How to create new category? (County Namesakes)

+10 votes
Pretty much all year, I've been working on a sub-project for the LDS Mexican Colonias. I've got over 1000 profiles marked now, and while the work isn't complete (is anything ever finished?) I'm thinking about moving on to something new.

My category name would be "County Namesakes" unless there's something wrong with that, in which case I'm open to suggestions to better comply with guidelines. My goal is to identify on a profile when people have counties named after them, all over the USA. And then have a category link so they're all on the category page, too.

There will be plenty of Washington, Franklin & Jefferson, of course. But there's plenty of less prominent ones, named after early settlers and second-tier confederate generals and so on. Many will already have profiles, which will require finding and tagging. Others will need to be made and connected. I recognize that finding even something as simple as a birth name might be a challenge when it comes to saints (Santa Fe, San Diego, San Juan, San Miguel, San Augustine, San Saba &c), but it's no fun if everything is too easy.

This was inspired by an upcoming excursion to West Texas to include visiting some family graves. Loving County - named after trail driver Oliver Loving - has a population <100. Founded in 1887, it got "disorganized" later, then "reorganized" in the 1930s due to oil, but I don't think the population ever got as high as 1000, county-wide. I'm determined to check it out on our way to Balmorhea.

Anyhow, I'm mostly content to work on my own here on WikiTree in some of the sites quieter corners. But I need a little help with this one. I've wandered around in the Help pages, but sadly, as per usual, I end up more confused than helped. If someone would make the page, that would be nice. That's what happened with LDS Mexican Colonias. But if possible, I'd like to learn how to do it myself. Any takers?

Most of them will qualify as Notables; so it probably makes sense to be under that project's umbrella, where I've been most active and which fits the category. (I'm messaging relevant individuals in Notables for assistance, too.)

Any assistance will be much appreciated.
in Policy and Style by Living Winter G2G6 Mach 7 (79.5k points)
edited by Living Winter
Yes, I see a complicated big picture here with many questions that should be sorted out for all the avenues of namesakes.  Plus if it were set up by state and their are multiple counties in different states named after Jefferson then it would be a burden to have so many categories under his name just for namesakes.  

I'm not really sure what the best answer is but I can post something in the Category Project Discussion Group for those who have more experience on it to respond.  

The pattern I've seen is a tiered system to keep categories from becoming too broad.  Like One Name Study, etc.
Thanks, Elizabeth. As long as I have a page where I can click through to find them, I'm OK with the placement. Categorization isn't really my thing, so I'm happy to defer.

As someone who has mostly worked on Notables here on WikiTree, I've got the notion of namesakes in mind anyhow. And if you've got stuff named after you, you're notable at least to some degree. Though there's a county (maybe in the Dakotas?) named after the mother-in-law of a one term Speaker of the state legislature. So perhaps not always. But I digress.

I could see where on, say, US History, there's a link to County Namesakes - still my working name for what I aim to undertake. Though I could see, in the longer term, some other Namesakes umbrella. There's people have all kinds of stuff named after them. I like the historiography of it, how different time periods have different priorities. There's a Revolutionary War General called Nathaniel Greene who's got about as many counties named after him as Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson (Washington wins, of course.) Greene's name wasn't familiar to me at all. He's fading from national memory, except for all those counties.

I kind of figured this might take awhile to sort out - the "where to put it part." Could you include "Notables" as a tag on any discussions? That would help me keep up,

3 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
This sounds like it would already fit in with the One Place Studies that are going on for the us_history category.

You could create the profile for the founders and place the link on the appropriate county's page.  Those county pages are under several categories already.  Mary Richardson handles Texas and Summer Orman handles Tennessee.  You could still work quietly but add to the projects already established.

Just FYI, I had planned on doing this very thing for the county spaces that I work on: TN - Gibson; TX-Wise, Grayson, Foard, Lamar, Tom Green, and Wise

by Kathleen Heath G2G6 Mach 2 (22.2k points)
selected by Elizabeth Hyatt
Though there's plenty of room for overlap, your idea doesn't fit the concept I have in mind. But there's lots of room for linkage. The LDS Mexican Colonias category, for example, is officially under LDS project, but is also linked on the Mexico project page.
+6 votes

This sounds like a fun project.

I'm a member of the categorization project but I'm sure one of the leaders of the categorization project will post on this topic. My insight would be that there are so many counties, it would be recommended to follow tiers such as:

United States County Namesake

     Texas County Namesake

This would also help with having so many Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin categories all under the basic "County Namesake" category. Also, if the project wanted to expand to other countries.

So, on the profile of Oliver Loving you would add the category: Texas County Namesake.  Then when you view the profile you'll notice that it is red.  Click on the red category.  When it takes you to the category page for Texas County Namesake in the text box add: United States County Namesake.  (with double brackets around it of course). Then just repeat this process.  All the individual profiles will be under specific states, then each state will be under the main category, United States County Namesake.

And keep in mind It might be called a parish if the person lived in Louisiana or a borough if in Alaska.  

by Elizabeth Hyatt G2G6 Mach 1 (11.7k points)
edited by Elizabeth Hyatt
I like the serendipity of it. You never know what you'll stumble upon.

I'm not sure making a category for every state makes sense. Connecticut, Hawaii & Delaware, for example, don't have any counties named after people, Rhode Island has one (Washington), Arizona has only Cochise & Greenlee and other states have few or none as well. The total number nationwide probably would not be prohibitive for a single category IMO, since many are multiples and many, many others are not named after individual people. The hard part would be the Saints, since in many cases even their birth name might be hard to locate, much less any other information. And yes, Alaska's quite a bit different. (Do we count Bristol, named after a specific person's title, but not his name?)

I'm looking forward to working on it, because I find regional differences interesting. And I've traveled a lot of the nation's back roads to obscure out-of-the-way places. The more out of the way, the better.
What about country names? Amerigo Vespucci comes to mind (for example). Would you reflect this as well? What would that category look like?
Yes, and Bolivia & Colombia. Rhodesia at one time. You could say states, cities, towns, rivers, lakes, schools, bridges, roads, airports, highway rest areas, ad infinitum. The concept of Namesakes certainly extends in many directions and is worthy of further exploration.

But it's gonna be in the ballpark of 2000 entries just for US Counties. Big enough bite to tackle for now. Don't want to get too far ahead of myself.
I think I see the picture - sounds good, but I'd agree - could be very challenging. Good idea to take it a small bit at a time. Maybe focus on a small group of states to begin with, expand from there. Stay focused on the counties for now, expand to other areas as it makes sense to do so.

Good luck!
+4 votes
Let me make sure I understand what you want to do.  On Oliver Loving's profile, you want to place something like (this is too long of course) Category:  People Who Have Had Counties Named After Them.  

And you would of course put the same category on George Washington's Profile.  

So when you go to the Category page, Oliver Loving's name would be under the "L"s and George Washington's would be under the "W"s.  

If I understand this correctly, then the names of the counties themselves would not appear;  all you would know would be that they had a county named after them.  

Additionally you might also have a higher order Category called "Counties Named After George Washington".  I say higher order because you wouldn't have profiles attached to this.  But you would put this on Washington County, Maryland's Category and on all the other Washington Counties you encounter.  You could do the same thing with "Counties Named After Oliver Loving", but there might be only one of them, so why bother!  

This is what I get from your initial note, but it seems to be different from what others are discussing.
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (469k points)
Yes, Jack, this is closer to what I'm thinking. In the example I gave of Oliver Loving, one wouldn't know to look for him, and the far West Texas county with <100 people no one's heard of.

I think it says something about "us" to look at the aggregate of what we name things after. For that, the info would have to be on one page. "What's named after this person?" is a valid and interesting question. So is "Who (if anyone) is this place named after?" But my curiosity is leading me in a slightly different direction: After noticing that a county is named after Joe Blow, the question arises: "Who ELSE has places named after them?" or perhaps "What kind of people do we name stuff after?"

I don't understand categorization well, but I think that last question is related to Notables, where my work mostly falls anyhow. And then can also be linked to relevant geographical areas, of course. I'm not against other kinds of use of this information, as long as I can link through and find them on one page, too. My guesstimate is that the total number will come in the ballpark of 2000 or so. That's not a prohibitive category size, if I read the guidance correctly. If you start busting it down to a separate page for each state or other locality/region, you miss the kind of overview I'm envisioning.

For example, in beginning to research this, I've found very few counties named after women. Not a surprise, since so many are named after generals and senators. But I have also found that the few counties named after women mostly use the first name. (Virginia has a few named after English/European princesses.) Men? Not so much, though a few use first and last. For example.

For all I know, there won't be anyone but me who'd be interested in this. But I am interested, and willing to do the work to bring it to fruition.
It feels to me, then, that the toughest part of what you want to do is selecting a title for the category (and I'm thinking only one) so that people are clear what it means.  

To avoid controversy regarding states that have parishes rather than counties, and whether it's just US or everywhere, I'd use the word "place" rather than county.  

Washington County isn't just a county, it's a "namesake" place because it's named after someone.  But you are really categorizing the person.  So what describes the person?  He's not an "originator", otherwise you could have the category "Namesake Place Originator".  He's not an author.  He's not a sponsor.  So what is he?  That's what I think the 3rd word should be and I can't come up with a word.
Wikipedia uses "counties and county equivalents" which is also a bit verbose for our purposes IMO. It might be enough to have a brief note on top of the Category page to note that it also includes Alaskan Boroughs, Louisiana Parishes and Independent Cities (various states have them - I've read that Virginia's got 33 of them.)

In addition to the category tag, the bio can have a sentence specifying which counties, parishes &c are named after the person in question.
Or you could have an overall category:  Places named after people and then under that you could have Counties named after people, Cities named after people, Countries named after people, etc.  

But I keep trying to figure out how this would play out.  If you have Counties Named After People, on the category page you would have Washington County, Maryland and Lincoln County, North Carolina.  In those cases it's obvious who they were named after, but in some but there are some counties that would be less obvious.  Would that be a problem?

And you keep coming back to having Counties Named After People, which would capture the counties, and People who gave their names to Counties, which would have people profiles on it.  Which do you want -- or do you want both?

Related questions

+10 votes
2 answers
+4 votes
1 answer
217 views asked Jan 25, 2015 in The Tree House by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
+5 votes
1 answer

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright