I think I can maybe explain things a bit more for you, a Roots Project is sort of an umbrella, not only for profiles / people with South African Roots, but also for pages/ (sub) Projects related to /part of South Africa or its History.
The Top Level Roots Project is just one place where all people/members can find everything (pages, projects, profiles) about or related to South Africa and where we all can think of, talk/chat about, discuss or ask things in our own language. There will be a help page in the own language and more. So a Roots Project just is a place where everything related to and everyone who is interested in this part of the World comes together.
So we can (will) start Sub projects like for example :
* The South African War, South Africa Anglo boere oorlog 9 October 1899 to 31 May 1902
* South Africa 1820 British Settlers
And there are probably more we can think of, but all Sub Projects are separate projects with perhaps their own and different guidelines, different coordinator(s) and so on.
But all ''South African'' (Sub) Projects now can fall under the South African Roots Project (the Umbrella) and.. sub projects won't have their own badges.
So if for example you would like to join and work on just the South Africa 1820 British Settlers Project, you/ all project members, no matter what project falling under the South African Roots Project you/ they are joining, will all be awarded the same South African Roots Project Badge. But... these Sub Projects will all have and use their own project template(s) or categories for the profiles part of the (Sub) Project.
And we of course can also decide to create categories (or templates) for different Historical events/times to be able to categorize people /profiles more proper or specific without starting a new sub project for each and everything .
But your example, John Edkins, will be part of the Project: South Africa 1820 British Settlers and profiles part of this project will have a project template telling us something like :
John Edkins was a British Settler who came to South Africa during 1820
Hope it helps :)