New people pages Edit


  1. Remove "?" from names before creating more subpages
  2. Remember - "/ancestors"

Happy New Year! — Robin Patterson (Talk) 14:00, January 1, 2011 (UTC)

I'm sorry, did you think that I created Joost Duryea (bef1735-?)/Ancestors? All I did was categorize it. I have only created "/tree", "/descendants" and "/sensor" subpages for ages.

Happy New Year to you too. Thurstan 21:18, January 1, 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I think I got the impression that you had created that page. Maybe I was misled by the usual confusion of language in a Wikia e-mail. Whenever I do anything to a page with a "?" in its name, I remove the "?" if it's not too much trouble. In the above case, I see that you may have been doing a whole lot of categorising, which is indeed the situation where I might leave the "?" alone too. Robin Patterson 04:45, January 31, 2011 (UTC)


im struggling editing and creating articles 16:40, January 4, 2011 (UTC)Historylover86.139.36.155 16:40, January 4, 2011 (UTC)

Your updating of Template:Surname-stub Edit - can we have the new image too, please? — Robin Patterson (Talk) 13:16, January 16, 2011 (UTC)

Done: sorry about neglecting that. Thurstan 21:10, January 16, 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, mate. Robin Patterson 04:45, January 31, 2011 (UTC)

Tree pages Edit

You create tree pages that work. Example noted on my last edit to my talk page. Do you have any idea why older ones (such as the flagship Charlemagne/tree) don't? Maybe the mysterious trickle-down-bot is on holiday?? (On the subject of trickle-down, I hope Lake Burley Griffin is not at a dangerously high level.) — Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:51, January 17, 2011 (UTC)

I suspect that when SMW was switched off (which last happened about 13 Jan 2011) it disrupts things, I am not sure why. I have been re-saving existing "/sensor" pages to make the new trees work. Thurstan 02:54, January 17, 2011 (UTC)
Ongoing story at Help:Tree page and its talk page. Robin Patterson 04:45, January 31, 2011 (UTC)

February 2011Edit

I thought I was copying what Andrei had told me about the ahnentafel-compact templates. Maybe you've changed them since? Please have a look at and add a note about where you have now taken us. Robin Patterson (Talk to me) 08:40, February 27, 2011 (UTC)

No, I haven't changed anything: they are exactly as the wikipedia documentation says: there are just numbered parameters that display whatever you tell it to. Thurstan 09:30, February 27, 2011 (UTC)

Query Edit

Sorry, I forgot to log in when I made my recent edits to John William Ewing. Is there anyway to associate those changes to my Login (Lance Ewing)? Regards, Lance Ewing.

I don't believe so. The best you could do is leave a note somewhere on the page or perhaps its talk page which says that you used address‎ to edit the page on this date. Alternatively, you could log on and edit the page again (do something trivial, like leave an extra blank line in the middle somewhere) and make a note in the "Summary" about having forgotten to log on the time before. That way, when anyone looks at the "history" for the page, they will see you note. This is how I would solve it. Thurstan 06:42, January 21, 2011 (UTC)

Deleting pages that are easy to create Edit


I think it is easier to blank them and protect them than to delete them.

Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:23, January 21, 2011 (UTC)

I think the same consideration applies to the deletion of unaccompanied given names (by suppressing the redirect), e.g. If we don't leave a redirect, someone is likely to re-create the page, either ignoring or not understanding the warning, and create good content that then has to be moved to its proper place. Robin Patterson 04:45, January 31, 2011 (UTC)

Another example: Anderson County, Tennessee/1880-1899. Thank you for continued major contribution to monitoring newbies; but I sometimes disagree with the results. It's possible you think we should never have articles named like that and that they were just a Phlox flight of fancy. If so, please consider reviving the subject on one of the relevant forums. But if you are content (as I am) that such articles have a place here, deleting one (when it can be re-created with two clicks and a keystroke) is just a waste of time and of Wikia's history storage space. You might even turn away a potential contributor who was a bit slow in adding planned content because of being a newbie with wikis and flabbergasted at actually creating the intended page so easily. --- Robin Patterson (Talk to me) 02:09, March 29, 2011 (UTC)

Year names without commas Edit

There must be a way to show them. See Romania for the latest irritation! — Robin Patterson (Talk) 08:39, January 29, 2011 (UTC)

I can't see anything in the SMW documentation. Thurstan 10:17, January 29, 2011 (UTC)
OK, I'm getting close to steeling myself for a full read of SF documentation!! Robin Patterson 04:45, January 31, 2011 (UTC)
Copied Help:Semantic forms from the MW website, and read most of it while checking links. Year numbers do have property "date" but I gather that there's a way to get them showing without commas: see the bottom of the table at "Allowed input types for data types". Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:51, February 23, 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, that sentence makes no sense to me: "input types" are logically independant of "display options". Thurstan 07:20, April 23, 2011 (UTC)

Maybe we need another (computed) property for display: eg birth_year_display, of type "date". Thurstan 20:24, February 23, 2011 (UTC)

Well, County Sligo#People shows that we haven't fixed the problem yet. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:20, April 22, 2011 (UTC)
I don't think the SMW developers have given as a display option yet (have we asked them?). Until they do, maybe we should display "date" rather than "year". Thurstan 21:15, April 22, 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't aware that we needed to be (re-)given a display option. The thing used to work, months ago, and there must be other sites that collect days, months, and years but sometimes want to display just the year, so I'm confident that any lack of the right display option would have been noticed and fixed before now. Years display OK in our infoboxes; why not in all queries, I wonder. You have more proficiency with "types"; could you be the one to initiate a request to the SMW mailing list? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:38, April 23, 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I am not about to request anything from anybody. I feel like I am just an observer of this issue. I have suggested my solution above. What I have seen is:
  1. In the original design, when Phlox discovered that the years were displaying with commas (and that there was no display option to suppress the commas for type "number"), he changed the "year" fields to type "date", which did display properly.
  2. After the last upgrade, the forms now gave a full "date-chooser" for the year fields, and always stuff a full date into the "year" fields. So every time a form was used to edit, the date fields broke. So we changed the data type for "year" back to "number", which gives us the "comma" problem.
If you think that "other sites" have solved this problem, perhaps you should ask them how they did it. Thurstan 07:20, April 23, 2011 (UTC)

Helping the newbiesEdit

Brilliant work finding the parents and other spouses of that recent newbie's ancestor. Cooperative genealogy at its best. Robin Patterson 04:45, January 31, 2011 (UTC)

Given namesEdit

Another endless job. I added variants to {{Given}} rtol 12:33, February 2, 2011 (UTC)

Grandmothers who are now 0 years of age Edit

You understand most of the minibiography template. Now another long-dead person is now reportedly aged 0. Please look at and see whether you can stop the nonsense. Robin Patterson 04:23, February 9, 2011 (UTC)

Thank you! Robin Patterson 21:46, February 10, 2011 (UTC)

Notes and sources and other factsEdit


No apparent difference. All just bullets, whether you use "new note" (as the guide says) or a normal wiki new line device such as "Enter" plus star. Is there an underlying reason why "new note" is better?

Robin Patterson 21:46, February 10, 2011 (UTC)

Well, it is the "standard": as I see it, we store a list of sources in the properties, not a lot of formatting. It doesn't look the same either, because you regularly start with a "*", giving a blank line. I wouldn't have changed it if you hadn't done that, because I wouldn't have noticed. Thurstan 21:49, February 10, 2011 (UTC)

OK. But I no longer regularly start with a star since I saw that the display starts with one. It would be good if I could see these properties. You said the facts display was something to do with skins. Is there a solution? People using the "proper" skin shouldn't be discriminated against. Maybe rtol is in the same boat, because he recently said __SHOWFACTS__ has stopped working. Robin Patterson 22:22, February 10, 2011 (UTC)

Nobility Edit

Thanks for reminding me that some of them have numbers. I'd better open thePeerage. Robin Patterson 00:25, February 11, 2011 (UTC)

Sensors Edit

I put {{detect tabs}} back into {{sensor}}. rtol 06:35, March 1, 2011 (UTC)

What did Robin say? Thurstan 06:36, March 1, 2011 (UTC)

Descendants breaching the 1000-character limit Edit

I shouldn't be too worried about Elizabeth Stuart. Georg von Braunschweig-Lüneburg (1582-1641)/descendants shows FOUR errors related to the 1000-character limit. I've asked rtol to offer a comment on the template's talk page, but I'd be happy to see one from you too. --- Robin Patterson (Talk to me) 05:21, March 3, 2011 (UTC)

Battle datesEdit

Rather than manually categorizing battles, would we not rather use Property:Event date to automate this in {{info battle}}? rtol 19:48, March 4, 2011 (UTC)

Worth a look: we will need a "participants" property for the nations involved. Thurstan 21:02, March 4, 2011 (UTC)

On second thought, I don't see the gain: if we are copying the account over from wikipedia, the categories should come too. Thurstan 21:48, March 4, 2011 (UTC)

List of Belgian Monarchs v Monarchs of BelgiumEdit

I object to the move. The Wikipedia standard is poor. List is redundant. Few of these monarchs were Belgian. A number of Belgians who were monarchs are not on the list (as they were not monarchs of Belgium).

I deliberately used Monarchs of Belgium which is concise and roughly correct. rtol 06:20, March 9, 2011 (UTC)

I don't follow your logic: the OED defines "Belgian" as "of or pertaining to Belgium", so "Belgian Monarchs" means "Monarchs of or pertaining to Belgium", ie "Monarchs of Belgium". Nationality has nothing to do with it. Thurstan 03:22, March 10, 2011 (UTC)

Now look up "sophistry" in the OED. rtol 08:23, March 10, 2011 (UTC)

Table of Contents Edit

When I used to add {{tocright}} to a person-page, it used to fit neatly under the right-hand side on the mini-bio, filling some otherwise useless white space. In my latest article, John Reid Mackintosh (1869-1953), it has decided to sit under the ad, leaving a horrid white desert of more white space before the Children heading.

As you seem to know how to improve the person page (if recent changes involving {{for template}}(?) are any guide), please see if you can get tocright (which is in there but apparently ineffectual) tucked in so that it displays where it used to, nicely filling some of the white space and not creating any more. It could perhaps be an integral part of the minibio, in a new line.

--- Robin Patterson (Talk to me) 12:33, March 12, 2011 (UTC)

No, I do not approve: I believe our standard (dating back to the "/info" page days) is "NOTOC": you seem to have suddenly decided (without discussion) that we need a TOC. I don't agree, I think it is unnecessary for pages that don't have lots of text paragraphs. Thurstan 20:57, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
All the pages I look at (eg Christina Apel (1876-1928)) is sits under the infobox, pushing everything down. If we need a TOC, it should be a "left" one, like a wikipedia article with an info box. Thurstan 21:06, March 12, 2011 (UTC)
OK, it seems to need more discussion. (I had a feeling that the NOTOC was introduced without discussion.) But the sitting under the infobox seems very recent; could your changes to form:person have moved it? --- Robin Patterson (Talk to me) 02:19, March 19, 2011 (UTC)

Gratitude Edit

Thank you so much for creating the disambiguation pages for my Vermont localities. I will work on the specific pages soon. KAmbrose 00:06, March 19, 2011 (UTC)

SMW breaking again Edit

As you may have noticed, fewer things are working today. Missing or bad are tabs, sensor pages, generations 3+ of descendant pages; and there's at least one thing wrong with the mini-bio on Charlemagne_(747-814). I've not tried to create an article since waking up. User:rtol messaged me to see if I might contact Wikia. You can see my considered reply on his talk page. --- Robin Patterson (Talk to me) 02:37, March 19, 2011 (UTC)

I think the main thing that has broken is that SMW has forgotten what types the properties are, so things default to being links: that's why the tabs are broken (will try to fix). The fix is to resave the property. However, if we were to do that to the ancestors and dependants, it would break them, because it is a "type error" that is broken now. I notice that the "long name" is displaying with "_" instead of " " in the mini-bio. Thurstan 03:39, March 19, 2011 (UTC)

Bradman Edit

Hey, Sport, WARGS data seems to be more detailed than what you have been using (e.g. definite death year for Bradnam), and of course it's set out in a way that makes FP page creation from a child page fairly easy. Link at Donald George Bradman (1908-2001)/tree. --- Robin Patterson (Talk to me) 12:14, March 22, 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I was inspired by the WARGS data (which I am incorporating). However, I have more dates and places then WARGS does. Thurstan 19:57, March 22, 2011 (UTC)


Hi Thurstan,

The main reason that I always capitalise surnames is that while searching for certain surnames, a small collection of capitals is easy to spot in "scanning" mode, among all of the lower case text. The other reason is because quite often, a child receives the surname of its mother (or another important distaff ancestor) as one of their middle names - e.g. Albert Leo Vautin COFFISON - giving the clue that the child's mother's maiden was probably VAUTIN. However, if the paternal surname is always capitalised, there is no doubt about the correct surname of such a child. I have found that another surname occurring among an ancestor's Christian names can sometimes be confusing to newbies (having seen this same person's name later reproduced as Albert Leo Vautin-Coffison), thereby causing further mayhem down the track.

As a researcher of more than 40 years, I am truly sorry to learn that capitalising surnames is frowned upon and/or actively discouraged on your pages (sigh). If you look at the above paragraph, the surnames COFFISON and VAUTIN stand out immediately, removing any lingering doubts about a person's correct surname! If the majority of the wording was in lower case (except the odd capital to begin a sentence or to acknowledge proper nouns), readers must plough through every single line to discover what surmames are being presented in the text (more sighs).

Having said all that, I understand and respect your rules, and therefore (reluctantly) comply...

Thank you sincerely for allowing me to present my case anyway.


Deleting categories, or not Edit includes:

  • Ancestry from Abney
  • Ancestry from Africa
  • Ancestry from Bohemia
  • Ancestry from Byzantium
  • Ancestry from Europe
  • Ancestry from Ireland
  • Ancestry from Jersey
  • Ancestry from North Ireland
  • Ancestry from the Isle of Man

But "Thurstan (Talk | contribs | block) deleted "Category:Ancestry from the West Indies" (not a country)"

If one of my ancestors was described as having ancestors from the West Indies, I'd want to put him or her in that category, especially if that's all that we knew about them. Several of my Crawfurd relatives were described on a family tree as having died in The West Indies. No other clue. Being "not a country" should be no bar to being named as the location for a category. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:08, April 17, 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, you can recreate it if you like: just don't use {{AncestryCountry}} until it is fixed to use the "the" in "the West Indies". Thurstan 06:33, April 17, 2011 (UTC)

Creating Trees Edit


I hope you don't mind me asking but I have started updating the pages I made a while ago to the standard forms which I am finding very easy to use.

However, I cannot find out how to create the 'trees' which shows the ancestors of the person featured in the page. Could you please explain how to do so?

Thank you very much, Cv-s 08:10, July 7, 2011 (UTC)

There are 2 steps to the process:
I hope this quick note suffices, if not ask again. Note that if the "/sensor" already exists, then you have to resave it after you create the "/tree" so that it gets noticed by the system. Thurstan 11:00, July 7, 2011 (UTC)
Great, I tried it for Gillian Tivey and it's all working perfectly. I'll work on adding it to my other pages and then work on descendants etc. which I should be able to grasp now.
Thanks for explaining. Cv-s 11:39, July 7, 2011 (UTC)
My suggested order is to create "/tree", then "/descendants" (if required), then "/sensor". Thurstan 11:42, July 7, 2011 (UTC)

Green Valley, Shawano County, Wisconsin Edit

Thanks for catching that. I had no idea there was more than one in Wisconsin. I've fixed them all. Lanica 01:33, July 20, 2011 (UTC)

Our "standard" is to use Wikipedia page names for places, so if you look them up in WIkipedia as you go, you find the ambiguities and the spelling errors. Thurstan 01:36, July 20, 2011 (UTC)

Images Edit

Hello, hopefully you don't mind me asking again but when I add images with the form-person style, the image comes up but so does some unwanted numbers/letters. (Please see Louisa Blunt (1878-1971)). I don't mind too much but it looks a little messy and if there's a way around it, could you please tell me.

Thank you, Cv-s 08:02, July 20, 2011 (UTC)

Don't worry about asking me for help. What is going on here is that because of the design of this template, you don't specify the "File:" prefix for the image, and you don't get to specify any other parameters (caption, sizes, etc), just the file name. I have fixed Louisa Blunt (1878-1971): I hope you are happy with this. Thurstan 09:01, July 20, 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, that looks much better. I'll remember that when adding my next photos. Cv-s 10:17, July 20, 2011 (UTC)

Changing "Settled" to "Established" Edit

Are you aware that Andrei has been making a lot of changes that seem to eliminate the "settled" concept from articles? In a recent one, Grafton, New South Wales, he's just plain wrong, according to the text of the article. I don't like it, because even if correct it removes a distinction valuable for genealogy, but if it has your blessing I'll go easy. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:02, August 9, 2011 (UTC)

I am disinclined to diverge too far from Wikipedia, because every change we make to a Wikipedia category name make more work when we copy the articles from Wikipedia, so I do not agree. Thurstan 01:05, August 9, 2011 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting any change to WP category names, and I generally agree with you on the value of WP. I'm concerned about the deletion of more genealogy-specific additional categories. Have you looked at,_New_South_Wales&s=wldiff&diff=0&oldid=215035 ? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:57, August 9, 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I expressed myself very badly: I don't disagree with you, I disagree with Andrei. I was expressing my disapproval of his changes to the Wikipedia categorization. Thurstan 04:01, August 9, 2011 (UTC)

Forum:Settlements and establishments now under construction, with several paragraphs still to be written. Could be done by the end of the evening, after which responses from you and others are welcome. (The Grafton example opened a can of cute little worms, illustrating one disadvantage of copying from WP; I mentioned it to Andrei but didn't reproduce it on the forum.) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:11, August 10, 2011 (UTC)


Thurstan, I'd just like to say that your generous edits and additions to my previous articles (eg Betty Blanchette) are not going unnoticed. It is very appreciated and I will try to fix up more of my articles soon. Cv-s 11:13, August 14, 2011 (UTC)

You're welcome: I am trying to do various generic fix ups. I notice that you still have a problem with Betty Blanchette (1919-1941): after dying in 1941, she marries in 1945. Thurstan 21:00, August 14, 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I see how that's a problem! I didn't notice, but now I've changed it to a more likely 1941. Cv-s 10:52, August 15, 2011 (UTC)

Semantic assistance on Giki? Edit

Hello there. I was advised by Robin to catch you in a good mood, so please ensure your emotions are appropriately positive before continuing to read.  ;)

Please see this discussion. I have investigated further and determined that the issue is with w:c:government:Template:Inauguration. I set up a test page here, where every instance of 2 was originally {{#show:{{{1}}}|?Term offset}} and every instance of 4 was {{#show:{{{1}}}|?Term length#a}}. Substituting these expressions for the corresponding literal numbers triggers an error about an unexpected <.

I noticed something on the talk pages here about Wikia limiting the semantic query depth... Is that the problem here? Is there any way around it?

Also, I originally wrote that template but cannot recall what the #a means. Maybe you could remind me?

Thanks for any advice. --Jesdisciple (talk) 23:31, August 23, 2011 (UTC)

Hi! Edit

I am new to the wiki, but not new to Genealogy! Am I allowed to create pages about my ancestors?


-G4 G4 G4♥♦♪♫♥♦♪♫♥♦♪♫Happy People! 21:04, August 25, 2011 (UTC)

Go for it, that's what it is here for. Please follow our page name conventions to avoid creating duplicates, and note that the "forms" only work with the Firefox 3 browser. Thurstan 21:57, August 25, 2011 (UTC)

Sorry! Edit

I am extremely sorry! I will correct my mistakes immedietely, and not make them in the future. So sorry!

Thanks for the help...

G4 G4 G4♥♦♪♫♥♦♪♫♥♦♪♫Happy People! 00:11, August 26, 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Edit

Thanks for the warning. Also, are you the top contributor? Who founded this wiki, and are they still active? (Sorry for bombarding you with questions, but I'm one of those people. And, It could help me edit better in the future.

G4 G4 G4♥♦♪♫♥♦♪♫♥♦♪♫Happy People! 00:51, August 26, 2011 (UTC)

I am the human on top of the list at Familypedia:Contributors/Edit count, just below a bot. I believe that User:IFaqeer was the founder, his first edit is in 2004 and his last in 2007 (I assume he moved on to other things, rather than died). I suggest you talk to User:Robin Patterson, who has been around almost since the beginning, and is still active. Thurstan 00:59, August 26, 2011 (UTC)

Forget about what I asked before, but now, how do you create the "Form" format on a genealogical profile of a person?

-G4 G4 G4♥♦♪♫♥♦♪♫♥♦♪♫Happy People! 21:40, August 26, 2011 (UTC)

First up, because of an unresolved problem with the software, the only browser that works with the form is Firefox Version 3 (I noticed you destroy another page because you didn't believe me last time I told you that). If you are not using that browser, see Forum:Data entry without using Form:Person. To create a new page, just go to Form:Person and enter the page name into the box. There are a lot more words at Help:Starting pages for people, places, or surnames/Guidance. Thurstan 21:46, August 26, 2011 (UTC)

Congrats Edit

Congrats on the wiki having 100,000 pages. Without you, this would never have happened.

-G4 G4 G4♥♦♪♫♥♦♪♫♥♦♪♫Happy People! 16:06, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Thank you, you are too kind. Thurstan 21:47, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Pongau Edit

vom = von dem = of the

in this case, though, it's a typo rtol 05:41, August 30, 2011 (UTC)

Thank you: my German is almost non-existant. Thurstan 06:18, August 30, 2011 (UTC)

Newbie Edit

Hi Thurstan

I am still a newbie and hoping that Familypedia will create interest amongst my family members to contribute. I edited the lifespan of a ggg grandfather. I can do more editing and create more pages.

Learning how to do it at the moment

First Attemp Edit

Hi Thurstan

Trying my first attempt. It is not quite right

Page display quirks? Edit

I've just seen some "facts" on a page, below the category and spotlights etc. Looked quite promising.

But can you see what I see on The Wikia-imposed selection of article-starts above the real content includes Ethel (whom I knew personally) and Frances, each of whose articles seems to say "Had a woollen mill in Yorkshire and was well off. His two eldest sons were sent to" - text that belongs with Andrew, born in 1834.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:12, August 31, 2011 (UTC)

I don't see that "logged in" because I am still using the old skin, but I do see that when I am not logged in. Talking about surname Avison: in my database I have some NZers, Eliza Avison (1863-1942), no parents given, who married John William Watts (1861-1929). Thurstan 04:06, August 31, 2011 (UTC)

Families in places Edit

I wonder whether you disagree with the second sentence of Familypedia:Surname in place. Recent creations suggest that you do. Or have never noticed it. (8-) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:36, September 22, 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't recall creating any "xxxx family" categories, but I could be wrong. I thought that all I have created are "Smith in Place" types. Which do you think I have created? Thurstan 12:01, September 22, 2011 (UTC)

After a night's sleep, I have reviewed the offending pages, such as Henry Butler (c1666-1746), and I find that the history says:

02:40, 2009 August 23 Bergsmit ... (Category:Butler families of Baltimore County, Maryland)

Looking at the history of Category:Butler families of Baltimore County, Maryland I see that I created it in 2010 March 30 (presumably when it made the Special:WantedCategories list). Obviously I didn't notice that it was wrong then, and it seems that nobody else did either. So the problem isn't a "Recent creation", which is why I didn't understand your message from yesterday. Sorry about all this, I will correct it. Thurstan 20:29, September 22, 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for reply. My word "creations" was a bit of shorthand, probably too short. I had seen at least two emails telling me you had put something in a category with "families" in its name or had done something else to such a category. The most recent was:
Hi Robin Patterson, 
A page has been added to a category you're following, Families of Baltimore County, Maryland, on Familypedia. 
See Category:Butler in Baltimore County, Maryland for the new page. 
- Wikia Community Support 

Maybe Wikia was screwing up again and telling lies; I didn't check the actual page histories.
The previous one must have been earlier than 17 Sept. I can dig deeper into my "deleted items" if you're interested. But we seem to be on the same side of that discussion. Still a very small part of the operation, ideally to be superseded by SMW "real soon now". (Of course, surname categories were much the same once.)
-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 14:20, September 23, 2011 (UTC)
No, Wikia was not "telling lies": what I did recently was create the "Category:Butler in Baltimore County, Maryland" etc as the next categories up the chain. I put it in the same category that you are following. Thurstan 21:15, September 23, 2011 (UTC)

Established Edit

I am sure you are aware of the inconsistencies regarding the categories in Wikia which I am attempting to reduce. One of these refers to the "established". Specifically some categories are defined as 'yyyy establishements in the United States", others as "{settlements or territories or other entities) established in 'yyyy' and in many cases the category is omitted. In a discussion on this topic Robin considered that both the categories established and settled should be kept. However, the solution which had been used for both categories was "Settled in yyyy" or Established in yyyy", which I have tried to implement since. You have not voiced any objection to this.

I have kindly requested you, when you load articles from wikipedia and change the categories which in Wikipedia include the name Populated places, not to change in to "settlements established in 'yyyy'" but simply to "Established in 'yyyy'". Again, you have not responded in any way but have also ignored my request.

I have difficulties in understanding what your oppinion is. But is it totally silly to have thousands of articles which adopt one way of defining the category and then to add several more which have different categories. It is also silly for us to go on like this, when you make me change the categories you have included. Can we find a way of solving this dispute. I have stated my views. It does not help to keep silent and not to participate in a discussion on such matters. Afil 21:09, September 22, 2011 (UTC)

I am sorry I have not made my opinion known to you. My opinion is very simple:
It is silly to change any of the Wikipedia category names. Changing the category names makes a continuing burden and source of mistakes.
I have not expressed that opinion because I know that nobody else agrees with me. All I have seen in favour of the other opinion are expressions of personal taste.
However, I believe that if you (and Robin too) think we should change the category names from those on Wikipedia, you have assumed responsibilty for making it happen. As it is, there are still a large number of articles to be copied from Wikipedia: your effort on the categories seems a bit premature.

Thurstan 21:21, September 22, 2011 (UTC)

Gentlemen, it's good to see you discussing that, though a case could be made for keeping such discussions to forums, where anyone interested in the subject-matter can find discussion more easily.
On the whole I agree with Thurstan about keeping Wikipedia categories exactly as we find them (though we don't have the manpower to follow all of the wholesale changes that WP sometimes makes), but I think you both accept that we have a small number of major departures, mostly made after a bit of consensus and often because we use the Commons category names, and/or names that are more relevant to genealogy, instead. I agree that some of the changing that I have seen recently is premature - and/or I think it could be done with a bot or similar device much more efficiently.
However, I've stated (probably on a forum) that "settled" has a genealogical value, apparently not notable enough for Wikipedia, while "established" means something a little different, and we can accommodate both categories for any place, "settled" being a Familypedia invention, while "Established (or "Settlements established" is a simple variant on the WP category.
One thing I've noticed is that categories for the establishment of things other than populated places - such as institutions - are also getting reduced to "Established in ...."; I doubt if that's sensible. But maybe it's not departing from Wikipedia; I don't remember actually checking to see what the matching category was on WP.
-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 14:20, September 23, 2011 (UTC)



I have noticed that when you have tidied up some of my pages (of couse, thanks for doing it!) you have changed the "skills" from beginning with an upper case to lower case.

Is this what it's meant to be? I've been deliberately using capitals at the start. If this is wrong please tell me so as I know not to do so for future articles (hopefully many).

Thanks, Cv-s 17:15, October 1, 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your message and advice it is very appreciated. As you can see I am new to this site a will take a while to find my way around things, but when I do I hope to help out with contributions here and there to benefit ohers in their quest for ancestry and associated topics. My page is a little bare at present but I will be developing it soon.


Ancestries-Admin-2bc 01:01, October 21, 2011 (UTC)

Bird Edit 11:06, October 22, 2011 (UTC) Where did you find that Alburtis Bird was born in Middlesex Co, NJ? Please answer me at Thanks. Jo Simpson74.226.218.57 11:06, October 22, 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, I was looking at the christening: based on the text of the page, he could have been born in Australia for all we know. I will remove the spurious "Born in New Jersey" category (which was the problem). Thurstan 20:32, October 22, 2011 (UTC)

Buried in Georgia (U.S. state) Edit

You have locked this category. However, it should be corrected, as a subcategory of Burials in the United States by state which would be consistent with the other US states. Afil 22:00, October 28, 2011 (UTC)

Thanks: I've fixed it. Thurstan 01:13, October 29, 2011 (UTC)

Can we talk? Edit

There may be things on which we agree and others on which we have different opinions. However I find that the solution is not to take punitive measures such as locking the access to some pages with no explanation.

There are civilized ways of exchanging ideas, such as messages in which we explain our views. Afil 02:52, October 29, 2011 (UTC)

I am sorry that I have been a bully to you. I will stop protecting category pages from you. Thurstan 03:07, October 29, 2011 (UTC)

Tree on your User PageEdit


May I ask as to how you got your ancestry tree on your user page. Especially how you did so with 'mum' and 'dad' instead of actual names... I'd like to have it on my own page.

Thanks, Cv-s 10:56, October 29, 2011 (UTC)

It just looks like:

===My Ancestry===
| 1 = [[User:Thurstan]]
| 2 = Dad
| 3 = Mum
| 4 = [[Robert Percival Levingston (1904-1978)|Robert Percival Levingston<br>(1904-1978)]]
| 5 = [[Mabel Louisa Cook (1901-1980)|Mabel Louisa Cook<br>(1901-1980)]]
| 63 = [[Martha Manwell (c1781-1848)]]

Thurstan 20:33, October 29, 2011 (UTC)

Thank you! It looks just the way I wanted. Cv-s 01:44, October 30, 2011 (UTC)

Source <new note> not working? Edit


I'm sorry to bother you again, but I began using your articles as a guide to add sources to my pages. I started with Iris Whittle (1924) and it worked very well, showing two dot points for the two sources. However, when I copied the source notes from her page, I tried it for her sister Joan Doris Whittle (1926-1999) and it didn't work, as you can see.

If you have a spare moment could you please explain what I am doing wrong?

Thank you, Cv-s 08:37, November 24, 2011 (UTC)

Add: I just went to Iris' page and it turns out it didn't work on there either. Cv-s 08:38, November 24, 2011 (UTC)

You had typed "new source": it is "new note" (the "notes" and the "sources" are processed together). Just to make life difficult, you need a "refresh" after you change the sources or notes to get it to display. Thurstan 10:15, November 24, 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for clearing that up. I just tried with another sister and it worked perfectly. Cv-s 10:32, November 24, 2011 (UTC)

Cleaning Up Some PagesEdit

This wiki at the moment is better than it has ever been but there is only one problem which I feel should be addressed. The problem I have noticed is that some of the pages have become untidy and scruffy. By this, I mean that some articles are basically just wikipedia articles copied out onto one of our articles. Even though I don't think that copyright is infringed, it still appears to be a bit messy.

Regards; GamerKing999 15:21, November 26, 2011 (UTC)

I know, they represent pages that need to be converted to our standard SMW. There is no copyright problem. Thurstan 20:08, November 26, 2011 (UTC)

Migration from WikipediaEdit

Do we have a standard template we use to attribute profiles migrated from Wikipedia?

Yes, {{usedwp}}. Thurstan 02:51, December 1, 2011 (UTC)

Location map Edit

On May 17, 2010 you uploaded the template Location map from Wikipedia which works fine.

However, since, wikipedia has changed the template, adding new features. I uploated the new version from wikipedia, but in Familypedia it gives some errors. I reverted to the previous version in order not to screw up things. But I still don't know why the new wikipedia version does not work in Familypedia.

Afil 06:16, December 19, 2011 (UTC)

I will have a look at it when I get a chance. Thurstan 06:18, December 19, 2011 (UTC)
I think it is okay now: I updated some of the "helper" templates. Please check to see if you think it all works now. Thurstan 07:14, December 19, 2011 (UTC)

Pilkington Edit

Why did you delete Pilkington?

I have no idea what you are talking about: what does the "edit summary" say? Thurstan 01:20, December 23, 2011 (UTC)

Updates from WP Edit

I think we need a better system (maybe copying from WeRelate).,_Ohio&s=wldiff&diff=0&oldid=701496 has wiped lots of WP links for pages we aren't likely to want here, along with the template I added less than 10 hours ago, unless you've cunningly hidden it. Needs a new forum item, maybe? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 21:28, December 24, 2011 (UTC)

The mechanics of updatingEdit

I didn't remove your template, just moved it to the bottom. If you make all addition below the {{usedwp}}, they won't disappear on the update. We need to wipe the "WP" links because they are all out of date. Thurstan 21:59, December 24, 2011 (UTC)
What do you mean by "all out of date"? Warren P. Noble (which we should want here) is still a WP page. So's oil well, which is a page we aren't likely to want here. I don't need to show you more than one to disprove what you appear to mean. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:58, December 25, 2011 (UTC)
You are right, I don't mean they are "all" out of date. But I have copied hundreds (if not thousands) of "place" pages from wikipedia, mostly "county towns". So the county pages need to link to them rather than the wikipedia copy. There is no easy way to automate a fix of this. So I think we should remove all the {{wp}} and use local links, until we have an agreed complete list of wikipedia pages which we will never copy. Thurstan 20:11, December 25, 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the locality and people names all deserve to be internal now, and I don't mind having oil well and a few thousand similar pagenames red until we get sufficiently organised to delink or redirect what we really don't want. So wholesale copying from WP without any WP-related template is the best compromise (subject to placement considerations as discussed below). (Am I right in thinking that we have already got rid of most of the {{wp}} because it violated the "if" limit for most long pages?) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:30, December 26, 2011 (UTC)
Your paragraph summarizes my position on the links, too. During the moral panicWp globe tiny about how much server resource SMW was using, the original {{wp}} was converted to just link to Wikipedia unconditionally. Thurstan 04:59, December 26, 2011 (UTC)

Positions of FP-specific materialEdit

Below the acknowledgment template is not a good place for FP-specific material. The county people template deserves to be right after the history (where I put this one) or even before it, or right after the list of prominent county people if there is one. I repeat - I think we need a better system. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:58, December 25, 2011 (UTC)

I don't agree about the positioning: the "prominent county people" list is right down near the end in the standard wikipedia page: that's roughly where I think ours should go.
Phlox was looking at a better way, and didn't find a solution. Thurstan 20:11, December 25, 2011 (UTC)

I wonder whether Phlox looked at the WeRelate system. It's a while since I looked at it, and it has changed a bit now, but its essence was that each place article has a History section that can be regularly (initially every 6 months or so, I think User:Dallan said) updated semi-automatically from WP, with the rest of the WP article merely linked to (except that bits that are considered worth copying by hand can become a "permanent" part of the WR article). See and subsequent paragraphs for the current setup. Using a system like that, we could keep our articles concentrated on genealogy and history without problems of placement.

Another part of a place article that risks being lost with your wholesale replacement system is an external link for a library or other repository or database of genealogical material, not wanted by WP but added manually to FP by any contributor. I add those from time to time. Others probably do.

A solution (if you don't like having just the History as on WR) may be for the wholesale updating to be from the introduction, infobox, and History down to whatever precedes the external links. Our county people can go just above our manually-enhanced External links if there's general agreement that they shouldn't be much higher. Have a look at the current form of Noble County, Ohio for an example of a higher placement.

Other contributors may well have better or at least different ideas about matters of updating and placements. Time for a forum?

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:30, December 26, 2011 (UTC)

Bureaucracy Edit

A Boxing-Day present for you. It's 17 months since the last time any other bureaucrat edited. The other three are still alive and active on the Web (at least recently) but might be hard to call on if I took ill or went offline for any other reason. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:22, December 25, 2011 (UTC)

Thank you sir, I hope I don't disappoint. Thurstan 20:11, December 25, 2011 (UTC)

Place ambiguities Edit

Wikipedia:Mansfield has a note at the top that looks like "For other uses, see Mansfield (disambiguation).". I presume that it's created by one of WP's standard templates. Seems to have been missed from our version. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:43, December 26, 2011 (UTC)

You can put it back in, and copy Mansfield (disambiguation)Wp globe tiny if you like: I often delete hatnotes linking to pages we don't have. Thurstan 05:45, December 26, 2011 (UTC)

Thank you. Deleting links to pages we should never have is fine, but not links to pages we should have. This one in particular is a surname. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:04, January 17, 2012 (UTC)
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