Have you categorized your American ancestors?

+11 votes

Three WikiTreers on a mission, Brian Chelton, Michael Gabbard, and myself, have recently been creating categories for all the states and all the counties in the United States. As of just a few minutes ago, we're done! :)

We're hoping that this will encourage everyone to start categorizing their ancestors, because we know a lot of people have been confused by the process of creating new categories, so we're trying to do that work for you. We will continue creating new categories to make this easier for you, including cities, and counties that no longer exist. (If you want to help with this process, especially if you're familiar with a country other than the US and Canada, we want to hear from you!)

To find the category you want, start here: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:United_States_of_America

You can drill down to state, county, and city where the cities have been created. For more information about using categories, see here: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Using_Categories

in Policy and Style by Liander Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (444k points)
recategorized by Chris Whitten
I understand the use of catagories to locate people, would you use one for birth, one for each place they lived, and one for where they died and perhaps another for burial?

Or am I getting too involved.

Do I understand that you could search  on Catagory: Cook County, Il and see everyone there?
That's what I've been doing. Basically if I have a record of someone living in a certain place, I put them in that category.

There isn't currently a search for categories, but you can get to the category page in two ways: If you know the name of the category, you'll know the URL, eg. http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Cook County, Illinois (you'll notice that there's no one directly in the Cook County category, but if you click down to the Chicago, Illinois, category, there are people there). If you don't know the name, you can go to http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Categories and find the top-level category, in this case Regions, and get more specific from there until you find what you're looking for.
There's also the question of the head-of-household, then all the children, followed by all the grandchildren and great-grands, etc. Soon you might have hundreds of the same surname in one county. Shall we just put the head of household for one surname? There are several places my ancestors lived for many generations so there are hundreds of extended family members in the same locality.
Personally, I would categorise everyone, not just the head of household. After all, if the family stayed there for generations, wouldn't the children become heads of households themselves?

That being said, if feeling like you need to categorise all your profiles will put you off of doing it at all, it's better for you to do some, than none. :)
I probably should have said patriarch or the first one of the name to move to the county instead of head-of-house. I'll put several of generations, but after that it's probably going to look more like thousands than hundreds. They had large families. :o)
The population of Winston County, Alabama has swelled considerably and I haven't quite finished with the third generation from the patriarch.

Are any others adding their ancestors to the counties? If so, I'd like to visit those counties to see their progress. I haven't seen any so far, but I know it's going to take a long time to get people to use this really neat feature.

Another thought, if we have townships, cemeteries, churches and surnames all on the county page, won't they all be alphabetized together? Won't that be kind of confusing? Is it possible to have them on the same page, but alphabetized in separate groups? Perhaps it's not possible because how would the system know the difference between a place and a person.  Maybe those of you working on this project have this all figured out. I'm just curious.
Okay, I found http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Project:Categorization

So I guess I need to start reading instead of asking so many questions. :o)
I'm glad you found the project page. :) But questions are never a bad thing!

I know there are other people categorising their profiles, but I don't know which counties they're in. Mine are mostly in Canada, but I have been populating Cass County, North Dakota, and some of its towns: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Cass_County%2C_North_Dakota

As for cemeteries, etc., all being grouped in with people, there has been some discussion about making categories for things like Cemeteries in Cass County, North Dakota. That way they'd be in a subcategory.

What would be nice to know is if the default information that is shown could be changed.  For instance When I look at the Category for Cocke County TN [[Category:Cocke County, Tennessee]] I see the following Burke, John Born 1810's. Died 1890's.  It would be nice if it could pull dates of residence instead.  That would solve a lot of problems. 

Is there a to modify what is shown on the category page?

Burke, John Resident Cocke County 1814-1868 instead of the birth death or in additon to.



Birth and death dates are chosen to appear on the category pages because they're easy to find. There's no database field for when someone was a resident of a certain place. That can only be described in the biography section.
If someone is searching for John Burke and they find him on the Cocke County, TN page, they will more than likely click on his profile where they can study other details about him so there shouldn't be any problem.

1 Answer

+1 vote
These are the main counties into which my family profiles are being categorized:


There are other counties, too, but the above will be populated the most by members of my family. I also need to categorize a lot of profiles into Pendleton District, SC, but don't know how to handle that one since it's a district instead of a county.
by Debby Black G2G6 Mach 8 (82.8k points)

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