Name for categories below municipality level (Germany)?

+5 votes

Good morning everybody,

as far as I got it, categories in Germany currently "end" at municipality level. For example there is  "Category:Furtwangen, Baden-Württemberg" which is the lowest possible level of legal independence. Since there was a lot of reforming done (mainly in the 1930s and 1970s) a lot of formerly independent municipalities have been merged with others to remain economically flexible.

For example Schönenbach was incorporated into Furtwangen in 1971. So almost every piece of person data that we're able to publish about Schönenbach refers to a time when it was still independent. I consider it confusing to put people that spent their whole lifes in Schönenbach into Category:Furtwangen, Baden-Württemberg.

Therefor I consider it a good idea to allow subcategories of municipalities (if they ever were forbidden?). As a naming scheme I would suggest "Name of former municipality, name of current municipality" (since some of these old entities have quite redundant names). In this case it would be "Category:Schönenbach, Furtwangen" or "Category:Schönenbach, Furtwangen im Schwarzwald" (which is the official name of Furtwangen ...)

What do you think about this? Is this even the right place to discuss this?

in Policy and Style by Florian Straub G2G6 Mach 9 (90.2k points)

5 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

Please note that this has already been addressed by the Germany Project (though you will have to be able to read German to see the policy). The German-language policy page is here; it is also referenced (though not properly) on the English-language policy page here.

In essence, the policy states that the English-language structure will end at the municipality level, but the German-language structure will have an additional level below, of the form Village, State - and in the case of possible ambiguity, Village (Municipality), State. The village-level categories (in German only) are to be placed under the municipality-level categories in both the English and the German categories.

Thus, for example, Morschenisch, Nordrhein-Westfalen, and Girbelrath, Nordrhein-Westfalen (both village-level categories) are to be placed under Gemeinde Merzenich, Nordrhein-Westfalen (municipality-level structure).

In your particular case, there should be a German-language category Schönenbach, Baden-Württemberg placed under both the German-language and English-language categories Furtwangen, Baden-Württemberg.

by Living Geschwind G2G6 Mach 8 (83.9k points)
selected by Florian Straub
+3 votes

Hi Florian. This is a good place to raise the question. I don't know much about the States of Germany, however the same issue occurs in many different regions. 

I don't know if there is any restriction to creating a new sub-category to maintain a separate category for Schönenbach. If there is a limit, some-one will tell us soon.

I certainly don't believe that Wikitree users should be forced to move profiles into new catagories when municipality boundaries shift. I think you have proposed a sensible solution.

by Steve Thomas G2G6 Mach 6 (62.7k points)
There are different categories for towns depending on timeframe and how the region was called then. Towns that are now in Ontario have 3 different categories: "..., Upper Canada" (1791-1841), "..., Canada West" (1841-1867) and "..., Ontario, Canada" for the time since 1867.
Thanks Jelena. I support what you say about simple name changes for a town depending on timeframe. The picture is a bit more complicated if district/country boundaries change and the town has to move to a new geographic category.
Jelena, actually, more than that, 1763-1791 they were in Province of Québec, and prior to 1763 in New France.  Not that there were many in Ontario back then, but some.
+2 votes
I think it should be the category with the Official name that you suggested.
by Kylie Haese G2G6 Mach 7 (79.0k points)
+2 votes
We need as very least the combination with the town a part of a town belongs to in Germany. Just as example. A part of the town I live in is Roßdorf. But there is still another Roßdorf in Hesse. Yes, it is in a different county, it is independent, different to "mine", So to distinguish them we need at least "Schönenbach, Furtwangen" or "Schönenbach, Furtwangen im Schwarzwald" if we want to take the official (current) name.
by Jelena Eckstädt G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+4 votes
Hi Florian,

This needs more discussion but, to give my impression as Categorization leader...

- We need to draw a line. Perhaps not every named place within a German municipality should have a category. Some are really tiny populated places. I would favor restricting that to former municipalities.

- I would support naming the categories like any other municipality, ie "Place, State". A disambiguation may be added if there are several places of the same name in the state, which appears to be frequent. Note that there is no concensus at this point over how to disambiguate.

So in your case, the category would be "Schönenbach, Furtwangen, Baden-Württemberg" since there is another Schönenbach in Baden-Württemberg.

There is no concensus because the form with parentheses has also been used and is actually preferred by German Wikipedia. (Schönenbach (Furtwangen), Baden-Württemberg)

See the German Wikipedia disambiguation page:
by Isabelle Martin G2G6 Pilot (489k points)
You can write a sentence in the biography "Schönenbach belongs today to the municipality of Furtwangen." Similar to what is done with Prussian towns that are nowadays in Poland.

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