Help Scratch Page

The Category House

How do categories work? The most important concept to first learn is that categories don't stand alone. Each category, going from the smallest category up to Top Categories, is nested inside another one that is larger than itself. Categories are used to give us information on the subject and to help us establish connections.

To help you understand the concept think of all categories as being in a Wiki Category House. All categories (with one exception) must be inside our category house.


Each of those rooms in the house represents one of our Top Categories.


Top Categories, unlike most other categories, never hold profiles, they only used to hold other categories. This type of category, holding only subcategories, is called a container category. All our Top Categories are container categories and should never hold any profiles. Imagine them as file rooms holding many boxes of files.

Each Top Category is a major area of interest on WikiTree and you will find them listed here.

If you are interested in a particular topic you can go to the room of our Category House (Top Categories) that contains that topic. Example: To find any locality category you would go to the Top Category called room called "Regions".

Each Top Category can hold many subcategories which we are representing here as storage files held in our category rooms. Each box or subcategory representing a more specific part of the Top Category.


We can see this in our Top Category called Regions when we go to that category page. Each subcategory is an individual category box in our Top Category room. Top Categories never have any categories above them, only subcategories below them.


Those individual boxes or subcategories can contain other boxes (subcategories) which can contain other subcategories... Each category nests in the one above it.

For example we have made the category "Orlando, Florida" which is a city in Florida. When we added that category we made it a subcategory of "Orange County, Florida" which is a subcategory of "Florida". Then we have made "Florida" a subcategory of "United States of America" which is a subcategory of "North America". This category resides in the Top Category room of "Regions".


If we choose to do so we could divide our Orlando, Florida category into further subcategories for cemeteries or a religious institution.

Each category we make should lead to a more encompassing category above it until you get to the Top Category.

Categories are better than tags for doing research because they not only allow us to group like things together as do tags, they also allow us to see what is on their same level and to easily get to related larger or smaller areas. In addition, unlike tags, the category page itself can give us information before we go into related or subcategories.

If you now understand the concept of categories it is now time to make to your first new category and attach it to the ones above it! Click HERE to go to those instructions.

This page was last modified 11:49, 13 June 2019. This page has been accessed 105 times.