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Forums: Index > Watercooler > Migrants/immigrants/emigrants - including those who stopped over on the way


(The first comment here was on my talk page but needs an easier more public, separately indexable forum.)

Your preference? emigrants always, or immigrants sometimes. to or in Edit

Ohio German immigrants ->

  • 1) Emigrants from Germany to Ohio

-or- (since they may not have actually emigrated to Ohio directly, but may have simply wound up there after some scurrying about for some free land.

  • 2) Emigrants from Germany in Ohio

-or-

  • 3) Immigrants to Ohio from Germany?
~ Phlox 01:21, 22 November 2007 (UTC)


I started wondering about this in July.
Where people are to be in a category that specifies two ends of a migration movement, I suggest we call it "Migrants from X to Y". Migrants so as to distinguish readily in lists. Origin and destination chronologically.
People who made a stopover that produced a record about them can be in three categories: A to B, B to C, A to C. If their scurrying may have been recorded in a biography but resulted in no source documentation, I wouldn't give them a category involving the stopover but if someone else did I wouldn't mind. Wikia has the space.
Robin Patterson 03:23, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
So under the Migrants proposal if Swiss immigrant family comes to the US, appeared in a census in Pennsylvania, but the finally wind up in Amishland in Ohio they would be:
  • Category:Migrants from Switzerland to Pennsylvania
  • Category:Migrants from Switzerland to Ohio
  • Category:Migrants from Pennsylvania to Ohio
Yes (with those two being subcats of Category:Emigrants from Switzerland), and in Category:Migrants from Pennsylvania to Ohio. (We are using "Migrants" in a broader sense than Wikipedia does, but families talk about their history that way.) Robin Patterson 12:55, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
To location and from locations assert residency so these two are subcats of
  • Category:People of Switzerland
  • Category:People of Pennsylvania
  • Category:People of Ohio
People from, not People of. Robin Patterson 12:55, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Should recommended practice be to cat them redundantly with all those locations as well?
I don't think we should. Contributors may do so manually, but I see those cats getting template:catdiffuse and maybe an extra note so as not to contain hundreds of subcats such as Category:Migrants from Pennsylvania to Ohio. Robin Patterson 12:55, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Observation: When we get a couple million folks in the wikia, these cats will become pretty populated. We can probably keep them in surname sorted order, but I wonder how useful they will be with that many entries. Maybe it's no big deal- we can also slice and dice by Time period too.
Whatever- we can make our best guess now. If we need to recat later, the bots can be set to it.~ Phlox 03:45, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Subject to my three notes above, that all looks pretty good. Robin Patterson 12:55, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

People from, not People of. Robin Patterson 12:55, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

So you are saying the swiss family would have these supercats:

  • Category:People from Pennsylvania
  • Category:People from Ohio

The Swiss family members are immigrants, yet they are people "From" Pennsylvania? I disagree. I think "from" is to be used only when the people were born at that location. If not, then how many years does a person have to be somewhere before they can be said to be from there? I lived in Christchurch and had a business there. Also lived in Barcelona. Do people think I am "from" those places? Hardly. Just because I can say I migrated "from" Barcelona to Christchurch does not mean I can make the larger statement that I am "from" Barcelona.


The first interpretation someone would make from the statement using "from" would be wrong, so this is not a quibble. ~ Phlox 16:32, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, in those cases we may not have a category. You are not "of Barcelona" but you can claim to be from it or you could have soon after you moved; probably "Emigrants from Barcelona" would cover your relationship to that place. Talkback hosts don't greet their callers by saying "Where are you of?". People say they are "from" the place where they currently live if they are talking to someone who is somewhere else. People who are mentioned on this wiki generally are or were at a place different from where the reader is. So it seems to me OK to use "from" for current (or death) location as well as birthplace. Somewhere I recently mentioned Wikipedia's examples, such as Wikipedia:Steve Irwin: categorized "from" his birthplace and "from" the place where he grew up and did most of his public activities. Robin Patterson 03:35, 28 November 2007 (UTC)


Well, I don't know many people that would take your meaning for long dead people. My bet is that it would confuse most users. These ancestors aren't calling in to talkback radio. I don't think anyone would understand how today I could honestly say I am "from" Barcelona or "from" New Zealand. At the 50,000 foot level we are viewing these ancestors from, it will confuse most to say that some are "from Pennsylvania" when they were in fact born in Switzerland. Sure, the folks in Ohio in 1840 would say those folks coming down the hills are migrating from Pennsylvania. But 150 years later, if you referred to someone as an emigrant from Pennsylvania, they would not assume your technical meaning that would be appropriate in 1840 or even 1850. In 2007 they would assume that they the emigrants were Pennsylvanians, not people who might have only been living there a handful of years after getting off the boat.


I think your proposal will confuse most people. ~ Phlox 04:26, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

We are trying to separate out "From" with a capital "F" meaning origin, suggesting identity, as in "You are not From here, are you?". It's different from "from" with a small "f". For genealogical research we need plain old "from" as in this person went 'from' point A to point B. Simple facts We aren't interested in forming premature conclusions about identity (whether they/ others considered themselves Pennsylvanians), we are just faithfully collecting the facts concerning the actions of the ancestor.
Proposal: reliance on verb forms not associated with identity separates the two senses cleanly. EG: "Moved from Pennsylvania" Our society today is much more mobile than that of our ancestors when a move was a more momentous event. Young people may be leaving NZ, but when you ask they usually say they are going for a job in Melborne that pays double what they get in Dunedin. They could have jumped on a plane that landed in Auckland, or one that landed in Melborne. They chose the latter. No big deal to them, and a good number of them would deny they were emigrating. The same thing is happening in Europe. It's driving the French nuts because they think it means loss of identity. Actions, identity.
Does this only apply to the last 20 or 50 years? Not really. This mobility began sometime in the early 19th century with the rise of the railroads in England and America. My great grandfather was in gold fields in California, was a cowboy in texas, a miner in Arizona. From Texas? From Arizona? From California? No. In the capital F sense he was "From" New Brunswick, Canada. Identity words like emigrant or verbal forms of the same are problematic- he was not From any of those places unless he really got the place in his blood- whatever that means. So for my Swiss family who stopped over in Pennsylvania, you say we maybe don't have a category. How long is long enough to use From? That gets real murky real fast.


With action words not associated with identity it's different. Action words- no question he "Moved from" Arizona.


How does that sound? ~ Phlox 17:13, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Birthplace goes with "from"Edit

We agree on at least one point: birthplace deserves a "from" or a "From". A pity that that one would seem to duplicate our nice new "Born in" categories. Robin Patterson 06:56, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

"Migration" or "Moving"?Edit

Some of what Phlox has just said suggests agreement in part with the WP definition that does not consider all inter-country residence-moves to be "migration". Needs more input from other contributors? Robin Patterson 06:56, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Parent categories for migrants categoriesEdit

For now, since we have only a few thousand articles (if that) identifying people who moved, let's just have the "emigrants from X" and "immigrants to Y" and "migrants from X to Y" as subcats of Category:Emigrants, Category:Immigrants, and Category:Migrants respectively, with the first two being subcats of the third. I presume the bot can do that from existing place-specific categories, preferably the continental ones (which should be parent categories to the country ones). Robin Patterson 06:56, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

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