Help:Christening, Baptism, and Burial Fields

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Why doesn't WikiTree have database fields for Christening, baptism or burial?

Many WikiTreers have asked for additional data entry fields. The most commonly requested fields are:

  • Christening/Baptism Date
  • Christening/Baptism Location
  • Burial Date
  • Burial Location or Cemetery

There are good reasons to add these fields. You might want to organize, sort, or search for people based on these dates or locations. That's only possible with a database field. Also, since other family tree systems often track these as fields, we could import them more cleanly when processing GEDCOMs.

However, the "wiki" way to keep data is inside the text of the page. This provides more flexibility. It is what we recommend.

We never rule out any future changes but it is highly unlikely that we will add christening, baptism, or burial fields.

One issue with baptism and christening, especially, is that they are not universal. They aren't understood in the same way for all time periods and cultures. Many cultures have similar traditions but they aren't exactly the same. If we were to add these fields defining them in the community would be very difficult. This may lead to either fields that are too broad to be useful or adding more fields for other cultures.

A problem with adding any additional database field is that it adds complication and complexity for the programming and the user interface. Creating the fields would only be the first step. We would need to adjust all the ways in which profiles are created, edited, and tracked. And to make the fields useful for anything, we would need to include them in matching, indexes, displays, etc.

To be most useful, a christening/baptism date would be used as a substitute for birth date when the latter is not available. The same for burial date and death date. Christening/baptism and burial locations would need to be treated as substitutes for birth and death locations.

We already have a way to substitute christening, baptism, or burial dates or locations for birth and death dates and locations: the status indicators. If a birth or death date or location is not known, enter the christening, baptism or burial date or location and mark is as "uncertain" or use the "before" or "after" indicators.

This page was last modified 19:27, 8 October 2021. This page has been accessed 3,431 times.