How Do You Categorize Something When It Has Two Accepted Names?

+5 votes
117 views
There are many instances in which there are two names for the same thing.

In the US Civil War, we have battles with two names, depending on the side you were on.  The Confederates had the First Battle of Manassas, while the Union had the First Battle of Bull Run.  There are many instances of such accepted dual names.

The example I am working with now is the Battle of Dabney's Mill.  It is already categorized (correctly) as the Battle of Hatcher's Run.  The names appear to be used in sources almost interchangeably.

Specifically, how do I categorize the Battle of Dabney's Mill?  Generally, how should events and places with two or more accepted names be categorized?
in Genealogy Help by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (320k points)
edited by Vic Watt

3 Answers

+3 votes
I see three main options:

1. Categorize the profile under the name of both battles. I feel this is somewhat redundant and clutters the category part of the profile.

2. Have everyone to agree to use only one side's name. This is not intutive for people who are unaware of the convention and/or are not familiar with the topic; 'choosing sides' is a very likely source of conflict; and it reeks of 'historical revisionism'.

3. Categorize the profile under the name the person would likely have used (i.e. the name 'their side' used) and ensure a link on the category page (and maybe an explanation) points to the category for other names. If there are more names (Allies, not just enemies, sometimes have different names for the same action).
by Rob Ton G2G6 Pilot (273k points)
I agree with Rob's third point.  Categorise the profile using the name of the battle their side used.  Then in the battle category for each side add known as [[:Category:The other side's Battle]].
Great to see you around the last couple days, Rob. You're always missed when you are gone.

I haven't thought about this carefully but I'm inclined to think Maryann is right about your third point. That's consistent with the overarching "use their standards, not ours" rule.

As I mentioned to Phil, I'm doing some work right now to consolidate and clean-up categorization help pages. They've become a mess.
+2 votes

I love the battle categories, and this is one of the most common issues it has. So when in doubt ... I always go with the Wikipedia title. Then I do a short bullet list like this:

  • Alias: ____
  • Date:____
  • Location: ____
  • Victor:_____

PS: You can always wrap H2 header tags around a specific alias name to boost the page's ranking in our custom search, to help relatives find it.

by Unknown Unknown G2G6 Mach 2 (29.4k points)
+2 votes
Both names so that others looking for it later can easily find it.  The Battle of Hatcher's Run (aka ....Dabney Mill).
by Vincent Piazza G2G6 Pilot (240k points)
Here's a example of how that could play out.  Let's use the Viet Nam War.  In 100 years, somebody from Viet Nam is looking at the Wikitree and sees this category.  Well, to them, every single war from the beginnning of the naming of the country has been a Viet Nam War.  So the category name is useless for them and would need a name that better reflects whatever they use to refer to this event, like the U.S. War, hence American Vietnamese War or US/Viet Nam War.

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