(this is the 2013 archive of my talk page)

Splendid recent responses Edit

Thank you for today's serious work on various fixes. I hadn't wanted to bother you any more but I'm delighted that you bothered. Now I'd better go and try things. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:10, December 30, 2012 (UTC)

You're welcome. I do neglect the gadgets that I don't use so much. Thurstan (talk) 03:12, December 30, 2012 (UTC)

"Final" bit of major user-unfriendliness on Form:Person needing your help: the children input section has the statue of the family group but the rest of it above the top input box says something like this:

  -1: 	' 	

Then the source and notes boxes appear, with no hint of what they are for. I recall pointing out that the coding differed from the other input sections by having source BEFORE notes, and I think I suggested that all should follow that order.

Now that the forms are working so well again, maybe you'll resume using them!

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:21, January 1, 2013 (UTC)

More labels lost: I will look for them.
I do use the forms at least once with every page I create! Thurstan (talk) 05:28, January 1, 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I have removed all the calls to {{string}}. What do you think? Thurstan (talk) 06:11, January 1, 2013 (UTC)


"Edit child facts" is fine now, with all the labels anyone could want. I'm pleased that it didn't suffer the ostracism that you gave to some partial forms. But unless there's been an improvement in the last few hours the integrated "children" part of Form:Person is still as I reported it. Maybe that's a partial form??

It is a different template (only used at page creation?). I have removed its {{string}} calls. Thurstan (talk) 21:14, January 5, 2013 (UTC)

Do we have room to add spouse names to the display of the children box? Many contributors add that below the table or elsewhere, particularly so as to show likely name-at-death of daughters. User:Selkcerf mentioned that desire recently. Since we agreed to push the child box down to clear the infobox, we don't have the space problem we once had. I'm not suggesting full marriage details. One of our displays lists spouses concatenated, and that should be enough here too.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:42, January 5, 2013 (UTC)

I am not sure if that is what User:Selkcerf was asking for: I thought he was asking for more information to be shown when you still have "red-links".
Perhaps you should start a "Forum" on this: I don't think we should change this without agreement from User:rtol and User:cvs. Thurstan (talk) 21:14, January 5, 2013 (UTC)


Thurston I was in the process of fixing & renaming Hannah Hewitt by removing the "nee" when you jumped in. Please leave me tio correct the problems I have created as I also have to make sure that the links all work. I will be fixing any others that I also created, just be patient.

Sorry, I will leave you to it. Thurstan (talk) 02:36, January 1, 2013 (UTC)

Vilius Edit

Thank you: I had been following the saga, but I was not sure what to do about it. Thurstan (talk) 10:19, January 5, 2013 (UTC)

Children's notes not displaying Edit

Good evening. You've knocked off early. I hope you haven't had to dive into Lake Burley Griffin.

Please have a look at

A couple of lines of "children-g1 notes"; but they don't appear on the display of the page. You're the most recent tinkerer there. Any ideas?

Best wishes -- -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:06, January 8, 2013 (UTC)

You have an error in your model: you must code "children-g1_notes" with a "_", not "children-g1 notes". I don't know if your version used to work, but it hasn't worked for quite a while. Thurstan (talk) 10:16, January 8, 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I mis-spoke: the error was in the template used in Form:Person (as I realized after I went to bed last night). I have fixed it (and tested it). Thurstan (talk) 02:47, January 9, 2013 (UTC)
Good work. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:52, January 9, 2013 (UTC)


OK, as you are the current bdm policeman and chief operative, please:

  1. Give the template some documentation
  2. Update

Something I was about to try, until I looked at the template and decided that I couldn't be sure how it worked or what created the tab, was to add a visible message on the main article telling readers that details of births etc are at the "bdm" tab. An alternative could be a more obvious label (e.g. "Births, deaths, etc") for the tab.

Then there's the county level - {{show county people}}. Ultimately such pages would be far too big to display, but in the next few years it can remain useful until we can organise the query system so that it's foolproof and suitable for beginners.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:52, January 9, 2013 (UTC)

I'll pass, I don't want to tread on User:Afil's toes more than I have lately, you will have to ask him. The only discussion I have found about this (which you were part of) was at User_talk:Afil#Subpages and User_talk:Rtol#Show people. Thurstan (talk) 04:26, January 9, 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the links. I'll talk to the other guys and start updating Forum:Templates_update. Then you can somewhere add a bit about how to show the tab! Maybe you can have a good look at the last dozen items on the Watercooler, several of which need input from more than one or two people. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:09, January 9, 2013 (UTC)

local govt redirect Edit

You have been a busy bee! - they should link to "...government areas in...". I expect many (maybe most) of them are templated and will sort themselves out soon, but I can't be sure. The still earlier page was "...Government Areas of...".

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:02, January 10, 2013 (UTC)

Yes, the link is in {{Infobox Australian place}}: the templates like that usually link there labels "X" to the "List of X" page. Thurstan (talk) 10:11, January 10, 2013 (UTC)
On second thought, I am not so sure. Maybe it is an artifact of the way the template logic works.... Thurstan (talk) 10:22, January 10, 2013 (UTC)

Last week I checked and redirected a few key pages. I think we now have merely a lot of harmless redirects with all of the double redirects eliminated. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:11, January 16, 2013 (UTC)

standard? Edit,_Chhattisgarh/bdm?s=wldiff&diff=0&oldid=865691

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

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

In User:Afil's discussion. Thurstan (talk) 03:51, January 11, 2013 (UTC)

Ohio and bdm generally Edit

I've done East Cleveland, Ohio/bdm. You can do more on its person-subject-page if you like.

Andrei's not answering. Please tell me what you use as the standard link from a place page to its bdm.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:00, January 16, 2013 (UTC)

Template {{bdm}} displays the tabs, so you add it to the top of the place page. The template {{bdm1}}, which the conents of the "/bdm" subpage, consists of {{bdm}} (to show the tabs) followed by {{showfacts locality}} to show the people. Thurstan (talk) 00:11, January 16, 2013 (UTC)
Super. I can follow that and document it. I might also redirect all of the related templates that used capitals; do you see any risk there? I might then go on to do a {{bdm2}} so as to abbreviate the work for county pages. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:11, January 16, 2013 (UTC)
You can't redirect {{BDM}} until you have moved all the "/BDM" pages to "/bdm" pages. Thurstan (talk) 04:15, January 16, 2013 (UTC)
Redirected before I saw that reply. Right! Reverted. Now where did I see a friendly bot that could help here? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:17, January 17, 2013 (UTC)

Categories from WPEdit

Notice that if you copy from Wikipedia, you must change the category names according to all the decisions about category names. Thurstan (talk) 00:11, January 16, 2013 (UTC)

Indeed. Better some wrong ones initially than none at all, but corrections are then desirable. Corrections will be easier:
(|8-) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:11, January 16, 2013 (UTC)
Good work listing some of them so promptly. I knew the first couple but might have otherwise been unaware or forgetful of the next few. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 07:01, January 20, 2013 (UTC)

200,995 edits and some unsourced material Edit

  1. Where did you find Felicie's other three children?
  2. Did someone neglect to acknowledge the source of the Crooked Corner material or did you write the original?

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:59, January 20, 2013 (UTC)

  1. You can find anything on AWT
  2. No, I wrote it, based on the GNB entry. I have transferred it to Wikipedia
Thurstan (talk) 07:03, January 20, 2013 (UTC)

Page refusing to display tabs Edit

Benjamin_C._Bradlee_(1921) is refusing to show its tabs despite being republished at least three times, alternating with the republishing of its sensor page. Any ideas? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:06, February 1, 2013 (UTC)

This is a problem with various pages created after the midyear "upgrade": the value for "globals=" was not being set up. I have fixed it (hopefully!), but there will be quite a number of pages which were created but have not been fixed yet. They require "|globals={{get globals}}" added. Thurstan (talk) 09:38, February 2, 2013 (UTC)

Mauricie Edit

Totally baffling stripping of some of the start of {{Infobox settlement}} for Mauricie. I suppose I could check whether anyone has been fiddling with it. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:06, February 2, 2013 (UTC)

This problem is caused by mismatched HTML tags (usually tags without closing tags, in this case a closing tag without opening tag). The problem tags are generally "<small>" or "<center>". Wikipedia doesn't mind, because this is what htmltidy fixes, but we don't have htmltidy. Thurstan (talk) 09:31, February 2, 2013 (UTC)

French communes infoboxes Edit

Please see my talk page, where Andrei has explained why some instances of the template have problems. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:25, February 2, 2013 (UTC)

He will have to come up with more than that to dissuade me from my theory that it is a (fixable) error in the convert templates, specifically that one of them has been updated on Wikipedia but not here. I might have to do a "bulk update" from Wikipedia. Thurstan (talk) 09:52, February 2, 2013 (UTC)
I seem to have fixed it: see Ardes. Thurstan (talk) 23:45, February 2, 2013 (UTC)

I was fairly confident that you could fix it without replacing it with a hand-made "infobox settlement" every time. But I didn't realise you'd have to update a screenful of pages. Good work! All the better for the future, no doubt. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:04, February 3, 2013 (UTC)

Heading(s?) for siblingsEdit

What I'd like you to consider next is {{T}|Showfacts siblings via}}. Its display looks odd with no heading. We have at times given it a manual heading, but that probably restricts the location because of the "only one free text area" limit when editing with a form. The children box has one. The siblings would look good if they had a matching one. Then if it's easy to slip a "Half-siblings" heading into the right place, that would be even better. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:04, February 3, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. I'm not at all surprised there's no "half-siblings" heading because I guess the coding doesn't try to put the full siblings first every time. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:07, February 5, 2013 (UTC)
The logic of the template is: show the children of the nominated person, with a default value of the father of this person, so potentially it is not always "siblings" that are being shown.
I must record my generally opposition to "showing siblings": to me, it is copying some information from somewhere else (which you could read by following parent links, if you want it), which isn't really about this person, to cover up the fact that we are not saying anything about this person's life.
Thurstan (talk) 21:22, February 5, 2013 (UTC)

Duplication in given names Edit

See, for example, Matthew (given name). I've not checked exhaustively nor looked hard at the coding, but we are duplicating several if not all. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 07:25, February 4, 2013 (UTC)

Yes, we have a table of "all", then separate tables by sex. The trouble is that there are some pages which are neither male nor female, and there is no way to select them. Thurstan (talk) 07:28, February 4, 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure I follow that. But I presume you mean we have the "all" because it's the only way to pick up the sexless ones; in which case why then have the M and F groups? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:34, February 4, 2013 (UTC)

Suppose you chose a name like "William": you might have 10000 M and 5 F. Since the query has a limit, it won't get all of these. If you are unlucky, it won't get all the "F" entries, which are the ones which may need fixing. We wouldn't need them if we knew the "all" group was complete. Thurstan (talk) 00:01, February 5, 2013 (UTC)
So the only reason for the male and female lists is to catch wrong-sex? Then you need far fewer in each list. And for bisexual/unisex names those lists would tell you nothing useful. So a low limit such as "6" could be an improvement, along with a heading to tell ordinary folks the reason for the duplication. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:07, February 5, 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for that, it is very sensible. I am now in two minds about what to do next:
  1. a more complicated version, which only activates if you nominate a single gender for the name and reports people which are not of that gender
  2. scrap the whole test, on the grounds that it is rapidly turning into useless clutter. This would just leave the single report
You might guess that I favour the latter course. What do you think?
Thurstan (talk) 21:14, February 5, 2013 (UTC)

Precocious father? Edit

Check birthdate of father of John Eastment (1838-1926). And remove some question-marks along the way? You can't always believe AWT. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:56, February 5, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for highlighting that one: one of the reasons I am here is the number of errors and contradictions on AWT. This one I posted (with the obvious error) hoping someone would come by and fix it. Now there is a better version on AWT, which shows that it was a classic "right date in the wrong slot" problem. I am glad to see you attacking the question marks, well done. Thurstan (talk) 21:02, February 5, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you! Edit

I want to thank you for your corrections. I appreciate them very much. I'm new here, but am anxious to learn. I already know some, but obviously not enough to avoid mistakes. Whroll (talk) 21:01, March 10, 2013 (UTC)

You are welcome. The first thing to know is that wikipedia: is our standard for place names. For US counties, "Name County, State" always works, eg "Northampton County, Pennsylvania". For places, "Name, State" usually works (eg "Easton, Pennsylvania"), but there a various anomolies. Thurstan (talk) 21:15, March 10, 2013 (UTC)

By the way, why is "Joined with" for Fannie Lewis Kinnan (1821-1906) in the "Siblings" box blank? I can't imagine why. I must have damaged the code somewhere.

I am not sure that it works anywhere. Can you see an example of where it does work (the "Joined with" column is a recent addition)? Thurstan (talk) 00:35, March 11, 2013 (UTC)

Yes... I see lots of places it works. It works on John Henry Kidd (1813-1875). I was surprised to see it not working.

It should work now. Thurstan (talk) 00:52, March 11, 2013 (UTC)

No, it's not working now.. but that doesn't matter: it's a known bug and nothing I did. I thought it was something I did. I can live with it. Someone will fix it in due course. Thanks. I see there is a real preview for pages like this. I really miss the preview for person pages since my habit is to use it a lot. Publishing person pages many times must be a pain for those who keep track. There must be some other way. I might be able to set up something locally for testing, then do copy and paste. :)

You have to "purge" to see it: see Fannie Lewis Kinnan (1821-1906). I have been wondering if I can fudge a "preview" to at least check spelling etc. Thurstan (talk) 02:28, March 11, 2013 (UTC)

Italian language Edit

Drastic-looking "upgrade" - reducing by about as many bytes as my first computer had in total. But the original article was clearly not "original" yet apparently un-acknowledged and therefore technically plagiarism!

We should be able to handle Italian language articles but, as I think Phlox said, categories and templates may be another matter. Maybe we should invite the original author to study our internationalization pages with a view to progressing things.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:11, March 16, 2013 (UTC)

It was all copied from the Italian Wikipedia, I believe, but their templates and categories are incompatible with ours. I think the aim of the original author was the fake one planted in the middle. There is little genealogy here. Thurstan (talk) 19:47, March 16, 2013 (UTC)

Help Edit

I am having problems with signing up.  I had an acct. previously but lost my username. 22:56, March 17, 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't know how to help: I suggest you go to Special:Contact and send a message to the central administrators. Thurstan (talk) 00:13, March 18, 2013 (UTC)

Coord Edit

Looking at geographic coordinates at the moment. Unfortunately, your use of the template coord is incorrect. It should have "latitude|S|longitude|E" (for Australia and New Zealand) rather than "latitude|longitude". It's easier to fix the template than go through the many places that use the template. rtol (talk) 10:41, March 19, 2013 (UTC)

This is standard Wikipedia usage that you are complaining about, and there is nothing wrong with it. The SMW additions to the template are broken. I deny any hand in this. Thurstan (talk) 19:52, March 19, 2013 (UTC)
I have repaired {{coord}}: it should be okay now. Thurstan (talk) 21:19, March 19, 2013 (UTC)

Template:Belgian provinces Labelled Map‎ - problems Edit

Trouble with Template:Belgian provinces Labelled Map‎. It seems OK on Belgium but bad on Provinces of Belgium. Any ideas? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:31, March 23, 2013 (UTC)

It looks better to me, now that I have tidied up the "/font" and "/div" tags to the right level. Are you happy too? Thurstan (talk) 04:19, March 23, 2013 (UTC)
Now looks fine on its two pages instead of one. Bonza, Thurza. (Seeing what you did to it, I wonder how it managed to work on Belgium.) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:13, March 23, 2013 (UTC)


Hi Thurstan, earlier on I had made a 'town' page about the town of Bury, and had noticed that you have changed it (understandable, I should have asked before really). But I am quite interested in the geographical side of genealogy (i.e. the spread of my ancestors and the places that they lived), and as a result, I had an idea that we could change the location pages from their current Wikipedia format into a 'GENUKI' type format (if you've used the site). By this, I mean we could list buildings of genealogical importance and create articles about them listing people who were born, married and died there (e.g. pages for churches, hospitals and register offices). If you do want to think about this, I can do this for locations in Britain especially in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Though I do understand it would be a big project.

Hope you're well,

BillRM (talk) 20:43, March 25, 2013 (UTC)

No, I think I want Wikipedia's much larger review audience for its pages: we have found here that genealogists have trouble getting place names correct. We use Wikipedia as our standard for place names. Thurstan (talk) 21:06, March 25, 2013 (UTC)
It's ages since I've looked at anything from GENUKI. I'm going to have another look now. We might well start subpages based on what some of the world's most enthusiastic volunteer genealogists have created. But we might also incorporate some of their ideas in our pages. The page name is the only essential link with Wikipedia. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:22, March 26, 2013 (UTC)
Do they claim copyright? My second thought on Bill's suggestion is that perhaps he could do the places in California, so that we could judge his model. Thurstan (talk) 02:19, March 26, 2013 (UTC)
They do (with very small exceptions). See updated article. We could very easily include a GENUKI link on any page that matches; a template (like AWT) could make it easy. Same as we could for Cyndi's List. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:21, March 27, 2013 (UTC)
Bill says "we could list buildings of genealogical importance and create articles about them listing people who were born, married and died there (e.g. pages for churches, hospitals and register offices)" - we can do that easily, without changing names of existing pages. We could fairly easily create pages from our newly redefined "address" field (though there would be lots of disambig pages arising!) and extend the "bdm" function to them. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:21, March 27, 2013 (UTC)
And I re-iterate: if Bill wants to do them for some part of the world (like California) for which he had no special info, to demonstrate how it could be done, I think he should. It is silly for him to do it for the 6 places he is interested in, leaving them different from all the others in the world. I am certainly not going to do Australia. Thurstan (talk) 00:38, March 27, 2013 (UTC)

Surname filters Edit

Still no results in Try some more of your magic or should we both re-read Help:Semantic Drilldown and the mw version? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:49, April 1, 2013 (UTC)

No, that makes sense: there are no SMW people pages in that category. Thurstan (talk) 19:39, April 1, 2013 (UTC)

I didn't realise it was as bad as that. Maybe I should upgrade a couple so that Mr N can see that it's not just a programming error and he may get inspired. Anyway, I really popped in to report that Smiths seem to be fine but Capets still have no place filter. Is that as you expected? Can I tweak some of the Smith wording then do a couple more surnames? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:32, April 2, 2013 (UTC)

Feel free to try more variations. I will wait a little longer on Capet, and maybe check the documentation. Thurstan (talk) 03:34, April 2, 2013 (UTC)

Upgraded two Freudenbergs. The category drilldown is now clearly aware of them but I can't get it to list them. Worse, when I click the "nation" option I get:

BrowseData/Freudenberg (surname)
You have requested a special page that is not recognized by Familypedia. A list of valid special pages can be found at Special pages.
Return to Family History and Genealogy Wiki.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:06, April 2, 2013 (UTC)

The setup looks okay to me, so maybe there is still some housekeeping for it to do before it is ready. Thurstan (talk) 05:19, April 2, 2013 (UTC)

I don't like the look of the filters: I put a filter on Category:Kermode_(surname), and when I look at the drilldown, it shows me a redirect. I think it is using old data somehow. I will try another one. Thurstan (talk) 00:31, April 3, 2013 (UTC)

Special:BrowseData gives a very odd set of categories. I think we should get the "Semantic Drilldown" extension re-installed. Thurstan (talk) 01:06, April 3, 2013 (UTC)

It probably should give an odd-looking set of categories, because its documentation talks about "top categories", which I think is the same as Special:UncategorizedCategories, e.g. Category:Afro-Asiatic multilingual support templates, Category:American monthly magazines, Category:American people of Jewish descent, Category:Anna Augusta Kershaw (1841-1931) (and which I think is a silly list for it to show because a well-organized wiki would have only one of those). However, that's not what we get: I've just checked one: Category:Human mitochondrial genetics. You added it a few weeks ago, in the one operation copying everything including the WP cats, one of which we have had since 2010. So it's not uncategorized. We shouldn't encourage any users to try the unvarnished BrowseData at present. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:14, April 25, 2013 (UTC)

Sources and notes - editable Edit

Someone, no doubt inadvertently with the best of intentions, seems to have cut a "noeditsection" out of Sources and Notes. Editing it is not recommended. (;-) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:45, April 3, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you: I think I've fixed it. Thurstan (talk) 19:59, April 3, 2013 (UTC)
Good work. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:55, April 6, 2013 (UTC)

Edit conflict; pasting the diffs here in case they are useful Edit

You've probably produced better headings than I had.

I've used my headings in the initial description of what the template does, so I'll have to revise those. (8-)

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:47, April 5, 2013 (UTC)

Done; but the recent edit to the template may call for further small amendment. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:55, April 6, 2013 (UTC)

Deleting a redirect Edit

Generally not recommended

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:33, April 6, 2013 (UTC)

Yes, but I do recommended it when the target page has already been deleted on privacy grounds. Thurstan (talk) 03:37, April 6, 2013 (UTC)
OK, I'll believe you. Target page history has no hint of privacy. If privacy was an issue, presumably discussed on someone's talk page, I expect that more should have been done with linked pages: -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:55, April 6, 2013 (UTC)

Help:Sensor page Edit

Help:Sensor page needs your attention. (8-) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:11, April 9, 2013 (UTC)

William Rice Edit seems to have deleted a lot of thoughtful work of an anonymous user who has contributed to several pages about Rice and ap Rhys. I'd like to find a suitable place for it unless you want it deleted. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:29, April 10, 2013 (UTC)

I thought it was exactly the same material that he has already posted, which you found a home for. Perhaps you can merge it with that. Thurstan (talk) 00:32, April 10, 2013 (UTC)
Thanks; I'll have a closer look at Mr Rice's contributions. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:51, April 10, 2013 (UTC)
This sounds like a very contentious topic (it sounds like a genealogical myth to me): see and replies. Thurstan (talk) 02:15, April 10, 2013 (UTC)


That was close to vandalism. rtol (talk) 05:44, April 22, 2013 (UTC)

I don't know: Wikipedia is a standard for place names, you seem to be deliberately going against the standard. Thurstan (talk) 05:46, April 22, 2013 (UTC)

On second thought, you are probably right: I apologize. I think I should have renamed your page before copying the Wikipedia "disambig" page. Thurstan (talk) 07:45, April 22, 2013 (UTC)

ANZAC spirit Edit is just another example of Canberra-Wellington cooperation. I find something on an obscure webpage and you add to it from Familysearch or AWT. Keep it up. (In case you're wondering and haven't looked up my source, it's the Greenes of Rhode Island and Dorset, a subject which our friend Quinn skirts around.) ---- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:29, April 25, 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, I was hoping you wouldn't mind. Thurstan (talk) 01:31, April 25, 2013 (UTC)

Remarkable, impossible-looking page history Edit

Have you noticed ?

Maybe Wikia was experimenting. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:23, May 2, 2013 (UTC)

I don't think so. I often have problems around that time of the evening when the servers seem to be busy: I get the message about the database being locked waiting for the slave servers to catch up. That may have been an evening when I kept hitting the button and the browser kept timing out, leaving all those "reverts" in the queue. I suspect that there is a bug there too, which causes those phantom video files to appear. Thurstan (talk) 03:58, May 2, 2013 (UTC)

Myra Christmas Eggins (1896-1972)Edit

Hi Thurstan   I am trying to respond to your comment about Myra Eggins my Grandmother but seem to get lost on here.  Amandi66   Yes I am Malbert

Well, the way to start is to click on the "Click here to start a new topic." link near the top. Once the conversation has started, you use the "Edit" link after the heading to add to it. Keep trying, it is a lot to learn. Thurstan (talk) 01:23, May 6, 2013 (UTC)

Hello Thanks for replying  Who is your Page ancestor?    I will consult the family tree I have for the Eggins so I know who I am talking to.   I am not sure whether you are getting this message as I am having trouble with this.07:42, May 7, 2013 (UTC)07:42, May 7, 2013 (UTC)~~


If you have a look at my "profile" you will see a pedigree: my maternal grandfather was Cyril, son of Charles, brother of Sophia. Thurstan (talk) 07:48, May 7, 2013 (UTC)

Blue Lake Edit

You may care to look at Talk:Eldon Sebastian Kozaks (1984-) and the last few changes to the head page. I'm not proposing to create a bdm page for Blue Lake or other places mentioned, but I'll be happy to help Eldon with earlier generations. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:30, May 23, 2013 (UTC)

It makes me worry about the veracity of his retrospective genealogy. However, I think we have lots of fantasy genealogy here already, and we have no defence against it: every genealogical myth will have a web page somewhere to support it. Thurstan (talk) 22:15, May 23, 2013 (UTC)

New Zealand cities and districts Edit

Please explain "strange combination of concepts". (You folks call them all "councils". We like the term "city" for our most urbanised local authority territories, but there's no appreciable difference in administration.) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:13, July 6, 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I couldn't find "cities and districts" on Wikipedia. It sounded like "apples and oranges" to me. If you would like to create the appropriate categories, so that they don't keep turning up on "wanted categories", go for it. Thurstan (talk) 03:15, July 6, 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your commetns on Ellen Wright, Thurstan. I realised that the daughter was married to the Fay gentleman, but my earlier comment was referring to the fact that I hadn't found a record of their marriage. Perhaps I should exaplin myself a bit better next time! Cheers, and enjoy your day.

"fix broken redirect"?? Edit

Mate, some of your edits puzzle me. How does one "fix broken redirect" by deleting a redirect? Not good when other pages link to it. See Catherine Ann Cookson (1939), for example - you've killed her link to Peter Harry Wilkins. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:53, August 21, 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry, the redirect points to a page that doesn't exist (that is what "broken" means). How do you want me to fix that? Thurstan (talk) 06:02, August 21, 2013 (UTC)

As there is another page that still links to the dateless page, readers might want to use the redirect to reach the dated page, which has been deleted. At least they could then see that there is a history, that there was something there, and they could enquire further. In this case - - you and I might look at the original article and advise against republication but the option for a relative would be there. I wonder, incidentally, whether we should have deleted it just on an "anonymous" request from a person who might have been a grandson, but it does mention people who are still living and I can understand why a relative might want it deleted - but not all relatives might. When such a page has a link from another article, maybe a better "fix" would be to recreate the article but without its historical revisions and add a note that earlier material was deleted, specifying who asked for the deletion. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:25, August 21, 2013 (UTC)

My position is that there are too many problems with pages for living people who are not "public figures". We have even had one renamed to use all her married names, with the edit summary of "at her request". You might like to see what you can recreate in this case. I want nothing more to do with it. I suggest that you change the "dateless" red link to a dated one. Thurstan (talk) 20:53, August 21, 2013 (UTC)
Recreated as suggested, without the slanderous-looking bits. Thank you. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 08:51, October 11, 2013 (UTC)

Template:Politics_of_Scotland Edit

Please see whether you think Template:Politics of Scotland can be fixed or we should abandon it. I don't know where to start but I think you've had success with similar conversions. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:04, October 1, 2013 (UTC)

I think it is {{Politics sidebar title}} that is broken, so it breaks {{Politics of Italy}} too. The problem was mixing "th" and "td" tags (in particular, closing a "td" tag with "/th"). Presumably Wikipedia relies on HTMLTidy to fix this. Anyway, it looks okay to me now... Thurstan (talk) 07:09, October 1, 2013 (UTC)
Great work. Subdivisions of Scotland looks fine now. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 08:49, October 11, 2013 (UTC)

Seefeld Edit

Actually, none of the above. The Seefeld in question is actually the German name (which was used at that time) of present day's Jezernice. This can be assessed only if you look at German language Wikipedia. English language Wikipedia does not have the relevant information. Afil (talk) 06:31, October 4, 2013 (UTC)

So you had better fix the link. Thurstan (talk) 06:32, October 4, 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I see you have: thank you. Thurstan (talk) 06:34, October 4, 2013 (UTC)

Wanted categories Edit

Thank you for informing me. I don't think I deserve any credit. I did work on these categories but gave up some time ago when a bunch of new categories were included by Norton. I didn't know what to do about them and did not want to get into a conflict with other users, so I just interrupted my work on these categories. Now that this has been cleared, I will continue to do my share. Afil (talk) 15:35, October 5, 2013 (UTC)

Now we are there. At present all wanted categories have been classified one way or the other. The classification is probably far from perfect and can be improved, but at least nothing is wanted any more. However, each day, 20-30 new wanted categories appear. Let's try to keep the list from growing disproportionately. Afil (talk) 22:19, October 19, 2013 (UTC)
Excellent, good work. Thurstan (talk) 00:39, October 20, 2013 (UTC)

Deletion of categories Edit

Are you content with recent deletions of pages you created? Example:

2013-10-09T15:48:36 Afil (Talk | contribs | block) deleted page Category:Died in Round Swamp, New South Wales (content was: "{{d-aus|Round Swamp|New South Wales}}" (and the only contributor was "Thurstan")) (view/restore)

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 08:44, October 11, 2013 (UTC)

I am inclined to the view that SMW has made the "born in place/date" etc categories redundant (now all we have to do is agree to convert all non-SMW people to SMW), so I don't fret about their deletion (not that I could do anyhing if I did). Thurstan (talk) 20:55, October 11, 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:45, October 24, 2013 (UTC)

Template:usedSMW Edit - does the template now need more parameters than before? Would the fact that the site shortcut is "smw:" help (allowing a similar structure to that used in usedwps)? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:50, October 12, 2013 (UTC)

As I read it, the template has always needed a parameter with the SMW Wiki URL in it. If the "smw:" version works, we should use that (I didn't know about it). Thurstan (talk) 19:46, October 12, 2013 (UTC)
On second thoughts, the "smw:" won't work: you need the actual URL. Thurstan (talk) 20:42, October 12, 2013 (UTC)
Redone. I think it's OK now. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:45, October 24, 2013 (UTC)

Template:UK-earl-stub has insignificant error Edit

If you know a quick fix for Template:UK-earl-stub, please apply. If not, no worries: looks fine on the Earls Cawdor. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:08, October 21, 2013 (UTC)

Creating the category? Thurstan (talk) 10:20, October 21, 2013 (UTC)
Looks like it. Ta! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:45, October 24, 2013 (UTC)

Date - check ID? Edit

Hmmm - you've taken 5 years to work that out? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:42, October 24, 2013 (UTC)  :-D

Sorry, I see that it was not your doing. Thurstan (talk) 03:01, October 24, 2013 (UTC)

Redirect category Edit

I was trying to see if I could get them to work. The problems with the Redirectcategory is that is simply indicates that another category should be used, but does not transfer the information. I was attempting to clean and sort the born in... etc categories. For instance, for people born in Copenhagen, some articles indicate "Born in Copenhagen" but other use the Danish title "Born in Kobenhavn". I hoped to find a way in which the two categories could somehow be merged. Otherwise, I have to change the basic information in all the articles, which is possible, but rather tedious.

It also creates problems with names which have changed in time. Bombay is now Mumbai. But is it correct to have somebody born in 1890 when it was Bombay, classified as Born in Mumbai? Is it preferable to keep two different categories for various time periods? That is what I am struggling with.Afil (talk) 22:24, October 27, 2013 (UTC)

It would be practically impossible (until we get a few thousand active contributors) to keep different categories for different time periods (e.g. "Alsace from 1200 to 1870 and since 1918" or "Virginia before the split") - what do you do when all that you know about an event's date is that it is near a cut-off time? That is why we follow the English Wikipedia's current name for nearly every place (with redirects), because it gives a tolerably workable solution, for our small group of genealogists, and a fairly clear description (with modern mapping) of where the event happened. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:30, October 31, 2013 (UTC)
You said it: if you do it automatically, you have to change the information, because the mediawiki software does not support redirecting categories. If we used concepts, rather than categories, we don't have that problem, because SMW does support the redirects. Thurstan (talk) 22:27, October 27, 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia uses bots to recategorize pages that are in "redirected" categories. Phlox did some here, I think. Somebody now here should be able to do it. I agree with Thurstan that SMW can be distinctly better than pure categories for many things, including redirects and subcategories. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:30, October 31, 2013 (UTC)

Chatham Barracks Edit

A long time ago, you created some articles indicating a place called Chatham Barracks in London (example Sophia Budd (1826-1913). I cannot classify the category Born in Chatham Barracks. According to some internet information these barracks were in Kent. Any suggestions on how to deal with this matter? Afil (talk) 21:41, October 28, 2013 (UTC)

I will check, however places like Bromley (birthplace of one of my ancestors) which were in Kent are now part of London as London spreads. However there is a Chatham (ward)Wp globe tiny in London as well as one in northern Kent. Thurstan (talk) 22:33, October 28, 2013 (UTC)
This discussion says that "Chatham Barracks" is now called "Kitchener Barracks", and so that would seem to be the ones in Chatham, Kent (though the Wikipedia article says "Kitchener Barracks (c 1750–1780)", which are not the right dates), so I suggest that we assume that my sources are wrong and put them in Kent. Otherwise, Dottles44 may know. Thurstan (talk) 22:43, October 28, 2013 (UTC)

Mulgrave Place Edit

Some time ago, you included some articles of people who died in Mulgrave Place. Is Mulgrave Place, NSW different from Mulgrave, NSW or should we have different categories for each of them? I know little about Australia and did not find any information on the internet which was relevant. Maybe you can have a look. At present I have included the born in Mulgrave Place in the category Mulgrave Place, but am not convinced it is correct. Afil (talk) 21:40, October 30, 2013 (UTC)

"Mulgrave Place" seems to have been the name of a district in New South Wales until about the 1830s. Because it was distinctly larger than the modern Mulgrave, I think we should keep it seperate. I am still looking for a definitive document about what its boundaries were, so that I can write a note about it. Thurstan (talk) 05:40, October 31, 2013 (UTC)

Template:Deaths_in_century and the categories it affects Edit

You recently did things to {{Deaths in century}}. I've not looked at the details of what changes happened, but the current state of the ""Died in" categories that use it has a problem. Please see whether there's a simple fix. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:01, October 31, 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I have reverted it. Wikipedia have changed the parameters, so I expect that some categories will be okay, and some will be broken. I assume I changed it when I came upon a broken category, I don't recall. You might like to check them all... Thurstan (talk) 05:09, October 31, 2013 (UTC)
Should be okay now: I was really asleep-on-the-job when I did that! Thurstan (talk) 05:18, October 31, 2013 (UTC)
Tenth and 11th look fine, as do 1st deaths and births, so I'll assume the best of the rest. Thank you. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:06, October 31, 2013 (UTC)

Burrowa or Boorowa, New South Wales or Boorowa Edit

All three versions appear in Wikia. There are even two identical articoles for Boorowa and for Boorowa,NSW. Most entries for born or died are for Boorowa, NSW. Wikipedia has Burroway, NSW (which is a different locality) and Boorowa. Which is correct and how do you want to handle the situation?Afil (talk) 23:18, November 3, 2013 (UTC)

Actually, it is fairly clear: Burrowa, New South Wales redirects to Boorowa, and there are only identical articles because you didn't notice that Wikipedia had renamed theirs. So they should all point to Boorowa now. Thurstan (talk) 00:52, November 4, 2013 (UTC)

Problem with some Commons images Edit

Please see my talk for conversation with Andrei. I'm a bit tied up at present. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:06, November 8, 2013 (UTC)

Blundells Cottage Edit

Next time you give a respectful nod to Blundells Cottage, you can think how good it is that Familypedia now has the original Blundell. He has a couple of dozen ancestors, descendants, and near or distant cousins with FP pages too, along with a hundred or more in children boxes, including a few who are or were in Wellington. Two of the Wellingtonians wrote the book ({{Tovey 2010}}) that started me off on the Blundells after I had done a fair number of the authors' "nobler" relatives, which include all the Earls Cawdor and a sister of Princess Diana. You can thank my wife for getting the book from the Library. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:45, November 9, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. I know I deliberately have some Canberra pioneers in my database, such as the Southwells. I tried to get the Blundells, but I think what I got were some other families with that surname. I will check. Thurstan (talk) 19:12, November 9, 2013 (UTC)
"My" ones were stated to be born there, and George and his wife match the WP article. I see you are diving in there. (Don't forget AWT!!) Maybe I should leave you to work on the Aussie ones. There are at least two apparent or real couple-ancestors loops (but does that template still work?). I've been leaving the placenames for you to fix/redirect/bdm. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:00, November 10, 2013 (UTC)

Corrections? Edit

Can you explain the edit summary for ?

We haven't suggested to users that an unknown partner's name should be left blank, have we? (The absence of anything before the "+" was what attracted my attention when I saw Esther's page heading the 2nd marriages on the front page.)

As the siblings template is a standard inclusion, shouldn't it be left there unless there's definite evidence that there were no sibs?

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 22:03, November 12, 2013 (UTC)

I don't see the values of your "tweaks". I do not understand what is gained by having a big green button labelled "unknown": I have always left unknown liaisons blank, which generates "unknown parent" on the children box. Perhaps it is time we did suggest it (you know I don't do documentation). I also do not see the value of a heading "Siblings" when we obviously don't know who the parents were. If we add the parents, we can add the {{siblings}} in. Thurstan (talk) 22:32, November 12, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for endorsing my usage. I am sorry that I have gotten to testy lately, I don't know what has got into me. Thurstan (talk) 04:36, November 13, 2013 (UTC)

Years Edit

Some time ago we discussed the problem with the comma in the years (i.e.2,013 instead of 2013). In understand that you have corrected the set date template using the strpad template.

The problem I am facing is however not localized in the Showfacts person template (where the set date template is located), but in the Showfacts biography template, which was posting wrong years (i.e. 2012 in stead of 2013). I have eliminated that error, but it still presents the years with the commas, because the birth year and death year variables are strings and not a number. I have not been able to discover how to use the strpad template to convert the format of these variables in the Showfacts biography template.

Do you have any suggestions? Afil (talk) 22:26, November 13, 2013 (UTC)

I have been thinking about the problem, and we really have to fix all uses of the date fields, not just the ones in {{Showfacts biography}}. I found the discussion at, and I think the problem is that SMW assumes the Julian calendar on input and the Gregorian calendar on output for dates before the change. I think SMW version 1.8.0 has the parameters to let us overcome this, but we are not using that version yet, so I am not sure what the best solution is. Thurstan (talk) 23:00, November 13, 2013 (UTC)
I agree that we should try to fix them all. And at present the proleptic Gregorian calendar is rather dominant, possibly because it is "the calendar used by MySQL, SQLite, PHP, CIM, Delphi, Python and COBOL". Is it too soon to ask Wikia for 1.8.0? A crude interim solution to the "bare year" problem could be to tell the system that if a year has no month or day specified then it should assume 1 February or 15 January - that way the subtraction of days would not put the year wrong. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:41, November 14, 2013 (UTC)
I think my current version is working okay, what do you think? The number of days you have to subtract varies with the date, I don't know what the formula is. Thurstan (talk) 19:27, November 14, 2013 (UTC)

Rotten Mountain Edit

Last year you created some articles such as Mary Jane Chittick (1858-1925) indicating the birth at Rotten Mountain, County Fermanagh in Ireland. What is Rotten Mountain? It is not listed among the settlements (even the hamlets) of County Fermanagh. Maybe you have a look at the matter. Afil (talk) 06:42, November 15, 2013 (UTC)

It is one of the townlands in County Fermanagh. Thurstan (talk) 07:25, November 15, 2013 (UTC)

Mount York Edit

Some time ago you posted articles such as James Sherringham (1815-1862) indicating the persons died in Mount York, New South Wales. However, consequently, you deleted the category Category:Died in Mount York, New South Wales. I could restore the category, but would prefer you take the decision on what is correct, as I know little about the area. Afil (talk) 05:27, November 16, 2013 (UTC)

I will look into it. Wikipedia has the page Mount YorkWp globe tiny for the mountain (notice no ", New South Wales" in the page name), however the GNB notes 3 different featues in NSW call "Mount York", so I think we have an ambiguity. I will see if I can fix it. Thurstan (talk) 06:30, November 16, 2013 (UTC)

Gawler River Edit

Sorry to bother you again. But is Gawler River, South Australia (which is mentioned in several articles such as John Pederick (1839-1930)) the same locatity as Gawler, South Australia, or is it a different one which I could not identify? I found Gawler River as river, not a settlement. Could you have a look at it and decide whatever you think is correct?Afil (talk) 06:25, November 18, 2013 (UTC)

No, it is generally correct. I find that John Pederick (1839-1930) actually died in Gawler, but if you look at the death notice for Mary Ann Adams (c1807-1875), she actually died in "Gawler River", which would be the rural district along the valley of that river (and surrounding the town of Gawler). Using the names of the rivers to designate the districts was normal in colonial Australia, and we still have the Clarence Valley Council and the Nambucca Shire. Thurstan (talk) 06:45, November 18, 2013 (UTC)
Actually, in this particular case, the article says Gawler River "is also the name of a suburb". Thurstan (talk) 07:04, November 18, 2013 (UTC)

Mount York Edit

It's me again. I do not want to misinterpret your attentions. You posted the article James Sherringham (1815-1862) (among others) indicating the place of birth Mount York, New South Wales. However you deleted the category Died in Mount York, New South Wales. I understand that he died in an inn (not necessarily a settlement), and the others could have died on the mountain. But I am still not sure how you would like this to be handled. Please understand that I am attempting to put some order into the way geographic information is presented in Familypedia.Afil (talk) 23:27, November 19, 2013 (UTC)

Don't worry, you are doing a good service. You asked about "Mount York" above: I am still not sure. There are several different mountains or hills in NSW called "Mount York" (though Wikipedia has a page for one of them). However I am wondering if the "settlement" associated with these people is actually Mount Victoria. I have not found a history which discusses these place names yet. Thurstan (talk) 23:58, November 19, 2013 (UTC)

Your fix of my double redirect Edit

Thank you Thurston.  Can you explain how I blundered into a "double redirect"?  All I was trying to do was Rename to add a death year..  Fyeskel (talk) 06:42, November 25, 2013 (UTC)

Well, you "renamed" twice, because you made an error the first time. Don't worry about it, it is no big deal. After your 2 renames (which use to be called "moves": see the move log), we had Thelma Gast (1920) redirecting to Thelma Gast (1920 - 2013), which in turn redirected to Thelma Gast (1920-2013). Now the wiki software does not support a redirect whose target is another redirect, and it lists such pages at the double redirects report, for "fixing". While I am waiting for my computer to do something useful, I sometimes go and fix double redirects. You can fix your own, if you think of it, after a double move. In fact, after any rename you can check with "what links here" under "My Tools" to see if page is properly referenced. But it doesn't matter if you leave it for someone else. Thurstan (talk) 06:54, November 25, 2013 (UTC)

Birth Nation Edit

Birth Nation -

Hi Thurston - if someone was born in Massachusetts in 1744, wouldn't their Birth Nation be Great Britain and not United States? Reference to: Asael Smith (1740-1830)

MainTour (talk) 19:05, December 6, 2013 (UTC)

This seems to be a prickly issue: when we discussed the standard some time ago, we decided that the present day national boundaries were to be used. However there seems to be a lot of dissent in the ranks. The migration template produces anomalous results for people whose nation changes because of political change. Thurstan (talk) 19:28, December 6, 2013 (UTC)
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