Table format question- (1800/1810 US census headings)

+3 votes

I am trying to create a template for a table to put 1800/1810 US census data into. I figured it would be easier to add the early census information with headings explaining "males under 10", "10-16", "16-26", etc., These censuses might become more useful to me in this format, since the census records often don't include the headings.  

I thought I had achieved my goal, and came up with a pretty good-looking table with a heading and subsequent subheading row, but then I realized that there were columns missing, which LOOK like they're there before I hit PREVIEW. 

One is in the "Females" subhead section -- where "under 10" goes missing and throws everything off.  Then in the subsequent (third) row for the actual data, the number "2" that I'm trying to insert for "Males under 10" goes missing, and the whole table is thrown off.  I put in a couple of extra rows to play around with, but they are just there for experimentation. The third row, for data, started as a copy/paste of the  subheading row, and I was going to replace each word with the appropriate data, but that's when I realized things weren't lining up right.

After lots of experimenting, I decided to save my attempts in the profile I was working on, and ask for help in case someone is willing to look and tell me where I went wrong. I am reluctant to give up because I feel I am so close! 

Where did my 1800/1810 census table go astray?


WikiTree profile: George Younker
in WikiTree Tech by R. Greenup G2G6 Mach 6 (66.9k points)

2 Answers

+5 votes
I don't believe wiki markup supports nested tables.

As soon as you insert your first vertical pipe character ('|') within a cell, the left side, including that pipe disappears. Its interacting with the template markup code.

You may need to use a different character as a separator within your table cells (or use the html entity for the pipe '|') -- or use plain html tables (which support nesting)

Also, you could use non-breaking spaces (' ') to help format the text within your cells, but it can be quite awkward (I'm not good with html, in general)
by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (540k points)
Thank you, Dennis,

I was a little afraid that Wikitree markup wouldn't support my census table. I will try to experiment with some of your suggestions and see if I can make any progress using different characters as separators. (Thank you for suggesting some possibilities.)

I'm not good with HTML either, so that option is off the table.  

Actually, it doesn't HAVE to be a table, I just wanted headings to line up with data below it, and then re-use the headings whenever the need arises.

I'll go do some more experimentation -- and thank you so much for your practical suggestions!


having headings that align with the rows of data is basicly the very definition of a table :)

but using html is generally not recommended here (mostly because its so difficult for others to edit). but sometimes, its kinda the only choice.

Otherwise, I believe our code is based on the same code used by Wikipedia, so here's a link to their help pages. Look especially at "colspan", as I think that should help you accomplish what you want:

Thank you again, Dennis.  I'm not sure if I'll succeed with my table, but I'm definitely learning new things!  The "colspan" code looks promising. It may take a while before I understand what each item of code in the example I'm looking at is accomplishing, but I'm having fun with experimenting with it.smiley   

I really do appreciate the extra time you took to point me in this direction. 


+2 votes
I made jpgs of all BLANK census year charts (available anywhere).  When I need one for a certain family, I bring it up, enter the data, sometimes include notes.

If I wanted to I could just upload my jpg for an overall view.  Is that your intent? Barb
by Barbara Roesch G2G6 Mach 4 (43.7k points)
Thank you, Barbara.

Do you use your (filled in) blank census charts with your Wikitree profiles, or for your offline use?  

On Wikitree, I can see filling out a blank form with census information pertaining to a particular person, and then uploading a picture of it, (or of just the heading information) but it wouldn't "flow" with the biography information, since a person would have to click away to a separate page and then come back and try to remember what they saw on the other screen.  

I have alternatively used words to describe the information "2 males under 10, 1 between 15 and 26...1 over 65" (those might not be accurate categories, but you get the idea.)  

That type of description works, but it's hard to visualize -- and for me, it's hard to remember, especially if I'm trying to figure out if my ancestor was one of the unnamed children on the census based on his age and relationship to other males and females in the family..

I think what I would prefer to do vs. what's easily done on Wikitree are pretty far apart--but I do appreciate all suggestions. (I was pretty stubborn about wanting to make tables with headings (possible) and subheadings (apparently not possible) right within the biography area for easy reference).

Uploading the census headings is probably not a bad alternative, given how hard it is to provide the information any other way.

Thank you again!


Hi Reba, you remind me of the pre internet days, I'd copy census sheets at the archives, take them home, transcribe them onto blanks and look at them. Then would list t families in order of date ranges and gender. Then look at them and see how they changed or remained constant through the years.  I learned my families so very well in those days.  when I knew I had it pretty good and FTM etc came along I knew it inside out.  Too bad the internet has added the instant gratification ingredient.  The hard part for me is all the formatting and the techie stuff.  I'm sure you'll find the way that works for you!!  Always do when you love what you are doing smiley, have fun!

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