The Concept of Categories

Think of it as a large house....

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

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


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


Top Categories, unlike most other categories, never hold profiles, they only used to hold other categories. This type of category, holding only subcategories, is called a container category.

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

If you are interested in a particular topic you can go to the Top Category that contains that topic. Example: To find any city category you would go to the Top Category called Regions.

Each Top Category can hold many subcategories which you can think of as boxes stored in our Top Category room. Each box or subcategory is representing a more specific part of the Top Category.


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


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

We would always want to use as small a category as possible when linking a profile to a category. For example, ideally we would not want to put a profile in a category that is called "California" because all of the people who have had a connection to California would reach in the millions. It is more useful to put the profile in a category that is in a small locality or part of the time line of a large locality. "Think small" is a good rule of thumb when deciding what category to link profiles.


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


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

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

Categories are better than tags for doing research because they not only allow us to group like things together the way tags do, they also allow us to see what is on their same level, and to easily get to related larger or smaller areas.

Category Pages themselves can hold information such as links to resources or other material that can help you in genealogy research. We encourage you to add information you might have to any category page topic. A good example of a category page with a lot of information is Jefferson County, Ohio.

If you now understand the concept of categories it is now time to make to your first new category and attach it to the ones above it! Click HERE to go to those instructions. If you have any questions please ask in G2G and use the tag "categorization", without the quote marks.

This page was last modified 22:25, 15 June 2019. This page has been accessed 53 times.