England Orphan Trail: Categories

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What are categories?

You've probably already seen them. They're the small text links which appear right at the foot of the profile.

Categories at the foot of the main display page

On the Edit tab, they're at the top of the biography section.

Categories at the top of the Edit box

What are they used for?

Collaboration. Putting a category link on a profile will put him/her into a group with other profiles who have the same category link. This can help with brick walls: you go to a category group for a location, for instance – and find family living in the same area. This means you can contact other Profile Managers who might be able to help you. Or you can find everyone who worked as a librarian, or who is buried in a certain cemetery, for instance. There are lots of different sorts of categories.

We are starting with locations here: the places where people were born, lived and died. Location categories in England are always in the format "Place, County". They do not include England or UK.

How do I add a category?

You add categories by editing the profile, not by adding the profile to the category page.

Always use the smallest geographic category possible. By which I don't mean 123 Any Street, but the town/village/city, followed by the county.

The simplest way is to use the Category Picker to select the category. The Category Picker appears as an icon on the toolbar which appears above the edit window.

Category Picker icon

When you click the icon, a green text box appears between the toolbar and the editing window. Start to type the location name. As you type, possible matches appear in a drop-down list. The list is limited to only ten categories, so you may have to continue typing until the correct category appears. Click on the correct one when you see it. Remember that English location categories are in the format "Place, County". (For technical reasons, spaces in the category name appear with an underscore in the Category Picker - you can ignore the underscores.)

using the category picker

Don't forget to save!

After you have saved, it is always a good idea to click on the category link at the bottom of the profile view to look at the category page and check that it is the correct place.

If you cannot find your location category

If the location category does not exist yet, don't worry! Categories are only created as needed, so you may be the first to need it. First, double-check that the place name is correct, and look for possible spelling variations. The categories which have already been set up are listed by county - click on the appropriate county under Category:England to see the list and check whether the place you are looking for already has a category under a slightly different name.

If you still can't find it, you can ask for help on G2G by clicking on the link "request a new category or advice" which is in the "How to Add Categories" section in the panel to the right of the text edit box.

The link brings up a pre-formatted question, but it needs to be edited. At the very least you should replace the text in bold with the name of the category you need (remember: "Place, County"); and add "england" to the tags. Then submit the question. A member of the Categories Team will respond.

Taking things further

There is general information on categories across WikiTree on the Categorization: Help page.

Take time to explore the variety of categories on the Category:England page. As well as the high level categories for each county, there are categories for a wide range of topics, organised into various streams including Cemeteries, Religious Congregations (i.e., churches, chapels etc.), Occupations and the Nobility.

More information about place categories is here: English Place Name Categories.

If you want to learn about adding categories and creating new categories manually, without using the Category Picker, move on to this page: Categorisation in England.

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A very helpful visual explanation
posted on England OPT Categories (merged) by Elaine (Wilson) Mattsen