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Date: 27 Jun 2018 [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: migration categorization
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This is a scratch pad for MICowan to log thoughts on Migration Categories for others to see and comment on.

First, I thank Steven Harris for accepting me as a member of the group.


Migration Category structures

There are various categories already in existence. The latest offering tried to make sense of what was there. My thoughts are as follows:

1. Migration is from one place to another place. That means the Migration Categories should look to the Place categories as the foundation of the structure.

2. There are specialist migration categories - Huguenots, Transportation of Convicts to Australia, and various others. The Australia Convicts categories have a structure of their own.

3. In general, an existing structure does not need to be duplicated for a specialist need, only enhanced.


The two-stream concept has the advantage of simplifying the structure and it should reduce the number of categories required.

Specialist Migration

Profiles for people who were migrant Huguenots, Puritans, etc and Transported convicts will already be filed under the appropriate Migration category. A structure for Specialist Migration should not need to duplicate the structure. It needs only to mark the relevant profiles. It should not be designed primarily around Place and Migration routes. Existing structures will already do that. It needs only to mark profiles in a way that brings the profiles together and makes sense.

For example, in a study on Transportation of Convicts from England to Australia, a profile marked as 'Category: Transportation from England to Australia' as a marker on profiles already classified under (for example) Immigrants to New South Wales from England, would be sufficient to help someone locate the relevant profiles. Whether a 'paired' category is necessary is a moot point.

Your thoughts and comments please.

Location vs Ethnic Group

Wikitree is made up of profiles of persons using genealogical sources. When users are writing the profile for a person that migrated from one location to another using genealogical sources, they most commonly are talking about the ethnic heritage of the person, e.g. Polish, Scottish, English, Palatines, etc. For instance, I have many ancestors that consider themselves Polish. The actually migrated from the Province of Galicia in either the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Holy Roman Empire. Poland did not exist from 1795-1918 during the time that they lived but they still considered themselves Polish. If you look at the born in field of their Census Records in the 1900s, they would write Galicia, Poland or Austria and after 1920 they would more often they would write Poland. The same is true for Ukrainian, Russian, and Austrian ethnic groups. The countries that they lived in were often different than the ethnic group they identified with. I built several space, see Space:Predecessor Sovereign States of Poland to show how the Polish, Austrian, Ukrainian, and German states changed names over the centuries.

So, what should we do for categories in Wikitree? We need something that Wikitree users can easily understand and will use.

  1. I would suggest that we encourage the use of the ethnic group templates that users have already created, e.g. {{Polish Roots}}, {{Scottish Roots}}, etc. These temlates automatically create a category.
  2. For migration from a location to another location, we need to come up with something simple that a user could add to a profile that shows the Country and province/region that they migrated from and the country and province/region that they immigrated to. There is a template:{{Migrating Ancestor that does that now. It should be considered for use because it is so simple. It does rely on the user to input the correct countries and doesn't currently include the province/region.

Respectively, G. Moore

MIC: Interesting comments. I am puzzling over the use of search engines. I think it would be easy to file a profile under, for example, separate categories of Immigrant to Australia, Huguenot, Ethnic Polish etc to classify the individual named in the profile. What I am not certain of right now is the ease with which a user can find individuals of interest if it requires a search for a group of categories. A search engine of some type would fit the bill. If not it brings us back to the idea of having categories that serve only to link other categories together. The aren't bad in themselves but they can proliferate.


PS I am on board with your thoughts on templates, particularly from the viewpoint of someone wanting to put searchable markers on the profiles. I need to get my head around how someone doing a research study would make use of the templates in a search engine. All in good time.

MIC: If users have not put the Immigration categories on profiles, you can use a google site specific search engine to find mentions of two countries in profiles. You then have to go through the search results one by one to find the immigrants without categories for immigration. Location names are not always consistently entered in profiles, so this is tedious to do. Then, you could add the proper categories and/or templates, which makes it easier to find Immigrants from a certain country/province to another country/province without going through a long list of search results one by one.

Regards, G. Moore

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