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Principles and Formatting Guidelines for Religious Categories

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Contents

Font Key

  • Bold - categories currently in existence
  • Bold Italic following the symbol => following a category in bold indicates where the format of the name of an existing category would need to change to follow a principle, promote parallelism of form, disambiguate similar categories, or solve a tangle in the existing category structure.
  • Italic without bold - new categories suggested to implement a principle or to provide an example of a principle.

General Principles

  1. Local congregation categories for the places where significant family events in a person's life took place are the most important religious categories to place on profiles because these are the institutions where family members are most often found. Examples include, but are not limited to the church, congregation, or community where
    • the person was baptized or dedicated or birth was recorded,
    • the person was married,
    • the person's children were baptized or dedicated or their births recorded, and
    • the person's death was recorded or burial occurred.
  2. Categories are created where the grouping of profiles serves some genealogical purpose. Where the purpose is to recognize or honor a specific characteristic or action, stickers and/or free space pages are generally more appropriate and easier to create and maintain.
  3. The names of all categories (especially the landing level ones expected to be placed on profiles) should contain enough information to clearly convey the scope of the category when displayed on a profile without the context of the categories it may be nested under.
    • If a category is nested under other categories showing location information, the category name should include location information.
    • If a category is nested under categories showing religion or spiritual tradition information, the category name should include religion or spiritual tradition information
    • If a category name is nested under categories showing some type of religious occupation[1] or role, the category name should include occupation or role information.
    • If a category intended to group other religious categories contains location information, the location information should come first followed by a comma and then the rest of the information. For example, Category: Louisiana, Religious Institutions
    • In a landing level category describing a single entity or institution, the location information should come at the end following a comma. For example Category: Zion Lutheran Church, Knox County, Tennessee
  4. Most religious categories have not been created, and will only be created when a need arises.
  5. Future needs and development should be considered when creating religious categories. There are often other religions or spiritual traditions for which categories have not yet been created using names, terms, organizational structures, geographic divisions and roles similar to the ones you may be considering in creating categories. Category names should be specific enough to avoid confusion with other religions or spiritual traditions, other locations, and other usage of the same or similar terms.
  6. Avoid using the same category name for multiple purposes.
    • Before these principles, the same category was sometimes used both as the high level category gathering all categories related to the same religion or spiritual tradition and also as a personal faith category indicating an individual person's religion. This led to several problems including:
      • confusion in uses of the category which defeats the purpose of using categories to group profiles sharing the same characteristic.
      • high level categories, which should have no profiles attached, with a large number of profiles attached.
      • circular reference errors.
  7. Avoid circular references.
    • Placing the same category both above and below another category creates circular reference errors.
    • For example, prior to these principles, we had the following structure for Catholicism.[2]
Category: Catholics[2]
Category: Catholic Church[2]
Category: Catholics
This practice creates errors and other problems for Wikitree and must be avoided.

Punctuation and Abbreviations

Saint, St., St and Variations in Other Languages

Whether to use "Saint," "St," "St." or some other variation in English or another language varies a great deal depending upon the language, the country, whether it is part of a person's name or a place name and many other variables. Please look for applicable guidelines, and when in doubt, post a question for advice to G2G under Policy and Style. Some of the more common guidelines include the following:

  • In British English, the preference is to use St without a trailing period or full stop or point. This preference appears to apply to both names of people and names of places and buildings and churches.
  • In French (in both France and Québec, when Saint, Sainte, or St is used before the rest of a name
    • Saint, abbreviated as St, is the masculine form. Sainte, abbreviated as Ste, is the feminine form. Full spelling is usually preferred over abbreviations.
    • when referring to the original Saint, the word is spelled out and no hyphen is used between it and the rest of the word, e.g., Saint Francis-Xavier de Montmorency-Laval.
    • when used as part of the name of a person who is not the original saint, use a hyphen to separate St, Ste, Saint, or Sainte from the rest of the name, e.g., St-Pierre.
    • especially when used as part of a place name, use a hyphen to separate St, Ste, Saint, or Sainte from the rest of the name, e.g., St-Jean, Saint-Denis, Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines.
  • In Sweden, the spelling is Sankt, and the word should not be abbreviated in category names because the standard abbreviation includes a character not permitted in category names.
  • In the United States of America, when used as part of a place name, including church parishes and churches, St. should be used.

Punctuation in Religious Institutions by Location Categories

Please notice that the category names containing the phrase "Religious Institutions" have a comma between the geographic noun and the phrase "Religious Institutions." See for example, Category: France, Religious Institutions. This form indicates that the institutions are physically located in that geographic area.

If you want to change how these categories sort as subcategories of any particular parent category, see Changing the sort order.

Upper Levels

  1. . The parent category for the religious category stream, like all others, is Category:Categories.
  1. . Second Level Category: All categories related to religious matters and spiritual traditions are nested in a hierarchy under Category:Religious_Categories.
  1. . Third Level Categories: Existing categories and anticipated future categories related to religious matters and spiritual traditions can be organized in the following high level category streams.

Religious Institutions by Location Stream

Religious institutions, particularly local congregations, are categorized here by specific geographic location and then nested in gradually larger high level geographic categories.

Landing Level Local Congregation Categories Intended to be Placed on Profiles

  1. When the name of local congregation(s) a person participated in are known, the person's profile may be categorized under the specific local congregation(s) in addition to other applicable categories.
  2. This landing level category for the specific local congregation is the only level that needs to be placed on the profile to represent that religious institution.
  3. The form for the landing level category should be Category: Specific Local Congregation Name, Local Place Name, Region and/or Country. Examples
  4. Exercise caution in deciding what to put in the position for Specific Local Congregation Name. Remember that it must be both unique and specific enough to avoid confusion with similarly named institutions and to avoid appropriation of a name that may be needed in the future for another institution.
    • The local congregation name should include some form of a word which indicates the category is for a local religious or spiritual tradition congregation.
      • Typical words of this type include Church, Chapel, Synagogue, Temple, Mosque, Abbey, Priory, Chantry.
      • Other words may also suffice in combination with an additional word. For example, while Meeting is not sufficient by itself, Monthly Meeting, Quarterly Meeting, and Yearly Meeting are often readily recognizable as Quaker congregation names in the context of their full name and location.
      • Words like Parish or Diocese, while tending to indicate a religious connection, may not be specific enough to indicate reference to a single local congregation as some religions in some locations have multiple congregations within a single parish and most have multiple congregations within a diocese.
    • Do some research to try to determine the full name and location of the congregation and whether there may be other similarly named institutions nearby.
    • When looking to see if a category has already been created or if there is a congregation with a similar name, look for variations in punctuation and spelling such as St. or St or Saint or Sainte. Also look for variations in singular, plural or possessive words such as Mary or Marys or Mary's. In some locations there is a preference for one version over another which should be followed in creating the category name. For example,
      • In England, it is preferable to use hyphens between the words in a church name following the Saint name, i.e., St Martin-in-the-Fields Church instead of St Martin in the Fields Church.
    • If you think the church might still be active, do a Google search for it to see if you can find its web page or a Google street view that might include a photo of its street sign.
    • Look for a Wikipedia page, but be cautious about relying on Wikipedia alone as it misses many small or relatively new congregations and does not always use the full or official name of a local congregation.
    • Once you have gathered this information, use a name that includes the institution's full name without adding unnecessary additional words. But avoid the temptation to use a very short name because many religious institutions have very similar names such as St Mary's or St Paul or First Baptist. For example, use St Mary the Blessed Virgin Church rather than St Mary's Church.
  5. What goes in the positions for Local Place Name and Region and/or Country depends upon the location category guidelines for that country. For example,
  6. Religious institutions and churches sometime last for a very long time, even longer than local place names. When place names change, a choice must be made as to which time frame to use for the Local Place Name and Region and/or Country of the landing level category.
    • If the religious institution or church or congregation is still active under the same name, the current time frame is usually used.
      • There are some exceptions where a country or region has chosen to use a particular time period for its locations. For example,
        • Scotland has chosen to use location names based on the 1890 county map
        • England has mostly chosen to use location names based on its historic counties as that time period is viewed as the most stable period and the place names are still recognized despite recent administrative changes, but note that the metropolitan area of London may not follow the rest of the country.
    • If the religious institution or church or congregation is defunct, the preferred time period for the Local Place Name and Region and/or Country of the landing level category is the longest time period for which the church existed under the name used in the category.
      • There may be exceptions to this choice where a particular time period has obtained some special significance lending it a character of recognition even in other time periods.
    • If the religious institution or church or congregation has changed names over time, it is permissible to create multiple categories matching the Local Place Name and Region and/or Country of the landing level category for each name with the period in which church held a particular name. In such cases follow the instructions in the section below on Changes in Institution Names, Defunct Institutions, and Institutional Mergers and Splits.

Linking Local Congregation Categories to Related Cemetery Categories

  1. Many cemeteries are created and often maintained by related local religious congregations. For genealogical research purposes, it is helpful to be able to follow a link from a cemetery to a related church or from a church to its related cemetery.
  2. Wikitree has a Global Cemeteries Project which works at adding cemetery information to Wikitree. Most of the categorization of cemeteries occurs in the Cemeteries stream of categories, and all landing level cemetery categories should be created in conformity with the practices of the Global Cemeteries Project and its many sub-projects. See Help:Category_Cemetery_Formatting.
  3. The preferred method of linking a local church or congregation category from the Religious Categories stream with its related cemetery in the Cemeteries stream is to create cross references between the two categories.
    • To create a cross reference from one category to another, include the following text in the description edit box of a category page:
    [[:Category: Target Category Name]]
    '''Related:''' [[:Category: St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery, Savanna, Illinois]]
    • On the category page for the cemetery, the following text in the description creates the link
    '''Related:''' [[:Category: St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Savanna, Illinois]]
  4. In the past, without guiding principles, some people working on cemeteries have made the related churches subcategories of the cemetery categories while others focusing primarily on the churches or congregations have made the cemeteries subcategories of the local churches. These practices should be avoided.
    • The inconsistency creates problems in finding the correct category.
    • It can also create circular errors if one person makes the cemetery a subcategory of the church and then someone else makes the church a subcategory of the cemetery.

Higher Level Categories in the Religious Institutions by Location Stream

  1. Local congregation landing categories should be nested in higher geographical categories for religious institutions.
  2. Regardless of what religion or spiritual tradition, all institutions in a specific location are gathered into one category ascending up through intermediate levels to 
    Category:Religious Categories
    Category: Religious Institutions by Location
    Category: United States of America, Religious Institutions
    Category: Maryland, Religious Institutions
    Category: Baltimore County, Maryland, Religious Institutions
    Category: Providence United Methodist Church, Towson, Maryland
    Category: Old St. Paul's Church, Baltimore, Maryland
  3. The number of levels will depend on the country's size and the expected number of institutions for all faiths. One can expect more levels in the United States of America and fewer levels in Greenland.
  4. The geographical areas of these higher level religious institution categories will usually correspond to geographical areas used for the country's present day location categories, although there may not be one for the country's smallest location level.  For example,
    Category:Religious Categories
    Category: Religious Institutions by Location
    Category: Denmark, Religious Institutions
    Category: Region Nordjylland, Danmark (2007-nu), Religious Institutions
    Category: Rebild Kommune, Danmark (2007-nu), Religious Institutions
    Category: Skibsted Kirke, Skibsted Sogn, Danmark
    • A few countries, such as Denmark and Sweden, may appear to be using religious parishes, but this occurs because close ties between the government and a state church resulted in civil jurisdiction names and boundaries very similar or identical to state church jurisdictions.
    • For at least one country, Scotland, the geographic areas used are historic civil parishes which correspond mostly to parish boundaries of the state church. 
    • Please check both the regional location categories and the religious institution subcategories for any country before creating new religious institution categories in that country.
  5. Local congregation landing categories should also be nested under the lowest level pure location category applicable. For example, Category: Old St. Paul's Church, Baltimore, Maryland is also nested under Category: Baltimore, Maryland.
  6. Local congregation categories may also be nested in the stream for their own religion or spiritual tradition ascending to Category: Religions and Spiritual Traditions under Category:Religious Categories. See section on Institutions within the Category:Religions and Spiritual Traditions Stream below.

Religions and Spiritual Traditions Stream

Here religions, faiths, belief systems and spiritual traditions are grouped by families of similar ones and then by the sects and denominations when there are a sufficient number to warrant further subdivision or further subdivision would aid users in finding appropriate categories.

  • The category form for most religions and traditions will be a noun ending in -ism, such as Category: Judaism.
    • Some have a different ending, such as Category: Christianity and Category: Wicca.
    • There are also some religions and traditions where an -ism form is awkward or not generally recognized or where additional language is needed to clarify when the category refers to a religion/tradition or the individuals which follow it. In such situations, either the word "Faith" or "Movement" can be used at the end of the category name to clarify the intent to refer to the religion or tradition, i.e., Category: Baha'i Faith or Category: Latter Day Saint Movement.
    • Forms easily confused with the name of a category referring to individuals who follow a particular faith should be avoided, i.e., Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, etc. The plural forms of these words are used for a different type of category.

Fourth Level categories directly below Category: Religions and Spiritual Traditions

These categories are generally for large family groups of related religions or spiritual traditions and a few smaller religions or traditions unrelated to the large family groupings.

Such categories may be created as needed as part of a stream to an appropriate landing level religious category being created for categorizing a profile.

Fifth Level Christianity Subcategories

While there are several different branches, religions, and traditions in many of the Fourth Level groups, only Christianity has such a large number that smaller groupings of related religions are likely to be useful at this time. While Christianity can be subdivided into many levels, at this time, there is plenty of room to put all the subgroups directly under Category: Christianity to assist users in finding and selecting the most suitable categories. Thus, there is no need for categories such as Protestants, Protestant Churches, Eastern Orthodox, etc. in this stream.

Institutions within the Religions and Spiritual Traditions Stream

  • Once these categories reach the level of a specific denomination, sect or individual religion or association grouping congregations of the same religion or tradition, high level categories are created for each specific institution.
  • An individual religion or tradition may have categories for more than one institution. For example, many religions and traditions operate schools and/or hospitals which may be places with valuable genealogical records. Family members often attended the same religious schools or were born, gave birth, or died at the same religious hospitals. Separate categories may be created for each institution where categories would serve a useful genealogical purpose. Usually, the formatting of category names and the organization of subcategories for such institutions will follow the same principles as for the religion's or tradition's primary institution grouping congregations with minor variations where needed to reflect the specialized purpose of the institution.
  • Over time, religions, denominations, sects, or associations grouping congregations of similar beliefs may cease to exist or merge into others or with others to form new ones. Sometimes, it may be helpful to create a category gathering the former ones at this level. For example, Category: Former Methodist Denominations was created to group together the former Methodist denominations that no longer exist.
  • Form of top level institution category in this stream:
    • If the official name used by the primary institution to identify itself is sufficiently specific to avoid confusion, its official name may be used as the primary institution's category name. For example, the official name of the primary institution for most Catholics is the Catholic Church, so it is Category: Catholic Church.[2]
    • If the official name used by the primary institution to identify itself is not sufficiently specific to avoid confusion, is too cumbersome, or would not commonly be recognized by the public, a generally recognized informal or shortened name may be used for the category name instead. Alternatively, parenthetical information may be added to assist with recognition. For example, Category: Religious Society of Friends (Quaker Meetings)
    • Many groups of denominations are loosely associated through consultative bodies or associations of churches which band together for some purposes, but most often the member churches maintain their independence and may even have different beliefs on some points. For example, there are several of these organizations in Lutheranism including Lutheran World Federation, International Lutheran Council, and Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference. Many of these organizations do not have names which are generally recognizable by the public outside their group of denominations and some are not even widely known by lay people within their denominations. It is not necessary to figure out which of these a particular church belongs to or to create levels of categories for these organizations. Instead, a category may be created for the highest known level of the institution, which is often at the level of a single country, and nested directly under a Fifth Level Christianity subcategory. For example, Category: Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod may be nested directly under Category: Lutheranism.
  • The category streams for institutions within the Category:Religions and Spiritual Traditions stream may reflect the organization of the particular religion, sect or denomination or may be organized geographically. For example,
    • Category: Quaker Movement is an example of a religion with its institution subcategories organized geographically. (Note: Once these principles have been updated and the changes worked out with the Quaker Project during the drafting of these principles have been implemented, most of this example can be cut out with a link to the first category page.)
Category: Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Category: Australian Quakers => Category: Quaker Meetings, Australia (Also accessible through Category: Quakers Project)
Category: Victoria Regional Meeting
Category: Barbadian Quakers => Category: Quaker Meetings, Barbados
Category: Canadian Quakers => Category: Quaker Meetings, Canada (Also accessible through Category: Quakers Project)
Category: Quaker Meetings, Ontario, Canada
Category: Adolphustown Monthly Meeting, Ontario
Category: Quakers, Davidite => Category: Children of Peace (Davidite Quakers), Ontario
Category: Norwich Monthly Meeting, Oxford, Ontario
Category: Pelham Monthly Meeting =>Category: Pelham Monthly Meeting, St. Catharines, Ontario
Category: Yonge Street Monthly Meeting, Ontario
Category: Quaker Meetings, Quebec, Canada
Category: Farnham, Quebec, Monthly Meeting => Category: Farnham Monthly Meeting, Quebec
Category: French Quakers => Category: Quaker Meetings, France
(list continues)
  • When a geographic organization of subcategories is used, the preferred format is Geographic Area, Institution Name unless the official name of a division of the institution includes the necessary geographic information in which case the format of the official name can be used. For example,
    • Category: United States of America, Catholic Church[2] (usual geographic format)
    • Category: Methodist Church of Australasia (official name of the institution division includes the necessary geographic and religious information)
  • The depth of the streams will reflect the relative size of the group. One can expect many subcategory levels for Category: Catholic Church[2], but few or none for Category: Wicca.
  • When creating category names for levels of an institution's hierarchy or internal organization, care should be taken to avoid confusion when the category name is viewed alone on a profile without the context of the higher level categories under which it is nested.
    • Many religious institutions have similar structures and generic names that could be applicable to more than one religion, denomination or sect. To avoid confusion, the faith or identity of the larger institution should be reflected in the category name for a lower level of the institution so the identity of the institution is clear when the category name appears alone on a profile without the context of the categories above it.
    • Location information in some official names of levels of a particular religious institution may not be sufficiently specific to avoid confusion or to avoid inadvertent merging of categories which should be separate. Official names of lower levels of an institution often include only the name of a city. Without either the country or region within the country, the category name may be too vague leading to mixing unrelated profiles in the same category.
    • For example
      • Category: Diocese of Rochester does not sufficiently indicate what faith or location is being referred to. As a result, the category was used on profiles for a 15th century Catholic bishop from Rochester, England and a 20th century Catholic bishop from Rochester, New York. Currently, the Diocese in Rochester, England is a Church of England diocese.
      • Category: Diocese of Rochester, New York, Catholic Church[2] would be sufficiently specific to be clear when it appeared alone on a profile.
      • Category: Diocese of Rochester, England, Church of England would be sufficiently specific to be clear when it appeared alone on a profile.
      • Category: Diocese of Rochester, England, Catholic Church[2] would be sufficiently specific to be clear when it appeared alone on a profile.
  • It is not necessary to fully develop a particular religion or spiritual tradition's organizational categories before creating a local congregation category. The local category can be nested in the most appropriate existing category in that religion's or spiritual tradition's stream ascending to Category: Religions and Spiritual Traditions based on the available information at the time, pending further development of that religion's or tradition's organizational structure. For example,

Changes in Institution Names, Defunct Institutions, and Institutional Mergers and Splits

Religions, denominations, sects, and institutions are dynamic, so genealogists will encounter historical ones which no longer exist, existing ones which split off from others, and existing ones formed by the merger of others, as well as formal associations and informal groupings of related ones. All of these situations can be reflected within the grouping of related religions and traditions described above.

  • A fundamental style rule on WikiTree is to "use their conventions instead of ours," i.e. we should attempt to use the name that the person themselves would have known and used. In keeping with this style rule, categories can be created for former denominations, sects, or institutions that have ceased to exist and categories for such institutions can be placed on the profiles of those who participated in them when they did exist. For example,
    • Category: Bible Christian Circuit was created for a former Methodist denomination which existed from 1815 to 1907. In 1907, the Bible Christian Church in England was amalgamated with the United Methodist Free Churches and the Methodist New Connexion, to form the United Methodist Church which later became the Methodist Church in Britain. All other Bible Christian churches had previously been amalgamated into other Methodist institutions. So it is now a Former Methodist Denomination and its category is nested under Category: Former Methodist Denominations.
  • Separate categories can be created for each institution in the history. However, if only one of the institutions in the history is relevant to profiles a user is working with, the user is not required to research the history and create categories for all the related institutions. The known information concerning the history can be put in the description section of the category page for the institution at the relevant time for the individual's profile and the other categories can be created later when needed.
    • For example, in the Latter Day Saint Movement, the first official organization created by Joseph Smith was named the Church of Christ in 1830. The Church of Christ had several other names between 1830 and 1844 when Joseph Smith was killed. This series of churches headed by Joseph Smith prior to his death were the predecessor to all the later branches which formed after Joseph Smith's death. Today, the largest denomination which grew out of the Latter Day Saint Movement is named Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The second largest denomination is currently named the Community of Christ and was previously called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There were, and still are, several other splinter denominations which grew out of the Latter Day Saint Movement as well.
      • Categories have been created for Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints => Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Category: Community of Christ, and Category: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
      • No category has yet been created for the Church of Christ which was formed in 1830 or the three or four other names used in the years between 1834 and 1844. Nor have categories been created yet for many of the current splinter groups or many of their predecessors.
      • There is no need to create a category for the early Church of Christ or the other splinter groups until such time as someone has a use for it. If a reason to create such a category develops, it would be appropriate to create a category with a sufficiently distinct name to avoid confusion with institutions of other religions named Church of Christ. It could be Category: Church of Christ (LDS 1830-1834).
      • Alternatively, these guidelines are flexible enough for other practical approaches during periods when a church goes through rapid name changes that do not appear to justify separate categories. For example, the LDS Project has chosen to create Category: Early LDS Adherents to cover the whole period of the Latter Day Saint Movement prior to the period of major schisms after Joseph Smith's death.
  • Care should be taken to avoid nesting the primary institution for one current branch under the primary institution for another current branch.
    • For example, before these principles were drafted, the primary category created for the Latter Day Saint Movement was Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. All other categories related to the Latter Day Saint Movement were then nested under this category.
    • Using Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as the top category for all other categories in this movement would not be consistent with these principles because Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the formal name of a current institution which is only one of several branches of this movement.
    • Using Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as the top level category for all Latter Day Saint Movement categories led to placing Category: Community of Christ directly under Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when the two are both existing denominations of the Latter Day Saint Movement.
    • It would be preferable to nest Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints=> Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as categories for the other current and past branches, such as Category: Community of Christ and Category: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, directly under a common higher level category such as Category: Latter Day Saint Movement.
  • Care should be taken to avoid nesting a movement or early sect under the name of the primary institution for the largest current denomination of a group of denominations or institutions, especially where the early group was a predecessor to several existing groups.
    • For example, it would be inappropriate under these principles to put a new Category: Church of Christ (LDS 1830-1834) directly under Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints=> Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as this 1830 institution was a predecessor to both Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints=> Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Category: Community of Christ as well as Category: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
  • The preferred method of connecting related institutions is to describe the relationship and history in the description section of the category page for each institution, providing cross reference links within the description to the category pages of the other institutions.
    • Under these principles, the existing Category: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which was a predecessor institution to Category: Community of Christ but not to Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints=> Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would be nested directly under Category: Latter Day Saint Movement. A description of the historical connection and cross references would be included on the description page of both Category: Community of Christ and Category: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
    • The top level categories created for each former and current LDS denomination would be nested under a common higher level category such as Category: Latter Day Saint Movement. If a time arises when there are a sufficient number of denominations to warrant a division between current and former denominations, intermediate categories for current and former denominations could be created, but at this time there are not enough categories for separate denominations to warrant such a division.
  • Other categories related to the common history of multiple denominations, such as Category: Early LDS Adherents and Category: LDS Project could also be nested directly under a common high level category such as Category: Latter Day Saint Movement.
  • Categories which are only related to the hierarchy of the one existing denomination of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, such as Category: LDS Pioneers, Category: Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Category: Members of the General Relief Society Presidency, would remain under Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints=> Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under these principles.
  • Applying these principles to the categories for the Latter Day Saint Movement would yield the following structure for existing categories:
Category: Latter Day Saint Movement.
Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints=> Category: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Category: LDS Pioneers (see this category for a full list of subcategories)
Category: Members of the General Relief Society Presidency
Category: Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Category: Mormon Battalion
Category: Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Category: President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles =>Category: Presidents of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Category: Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Category: Wives of the Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Category: Community of Christ (cross reference to Category: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
Category: Early LDS Adherents
Category: LDS Project
Category: LDS Mexican Colonias
Category: LDS Pioneers Project
Category: LDS Pioneers (see this category for a full list of subcategories)
Category: Nauvoo Temple
Category: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (cross reference to Category: Community of Christ)
  • The preferred method for connecting categories for historically related institutions is to put the categories for all the related institutions at the same level nested under the next higher level. Then describe the relationships between the institutions on the description part of the category page for each institution and include cross references between the categories on the category description pages.
    • Prior to the formulation of these principles, there were some instances when the categories for all the related institutions were added to the category page for each institution or when the older institutions were nested under the newer institutions. This practice sometimes resulted in circular references where the same category wound up nested two steps below itself. This causes errors and other problems for Wikitree.
      • Please do not nest older institution categories under the institutions that they merged into or the institutions by which they were succeeded.
      • Please do not nest newer institutions under the institutions which they succeeded.
    • Example: The Swedish Methodist Episcopal Church was formed in Racine, Wisconsin in 1883. The name changed to Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church in 1921. The Methodist Episcopal denomination merged with others to form the United Methodist Church in 1967. That same year Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church merged with St. Johns United Methodist Church, also in Racine, to form Bethel-St. Johns United Methodist Church. In 1975, with membership dropping in both congregations, Bethel-St. Johns United Methodist Church sold its building and merged its congregation into that of Faith United Methodist Church.
      • Preferred method when there is a historical relation between religious institutions with cross-references to each of the other institutions in the description section of category page for each institution.
Category: Racine County, Wisconsin, Religious Institutions
Category: Bethel-St. Johns United Methodist Church, Racine, Wisconsin
Category: Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church, Racine, Wisconsin
Category: Faith United Methodist Church, Racine, Wisconsin
Category: St. Johns United Methodist Church, Racine, Wisconsin
Category: Swedish Methodist Episcopal Church, Racine, Wisconsin
  • Problematical structuring of categories when there is a historical relation between religious institutions
Category: Racine County, Wisconsin, Religious Institutions
Category: Bethel-St. Johns United Methodist Church, Racine, Wisconsin
Category: Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church, Racine, Wisconsin
Category: St. Johns United Methodist Church, Racine, Wisconsin
Category: Faith United Methodist Church, Racine, Wisconsin
Category: Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church, Racine, Wisconsin
Category: Bethel-St. Johns United Methodist Church, Racine, Wisconsin
Category: Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church, Racine, Wisconsin
Category: St. Johns United Methodist Church, Racine, Wisconsin

Use of Fifth or Sixth Level Personal Religion or Spiritual Tradition Categories When More Specific Information is Not Available

  • There are times when some information is known about a person's religious beliefs but no local congregation can be identified which the person participated in during life. In such situations, it is appropriate to
    • include the information in the biography section of the person's profile with a source reference without placing any religious categories on the profile, or
    • include the information in the biography section of the person's profile with a source reference and also place a general personal religion or spiritual tradition category on the profile.
  • The placement of personal religion or spiritual tradition categories on a person's profile is not recommended when any local congregation which the person participated in during life can be identified.
  • Names for personal religion or spiritual tradition categories are in the form of plural nouns referring to persons adhering to that faith. They usually end in -ists, such as Baptists, but some have other endings.
    • Existing categories in this format include
      • Category: Anabaptists (This one has subcategories that will need to be moved)
      • Category: Anglicans
      • Category: Baha'is
      • Category: Baptists
      • Category: Catholics[2] (This one has subcategories that will need to be moved)
      • Category: Christian Scientists (This one has a subcategory that will need to be moved)
      • Category: Episcopalians
      • Category: German Baptist Brethren
      • Category: Huguenots (This one has subcategories that will need to be moved to the religion category)
      • Category: Jewish
      • Category: Lutherans (This one is currently being used to group a number of other Lutheran related categories which should be moved over under Category: Lutheranism)
      • Category: Mennonites
      • Category: Methodists
      • Category: Pentecostals
      • Category: Presbyterians (This one has subcategories that will need to be moved to the religion category)
      • Category: Puritans (This one has subcategories that will need to be moved to the religion category)
      • Category: Quakers (This one has subcategories that will need to be moved to the religion category)
      • Category: Shakers
      • Category: Waldensians
    • Appropriate names for other personal religion or spiritual tradition categories corresponding to other religions or spiritual traditions represented in existing categories or discussed on G2G would include
      • Buddhists
      • Hindus
      • Latter Day Saints
      • Muslims
      • Satanists
      • Spiritualists
      • Unitarian Universalists
  • Personal religion or spiritual tradition categories are nested directly under the associated fourth or fifth level category for the religion or tradition the person followed. For example,
Prior to the drafting of these principles, some of these categories were nested under the largest institution for the faith, such as nesting Category: Catholics[2] under Category: Catholic Church.[2]. Personal religion or spiritual tradition categories should not be nested under any of the categories for institutions in the religion or tradition.
  • Personal religion or spiritual tradition categories are low level landing categories intended to be placed on profiles. These categories should not have any subcategories.
  • Personal religion or spiritual tradition categories are not intended to be used a high level categories grouping together families of religions or related denominations or related institutions.
    • Do not use categories with names in the form of personal religion or spiritual tradition categories to group together multiple related subcategories. Use a category in the form for Fourth Level categories directly below Category: Religions and Spiritual Traditions instead.

Religious Figures and Religious Occupations Stream

This stream groups together people by their roles in religious life. It includes saints, martyrs, those who persecuted based on religion, those who were persecuted based on religion and those whose lives were centered on religion including clergy, members of religious orders, as well as lay persons whose lives had a religious focus. It is a match point with Category: Religious Occupations in the Occupations[1] stream but also includes other people and categories not found there such as saints, martyrs and targets of religious persecution.

  1. This stream generally follows the Formatting Guidelines for Religious Professionals categories in the Category:Occupations[1] stream with some additional supplements.
  2. Category: Religious Figures and Religious Occupations[1] is a high level category and should not appear on profiles.
  3. At the Category: Religious Figures and Religious Occupations[1] level and below, all subcategories should be in the plural form and focus on the people, i.e Ministers, Priests, Imams, Saints, Martyrs, etc.
  4. The general format for these categories is a designator for the religion or spiritual tradition followed by a descriptive title for the role or occupation[1] and in lower levels ending with or incorporating a geographic or institutional subdivision when needed.
    • At the highest level that includes a religion or spiritual tradition designator, the designators should be broad groups corresponding to those used in Level 4 categories directly below Category: Religions and Spiritual Traditions and Level 5 for major subdivisions of Christianity. For example: Category: Baptist Ministers.
      • This is important so that the categories will sort in a recognizable alphabetical order on the Category: Religious Figures and Religious Occupations[1] page.
      • Usually, these categories are high level categories which are not placed on profiles. If at all possible, try to locate enough information to go at least one level lower with the category placed on an individual profile.
      • Lower levels can use the name of a specific religious institution or subdivision of a specific religious institution as the religion or spiritual tradition designator. For example, Category: Seventh Day Baptist Church Ministers.
    • The noun form used for the religion or spiritual tradition designator will usually be the singular form of that used for the Personal Religion or Spiritual Tradition categories.
    • The descriptive title for the role or occupation[1] will be in the plural form
  5. Examples:
  6. All Level 4 categories from Religious Occupations[1] appearing on the Religious Occupations[1] category page should also appear at level four on the Religious Figures and Religious Occupations category page. They are Level 4 categories in both streams.
  7. In addition to the Level 4 categories from Religious Occupations, the following are Level 4 categories in this stream.

Religious History Stream

(Comment: It appears that the general Category:World History stream has a combination of organization by topic and also a parallel geographic organization. Unfortunately, the religious material there is not organized in a manner that can be adopted for this stream. There are some categories there using the term religious conflicts as in Category: Irish Religious Conflicts which would work here as well. There are also categories that should be accessible under Category: Religious History which are not and are only accessible under the Category: World History stream like Category: Irish Religious Conflicts and Category: French Wars of Religion)

Fifth Level religious history by time stream

The following high level categories should be used to group religious history categories by time.

(Note: These time groupings were picked based on a review of the religious history time line on Wikipedia, the point at which written writing began, the point at which survival of written records became common, the existing religious history categories on Wikitree, the way the Military and War Project grouped wars by time, and a consideration of the distribution of profiles on Wikitree by time. This should be enough divisions for the foreseeable future.)
Category: Religious History, 1 to 500 AD
Category: Religious History, 501-1000 AD
Category: Religious History, 1001-1500 AD
Category: Religious History, 1501-1600 AD
Category: Religious History, 1601-1700 AD
Category: Religious History, 1701-1800 AD
Category: Religious History, 1801-1900 AD
Category: Religious History, 1901-2000 AD
Category: Religious History, 2001 AD - present
When a particular historical event of religious historical significance straddles two or more of these periods, the category for it may be placed in all the applicable time categories.

Fifth Level religious history by broad religious groups stream

A pattern of fifth level religious history categories based on Fourth Level categories directly below Category: Religions and Spiritual Traditions and the Fifth Level Christianity subdivisions should be used to group religious history by religious groups.

  • For example, the following category names would be appropriate in this stream
Category: Buddhism, Religious History
Category: Christianity, Religious History
Category: Hinduism, Religious History
Category: Islam, Religious History
Category: Jewish History (Note: currently a subcategory of Category: Ancient History, Category:World History, and Category:Israel (מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל), but not accessible through the Religions stream at all. Consult with Jewish Roots Project to decide whether this category should be renamed Category: Judaism, Religious History or left alone as an exception as Jewish is already different in form from the others.)
  • Categories for religious history corresponding to the Fifth Level Christianity subdivisions could be nested under Category: Christianity, Religious History. For example,
Category: Christianity, Religious History
Category: Lutheranism, Religious History
  • Categories corresponding to some subdivisions which were eliminated under Fifth Level Christianity subdivisions to flatten the category structure may be of particular relevance in the Religious History stream. For example, it would make sense to include Category: Protestant Reformation here as well as under the World History > Time Periods > 16th Century stream. (Note: currently Category: Protestant Reformation is a subcategory only of Category: 16th Century in the World History stream.)
  • Religious history categories related to Catholicism prior to the Protestant Reformation should be reviewed carefully and also nested under Category: Christianity, Religious History when they are also relevant to other religions. For example, the following categories should be accessible for all Christian religions:

Fifth Level religious history by geography stream

A pattern of religious history categories based on the geographic areas used in the Regions stream should be used and then narrowed at the sixth level to specific countries.

  • The category name form for these categories should be Category: Place Name, Religious History
    • At the Fifth Level directly under Category: Religious History, the category name form should be Category: Continent/Multi-Country Region, Religious History.
    • The category name should follow the Continent and Multi-Country Regions used under Category: Regions
      • Category: Africa, Religious History
      • Category: Antarctica, Religious History
      • Category: Asia, Religious History
      • Category: Australia, Religious History
      • Category: Europe, Religious History
      • Category: Middle East, Religious History
      • Category: North America, Religious History
      • Category: Oceania, Religious History
      • Category: South America, Religious History
    • At the Sixth Level under the Continent/Multi-Country Region categories, the form of the category name should be Category: Country, Religious History. The country names used in the Regions stream of categories should be used.
    • Landing level religious history categories for specific events could be nested below the religious history category for the country in which the event occurred and also under the countries whose people participated in the event except where participants were from a great many different countries.

Fifth Level religious history by type of event stream

The categories at this level should reflect types of events, such as

  • Camp Meetings and Revivals
  • Councils and Conferences
  • Inquisition
  • Heresy Trials
  • Religious Conflicts

Religious Orders Stream

Categories for the religious orders to which people belong are grouped here. As used on Wikitree, the term "religious orders" is a broad one encompassing any form of society of people connected with a particular religion or spiritual tradition including military orders of a church. The members often take some sort of vow of service to their church, religion or spiritual tradition. Members of religious orders often, but not always, live in monasteries, convents, abbeys or priories which are grouped under Category: Monasteries, Abbeys, Convents and Priories.

(Comment: Right now there is not a lot of development here. So far, we only have Catholic orders and they are all under the subcategory Category: Catholic Religious Orders which is an added level requiring an extra thought process. Because there are not that many categories, it is preferable to put the religion in the category name, such as Category: Catholic Benedictine Orders and Category: Lutheran Benedictine Orders to flatten the structure and alert users to the existence of similar orders in other religions.

If this group of categories does develop more fully, the Religious Orders stream might eventually be most functional if ordered by broad faith groups, then by name of order, and then by internal organization within the order. If we ever get a lot of subcategories this organization would likely include broad geographic themes. Until we get that many, we recommend putting both the religion and country name somewhere in the landing category name so it is clear when viewed in isolation on a profile. For example, when categorizing Östanbäck Monastery, a Lutheran Benedictine monastery in the Church of Sweden, located near Sala, Sweden, Category: Östanbäcks Monastery (Lutheran Benedictine), Sala, Sweden could be used as the landing category and it could be included under Category: Lutheran Benedictine Orders which would be under Category: Religious Orders. The landing category should be in Swedish of course as the Sweden Project has a well developed Swedish language stream for the Church of Sweden which is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sweden with the landing categories all in Swedish. There are also Anglican Benedictine Orders, Eastern Orthodox Benedictine Orders and Catholic Benedictine Orders, all with monasteries. The plural form Benedictine Orders is used for all of these examples because Benedictine communities are generally independent, not reporting to a higher institution within the order.

It would often also make sense to include a particular religious order's activities in a particular historical setting under both Religious History streams and World History streams. Their monasteries would also fit well under the Religious Structures and Places stream.

The principles here should be about how these category lines interface with other streams and where monasteries fit and how to categorize a member of an order and also the abbey, priory, convent, monastery or other place where the members live and the institutions they run like hospitals, schools, and mission churches.

We also need to decide what we are going to do with religious societies and orders that are not living communities like religious fraternities and confraternities and religious military orders. We already have categories for them. For military orders, we really only need to decide where to put them in the Category:Religious Categories stream as the Military and War project has formats and guidelines for them.)

Religious Structures and Places Stream

(Note: Principles for this section are based broadly on practices in use in the location streams under Category: Regions, the common patterns in use under Category: Things, especially in the section under Category: Buildings, and the principles described above for other streams under Category:Religious Categories)

This stream will group together places with religious significance whether they are currently used for religious purposes or not. It is not meant to be the stream for organizing local congregations as those are organized by location under Category: Religious Institutions by Location and by religion under Category: Religions and Spiritual Traditions. It is expected to be structured primarily by a) location and b) type of structure or place. There may be some situations where it would make more sense to organize subcategories by religion or spiritual tradition, such as cemeteries.

  1. Structures is a broad term intended to cover any thing constructed or built as opposed to being a part of the natural landscape.

Format for landing level categories for Religious Structures and Places

  1. For religious structures, the landing level format is Name of Structure, Local Place Name, Region and/or Country.
  2. For religious places, the landing level format is Place Name, Region and/or Country.
  3. As in the Category:Religious Institutions by Location stream, what goes in the positions for Local Place Name and Region and/or Country depends upon the guidelines for creating location categories for that country. See that section above for additional details.
  4. For religious places, a place name commonly attached to the place in connection with its religious significance should be used. This may or may not be the same name as its Local Place Name would be under the location categories for the country.

Organization of Religious Structures and Places by Location

  1. In this stream, all types of religious structures and places are grouped together by location without regard to type or to religion or tradition with which they are affiliated.
  2. Landing level categories for Religious Structures and Places should be nested in higher geographical categories for Religious Structures and Places.
  3. As there are not expected to be a great many religious places or structures with special genealogical significance, it is expected that two levels grouping landing categories by country and then by larger region will be sufficient.
    • Level 4 categories in this stream should be in the format Region, Religious Structures and Places using continent level region names corresponding to the subcategories of Category: Regions.
    • Level 5 categories in this stream should be in the format "Country, Religious Structures and Places" so they will sort by country name.
    • For example
    Category: Religious Structures and Places
    Category: Europe, Religious Structures and Places
    Category: England, Religious Structures and Places
    Category: Stonehenge, Amesbury, Wiltshire (this is the landing level category)

Organization of Religious Structures and Places by Type

Existing categories that would be placed at Level 4 in this stream include

Monasteries, Abbeys, Convents and Priories

  • Category: Monasteries and Convents =>Category: Monasteries, Abbeys, Convents and Priories
    • This category is currently a high level category directly under Category: Religions.
    • The words monastery, abbey, convent and priory have been used over different periods of history and locations to cover communities of both men and women and both professionals and layity, following a monastic life. The religious uses of many have ceased with some falling to ruin and others being converted to secular purposes. Currently such buildings and institutions are scattered among the separate categories for monasteries and convents based solely on name of the building or institution and/or the associated order of inhabitants. Some abbeys and priories, such as Category: Titchfield Abbey, are not listed under any category or stream representing the religious aspect of their nature or history. There is really no logical way to separate them, especially for institutions outside the Catholic Church, so the high level Category: Monasteries and Convents will be renamed to include abbeys and priories and the separate categories for monasteries and convents will be eliminated.

Religious Cemeteries

  1. Category: Religious Cemeteries will be created to group together streams of cemeteries dedicated for use by persons of a particular religion.
  2. Some religions have a special attachment to burying their members only in cemeteries with others of the same faith, such as Catholics and Jews. This has led to some cemeteries in some locations unassociated with a place of worship which are restricted to a particular religion or group of religions. This is particularly true in cities where there are extensive regulations as to where cemeteries can be located, such as Chicago, and in rural areas where there were satellite cemeteries in locations some distance from the mother congregation or where the church no longer exists but the cemetery remains.
  3. When it is not known exactly where someone of one of these religions is buried, it can be very helpful to group cemeteries for a religion in a broad geographic area together.
  4. These categories can be grouped at the 5th level by broad religion, such as Category: Quaker Cemeteries[3], Category: Catholic Cemeteries and Category: Jewish Cemeteries.
  5. At the 6th level, religious cemetery categories should be grouped by country, and for very large countries like the United States of America, Canada, and Russia, at the 7th level by a province, state or region.
  6. For example,
    Category: Religious Cemeteries
    Category: Catholic Cemeteries
    Category: United States, Catholic Cemeteries
    Category: Illinois, Catholic Cemeteries
    Category: St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery, Savanna, Illinois
    Category: Jewish Cemeteries
  7. The landing level cemetery categories should also be nested in the structures developed by the Global Cemeteries Project.

Church Buildings

Category: Church Buildings This category stream would provide a place for categories for grouping profiles and free space pages related to the buildings themselves as distinguished from church congregations. It could include architects and others involved with building the structures and also for buildings of historical significance which were once churches but are no longer used by active congregations, including buildings that have been deconsecrated. It could also include buildings still used for religious purposes but with some other significance as well such as Category: Westminster Abbey which is the traditional place for coronations, burials and other events of significance for the British royal family and the history of England. While some may think we do not need these types of categories for genealogy research, others have their reasons for creating such categories and a place is needed for the ones that will be created.

Creating New Religious Subcategories

Creating religious categories will require some knowledge of the religion or spiritual tradition involved.

The ideal method of researching and creating new subcategories is to

  1. Start with the profile of a person for whom some information is available on the role religion or spiritual tradition or related events played in the person's life.
  2. Make sure that the profile is well-researched and sourced. The research for all genealogical facts and a full biography often provides insight into the needed category structure.
  3. Research the specific religion or spiritual tradition and its institutions.
  4. Search the currently existing categories to locate existing categories which may be appropriate and to identify the levels which need to be created.
  5. Starting with the selected profile, creating the missing subcategories going up the line is often easier than trying to go downward.

When the new category trail has been paved, you are probably knowledgeable of similar profiles which need to be categorized with the newly created subcategory. Doing so will call attention to the existence of the subcategory.

If you have a specific question related to Category:Religious Categories, please post your question on G2G and tag your question "categorization", "religions" and the name of the specific geographic location (country or state/province) of the affected profile.

Notes on Categories That May Need Some Sort of Untangling and/or Reorganization/Renaming

Catholic Church

All things Catholic are going to need some disambiguation work to sort out the problems of subcategories not reflecting which church/religion they are a part of and also of appropriating very general subcategories of Dioceses and the like in one stream like clergy when similar ones will be needed for the local congregation streams and the bishops and the priests and maybe other areas too. Catholicism categories are going to need to be sorted out to proper usage of Catholic Church to group the religion and Catholics to group the personal faith and the like.

New Age

There were two profiles in this category. One was the founder of the religion Thelema. The other was a co founder of the Theosophical Society and its religion Theosophy. Both were born in the 19th century. One died in 1891 and the other in 1947. Both Theosophy and Thelema are considered to be esoteric religions. According to Wikipedia, esoteric ideas permeated the counterculture of the 1960s and later cultural tendencies, from which emerged the New Age movement in the 1970s. Wikipedia also says the New Age movement which developed in the 1970s is a form of western esotericism. Obviously, these two people born in the 19th century and dead by 1950 were not part of a 1970's movement. So the category name for New Age has been changed to Esotericism.


Implementation Notes

Choosing Specific Local Congregation Names and Local Place Names and Region and/or Country Names

Catholicism and Catholic Church

Sample selections from section of category structure

Category: Catholicism
Category: Catholic Church
Category: Episcopal Conference of Scotland, Catholic Church
Category: Episcopal Conference of the United States of America, Catholic Church
Category: Archdiocese of Baltimore, Maryland, Catholic Church
Category: Archdiocese of Boston, Massachusetts, Catholic Church
Category: Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan, Catholic Church
Category: Diocese of Detroit, Michigan, Catholic Church
Category: Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, Catholic Church
Category: Diocese of Gaylord, Michigan, Catholic Church
Category: Diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Catholic Church
Category: Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Dowagiac, Michigan
Category: Diocese of Savannah, Georgia, Catholic Church
Category: Bishops of Savannah, Georgia, Catholic Church
Category: Former Dioceses of the Catholic Church
Category: Eastern Catholic Churches
Category: Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
  1. . In the process of working on the Category: Catholic Church category description, a G2G discussion occurred regarding different forms or rites for Mass in different churches in Catholicism and how those rites affect categories. As noted in that discussion, the focus of the structure of categories in these Principles is on the internal hierarchy of the churches themselves, not on the specific rites or practices used at any given time by any group or differences in theology or doctrine not reflected in the Church's own denominations and hierarchy. Those churches which are "in communion" with the Pope in Rome (whether accepting the Pope as supreme leader or not) have their own internal organizational structures rather than being a part of the hierarchy of episcopal conferences and dioceses which make up the main stream body of the western tradition Catholic Church. Thus, such churches, including the 23 autonomous Eastern Catholic Churches, are not included in Category: Catholic Church and its subcategories. Instead, these and other churches practicing Catholicism which have their own internal organizations should have their own categories under Category: Catholicism named according to the official name of each church with their own subcategories fitting their internal organization. For example, Category: Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is not a subcategory below Category: Catholic Church, but it is still under the structure for Category: Catholicism
  2. Although in the administrative structure of the Catholic Church, Archdioceses generally oversee several suffragan dioceses putting the archdioceses on a higher level than other dioceses, suffragan dioceses are not subcategories of archdioceses. Instead they are on the same level with the archdioceses sorting alphabetically at the top to make it easier to find a diocese category without knowing which archdiocese it comes under.

Church of England

Judaism

Synagogues and Branches of Judaism

No single body has been in a leadership position over the entire Jewish diaspora since CE 70 when the Second Temple was destroyed in the First Jewish-Roman War.

Individual religious congregations or synagogues may identify with one of several branches of Judaism and may belong to an organization associated with that branch, but these organizations usually have very limited power over the individual synagogues. There can be differences in the positions and practices of synagogues identifying with the same branch of Judaism.

Since the lines of demarcation between branches of Judaism are far from clear and vary by both location and date, synagogues in all branches of Judaism are collected in the stream under Category: Synagogues and organized by geography. Since the number of synagogue categories on Wikitree is presently small, currently the only geographical subdivisions are by country.

If a given synagogue's affiliation with an organization of a specific branch of Judaism (such as United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Union for Reformed Judaism or Orthodox Union, etc.) is known, the category for the synagogue may also be made a subcategory of a category that organization or one of its subcategories.

United Methodist Church

There are several levels in the hierarchy of the United Methodist Church's structure including General Conference, Central Conferences, Jurisdictions, Annual Conferences and Districts. This number of levels is not needed to organize Wikitree categories and would create unnecessary extra steps to reach the appropriate subcategories. The Annual Conferences generally cover areas about the size of a state within the United States of America. In areas with a particularly large number of churches, there will be more than one annual conference for a state. For this reason, at this time, the structure in the Religions and Spiritual Traditions stream being implemented is:

Category: Methodism
Category: United Methodist Church
Category: United Methodist Church Annual Conferences
Category: Wisconsin Conference, United Methodist Church
Category: United Methodist Church Bishops (not yet created)
Category: United Methodist Church Ministers

Comments on the Content of This Page While on the Sandbox Page and Under Discussion

On 7 Jan 2018 at 06:25 GMT Maryann (Thompson) Hurt wrote: Hi Help:Category_Names#General_Rules says: "If a mid-level category would be empty and only have one subcategory do not create it. We don't want to create extra layers of navigation."

Is your planned 2nd level category an extra layer of navigation that is not necessary?

"Second Level Category: All categories related to religious matters and spiritual traditions are nested in a hierarchy under Category:Religions => Category: Religious Categories."


On 7 Jan 2018 at 17:37 GMT Mary (Brandt) Jensen wrote: Maryann, on your question as to whether the second level is an unnecessary extra level of navigation, the second level Category:Religions => Category: Religious Categories is a renaming of the existing second level Category: Religions to reflect that it's already broader than just religions and currently includes other categories related to religious and spiritual matters such as religious institutions (organized by location so they can be found without knowing the religious hierarchy), religious professionals, monasteries and convents and religious history. Some of these, such as religious history don't fit neatly into one religion. Others, such as monasteries and convents have gotten tangled up because they don't fit neatly into one religion.


On 7 Jan 2018 at 06:41 GMT Maryann (Thompson) Hurt wrote: Hi Why Category: Religious Institutions by Location instead of just Category: Religious Institutions?


On 7 Jan 2018 at 16:34 GMT Mary (Brandt) Jensen wrote: Maryann, Religious Institutions by Location is to clarify that there is a separate stream or route to religious institutions through the Religious and Spiritual Traditions stream. We have had some issues/questions and tangles in the past over whether the path to institutions through their religious hierarchy should go under the religious institutions stream or under the stream for the particular religion. Those paths do not go under Religious Institutions by Location.


On 7 Jan 2018 at 07:14 GMT Maryann (Thompson) Hurt wrote: Hi Do we need Category: Catholic Martyrs? Wouldn't the same rule apply here: "If a mid-level category would be empty and only have one subcategory do not create it. We don't want to create extra layers of navigation"?


On 7 Jan 2018 at 17:01 GMT Mary (Brandt) Jensen wrote: On Catholic Martyrs, there are Catholic martyrs from a good many periods other than the English Reformation. For example, we have a category called Famous Martyrs of the 15th Century which contains only Catholics. It should be accessible here as well as through the Notables Project stream for famous people, but the Notables Project needs to be consulted on its renaming to include the Catholic element and how it is nested in their streams. I added a note to that effect to clarify the issue that led to your question.


On 11 Jan 2018 at 12:50 GMT Leigh (Hoolihan) Murrin wrote: Hi Maryann, thanks for taking this on. Just want to mention that Ireland also uses the concept of civil parishes to mark geographic locations. These may not necessarily co-relate to Roman Catholic parishes or Church of Ireland Parishes (for example). We have been thinking about how to structure these situations in Ireland - at the moment, civil parishes are the most common category that is being used, with some members using underlying categories for religious parishes if they wish to associate with a particular church.

Comments to the Previous Content of this Page Before These Principle Were Adopted and Substituted With the Current Content

On 9 Dec 2017 at 11:43 GMT David (Meredith) Loring wrote: Hi Jack, I have been in contact with Leigh Murrin about some category structures and for religious matters I would like to suggest something like this which I think covers most things and problems of whether a monastery is RC, Buddhist etc as it allows for the organisation of the Monastery and the physical building. A monastery, the building, would come under Religious Buildings > Monasteries > Monasteries in Ireland > Monasteries in Mayo > Bhuddist Monasteries in Mayo as an example. To cut a long story short the organisation side would come under a sub category of Religious Organisations in Mayo. --- On 13 Nov 2017 at 21:54 GMT Maryann (Thompson) Hurt Hi Jack Could we perhaps change Category: Monasteries and Convents to Category: Religious Houses? --- On 25 Aug 2017 at 04:34 GMT Mary (Brandt) Jensen Gaile, Grispen and Jack, I think monasteries have a lot in common with other religious buildings and places. While they usually are tied to a sect at a given time, many changed hands. Or the buildings get sold from one religion to another. Some stay in use as religious institutions. Some don't. Also, there's no consistency as to whether they are called monasteries, convents, abbeys, or priories. I think we need a gathering category to bring them all together in a stream. Something like Religious Buildings, Structures and Places at the top. They can still also be under their faith and orders too, but they need a gathering spot too. --- On 25 Aug 2017 at 04:25 GMT Mary (Brandt) Jensen Jack, My thinking to is moving away from the idea of Category: Personal Faith Categories. My own study and offline experimentation has shown me both how counterintuitive that structure is to find and also how confusing it gets with the frequent close similarity of the personal faith category and the common name for the religion itself or a group of religions, sects, etc. Also, I think our guidance on using such categories is just another instance of the general guideline of apply the lowest level applicable in a category stream. --- On 17 Aug 2017 at 12:04 GMT Jack Day Crispin -- Personal Faith Categories -- I'm moving to agreement. For both the Methodist and Episcopalian varieties I've added them back under their denominational categories.

Unique -- a Category can be nested under any number of higher categories, so while I would certainly put Wicca as a top level religion, someone also subcategorized it under New Age. Remember, this is a list of categories as they are, at the moment. After a category has been reviewed, I'm putting a link to the actual category in there, so that way you can tell which ones have been reviewed or not!

Monasteries -- I agree that it's not just Catholic, I know of Buddhist monasteries. So I bumped the category up to be under Religions. But it's not a separate religion, so that will need more thinking. --- On 17 Aug 2017 at 11:28 GMT Crispin Reedy Wicca definitely doesn't belong under New Age (#4) and I see it actually already has two other entries as well, which brings up a question - are entries on this hierarchy meant to be unique? Also, I disagree with having Personal Faith Category as a top level category on its own. I would not think to look there if I was categorizing a generic person with no other tie to a specific denomination. I would put the Personal Faith category under a top-level sub-category, i.e. Catholics | Personal Faith. Or maybe even call it something like No Specific Denomination. I think it will be easier to find that way. --- On 17 Aug 2017 at 11:30 GMT Crispin Reedy Also with regards to monasteries - they are most definitely tied to the specific religious tradition they are in (and not always Christian) so I think they need to go under that category. --- On 15 Aug 2017 at 21:58 GMT Gaile (Gordon) Connolly Magnificent work, Jack. Here's what I found to nit-pick (since you asked for this stuff)

  • 1.1 Is the "s" at the end part of the religion's name or does it make the religion name plural? If plural, you probably don't want it there.
  • 1.1.4 you probably want the plural - Knights - instead of Knight
  • 1.2.1 looks like it needs more organization - there are some subcategories for Roman Catholics, Orthodox, etc. but other subcategories seem sort of generic - perhaps there needs to be another layer added to differentiate the types of Catholics and then have most of those current Catholic subcategories under the proper type.
  • 1.2.2 Are monasteries the same sort of thing as the different types of Christians? ... or should they be subcategories of the specific type of Christianity that they practice?
  • 1.2.20 Is the Salvation Army a type of Protestant church? ... I would expect missionary programs of each sect to be a subcategory of that sect. The Salvation Army (it seems to me) is a sort of generic Protestant group not sponsored by a specific Protestant church group. Perhaps there needs to be an additional category for things that are ecumenical within the Protestant umbrella and Salvation Army belongs under that.

Collection of Discussions, Questions, Notes and Observations Related to Religious and Spiritual Tradition Categories

Space: Collection_of_Discussions_Related_to_Religious_Categories

Sources and References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 On 17 Jan 2018, I changed the word "profession" throughout this document to "occupation" when I realized all the categories under Category: Professions were in the process of being migrated to Category: Occupations. ~~Mary Ann Brandt Jensen
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Some people prefer the use of the term Roman Catholic for the religion headed by the Pope in Rome. Uniformity is necessary for categories to work. As nearly all the existing categories for this religion use the term Catholic without the modifier Roman and all other churches using the term "Catholic" in their names use additional words which serve to distinguish them, and the Catholic Church appears to prefer the term Catholic Church to encompass all the church in communion with the Pope including the Eastern rite and rites other than the Roman rite, a decision has been made not to change the existing category names to Roman Catholic or use the term Roman Catholic. (Note: This is not entirely accurate in regard to what is said about rites and communion with the Pope in Rome. It is only accurate in regard to the decision not to use the term "Roman Catholic" in category names. See Implementation Notes.)
  3. A number of Quaker cemeteries have been categorized on Wikitree. Some are subcategories of Category: Quaker Cemeteries under Category: Cemeteries. Others are listed in the Quaker categories under the geographic area designations used for meetings/congregations. Neither location includes all the Quaker cemeteries on Wikitree. We should expect that projects related to religion like Jewish Roots and Quakers will work on cemeteries and will want the cemeteries for their religion to be accessible through the category structure for their religion.




Collaboration

On 11 Aug 2018 at 01:25 GMT Eric Hoffman wrote:

Just a quick correction so a copy/paste error doesn't confuse people: Under item #3 under crosslinking congregations and related cemeteries, the second sample text (to put on the cemetery page) should read

Related: [[:Category: St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Savanna, Illinois]]

On 27 Jan 2018 at 18:11 GMT Mary (Brandt) Jensen wrote:

I moved the comments to the previous content of this page to the bottom of the page to preserve them while also avoiding confusion as to which comments relate to the recently adopted principles and which relate to earlier discussion drafts.

On 18 Jan 2018 at 02:21 GMT Mary (Brandt) Jensen wrote:

Vicky, I've sent you a private message so you will get my email to ease consulting. I've also added you to the info box on the Baha'i categories as an Interested Wikitreer so we keep track of who to consult until we have a project name to add.

On 17 Jan 2018 at 13:58 GMT Vicky (Freeth) Majewski wrote:

Hi folks,

Regarding the Baha'i categories, I am the one who originally created them and I'd be happy to consult about how they might fit into the system you're creating here. I am an active member of the Baha'i Faith and have been chronicling the lives of some of our early adherants for some time now.

Kind regards,

Vicky Majewski