Help:Category FAQ

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Categories: Categorization Help

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What is a category?

A category is a group of profiles or pages on WikiTree.

For example, these are categories:

See Categorization for how to use them.

What is the purpose of categories?

By grouping profiles of people that share something in common, categories can:

  • help members organize ongoing research,
  • help members with common interests find each other,
  • help members with a special interest find profiles they may want to investigate or collaborate on, and
  • help historians or genealogists researching a particular topic or location.

For example, if you were interested in a specific military unit, perhaps because a family member served in it, you want to see if there are other profiles of people on WikiTree who served in the unit. You may want to get in touch with the members who created those profiles and work together on further research. You might even want to start a project with them on the unit.

For another perspective and discussion, see this G2G thread: What is the purpose of categories?

How do you find categories?

You can search for categories by keyword or browse the category hierarchy.

You can also browse alphabetically (but this will be overwhelming!): 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.

If you can't find a category you're looking for ask a question in G2G using the tag categorization.

What is the Categorization Project?

Adding profiles to categories is fairly easy but working out the proper category names and their hierarchy is really complex. Everyone who uses categories — members from around the world — need to use the same names in order for them to serve their purpose.

The members of the Categorization Project are the ones who undertake this challenge. They're constantly expanding and improving on the category hierarchy and helping other members use the right categories. To get in touch with them, post in G2G using the tag categorization.

If you like to organize things please consider joining. We need your help! See Categorization Project.

What is the "limit to Watchlist" feature?

At the top right of every category page you will see a small link that says "limit to Watchlist." This will show you only the profiles in the category that are also on your Watchlist.

This can be handy for a number of reasons, e.g.:

  • See all your family members who lived in a certain town.
  • See all your ancestors who practiced a given profession or went to a given church.
  • See all the profiles where you need to add sources.

What are Personal Categories?

Personal Categories are categories you create and maintain for your own ongoing research. See Personal Categories.

How do you name a new category?

Very carefully! See Category Names.

Can you use multiple categories?

Yes, "cross categorization" is important and valuable. Profiles can be in multiple categories, and subcategories can be in multiple higher-level categories. This makes them easier to find.

Note that you should never put a profile in more than one category in the same hierarchy. For example, if you put a profile in Category:Madisonville, Louisiana you shouldn't also put it in Category:Louisiana. You should always use the narrowest, lowest-level category possible.

What's the difference between categories and projects?

Categories are groups of profiles.

Projects are groups of members.

This can be more confusing than it may sound because:

If it helps:



This page was last modified 02:59, 22 December 2017. This page has been accessed 1,555 times.