Help:Starting pages for people, places, or surnames

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Pages for individuals, for places, and for surnames/families have different formats.

Page for individual


The best way (involving the most display for the least work) is to use Form:Person, which automatically creates an article from the details you provide.

Please select the page name format in accordance with our conventions, i.e. normally have birth and/or death year in parentheses after the full birth name, e.g. Mary Ann Hall (1891-), with a space before the "(" but no spaces inside. Do not use "?" to indicate unknowns.

The essential facts for the first version are given name, surname, and short name (any of which can be changed later). When they are in, you can add other easily-obtained data such as parents, spouses, birth year, and children. Then don't bother with a preview but just Publish the page. Your result may be easier and look better if you first read the Guidance page.

For a manual method with similar results, see Forum:Data entry without using Form:Person.


After laying out the basic article, you may refine it in either of two ways:

  • using the menu item "edit this page" to add pictures and narrative using an easy to use visual editor
  • to change details in the tables and maybe add more tables and useful subpages, click the "Edit facts" link at the bottom of the main infobox or use the "Edit with form" menu item to correct things or add children or add other data omitted when you or someone else began the article. You may see an option "Create tab: Ancestor tree": two clicks will have that created, and it's a good task to complete early.

There is no harm in trying anything out. If you see less than you expect to see, the page may need to be published again because some templates need two "saves" to be fully effective. If things still look wrong and you think you may have made a mistake, you can go to the page "History" and either open the last version that you think was all right or use "Undo" on the very last version listed at the top. Or seek help from someone else before doing anything else to that page.

If you make an error in naming the article, please use the "Rename" button from the Edit menu to rename it. Takes about 5 seconds unless your change is substantial. Do not start a new page instead; that's always slower and it loses information.

Other types of page

  1. Places: Go to Familypedia:Model place page
  2. Surnames and dynasties: Go to Help:Surname

Guidance, tricks, and expansion

For background explanations of how we do things here and why, and probably some time-saving tips, with detailed procedure for using the forms, please see Help:Starting pages for people, places, or surnames/Guidance.


Feel free to ask for help at any time. You can click on the user names in the "latest activity" or "Recent changes" and ask someone recently active for assistance by leaving a message on their talk (discussion) page. Or you may leave an inquiry at our help desk. Help is likely to come within 24 hours.

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