography. That's the simplest way to run it on all pages. The alternative is to run a bot to put {{migration}} as a separate call on all existing pages, and I do not want to do that while the servers are still fragile. I'd much rather adjust migration to solve any issues. rtol 22:39, February 15, 2011 (UTC)
{{migration}} now tests whether birth locality = death locality. Works for the countess. Will go wrong if someone moves from Sydney (Scotland) to Sydney (Canada) rtol 22:52, February 15, 2011 (UTC)

Please note that wikis work if people are constructive, that is, improve (rather than delete) the work of others. Removing {{migration}} would wipe out the recursive property ancestry.

Marie Henriette Chotok migrated. In historic-legal terms, she was born in Austria-Hungary and died in Austria. That's what the migration category says. In current-legal terms, she was born in what is now the Czech Republic and died in Austria. Do you think that that's the right answer? Or what is the right category? rtol 06:40, February 16, 2011 (UTC)

Ahnentafel templates[edit source]

Andrei, when I looked hard at the documentation of the templates you edited, I saw that you had directed then to the documentation for the other set. The two sets work differently. So I've now created separate documentation. You may like to see {{Ahnentafel/5}} for someone whose ancestors all have their own Familypedia pages, until we get the /tree pages working properly. I have temporarily changed the standard /tree coding so that it displays that instead of nothing. Robin Patterson (Talk) 13:10, February 25, 2011 (UTC)

Brunswick von Korumpa[edit source]

Note that there are a number of other branches of the Brunswick family already on Familypedia, under the name Braunschweig. I haven't come across any Korumpa, but their ancestors must be there. rtol 06:16, March 1, 2011 (UTC)

I'm glad you checked the Brunswicks. Reconciling duplicates is a pet hate. rtol 08:31, March 1, 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it is hard to find and deal with duplicates; we need more redirects and need more alternatives listed on surname articles (as mentioned on the front page). We also need Wikia search to be better, but that's out of our hands. See also --- Robin Patterson (Talk to me) 09:31, March 1, 2011 (UTC)

Family categories[edit source]

Andrei, I copied your posting to a forum, the best place for questions that affect many users. I'd like to be "God" here, but we have a good cooperative community.

To keep up with the forums without having to remember to look at them often, you can put Category:Help desk and Category:Watercooler on your watchlist and get an email whenever anyone adds an item. --- Robin Patterson (Talk to me) 01:53, March 9, 2011 (UTC)

Categories generally[edit source]

I've just corrected a recent creation of yours. It said Categories:Families of Romania but should have said Category:Families of Romania. I've done the same sort of thing myself more than once. Do you know that there are shortcuts for typing category names? Both above and below the edit box.

When creating new categories that match Wikipedia category names, you might help yourself and other editors by including the standard link to Wikipedia: {{AlsoWP}}. If you think there should be a matching category on Wikipedia but are not sure, you can use {{Trywp}}.

Kind regards. --- Robin Patterson (Talk to me) 06:51, March 16, 2011 (UTC)

Eastern European Nobility[edit source]

Good stuff on the Gediminids.

Note we have a Project European Royalty. This is an accounting tool, really, but also handy for finding spouses from other families. The project is more or less complete for the descendants of Charlemagne (747-814), but erratic for others. Lithuania, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine are particularly incomplete.

Keep up the good work. rtol 07:19, May 12, 2011 (UTC)

and then there were two[edit source]

Zoe Palaiologina (c1448-1503) = Sophia Palaiologina (c1455-1503)

I'd say keep the first and add the new information contained in the second entry. rtol 06:04, May 17, 2011 (UTC)

Popes[edit source]

I do not think this issue was ever discussed, and I do not think there is a guideline.

For women, there is a clear rule: Use the maiden name. This makes genealogical sense as it connects families. It can be confusing, because many women are much better known by their husband's name.

For noble men, the rules are not clear, but we typically use the highest title achieved. Igor of Kiev was born as Igor of Novgorod.

There is thus a precedent for both Bruno von Worms and Gregory V. I think the former makes more sense, but the latter is better known.

I'll raise this at the forum. rtol 05:27, May 20, 2011 (UTC)

Categories from Wikipedia[edit source]

I notice you copying articles from Wikipedia. One of the annoyances of this wiki is that "it has been decided" that we would use different names for various categories, compared with the ones on Wikipedia, so we have to recode the category names. So where we find:

  • [[Category:1297 births]]
  • [[Category:1382 deaths]]
  • [[Category:13th-century births]]
  • [[Category:1382 establishments]]

in a Wikipedia articles, we have to recode them as:

  • {{born|1297}}
  • {{died|1382}}
  • {{born|the 13th century}}
  • [[Category:Established in 1382]]

There are numerous other examples. Thurstan 06:51, May 21, 2011 (UTC)

No more question-marks in page names, please[edit source]

The software can't handle them properly. That's why several pages containing instructions or discussion have stressed that point. A couple of forums dealt with the matter when we discovered the problems.

If death year is unknown and can't be estimated with reasonable precision, just leave nothing after the hyphen. For living people, some of us prefer to have no hyphen because it implies an unknown but prior death date. No consistency on that point, so I don't remove hyphens that others have put in. One of our biggest contributors liked to show just birth year even when death year was known, and I tend to leave them alone too, though some contributors add the hyphen and death year when found.

If death year is known but not birth, just have nothing before the hyphen.

If neither year is known or reasonably estimatable, some other distinction is desirable, though I usually use "c" with a round-figire birth year because it's rare for anyone's birth year estimate to be more than about 20 years wrong if there are children or other relatives with known dates.

See Familypedia:Page names for the current roughly-agreed standards, and Form:Person for some of the standards as they are presented to people using the forms to create articles. Maybe I need to add more cautions to Data entry without using Form:Person.

Thank you for your continued good work! (And try to remember to log in for every edit.)

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:14, May 31, 2011 (UTC)

Rurik[edit source]

You may have noted that I have been working on the roots of the Rurikid dynasty. I'm at Vladimir I of Kiev (c958-1015) now, where it gets complicated. This is just FYI, so that we don't duplicate work. rtol 05:40, June 8, 2011 (UTC)

Pereyaslavl[edit source]

Feel free to correct Vsevolod I of Kiev (1030-1093), Iziaslav II of Kiev (c1097-1154), and Vladimir II Monomakh of Kiev (1053-1125). I know little about these principalities. I'm learning about the Ruriks. rtol 21:19, June 15, 2011 (UTC)

And feel free to change their names too. Collaboration and collective knowledge is what wikia is all about. rtol 21:21, June 15, 2011 (UTC)

Van or van[edit source]

You changed "van Bebber" to "Van Bebber" at Do you have some evidence about Henrick and his daughter that I don't? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:23, July 5, 2011 (UTC)

"van Bebber" means "of Bebber". In Dutch, the spelling is Henrick van Bebber but Mr Van Bebber. rtol 07:29, July 6, 2011 (UTC)

Nevsky[edit source]

The first rule is that we spell names in the native language of the person -- at least, for Germans, Spaniards and so on.

There is no rule for non-Latin scripts. His name was Алекса́ндр, not Alexander or Aleksandr. I guess then the second rule kicks in: Stay close to English Wikipedia. (That's a peculiar rule, I know, as Wikipedia is all over the place, but one that Robin and Thurstan insist upon.)

Anyway, I merged the two articles. I shifted info from Aleksandr to Alexander, because the latter was linked and more complete.

Thanks for keeping an eye on this. There's only a few generations left between "your" Ruriks and "mine", so we'll need to be careful in linking them up. rtol 07:29, July 6, 2011 (UTC)

Books[edit source]

Once we had the functionality to create books. I want to print my mother's family tree for her birthday. However, we lost that option, and then I tried to copy Wikipedia books but that does not work here either. You can delete those categories. rtol 20:36, July 6, 2011 (UTC)

Language-related categories[edit source]

I'm a little puzzled to see the removal of material I added. Please explain

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 21:20, July 12, 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for the explanations on my talk page.

Several months ago I encouraged you to read at least one of our pages about multilinguality, in answer to a question from you (commencing with "Familypedia is a multilanguage site.") about it. See item 4 at Please read the recommended guideline again, and discuss (on its talk page or the matching forum) any matters that seem to be unworkable. The opinions of someone such as you, knowing a language which few other speakers of English know, could be particularly valuable in helping us to make the wiki truly multilingual.

Deleting material that others have added does make work for you, and leaving it alone does not make the wiki harder to use. Please work on more positive things. The reason why some of those language categories have been created but contain no articles is that they contain standardized guidance that is much easier to copy to many category pages in one sitting than to copy one at a time as there come to be articles written to go in those categories. I did not create an "Articles in ..." category for every possible language, but I did create them for many languages for which we already had some content even if it was not an article. Having categories that are empty now but will be potentially useful as the wiki grows does no harm and may even do some good if it encourages users of other languages to contribute more.

Thank you again for the energy you put into your work.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:18, July 13, 2011 (UTC)

Jagiellon[edit source]

I merged the two Alexanders. We have a Project European Royalty to keep track of who is there and who is not. Royalty that descends from Charlemagne has a page. I also harmonized Alexander's parents. rtol 05:47, July 19, 2011 (UTC)

Maria Otparlik[edit source]

Hello Afil:

As I was doing some genealogical research on my family tree I came across this website where you had made an entry on Maria Otparlik. In my ancestral tree I have a Paul Otparlik, also in Romania and in Botosani around the same time as Maria. I am wondering if they happen to be related and wanted to know if you had additional information on Maria Otparlik. I would very much appreciate if you would get back to me either way. You can reach me via email at thank you for your kind assistance

Hans Signer (Boston)Hvsigner1 15:07, July 24, 2011 (UTC)

Categorizing nobility[edit source]

I saw your contribution to the Counts of Oldenburg. The convention is that "Counts of Oldenburg" is part of the category "Counts of the Holy Roman Empire" while the family "Von Oldenburg" belongs to the "Noble families of the Holy Roman Empire". The logic is that "count" is a job which was usually but not necessarily passed on in the family.

Keep up the good work. rtol 20:54, July 26, 2011 (UTC)

Merging "Settled" with "Established"[edit source]

Dear Andrei,

I'm a bit concerned, and I think others may be, about some of your recent changes blurring or even eliminating the difference between "Settled" and "Established" for places. Blanking or redirecting many of the "Settled in ..." categories, for example, such as I believe that the "Settled in" categories have value for genealogists quite separately from any of the formal procedures that are probably described as "Established".

A recent example, Category:Grafton, New South Wales, leaves an absurdity: the text says the town was named in 1851 and established in 1855, and the page was in a category for "Settled in 1851" (which may be just a guess, but genealogists would probably want to know that) and in a category for "Established in 1855". You changed "Settled" to "Established", thus putting it in two "Established" categories, the earlier of which has no evidence from the current text.

If you were strictly following Wikipedia, that could all be fine, although we might sometimes disagree with changes being made on Wikipedia if they move away from what is of interest to family historians. But here there is no sign of following Wikipedia. If you had been following Wikipedia, you might have checked the latest page there and seen that the text now says the place was established in 1851 and suggests that settlement was over a decade earlier, and puts the page in - a category that was created only 4 months ago!

There may be a case for going along with category changes Wikipedia undergoes, but:

  1. Such changes should probably be discussed in a forum or suitable "talk" pages.
  2. Often the Commons: category makes more sense.
  3. Most such changes should be done by bots instead of individual edits, for major time-saving.

Please try to consult more with the community before doing large sets of changes.

Kind regards. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:14, August 9, 2011 (UTC)

Thank you very much for the exceptionally detailed response on my talk page. Clearly we need more consistency and ideally consensus. Because the subject should be of interest to many contributors, I'm planning to put most of your reply, and a little of my initial statement above, on a forum, where we can more easily discuss various aspects of it and create headings etc. It may take an hour or two, but a suitable name seems to be Forum:Settlements and establishments. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:12, August 10, 2011 (UTC)

Oops, I see that you have started a forum with mention of the same thing. Nobody has replied to it. I should have noticed it, but maybe the email notification came through on a day when there was so much email that I gave up carefully checking. As that forum has at least two separate issues, I'll proceed as above but include reference to that forum. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:21, August 10, 2011 (UTC)

Template[edit source]

You have noticed the template that adds the following to lots of pages:

This article requires significantly more historical detail on the particular phases of this location's historical development. The ideal article for a place will give the reader a feel for what it was like to live at that location at the time their relatives were alive there..
Please help to improve this page yourself if you can..

Do you think it needs improvement?

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:23, August 11, 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for the impressive response applicable to many Wikipedia templates. However, the above is a Familypedia template, inserted by User:Phlox or his bot when he or it copied most of Wikipedia's county pages for USA, UK, and India. Although it is optimistic, it is a step in the direction you and I hope this wiki will continue moving and it should show visitors that this site is not meant to be largely a copy of Wikipedia. In view of your response, I think it needs a Familypedia-specific reference. I've now edited it to do that. See {{Perspective-Place article}}. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:16, August 12, 2011 (UTC)

Incompleteness[edit source]

Andrei, thank you for the latest response.

You say "My concern is that the final scope is to improve the content of the articles, and am therefore unsatisfied by the mechanism in itself. The template indicates that something is missing. How can we ensure that gradually we get the missing information added to the various articles?"

We can't ensure it but we can encourage small steps towards completion, ideally by readers who know more than we do about the subject but might not have had the ability to create the original article. Even Wikipedia is incomplete - see

We will be closer to completion when we have articles about several (hundred?) million people and have several thousand active contributors instead of a few dozen. Maybe not in the lifetime of those of us who were born during or before WW2. But the process is being helped by the substantial additions that you have been making. You've made almost as many edits as I have, in a tenth of the time and apparently without the help of a bot as some big contributors have. Please go on adding pages and paragraphs, etc. But subtracting/changing/deleting? If in doubt, don't. If something that appears on several pages seems to need changing or deleting, please start a forum about it. Community response can be patchy and delayed but usually produces satisfactory solutions. If no response in a day or two, put a forum link on the talk pages of a couple of fellow-contributors.

Warmest regards.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:00, August 12, 2011 (UTC)

Category pages for counties etc, particularly for districts of India[edit source]

(25,003 edits!! Great stuff.) I notice that I or a previous editor put "India" instead of the state when using {{b-uk}} for "Born in Pune district". Now fixed. See Thank you for the intermediate step by which you pointed out the state name! If you have any thoughts about the application of those templates, you're most welcome to comment on an appropriate talk page or even a forum: Forum:County subpages - categorising is the most recent forum discussing them; Forum:County-based categories contains much of the discussion that surrounded the creation of the series in 2008. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:05, August 14, 2011 (UTC)

"Images of"[edit source]

Please don't destroy all the "Images of" categories: Robin insisted we have these. Thurstan 22:31, August 18, 2011 (UTC)

Hello[edit source]

I see you are a good editor here. Could I ask you a question?

-G4 G4 G4♥♦♪♫♥♦♪♫♥♦♪♫Happy People! 22:44, August 28, 2011 (UTC)

Problem?[edit source]

Dumitru Ghimuş (1923-1908) seems to have died year before he was born: what are the correct dates? Thurstan 05:32, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Category maintenance[edit source]

Dear Andrei,

You say "I have completed the work on the categories". Fantastic! And indeed our number of edits has raced ahead of mine.

But you go on to talk about maintaining them. I'm not certain what you mean; but it sounds like a lot of work, only some of which may be useful. Maybe there's a more specific page on which we can discuss what aspects of maintenance seem most important to you; we can get responses from other contributors. Maybe Category talk:Wikia maintenance could be the starting point?

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:57, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Reagan etc[edit source]

Andrei, I've had very poor internet access for the last few weeks. I wasn't able to read all of the recent correspondence until very recently.

I prefer the name that includes the middle name (which Thurstan says was the earlier one). If there are three or more middle names, we recommend omitting most of them, but that carries risks of duplication. So the current result is probably the preferred one, though I appreciate that you were not happy with the way it was achieved. I've not looked at all of the history.

Kind regards and thank you for continuing thousands of improvements to the wiki.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:55, November 18, 2011 (UTC)

Template:President_of_the_Senate_of_Romania[edit source]

We have a mystery all right! There is certainly still a but when I look for the FP version Template:President_of_the_Senate_of_Romania I get a page that refuses to load - at least, I tried it in another window about 5 minutes ago and it's still "Loading...".

My investigation continues! Thanks for brightening the evening.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:28, December 12, 2011 (UTC)

OK, not really far into the solution. I tried to revert to the original version without the piped link, but that gives a similar-looking unloadable page. What I have seen, however, is that my Firefox 3.6 "Back" menu shows that I am supposedly trying to access the URL with a hidden prefix "wyciwyg://31/" - i.e. wyciwyg://31/ I think a "Contact Wikia" is called for. Off to do that now. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:44, December 12, 2011 (UTC)

Forumheaders etc[edit source]

1. Please explain what you are doing to these, e.g.

2. Please have a read of and maybe add a comment that will help the rest of us to understand your plans for such pages.

Kind regards -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 08:43, December 17, 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for the lengthy explanations and some questions on my talk page.

The forumheaders for places (mostly counties) are a cleverly-devised system for facilitating talk about people of (or even from!) an area. The forum structure makes it easy for interested people to look at the subject-matter of postings to see whether they are interested in that aspect of the place. It is much more efficient to set up thousands of them at one sitting with a bot than it is to do them one at a time when somebody might be interested in that particular place. The reason why we do not have them for every county in the world is that it takes time. Phlox and his bot did not have unlimited time. So they can be done for other countries as soon as someone is willing to add them. A few of those county forums have already been used. Do not delete anything to do with them, and please revert your blankings. It would be just our luck to have you delete the one for Kalamazoo County the day before someone else with an interest in Kalamazoo County came along and saw that there was no forum for his county and went away again.

Forums for families can be set up more simply on the discussion pages of surname categories.

We discussed on a forum, with contributions from you, several months ago some of the categories that have been imported semi-automatically from WP and Commons. I think we agreed that "red flags" is the sort of category we do not need here. But some Americans might think we do not need categories such as "Category:Hydroelectric power plants in Romania‎". Where do we draw the line?

I repeat or paraphrase what I said to you a few months ago - if you think of deleting or blanking something and are in the slightest doubt - DON'T. Someone created it and it might have value. Wikia management are quite happy to have almost unlimited content here to hang their advertisements on. Until they tell us to remove categories that not everybody understands, there is no harm in leaving them and there may be some good.

On my original point "2" above - I invited you to add a comment to that page for all of us to read. I really would like you to do that. Anything on the wiki that should interest more than one or two of us should be on a forum or a subject-matter discussion page rather than (or in addition to) being on an individual's talk page.

Warm regards, as always. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:35, December 18, 2011 (UTC)

Picked a thought-provoking example, didn't I? You think that Category:Hydroelectric power plants in Romania‎ deserves to be here. I don't mind it: eventually everyone who worked on or at that facility could have their biography linked to the category.

But the same considerations apply to many of the pages you have wanted deleted or blanked: even though you or I may not see their relevance to the wiki, somebody presumably did see some value in nearly every one of them. Where such pages are doing no obvious harm to anyone, we leave them alone (or improve them, e.g. by standardizing a name so that it fits in better) for the benefit of anyone who can use them.

Enjoy Christmas!

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 13:35, December 23, 2011 (UTC)

Merging various "established in" categories[edit source]

Dear Andrei,

In our discussion last August, I included the following paragraph:

Any place page can be in an "Established in ..." category - probably a Wikipedia category, but I believe there is value in maintaining Wikipedia subcategories so as not to mix places, institutions, etc. I'm not sure whether I would bother changing "Populated places established in ...", but we should use a bot if there are lots of those and we want to change either them or "Settlements established in ..." to merge the two - maybe that sub-subject needs a new forum!

We have probably not started the new forum that was envisaged by the last sentence. Maybe we should, because I am uneasy about merging subcategories of "Established in ...". You very recently removed at least one such distinction. See Was that following Wikipedia? If it wasn't, please leave the Wikipedia categories alone. Regrettably, they do change en masse from time to time, but we can handle that. There seems to be no point spending time removing distinctions that Wikipedia makes unless we have a clearly-defined reason for doing so.

Kind regards. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:42, February 10, 2012 (UTC)

Subpages[edit source]

{{Showfacts locality}} (note the new name, as there are similar templates for counties etc) indeed gets lots on a large page. A subpage is appropriate. See Moscow/Familypedia. Template works fine at the moment. rtol 06:37, February 12, 2012 (UTC)

By the way, I've long argued (mostly in vain) against copying extensive material from Wikipedia, as we cannot update frequently. For Moscow, a brief description plus a link to Wikipedia would suffice, followed by a longer bit on Moscow's role in genealogy. rtol 06:42, February 12, 2012 (UTC)

  • See Trnava#See also. The route through sensor pages is rather circumspect. The little command should be turned into a template once we agree on a name for the subpage. bdm is fine with me. rtol 06:17, February 14, 2012 (UTC)

Now see -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:13, January 9, 2013 (UTC)

Ferenc Cseszneky de Milvány et Csesznek (1876-c1924)[edit source]

Excellent work finding and reporting that duplicate and the data, Andrei. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:05, February 24, 2012 (UTC)

Maybe you would like to do more on that family, because you can understand the languages better! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:08, February 24, 2012 (UTC)

Surname in place[edit source]

I noticed

Why did you delete a logically valid category link?

Kind regards as you approach 60,000 edits! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:47, March 28, 2012 (UTC)

Errors in showfacts display[edit source]

Andrei, I've been offline for about 5 weeks and know nothing of what has been happening to showfacts etc except that Thurstan has been doing a lot to those templates. Best place to enquire might be Forum:SMW. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:56, July 14, 2012 (UTC)

Pgae names[edit source]

We have a general standard that titles like "Baron" and "Baroness" are not added to the front of page names. If Baron Johan Georg Proy von Gaiselsperg und Findtelstein (c1610-1669) really has a given name of "Baron", please ignore this. Thurstan (talk) 06:15, August 19, 2012 (UTC)

America[edit source]

I see you have created Category:2020 in America‎‎. I don't know what you mean by "America‎‎": don't we already have Category:2020 in the United States? The standard category above that would be Category:2020 in North America‎‎, which would lie in Category:2020 in the America‎‎s. Thurstan (talk) 02:18, September 5, 2012 (UTC)

Ormond(e)[edit source]

Both spellings were used in Ireland. Elrondlair started most of these articles, preferring the pretend-French version. rtol (talk) 20:30, September 9, 2012 (UTC)

The logical thing to do is rename all these pages (which you can't do in one go unless you have administrator rights) and edit all links (as renaming would break them). Go ahead if you feel like doing that.

Note that we also agreed to changed the standard. Articles should not be called James Butler, Earl of Ormond (1512-1622) but rather James Butler (1512-1622). That is because it is illogical to have Name, Jobtitle (YoB-YoD) for some but not for all. Besides, many have multiple titles and us deciding which is the most prominent often introduces anachronisms. For instance, William the Conqueror saw himself as Duke of Normandy first and King of England second. England overtook Normandy in importance long after his death. rtol (talk) 08:25, September 10, 2012 (UTC)

We agreed, did we? I wonder when. Familypedia:Page names (which has not been changed in the last 30 months) doesn't reflect that agreement. And I wonder why someone who is so sure about that agreed standard didn't make John Bowes, 10th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne (1769-1820) conform when it was edited ten days ago. I wish we had a really agreed standard. Let's revive the discussion on one of the forums that deal with the subject. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:34, December 29, 2012 (UTC)

Admin?[edit source]

Andrei, you have made huge contributions here (very nearly 100,000 edits) but have no administrator powers. Despite the disagreements you have with some of us now and again (as we do with each other), the wiki might benefit if you had admin powers. See Help:Group_rights. Would you like to be an admin? If so, I can make a nomination on Familypedia:Requests for adminship. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:26, December 24, 2012 (UTC)

Ormonde etc[edit source]

Hi! That message was in a logical place. Anyone who has this page on his or her watchlist can get a notification of it and a direct link to the "change", and my edit summary was designed to attract the attention of anyone who cares about the standard(s). If it reduces your faith in the absolute veracity of everything you are told by editors who have been here longer than you have, that won't do any harm. We all have our blind spots and our good points. You have probably noticed how I sometimes (but not always) agree with you when another "senior" editor disagrees with you.

I've started a new forum: Forum:Page names for individuals. Please put it on your watchlist and don't be afraid to voice opinions.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:32, December 30, 2012 (UTC)

Someone you should talk to[edit source]

Please have a look at User:Vilius2001x and his or her contribution list. One of the recent edits asks you to stop something. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:49, December 31, 2012 (UTC)

Now -

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:12, January 5, 2013 (UTC)

Why delete template:b-us?[edit source]

Why on earth have you deleted that template? It's part of a laboriously-designed county category system. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:03, January 6, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for the detailed reply. I entirely agree that "Generally, if for any country there is a category "born in settlement X" this category becomes a subategory of category "Settlement X" and of "born in county (district or other administrative unit) Y" ... "

Thurstan or some other admin must have been fiddling with those templates. It used to have the "Setlement" and "Born in" categories you mention. "People of" is just stupid: if I had been born when my parents were on a brief holiday in Fiji I would not fancy being categorized as "People of Fiji". I'll have to talk to whoever edited it.

However, you didn't just add the proper categories. You deleted the template, losing heaps of essential stuff. Careful, please!

Cordially -- -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:51, January 8, 2013 (UTC)

Showfacts locality[edit source]

Afil, Thurstan changed a page on which I had used {{showfacts locality}} and said he was changing it to the standard. Puzzled, I put this on his talk page:


"Where can I read a hint that what I wrote is not the standard?"

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:06, January 11, 2013 (UTC)

He replied that I should ask you. Where is it? Have you been neglecting to put your brilliant ideas on suitable forums, such as Forum:Templates update? You have grumbled about us old hands keeping secrets, Surely the pot isn't calling the kettle black? (:-D

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:34, January 11, 2013 (UTC)

Please explain. I can do the necessary alterations to documentation if you point me in the right directions. For example, why does Bridport not show a bdm tab although its bdm subpage does? I (and I'm sure many other contributors) need to know how to get the bdm subpages created as efficiently as possible, linked from their basepages. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:34, January 14, 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for documenting {{Bdm1}}. I fiddled with it a bit and organized some categories. You used a curious expression "Template:T/bdm ", which was almost certainly meant to be {{T|bdm}}: it wants a pipe, not a slash. In conclusion, I must again compliment you on this set of templates. So easy to use when you learn how. I'll amend Forum:Templates update if I don't forget. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:02, January 17, 2013 (UTC)

Category:Categories named after settlements ...[edit source]

Hello, Andrei. I noticed your category structure exemplified by Category:Categories named after settlements in Vaslui County. I added a category to it, as you may have noticed. I've seen Wikipedia categories named after people, but I don't recall seeing any "place" categories with that structure. Do we have them here? Are yours based on Wikipedia? Could be a useful and logical idea but maybe needs discussion so that we can standardize for all countries where practicable.

Kind regards. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:08, January 23, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for the detailed reply. I agree that "when for a certain settlement you have categories such as born in..., died in..., married in... etc. those should be part of a category for that settlement which would group these categories under a single umbrella." Yes, but surely the obvious, simple category to do that is the category named specifically for the place? See Greene County, Ohio. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:31, January 23, 2013 (UTC)

{{Infobox French commune}}[edit source]

Hello, my friend. Thurstan seems to be having a well-deserved wikiholiday, so I wonder how proficient you are at tweaking infoboxes. {{Infobox French commune}} seems to be much wider than most infoboxes: see Renaison. Any ideas? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:12, February 2, 2013 (UTC)

Administrator role[edit source]

Andrei, you may care to read and bookmark Help:User access levels.

Go easy on the page deletions. Can be reversed but messy.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:05, March 23, 2013 (UTC)

VSTF - Wikia's volunteer vandalism and spam fighting unit[edit source]

See Sulfur will probably be too busy to give us any genealogical contributions but it's worth a try! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 08:25, April 23, 2013 (UTC)

I'm not suggesting that you do any more than you seem to have done. Maybe I should have said "it was worth a try". (I presume it was you and not a robot who added the welcome message to his page.) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:01, April 24, 2013 (UTC)

Category:Famous people[edit source]

I have started a discussion about the name of the category "Famous people" here, and I would like you to give your opinion too. Thurstan (talk) 03:32, May 6, 2013 (UTC)

Seefeld[edit source]

Please see Maximilian Franz von Daun (1721-1788): Wikipedia lists three localities names SeefeldWp globe tiny.gif. In which was he married? Thurstan (talk) 06:07, October 4, 2013 (UTC)

Wanted Categories[edit source]

I notice that there are now less than 1000 Wanted Categories. Thank you for your solid work on the categories. Thurstan (talk) 01:16, October 5, 2013 (UTC)

Districts of Germany[edit source]

You must have had a good reason for departing from the Wikipedia name at

Please enlighten me.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:06, October 6, 2013 (UTC)

"Established"[edit source]

Andrei, you seem to have overlooked or misunderstood what I said about "Populated places established ,...". Here it is again. Please think about it and make a response. You seem to have made no written response on that forum. Some of your subsequent edits have been clearly contrary to my request for "maintaining Wikipedia subcategories so as not to mix places, institutions, etc.". -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 08:56, October 10, 2013 (UTC)

Summarizing (and responding to another of Andrei's recent points):
Any place page can be in a "Settled in ..." category or more than one - none of them probably corresponding to Wikipedia categories, because the arrival of a few residents is not "notable" in Wikipedia.
Any place page can be in an "Established in ..." category - probably a Wikipedia category, but I believe there is value in maintaining Wikipedia subcategories so as not to mix places, institutions, etc. I'm not sure whether I would bother changing "Populated places established in ...", but we should use a bot if there are lots of those and we want to change either them or "Settlements established in ..." to merge the two - maybe that sub-subject needs a new forum!
-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:00, August 12, 2011 (UTC)

Please do not delete any of my work without giving a reason[edit source]

I did say to you a few months ago: "Go easy on the deletions". The wiki does not have a need for fewer megabytes of data. Wikia management wants more, because every page can extract revenue from advertisers.

I've no idea what you thought you were doing deleting the perfectly valid page Shepway/bdm, which I created just a couple of weeks ago. But I suspect it was because there was no content in it after you surreptitiously changed something in an article I had written. Bad enough anywhere, but worse in Kent, where I want to maximize the "people in places" content so as to get Steve Sidders (a Kent expert) to come back and use Familypedia.

Please do not delete any of my work without giving a reason.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:10, October 15, 2013 (UTC)

Categorizing places in the US and the UK[edit source]

I suggest that you save yourself some time and some head-scratching by copying from WP as Thurstan and I do. Example of result: Category:Cities_in_Box_Elder_County,_Utah. I get my pointer in the blank edit box, I click the "usedwps" icon at the right, I usually then tab and click the icon again for the edit summary, then I "Preview", I click on the WP link in the resulting template (which automatically opens in a new window now), and I copy the WP page, close the WP window, and publish. Converting "Populated places" to "Settlements" is usually all the adjustment needed, if any.

I do that for most countries, but I'm leaving Germany to you, of course.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:30, October 16, 2013 (UTC)

Surname category format[edit source]

Andrei, are you having "senior moments"? Three times in the last few days I have seen you create a one-word surname category, such as:

N 15:22:33 Category:Siegburg‎ (diff | hist) . . (+8)‎ . . Afil (Talk | contribs | block) (Created page with "{{SCat}}")

I suspect that the resulting article (and variant articles) may not link properly to a category that does not have " (surname)" in its name. Even if that's not a problem, we don't want to encourage Wikipedia-style inconsistencies (!!), and there will be an obvious problem if the name has other uses (e.g. given name or place).

Best. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:54, October 17, 2013 (UTC)

Undefined U.S. district[edit source]

Please have a look at,_South_Carolina#Undefined_.22District.22_-_should_not_have_category_structure_as_for_counties. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:38, October 18, 2013 (UTC)

History[edit source]

Check the history of those Stockton pages. Their creator has firm ideas, which I don't want to upset too much in case we lose him. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:03, October 19, 2013 (UTC)

Evcat[edit source]

Good work. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:33, October 23, 2013 (UTC)

date template[edit source]

Our {{date}} template is different from Wikipedia, so please don't update it from Wikipedia. Thurstan (talk) 03:02, October 24, 2013 (UTC)

Minor edits[edit source]

Andrei, I would like you to consider checking the "Minor edit" box more often, e.g. whenever creating a sensor or tree or descendants subpage and when just adding categories or {{Bdm}} to a page. That would let us all see more, in "Recent changes", of what other (sometimes less reliable) editors are doing. Thurstan and I do it fairly consistently now. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:12, October 25, 2013 (UTC)

category redirect[edit source]

Please don't use "#redirect" with categories, it doesn't work. That is why we have {{category redirect}}. Thurstan (talk) 22:15, October 27, 2013 (UTC)

I have used "#redirect" with categories that were created but ambiguous. There was no definite better category to target; so the redirect should stop the wasteful creation of ambiguous parent categories. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 22:53, October 27, 2013 (UTC)
That's non-standard too: that's what {{Category disambiguation}} is for. Thurstan (talk) 23:03, October 27, 2013 (UTC)
Maybe you should have told us sooner. Thanks. I'll try to remember that. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:41, October 28, 2013 (UTC)

No need to upload files that are on Commons[edit source]

See Help:InstantCommons. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:44, October 28, 2013 (UTC)

Andrei, you continue to spend time uploading files that look as if they are on Commons. Do you check? All that's usually needed to check is to hover over the image. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:09, November 8, 2013 (UTC)

See my most recent ex-WP creation, Bletchingley. Map at top right no problem. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 22:36, November 8, 2013 (UTC)

Lansdowne (village), New South Wales[edit source]

Lansdowne (village), New South Wales is not the same place as Lansdowne, New South Wales: one is a suburb of Sydney, the other is near Taree. Please be more careful! Thurstan (talk) 00:06, November 2, 2013 (UTC)

Kjeldgaard[edit source]

Kjeldgaard = Kjeldgård. Man, you put me to a lot of work there! I guess the WARGS and Genealogics websites had trouble with that character and changed it to "aa", as do the thousands of people who have "aa" in their surnames. English Wikipedia doesn't have a page for the place. I guess it's time to look at our coverage of Denmark. I recommend sticking with en:WP placenames wherever available. You'll be pleased to see "... Region" and "... Municipality"! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:47, November 6, 2013 (UTC)

Showfacts biography[edit source]

Please fix the template. We should not subject a new contributor to the annoyance of seeing his or her first page start with "Ilosvay László was born in the year 1,521in Hungary and died in the year 1,555 of unspecified causes. " -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:02, November 13, 2013 (UTC)

Please understand that Rye, New York is not Rye City, it is just Rye. So please correct changes you've made to Marvin Pierce thank you.

Rye[edit source]

You could copy that last message on my talk page to whoever it was that really sent you the unsigned message about Rye. Incidentally, because WP has Rye, New York redirecting to the city, we now do too, so that anyone who wants a page to link to the "town" will just have to use the "correct" name (which will be WP's and eventually ours too). If someone means the city, there's probably little harm in linking to the redirect. I think our bdm pages follow redirects. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:43, November 23, 2013 (UTC)

Susannah Harroff (1791-1862)[edit source]

In this article you indicated Poland Township in Trumbull County, Ohio. According to Wikipeda, Polant Township is located in Mahoning County. Is this another Trumbull County in Ohio? Afil (talk)

Mahoning county was created in 1846 from parts of Trumbull and Columbiana counties. At the this time for Susannah Poland Township was located in Trumbull as Mahoning was not created yet. I hope this answers your question. --William Allen Shade (talk) 04:26, December 8, 2013 (UTC)
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