Here's the finalized plan for Shipping voyage categories. [closed]

+7 votes

Here is the finalized plan for Shipping and Voyage Categories

The Australia Project reviewed its requirements for categories related to immigration and shipping and after extensive consultation agreed to a proposal to revise the category structure. The preferred landing category is by arrival date. 

Eg:   [[Category:Pitt, arrived 14 Feb 1792]]

 In order to maintain consistency, it is also proposed that this format be adopted globally for all voyage categories on WikiTree.

See the proposal post here.

This free-space page outlines the additional categories proposed, specific to Australian voyages.

Please vote by upvoting your preferred answer below.

Thank you

Margaret Haining

Project Coordinator, Australia Project

closed with the note: Re-posted:
in Policy and Style by Margaret Haining G2G6 Mach 2 (28.9k points)
closed by Margaret Haining
Thanks Margaret. Fantastic work.

6 Answers

+16 votes

Yes! I agree with this structure.

by Margaret Haining G2G6 Mach 2 (28.9k points)

Would it be possible for a project to also add a location, i.e., [[Category:Lady Juliana, arrived Louisiana 3 Jun 1790]]?

I like adding the arrival place.
+3 votes

No! I do not agree with this structure (please list your concerns as a comment).

by Margaret Haining G2G6 Mach 2 (28.9k points)
I basically agree with the structure. However, I would like to see these two changes.

1. Maritime to go directly under Categories not under World History.  Going under World History turns that into a “General” category as everything would fit under World History in one way or another.  It just makes the number of levels too deep.

2. I would like to see the date format at yyyy Mon dd.  This will then automatically list arrivals in date order.  It looks like this might become a standard for global shipping, not just Australia so to have the voyages listed in date order makes sense.  I find sorting dates by the day of the month illogically.

The actual structure apart from those two changes is great and I wish to congratulate Margaret for her hard work on this.

Hi Deborah, Margaret addressed the chronological order issue on the previous thread - specifically take a look at how the order of voyages appears on

Does that setup resolve your concerns?

Hi Deborah, putting the shipping into the Top Level categories should not be included in this proposal and would need to be discussed separately.

[[Category:Ships]] currently has the parent categories [[Category:Shipping Industry]][[Category:Maritime]] and [[Category:Things]] and I do not think it that will change.
I need to have more coffee before I answer g2g posts. My comment about Top Level stands though! lol.
I haven’t seen the previous thread and can’t find it.  However looking at the example I can see that the category is written so the date is yyyymmdd and that then places it as dd Mon yyyy in the category.  This should be spelt out so people know to type it that way.

In that case I’m very happy with the structure.

I agree that the top level above Maritime is a separate issue which needs to be addressed elsewhere.

You have my full support.
+2 votes
I don’t have a clear opinion. If this proposal is used for all shipping, my concern is identifying an arrival date for basically the same voyage. Ships to New Zealand often arrived at several ports, before the last destination in the country. How would the arrival date be chosen?
by Fiona McMichael G2G6 Pilot (124k points)

Hi Fiona, I'm sure that Margaret may be able to elaborate further on your question, but this sentence is included in the proposal:

'All voyage landing categories should, ideally, include sailing date, and arrival dates for all ports of call, in the category content, to enable users to identify the correct voyage.'

I'm thinking that the landing category would be the date of arrival at the final destination of the voyage. If practice, we may occasionally need to discuss on the G2G or in the relevant project google group to clarify which is the final destination of a particular voyage. 

Also if, for example, after arriving from England, a ship left Australia, setting out for New Zealand, I would think it would need a separate landing category for the final New Zealand destination. 

Great comment. Thanks for raising this issue. 


I think, it would have to be the final arrival in the country in question, in our case in Australia, often would be Sydney, possibly Adelaide, or Tasmania, the final arrival port. I'm with Gillian, where a ship went on to another country, eg New Zealand, there would be a separate arrival landing category for their last port of call. Both landing categories would be nested under the parent "sailed" category.

Gillian, what do you think of Cindy's comment above, adding a location (final arrival port) to the arrival category?

I’d like to see them all in date order with a final arrival port.  That way they would list in sailing order eg

Ship, arrived Sydney 2 Aug 1890

Ship, arrived Auckland 4 Sep 1891

Ship, arrived Adelaide 30 July 1892

Etc, so you can see the various journeys in order. This is important for understanding the voyages undertaken by ship’s crew.  I’ve been tracking my Grandfather’s voyages this way. Yes he often changed ships but sometimes returned to a ship later on.  See for his journeys.

+1 vote

Makes sense as many researchers know when their ancestor landed but not necessarily the name of the ship.  or when it  left original port.

by Audrey van den Berg G2G3 (3.1k points)
+2 votes
hello Margaret,

Not on Australia project at all, my cousin may be.  Two points to make:

1: Name, Arrived x-date,  this needs disambiguation, you are talking about a ship, but the category name as it stands does not make that clear, could also be a man named Pitt arriving somewhere.  Name ''The Pitt''.  Also, arrived where???  Somebody using category picker can get mighty confused with such.

2: You are proposing that this format be broadly applied to all ships/voyages globally.  Haven't done much in the way of ship categorization in my end of the world, but there is enough data to eventually do it with.  Except that the format you propose is missing something, for instance a lot of ships coming to New France stopped first in Gaspé peninsula and then went on to Québec city, and others never actually landed at Québec but stopped at Tadoussac.  But the ship gets listed as arriving in Québec x date very often, leading to confusion.  

Shouldn't the proposal to apply this to all shipping be separate?
by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (245k points)
Danielle, see my comment further down on my error in applying this proposal to all shipping, we only ever intended it to be about Australian shipping.
+6 votes

I have a bit of a concern with the process that has been followed for this proposal. When it was originally proposed on 19 October it related only to Australian shipping categories. I read it on that day, saw that it was not relevant to me and therefore stopped following the discussion.

It appears that on 23 October, following comments on the original proposal, the proposal was modified to cover all voyage categories anywhere in the world. However anybody who, like me, had read it in the previous 4 days would probably not be aware of this major change.

It seems highly likely that there are people who have strong opinions regarding voyage categories to non-Australian destinations who have not had an opportunity to comment on the revised version of the proposal. I can't see a single comment on the original discussion saying whether it would or would not work well for voyages to Canada, USA etc., which would seem to confirm that people with interests in those areas may not be aware that the revised proposal will impact them. It may well be that the proposal would work perfectly for them too, but without getting the appropriate input how do we know?

I am sure that everybody's intentions were good, but it seems to set a dangerous precedent if major changes can be made to a proposal part way through the process without it being re-published as a brand new proposal for discussion, so that everybody with an interest can have their say. Possibly this final proposal is considered as their opportunity, but unless they happen to spot the key new phrase "In order to maintain consistency, it is also proposed that this format be adopted globally for all voyage categories on WikiTree" then I am concerned that it might come as a nasty surprise to some people when they see it being implemented on non-Australian categories.

by Paul Masini G2G6 Mach 7 (71.8k points)
You are correct, Paul.

Thanks for catching this Paul, but you are right, there was a major change in the proposal that will require a resubmittal to G2G.

This is something that was not explained well on the Category Proposal Process, so I have updated the text to include guidance on when a major change has been introduced to a proposal.

i have obviously, unintentionally, made a major error here, for which I apologise. Our intention, in the Australia Project, was to get community approval for a voyage landing category, for Australian voyages, based on the research databases being indexed by arrival date. It seems from the discussion in the Categorization Google group, and the earlier proposal post, that there was no major objections to the Australian proposal.

Paul, you are quite correct, I did change the proposal, based on Steve's suggestion 

"So I believe the best way forward would to reformat this proposal to apply to all Ships/Shipping categories, not just those that are for Australia and NSW."

My interpretation of "reformat this proposal" was obviously incorrect, for which again, I apologise.

What now is our way forward, can we go back to this being the finalized plan for the Australian landing category as per the original proposal on this page?

I am overwhelmingly happy for someone else to do the proposal for the global shipping, I only ever wanted to get the Australian landing category approved. 

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