Did you see the new categorization features?

+66 votes

Hi WikiTreers,

We just released two new features that should make categories significantly easier to use.

As many of you know, categories are a way to group profiles together, e.g. by location, the cemetery in which they're buried, their occupation, military unit, historical event, etc.

You can now add a category using this icon on the toolbar that appears above of a profile's text editing section: 

As you enter text, e.g. the name of the town in which the person was born, it will search existing categories for a match. If you select one, the category tag will automatically be inserted in the text.

We have also added category tag validation. If you enter a category tag manually and the category doesn't exist, it will warn you. You can ignore the warning if you're creating a new category.

These new features are only practical because Categorization Project members have spent years building out the category hierarchy. Thanks to all of you who have contributed.

If you spot a problem with these new features, please post here or e-mail info@wikitree.com.

Onward and upward,


in The Tree House by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
edited by Ellen Smith
Tres cool!
These features are awesome additions, Chris.

You and the Cracker-Jaxx have totally outdone yourselves with these features.

Many thanks to you, the Cracker-Jaxx, and the Categorization Project members!!!!

And to answer your question, no, I didn't see these features until I saw your announcement!!
Well if that isn't the cat's ass. Much appreciated. :)
It worked great for me.  Thanks!
Awesome! I needed that!
Very nice. Started to use this today, could be great for cemeteries.

I noticed some very specific personal categories. Is there an intent to cull or tag these so they do not appear here. Type Unknown for some examples. Also, see the subcategories under Chicago. Is the intent that this is an open area with nominal conventions and guidelines?

How about Chicago neighborhoods? Would those be fair game to be under Chicago? I tried Roseland, Lincoln Park, LakeView and they are not there. Pullman is there under Chicago as "Pullman, Illinois". It think it would more logically be named "Pullman, Chicago, Illinois" even though it was once a separate city.

You took the words right out of my mouth!


17 Answers

+18 votes
Works great!! I used it on Anthony Bourdain's profile today.
by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (965k points)
+18 votes
Hnngggggg awwww yisss.  So nice, thank you, that is DELICIOUS. LOVE IT
by Crispin Reedy G2G6 Mach 4 (42.5k points)
+15 votes

Just used it on [[Dreyer-701|Catharina Zacharia Martiena Olivier]] and it works like a charm . No copy and paste needed Yea !!! 

Thanks Chris and the awesome team !!!! 

by Ronel Olivier G2G6 Mach 8 (89.6k points)
edited by Ronel Olivier
+15 votes
Does this work for existing profiles? or only for new profiles?

What about categories (like KIA) that are not location based?
by Janet Gunn G2G6 Pilot (120k points)
It works just as well on existing profiles (I have had reason to use it).

It should work with any category in the database. The question is how often the category database is updated. It didn't show a freshly created category when I wanted to use it on a second profile.
OK, it is there now, Yesterday, when I looked for it, it was not there.
+14 votes
Yes and they are awsome! I'll soon be addicted and wonder how I could ever do without them!
by Isabelle Martin G2G6 Pilot (479k points)
+10 votes
I discovered this when I copied a category from my scratchpad file and got an error message, which made me think that the category had somehow been deleted. But once I figured out it was a new feature and that the category was still there, my blood pressure recovered!
by Sharon Casteel G2G6 Pilot (128k points)
+13 votes
OMGoodness!!!  Here it is 2 am & I finally got a chance to check this out!  WOW, now there will be categories on my profiles where there were none before!  Must admit that categories had me looking like that deer in the headlights and this makes it all easy as 1, 2, 3!  

Thank you Chris and thank you to all the WikiTree Team who worked so hard on this!  I know that a good deal of congratulations goes to the Leaders who worked so diligently on this as well.  You all have vastly improved WikiTree & now I have even more tools to point out to our new members!  That makes me very excited!  

Picture me hopping up & down like Snoopy dancing!  :-)
by Cindy Lesure G2G6 Pilot (118k points)
yeah ^what Cindy said, did not have time to figure them out before - BUT I have one still showing from before this change and I can not find it on edit mode to get rid of it - where did it go?
+5 votes
I get the following warning on profiles that have the New Zealand Pioneers Category.

Category "New_Zealand_Pioneers_" does not exist.

The category does exist: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:New_Zealand_Pioneers
by Charlene Newport G2G6 Mach 1 (19.7k points)
Must be that trailing space/underline.
+6 votes

Tried it on profile with an existing category that works and go this warning upon saving:

Warning: Check the data.

  1. Category problems were found. You can add a category by clicking the category button category button, entering text, and selecting the category name.
    • Category "Descendant_of_Robert_Royce__of_Connecticut" does not exist.


I saved anyway and all was OKAY with both new category and old:

CategoriesCenterville, Iowa | Descendant of Robert Royce of Connecticut.


Love the change but it needs a bit a tweaking!

by Pat Credit G2G6 Pilot (147k points)
The two spaces between "Royce" and "of" might have caused it to throw the error.
Thanks, Jamie.

Turns out the tweaking was on my end. extra space has been removed.

There's gonna be lots more categories entered from now on. Soooo easy now..
+9 votes
Oh by gosh and by golly!  How did we ever live without this?  I just started back at "A" on my watchlist.  Categories look out!

Extra Special thanks and HUGE virtual hugs to all the project members who worked on this.
by Kathy Zipperer G2G6 Pilot (395k points)
well i got that to work in two tries - very nice but I have one there already, and it is messed up - how do I get rid of the old one?

Just delete the old one.
I would but I can't find it in edit!  It is visible only when I am in profile mode! where did it go?
Ok, Navarro -- I've exhausted my attempts and have decided you found a mistake, or we're both doing it incorrectly.  I left comments about each change I made so you can go back through them if you want to return previous to my attempts.   I'm going to post a new question but to answer your question, the category that is incorrect (I added the category through the category button so now it's on the profile twice) seems to come with the War of 1812 sticker which i even retyped.  That's why one can't see it unless editing.  Sorry it's not fixed yet...


This is the new question link, Navarro.  Please feel free to add comments, etc.

Check the new question that Kathy created. I think I fixed it, but never trust my work without verification.  :-)

thanks so much you guys - I was looking and going back and forth - silly technology sometimes jeeze - looks great now
+9 votes
This is indeed a wonderful gadget. A few of us, however, are fixing the Ontario, Canada, location categories. A while back some categories were changed to reflect legal entities rather than the location names that Ontarians and Wikipedia actually use. For example, Municipality of X (Original), Town of X (Modern), City of X, etc. These are in the process of being changed back to X, Ontario. In the meantime, we'd like to ask WikiTreers to refrain from categorizing their Ontario ancestors until this process is complete, hopefully in a month or two. Thank you!
by Laurie Cruthers G2G6 Pilot (148k points)
edited by Laurie Cruthers
This is a very worthy undertaking, Laurie - thanks to the volunteers who are tackling this! That maze of wildly hierarchized legal entities was just daunting and I guess many people refrained from categorizing their profiles because of that. It sounds like the new, simplified version will make so much more sense!
Thanks, Isabelle. It's been a challenge! I have the utmost respect for the now deceased WikiTreer who started categorizing the province years ago, but it got away from him. Then a non-Ontarian began adding the legal entities, not realizing the implications I'm sure, and it became impossible to find a location. But all will be well in the end!
+7 votes
Two thumbs up !
by David Douglass G2G6 Pilot (117k points)
+4 votes
This will be a tremendous help for the US Civil War Project!! Thanks so much!!
by Paula J G2G6 Pilot (256k points)
+3 votes
Hmm, will have to take a look at what exixts in categories then, just did a couple, only gave me cemetery by ''comté'', not even correct as far as that goes.  It was the municipal cemetery of the electoral riding seat.  Comté needs to go.

Other than that, for existing categories, works like a charm.  :D
by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (479k points)
edited by Danielle Liard
+4 votes
Very nice feature, makes it much easier to add categories.

However I have found one slight downside. I was adding location categories to some profiles and after I had done a few I clicked on the category link to see which other profiles were in there. The category page then came up and at that point I saw it had a big red banner saying "Warning: This is category will be merged into another and should not be used." (grammar is exactly as per the note in case you were wondering!). I then had to go back and remove that category from the profiles I had just added it to.

Maybe there needs to be some sort of flag that can be set to hide from the new system categories that are in the process of being changed and should not be used?
by Paul Masini G2G6 Pilot (256k points)
If the category is being merged, I think the profiles with the wrong category are automatically updated by EditBot as the merge takes place. I agree, though, a flag would be helpful.
Great idea. It would be very helpful if categories marked for deletion were not in the suggestion list. I hope it is technically feasible.
+2 votes
Just tried it out and it seems to work great. Now the problem is going to be the flood of categories added to profiles everywhere. I am kind of curious over this "decendants of" Idea as there seem to be 2 major branches of "Tibbetts" in the US. One is Henry Tibbetts, and the other is Joseph Tabbut. Is it possible to have a 1 name/ 2 tree study? lol
by Steven Tibbetts G2G6 Pilot (340k points)
+3 votes

I love this feature. It's been incredibly helpful!

I was wondering if in the future we'll be seeing buttons for this on the new Category page when creating a new sub-category as well as the MergeEdit screen when importing information using WikiTree X, et al.

by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (425k points)
I've already asked about the feature being added to category pages and I think it's on the to-do list!

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