Is there a useful genealogical purpose to the creation of categories, an activity which has become popular in WikiTree?

+3 votes
in Policy and Style by Michael Fraser-Allen G2G Crew (710 points)

4 Answers

+9 votes
It helps to group people into common experiences that could help with research. Perhaps members of the same military unit, or those who lived in the same area. Some are for maintenance purposes to allow projects or other users to find and fix them easier (unsourced, or those needing profiles built)

I use personal categories as a way to keep track of profiles that need specific things, like adding all of their siblings, condirming that i have researched to find all spouses, finding a cemetery (or evidence of not being in a cemetery), etc.

I see you have been removing categories related to members of Parliament on some profiles you are managing. This would make it harder for others to locate all members of Parliament for those years. Is there a particular reason why NOT to include those categories? They do not appear to be incorrect?
by Jonathan Crawford G2G6 Pilot (227k points)
+3 votes
I find the use of Categories on WikiTree similar to the use of TreeTags on Ancestry. It allows for the grouping of like profiles or for a later use finding a particular profile.

For example, the question of the week often requires you to remember which profile(s) fit(s) the question being asked. It would be very simple to find that profile if it has been categorized.

You should never remove a category from a profile unless you are participating in a WikiTree event which specifically calls for its removal based on some condition being met. Of course you can remove a category if you added the category yourself for your own benefit.

Also, all categories should be listed at the top of the profile above the “== Biography ==“ heading.
by Tommy Buch G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
edited by Tommy Buch
+7 votes
I don't use them myself.   I tried a few but my experience was that I often got suggestions that they were incorrect.  I think this happened sometimes because the "rules " for the category sere changed.  Now I  don't even try.  I figured folks who actually use them for some purpose should create and maintain them.  I don't have a problem with someone adding them to profiles I manage if they are useful to others.   I do get miffed that I see long standing suggestions that I have no idea how or inclination to correct.  These are not on my managed profiles - they are in the long suggestions list of related profiles.  They may have been added by members who are now inactive.
by Cherry Duve G2G6 Mach 6 (61.3k points)
"I don't use them myself.  I tried a few but my experience was that I often got suggestions that they were incorrect." Exactly my feelings as well!
+4 votes

It appears that in June decided to discontinue its equivalent feature, called "labels", and removed them from all profiles (see the 17 June 2020 update at; for a description of labels, which functioned in much the same way as Categories in Wikitree, see No reason for the removal is given on their blog, though I can imagine they decided it was too much trouble trying to enforce any kind of uniformity or system in the labels (for some comments by familysearch users who thought "labels" would become unmanagable, see this cached discussion).

by Living Geschwind G2G6 Mach 8 (84.4k points)

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