Robin Patterson

aka Robin Forlonge Patterson

44,434 Edits since joining this wiki
April 13, 2005
  • I live in Plimmerton, Porirua City, New Zealand
  • I was born on December 14
  • My occupation is Editor
  • I am male
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  • Robin Patterson

    Another software change, over which we users have no control, has caused problems with renaming pages and maybe with other things. Please read the notes at the top of Help:Renaming pages.

    In 2013 staff remained "committed to keeping [SMW] active and …

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  • Robin Patterson

    "Hi Robin Patterson,

    It's time for your daily dose of activity from Familypedia.

    8104 people viewed your wiki.

    Keep up the great work adding interesting content for people to read!

    488 edits were made.

    Happy editors make happy wikis. Make sure to thank y…

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  • Kimbo8867

    My Sixteen

    March 6, 2015 by Kimbo8867

    One of my 8 great, great grandmothers-Phoebe Ann Bronson, was born September 28, 1859 on the  NJ side of Greenwood Lake. Her family lived in Warwick, NY which is not far from Greenwood Lake. I believe that her mother moved in with her sister to have…

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  • Robin Patterson

    Something (probably the latest Wikia appearance change) has disabled our main person input form. We are contacting Wikia about it.

    To create new person-pages, please go to Forum:Data entry without using Form:Person or Forum:Data entry without using F…

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Hello Robin,

How can I edit the top part og my page for instance as it and many other of my familymembers pages are not correct? For instance the sentence - Ancestors are from Indonesia and the Netherlanders - is incorrect as I have no Indonesian ancesters at all (I wish I had!) but I have also Ancestors from Germany, France, England, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, etc. Some of those are mentioned on - - under Reeksen !

Many thanks for all the work you have carried out on the Lemmens pages,

13:28, May 18, 2013 (UTC)

Gerard Lemmens

I will do that tomorrow :) thx for reminding me {{SUBST:User:Thunderheart of Thunderclan/Sig}} 03:29, August 5, 2015 (UTC)

"Burials" or "Buried" Edit

Should our categories be called "Burials in ..." or "Buried in ..."? I thought the latter is analogous to our "Born in ...", "Died in ..." etc. Thurstan 06:35, August 25, 2011 (UTC)

The latter is indeed in line with some of our deliberate departures from Wikimedia. However, in this case the difference is slight (with only one more character to type) and we have only six "Buried" but a screenful of "Burials" and both Wikipedia and Commons have (at least at higher levels) "Burials...": see Category:Burials by country. I'm willing to change the six if we (to preserve harmony, simplify copying, and encourage a prolific newbie) agree on that. Note that it is currently "Burials in" for a settlement or territory etc but "Burials at" for a cemetery or other burial ground: useful and natural-looking distinction, I think. We could copy most of this discussion to a forum for easier reference, with links to and from Forum:Cemeteries and Semantic MediaWiki. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 07:39, August 25, 2011 (UTC)

Categories Edit

Dear Robin

I have completed the work on the categories and - except for new entries - there are only isolated categories (having only one article) - which are not linked to the other categories.

If you want me to, I can continue maintaining the categories. Otherwise I will work on other projects, provided I get an understanding on how familypedia works so that I do not continue doing stupid things.



Reply to First Time Edit

Thanks for your message. I dont know your friend, but I can add people going back to about 1250 that may interest him

I can confirm that Andrew, Frederick and Charles were joint owners of a woolen business named "Avison Brothers". I am a descendent of Frederick, my gg grandfather

Barry Avison aka BazzaDeaf 18:09, August 31, 2011 (UTC)

Robin, I saw where you were looking for info on William Lockerbie Thomson. His brother, Hugh Mair was my Great great grandfather. We have a family group with alot of info and photos on

If you would like to see them, let me know and I will get you on the site.

Joe Kirkpatrick198.207.222.134 18:41, October 5, 2011 (UTC)

hi there

i didnt edit page

twas looking around .. i have the family in main tree.. re india and connections


William Reierson Arbuthnot and Mary Helen Anstruther connection

Ronald Reagan Edit

Some time ago you created the article Ronald Reagan (1911-2004). After that the article Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004) was created about the same person. This article has several linked articles: /tree /descendants /biography etc. I have tried to transfer some of the linked articles to the Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) which you have created. The descendants and biography articles are there but they do not show in the bar of the main article. I am probably doing something wrong.

Maybe you could look at the problem. In any case, as we are talking about the same person, we should have only one article with the apropriate links (tree, descendants, biography etc.) and not two. I have chosen the title you have created but have no preference regarding the title to be selected, as long as there is a single one.Afil 21:29, October 28, 2011 (UTC)

I have fixed it to redirect to the older version (Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004)). Thurstan 21:37, October 28, 2011 (UTC)

Dear Robin,

I must object to the procedures which are used in Wikia. In the case above, I was attempting to eliminate a duplication which existed for some time in Wikia. This implied the selection of one of the two coexisting alternatives. If Thurstan had a different opinion he could have simply informed me about it instead of blocking my access to some of the articles without informing me of what I was doing wrong. Is there any way in which we can use civilized ways of communicating instead of taking punitive measures which I do not understand.

Are there any rules of civilized conduit in Wikia or do we apply the law of the jungle?

I am extremely upset about such procedures. Maybe I was wrong in trying to work with Wikifamily. I have had some contributions to Wikia and do not understand why some of the contributors are entitled to take arbitrary measures without any explanation. I do not want to have any kind of dispute, but would like to know how such conflicts can be solved without escaladating.


Thank you for your message. The entire issue is due to a communication gap. At present it is old history.Afil 05:19, November 18, 2011 (UTC)


sorry i have nt been working on tree or sites of late because i have been sick again\

this time shingles in the eye\

picture of me re eye on facebook

Wikipedia attributionEdit

Is there a standard template we use when we migrate a biography from Wikipedia to Familypedia? Richard Arthur Norton I 21:03, November 30, 2011 (UTC)

Help needed Edit

Dear Robin,

I tried to do something quite simple, i.e to copy the Template:President of the Senate of Romania from Wikipedia to Familypedia. The result is that for some reason I cannot read the file I copied. The system simply gives no output. This is valid also for the file Constantin Bosianu (1815-1882) which uses this template. I did not include the file names in brackets because I was afraid of screwing up your talk page too.

I get the same results with all browsers I tried: Firefox, Explorer or Google Chrome.

What am I doing wrong and how can I get rid of this problem?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Andrei Afil 06:03, December 12, 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your assistance. It works now.Afil 21:08, December 12, 2011 (UTC)

I didn't achieve anything, as far as I know. Thurstan seems to have fixed things - I wonder whether there are many other templates that should have the same treatment; if there are, we should create a help page or an addition to some other page. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:35, December 12, 2011 (UTC)

Forumheaders Edit

I have reverted the deleted Forumheader.

My point was that if a forum is suggested in 2007, such as Talk about the Seraikela Kharsawan district and nobody has anything to say about it, I simply do not see that anybody is interested in this forum. Assuming somebody is interested in this Forum, the existence of these Fora should be clear and contributors should be invited to participate. I am contributing to Familypedia for nearly a year and have probably been one of the most active contributors. However this is the first time I ran across such a Forumheader and even then I did not understand what its scope was. Will anybody ever participate in such discussions. And even if somebody does, will there be somebody else who answers, as a forum implies a debate?

On the start page there is a Forum window which opens several subwindows such as Help desk, Water cooler, etc. Not the slightest indication that there are various subjects open for discussion.

How are the subjects which justify a forumheader selected. A very short look at the list shows that the subjects are mainly settlements, counties or districts from the United States and a selected few countries. Why only those? Why not also settlements or other territorial units from France, Germany, Poland, Russia and Egypt? Why do we have fora only for geographic units. If this is a site specializing on genealogies, why is the main topic not that of families who have their trees in Familypedia?

Maybe the answers to these questions are somewhere. But if they are they are not easy to find.

Therefore it is difficult to understand why we have hundreds of forum topics with no inputs at all on the talk pages.

Afil 03:14, December 18, 2011 (UTC)

Uncategorized categories Edit

I may have contributed to some of them but not on all.

If you look at the existing ones, some definitely should be deleted:

  • some are simply carried over by copying from Wikipedia, such as "Articles lacking in-text citations" simply because Wikifamily does not require in-text citations. This is also valid for "Articles with obsolete information" , "Articles to be merged", "Articles with trivia information", "References cleanup" a.o. If there are no articles for which these categories are used I do not see any reason for keeping them,
  • some are hardly required and have been carried over mostly from wikicommons with various images. Such as "Chicken in heraldry" or "red, blue, white flags".

I really think that such categories are not useful in Familypedia.

  • Some are incorrect, such as People from Switzerland which should be People of Switzerland (which is the form applied by Familypedia for all other countries and which exists already in Familypedia.

They should be deleted, but I cannot do it myself as I do not have administrator privileges.

Some are remains of the discussion we had about naming the categories simply Settled (or established) in... or Settlements established in .... or States or Territories established in... My understanding was that the acceptable categories for Familypedia were Settled in .... or Established in .... But I agree that the discussion has not led to any conclusion.

There are however categories which need further categorization such as Churches in Bulgaria, Marginal Seas of the Atlantic Ocean or others. There are however many uncaracterized articles which are not categories.

I was trying to put some order in the categories. But I have not been active in this field recently, because I do not want to disturb anybody. Just tell me what you want me to do, if anything, or tell me to keep away and not touch categories.Afil 03:52, December 18, 2011 (UTC)

Dear Robin

I posted the discussion on uncategorized pages as you have recommended.

But the selection of the hydroelectric plants category as potentially uninteresting is really a low blow under the belt. You chose the category which refers to an article about a hydroelectric plant in whose construction I was myself directly involved. It may not be the greatest plant in the world, but as a young engineer I helped building it.

Take this comment as a joke. I know there was no mischief meant. But my involvement in the construction of the plant is true.

Afil 19:12, December 19, 2011 (UTC)

Merry Christmas Edit

Merry Christmas to you too Robin. And Happy New Year. It is nearly a year since I started contributing to Wikifamily. I hope I was not too much of a nuisance. Anyway I enjoyed it and if it is OK with you I hope to continue in 2012.

And I like receiving messages from you. It makes me feel less a stranger in your collectivity.

Again Merry Christmas


Response Edit

I also agree that including all the "established" into a single category is far from being the best solution. I did not invent this but simply applied a solution which had been implemented before and which I followed for consistency. The present solution is far from being the best and a decision should be taken on what should be done in Wikifamily. However, one of the problem which we are facing is that in Wikifamily we use information taken partly from Wikipedia and partly from Wikicommons. Each uses a different way of defining categories, and they are conflicting. They cannot both coexist.

In cases such as populated places, Wikifamily seems to have adopted settlements. I have no preference for any of these (well maybe I prefer settlements but that is besides the point. But if until now thousands of categories have adopted "settlements", accepting "populated places" for a few new ones makes little sense. Categories are necessary to anybody who is looking for certain information and is not aware of the title of existing articles. If they are not consistent, there is no reason to use them at all.

In our previous discussion you raised the question of the difference between settled and established, which I understood and I have not done any changes regarding there categories.

For the time being I am using the system which seems to have been applied by my predecessors for naming various categories, regardless of the fact that they comply with Wikipedia, Wikicommons or have been specifically designed for Wikifamily. For other cases, I generally use Wikipedia (except for cases where there are obvious errors in Wikipedia, when I omit such links).

I am willing to participate in any forum or discussion regarding these issues and to follow any rule which is established or which you prefer to adopt. If you want to revert from the unique established to different ones, I have no objections as long as we find a way to change the existing categories to the new ones. If you prefer populated places I again have no objection, as long as we find a way to change the existing settlements to populated places. I am only trying to be consistent. That's all. Afil 01:17, February 10, 2012 (UTC)

Persons Edit

I have requested some advice from Rtol on the information regarding births, deaths and marriages in various localities. I have since discovered that you had also created a separate page to deal with this problem. As you have also sent comments on this matter to Rtol, this is just to inform you that I have responded to Rtol. I agree that a discussion on the matter would be advisable.Afil 02:06, February 14, 2012 (UTC)

Good. I got an email saying you had commented on rtol's talk page. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:50, February 14, 2012 (UTC)

Valid name Edit

I have contacted Thurstan with some questions on the Valid name categories. However he has indicated that these categories and their use has been initiated by Phlox who seems not to be active any more.

However some questions remain unanswered. I am not sure if these categories are in use any more and if any action regarding them is required. I have the feeling that Phlox is not active any more. Any suggestions?

Afil 02:23, February 14, 2012 (UTC)

Those categories are important for people such as me who use the input form. They facilitate autocompletion. No action regarding them is required or at present desired, as far as I know, though some of the documentation could be better. While I'm still active, I can look after them and I expect others can if necessary. Ask me questions about them if you like - possibly on the talk page of the highest-level one would be the best place, so that anyone interested is likely to see. (I have been trying to interest Phlox in resuming active service.) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:50, February 14, 2012 (UTC)

I posted the questions in the Talk Page of Category:Valid name- nation as recommended. Afil 02:17, February 15, 2012 (UTC)

BDM Edit

  • See Trnava#See also. The little command should be turned into a template once we agree on a name for the subpage. bdm is fine with me. rtol 06:18, February 14, 2012 (UTC)

Ferenc Cseszneky de Milvány et Csesznek Edit

Dear Robin, Some time ago you posted the article Ferenc Cseszneky de Milvány et Csesznek. I have run across another article Count Ferenc Cseszneky de Milvány et Csesznek regarding the same person. This is just to inform you so that you take the appropriate decision on how to merge the articles. If I used my judgement, I would not use the title of the second one, but this is up to you. The information in both articles is incomplete and could be completed from the site [1]. Therefore the years 1876-1924 should be added to the title according to Familypedia standards.

I can merge the two articles, make the appropriate corrections and complete the information, but do not want to do anything which would not be acceptable to you as author of the first article.

Regards Afil 22:45, February 23, 2012 (UTC)

With names as the one you just corrected, duplications are probably inevitable. I shall look at the Cseszneky's, as you suggested, but just give me some time. For the time being I am struggling with some other Hungarians and attempting to make sense out of some conflicting information. Afil 03:24, February 24, 2012 (UTC)

Surname in place Edit

I simply deleted a category with had not further link.

According to me, if we look at the Borlands, there may be Borlands in the Scotland and Borlands in England. A comprehensive category would be Borlands in the UK - which are the categories which exist. The question is how we continue this. Is the upper category Borlands in Europe and then Borlands in the World? It is extremely unlikely that we would have Borlands in Hungary and Borlands in Bulgaria and Borlands in Cyprus who would all be part of the Borlands in Europe.

In this case, we should have a comprehensive category Borland (surname) which would have a subcategory: Borlands by country. This would include Borlands in the United States, Borlands in Canada, Borlands in Australia, Borlands in New Zealand etc. And anybody who is looking for Borlands, would be able to find the ones he is looking for.

And this model should be used for all families which are spread over several countries. If I look at my own family, I have a branch of Wilkinsons who are originally from England, but have some of their members who migrated to Norway. I have another branch of Wilkinsons who are from Scotland, but some members have moved - probably temporarily to Hong-Kong. Probably you could come up with something similar for the Pattersons. So what I would suggest that we should have a comprehensive category for these types of world-wide families, where anybody interested would be able to find out if a certain family is listed there or not. If this family exists he should be able to find a subcategory (such as Borlands by country) where he would find all the countries where Borlands are listed in Familypedia. And this would eliminate the loose categories such as Borlands in Europe which is not linked to anything.

That is what I would suggest. Afil 01:50, March 28, 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for another prompt and commendably-detailed response. The model idea is excellent in principle. Needs copying to Familypedia talk:Surname in place. But I disagree that we have no use for "continent" categories. (Being "not linked to anything" is not a reason for deleting something some other user has created; it should be either left alone or discussed with the creator, so that further links may be created.) If all that you knew about your (hypothetical) great-great-uncle John Borland was in a letter saying "He crossed the Atlantic in 1890" you would want to look at a "Europe" category" in case he was NOT from the UK. So our top specific level is continents, and "Borland by continent" will be the level above that: your "comprehensive category for these types of world-wide families". -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:54, March 28, 2012 (UTC)

Born, Died, Married Edit

Some time ago you seem to have considered having subpages for various localities which would incorporate the list of people born, died, married or buried in that locality. For some reason I am not able to find this tentative page of yours.

I have now created some templates which make this simple. For any locality for which you want to construct this subpage, just include the template BDM on top of the settlement's article. This creates on top of the article the tab for the main article and the BDM page.

After you do this, as the page does not exist, the BDM tab is red. If you click on the red tab, this allows you to create the Born Died Married page. For this you just include a BDM1 template on the page which takes care of all the rest.

It is simple and does the trick. I have tested it on several cities and it seems to work fine. Try it. And I would welcome your comments on it.Afil 01:50, March 28, 2012 (UTC)

Looks like a very good development, though I haven't tried it. Template:Locality may be what you are looking for. And your recent improvement should be mentioned on Forum:Templates update, where I think there is mention of related templates (in addition to the two fairly recent paragraphs above here in this talk page). -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:54, March 28, 2012 (UTC)

Forlonge Family Album Edit


I hope you don't mind my contacting you. I was going through a Victorian photograph album my dad bought in an auction job lot a number of years ago and almost every name I looked up brought me to your page. The album contains 143 photographs including Jessie, Maude, Connie, Florence and Andrew Forlonge, Jenny Guinness (nee Forlonge) as well as the Pooles, Barton Wrights, Hunter Blairs, Guild, Molesworth, Pavey, Hawkshaw and many more.

I thought you may be interested in the photographs but they seem to be sealed within the pages of the album and I wouldn't have the first idea about how to copy and upload them.

Anyway, if the album or the photos are of any interest to you, please just let me know.

Regards, 17:12, June 6, 2012 (UTC) Jane

Thank you, Jane, a great find! (I'm not sure whether I managed to reply before my recent 5 weeks of being offline.) Photographing with a digital camera would presumably be the easiest way to make the photographs available to other relatives. If they are in .jpg or .png or some other common formats, they can be uploaded to this wiki easily. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:50, July 12, 2012 (UTC)

Ventimiglia familyEdit

I've met the baron and his family in Geneva. I think he, the younger, goes by Jack Ventimiglia Vallon if that helps. The family has a webpage and is on facebook. Ive read writeups on their estate on the net, in a british newspaper etc. i think they still have an annual ball, as well as tennis tournament. the email address i have for the vallons is

I know them as my sister Valentina is their secretary in Palermo. she used to respond to their emails but as mail is quite infrequent i think they attend to it personally now. Personally I've met him, the elder, on one occasion and he and his son are both quite pleasant unassuming people from what ive heard. they are philanthropc and easy going

hope this helps

Giuseppe Barbosa

(See brief reply on user talk page. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:50, July 12, 2012 (UTC) )

New image editingEdit

How do I turn off the new image editing. When I click on an image a window opens and just spins and spins and never fully opens. I need to edit images the old way by clicking and getting to that specific page. --Richard Arthur Norton (talk) 16:25, July 11, 2012 (UTC)

Errors Edit

I keep getting errors. The links in the showfacts windows are not working (or not all working) mainly for spouses and parents. The sensor, descendants and trees are also not working. Is this a general problem or is in only my computer which has gone bezerk?Afil (talk) 05:54, July 14, 2012 (UTC)

Hi Robin,

Wikia has wiped our properties again. Can you, as a bureaucrat, protest?



rtol (talk) 14:56, August 28, 2012 (UTC)

I have been blocked, can you unblock me:Edit

Your user name or IP address has been blocked. The block was made by .

  • Reason given: This username or IP address is prevented from editing across the entire Wikia network due to vandalism or other disruption.

If you believe this is in error, please contact Wikia. The blocker also gave this additional reason: spam.

  • Start of block: 10:59, December 19, 2012
  • Expiry of block: 10:59, March 19, 2013
  • Intended blockee:
  • Block ID: #57424
  • Current IP address:

Admin Edit

Dear Robin,

Let me first wish you a very Merry Christmas and then also a most happy and successful New Year.

Thank you for your offer. I am aware of what it means to be an admin as I have admin privileges in the Romanian language wikipedia. As far as disagreaments are concerned, I may be a grumpy old man but I consider that sometimes there are issues which should be debated in order to find the best solution. However I really hope that I have not exaggerated in the views which I have expressed and definitely did not intend in any way to annoy any of the other contributors. So a would be honored if you would submit the proposal for my nomination.


Andrei Afil (talk) 05:50, December 24, 2012 (UTC)

I posted the consent as advised. Thanks again.Afil (talk) 00:02, December 26, 2012 (UTC)

Ormond(e) Edit

I got your message. Are you sure it was meant for me? Are you sure that other concerned contributors will find it? Afil (talk) 03:44, December 30, 2012 (UTC)

Project Charlemagne Edit

They rolled out the latest version of SMW and all our property values got wiped again. They don't understand why, and seem not to keen to find out. They've also reset all system values to their default. A number of other things go wrong as a result. I've given up talking to Wikia, as I get polite responses but no solutions. rtol (talk) 12:13, December 30, 2012 (UTC)

Vilius Edit

I looked at the comments posted by Vilius. I did not change anything in his articles. I deleted some of the categories which he invented without linking them to anything. These categories are not to be found in Wikipedia or other more comprehensive encyclopedias. I explained this in his talk page. Afil (talk) 03:13, December 31, 2012 (UTC)

Still going through fixing up all the "wrong" names that I have entered, It will take me a while but I hope to get it fixed over the next couple of days.

BTW I knew about the correct meaning of "nee" just couldn;t find another way to express the name changes.

There was method in my madness, but I have now found another way to meet my aims.

I had put in the long "nee" names thinking, albeit naively, that if someone went to put information in a page for this person that they would first remove the married surname(s) and the "nees" before beginning from the parent's children's facts. I wanted to make sure that they knew that these women had married and would include these details. I have noticed in many family trees that they miss many of the marriages, and I like more completeness than this. It also explained why the death was not recorded in the name that the woman had been born with. But I am now undoing these long names that I had put in and am including a list of the daughters marriages below the children's facts. This should then mean that someone coming along later will know which daughters married and changed their names.

Several users have listed children in text paragraphs below the automated child box, particularly to show husband's names, as you have done. Good idea. I think we could amend the children box to show spouses, but there's probably not enough room to do it comfortably. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:07, January 3, 2013 (UTC)

The reason for names like "Fanny Gutsell nee Tomsett", and "John Gutsell alias Gould or Gold" was to help these pages turn up in google searches when people are looking for the details on these convicts. For example Frances Tomsett was sent to Australia as Fanny Gutsell and all the records in Australia about her are in that name. Someone doing a google search for information on her would google "Fanny Gutsell". Again I have hopefully found an alternative way that these pages will still come up in a google search while using their birth names as the page name inside Famiilypedia.

Google searches most of our text. Mention the married name and the likely name at death a couple of times in the text and you should get it in a search. Try a search for "Fanny Gutsell genealogy" even without a page name that includes Fanny Gutsell (as I have just done, getting a pleasant surprise). Another point is that a search for "John Gold" (with or without quote marks) might not easily find John Gutsell alias Gould or Gold because the names are separated by four other words. A really search-friendly solution could be to create (or leave) a page that redirects to the maiden name; but I'm not sure whether search engines take any notice of redirects. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:07, January 3, 2013 (UTC)

Selkcerf (talk) 04:58, January 1, 2013 (UTC)

Food for thought there, thanks. I've replied above on two points after the specific paragraphs. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:07, January 3, 2013 (UTC)

Labels for footnotes Edit

I have fixed the labels for the footnotes, and discovered that there was a good reason why I hadn't done it before: they create links to old partial forms which don't work properly, in that if you use them, you will lose the fields which don't occur. I am not interesting in fixing these, so I am removing the links. You might like to look at Form:General info, Form:Wedding1, Form:Death etc yourself. It looks like the "partial form" stuff has been changed in the newer version. Maybe you should enquire of the SMW people. Thurstan (talk) 23:39, January 2, 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, pal. That's the old swllowing-data problem; Phlox was aware of it and put a stopper on one of our main forms with an explanation, but maybe the partial forms need more or similar care. Maybe Pedro can make the partial forms work. When I've looked at the links I'll do a bit more study then work out what else we could do. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:07, January 3, 2013 (UTC)


The template on the Logan Lerman page produces this sentence, "Ancestors from the United States", which isn't really right. How do I remove that part? It doesn't show up on the same template in the pages you created of some of his family members. 07:40, January 4, 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for Grenoble and the family tree Edit

Thanks Robin for the welcome message and the Grenoble article!
Thanks also for introducing me to the family tree template ! ... I've tried to add it to my person page (Pierre_Pham-Phu), it's nice but I am not totally satisfied with the tabs at the top of the tree ... maybe I should use another template ??
Thanks again ! Pierro78 (talk) 10:22, January 4, 2013 (UTC)

facebook and google+ link ?Edit

Thanks Robin for helping me with the naming convention and answering about the family tree !
How did you add a facebook link to you user page ( User:Robin_Patterson ) ?? is it possible to add a google+ link ?? (I would like to add this info to my user page : User:Pierro78)
Thanks again ! Pierro78 (talk) 11:36, January 4, 2013 (UTC)

Sorry if my question was unclear, I wanted to have (the link to) my facebook page inside my "user box" at the top of my user page like you have yours (I didn't ask about how to use the address bar). I guess you were able to link your wikia account to your facebook account, so your facebook account shows up in your "user box" ... so probably it's not possible to add my google+ page in my "user box" ...
In the meantime I've just added my facebook and google+ information in the regular part of my user page :)
Thanks again - Pierro78 (talk) 13:35, January 4, 2013 (UTC)
OK, and now we are Facebook friends and have links elsewhere. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 07:51, January 5, 2013 (UTC)

Dutch Edit

Wat is de naam van die groene sprietjes die op een voetbalveld groeien (tik letters achterstevoren in)?

This is a riddle. The results is a password: sarg rtol (talk) 06:20, January 5, 2013 (UTC)

achterstevoren = back to front is a great site. It is integrated with Chrome. rtol (talk) 10:20, January 5, 2013 (UTC)

Template to show children on my dad's page Edit

Hello again Robin,

I thought that the Template:Showfacts_children would have (automatically) shown my dad's children (those declared on familypedia) on his page ( Ngo_Pham-Phu_(1936) ) but this is not the case.

Do you know if there is a Template than can do this on familypedia ?

Thanks again ! - Pierro78 (talk) 12:38, January 5, 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Robin for getting my dad's children appear on his person page by specifying a spouse ! :)
Now I understand that if my dad has other children with another spouse and this spouse is not specified on his person page then these children won't appear on his person page, right ?
I think this could probably be improved somehow by using a smart semantic mediawiki request ( ) but I don't know enough about the semantic implementation of familypedia (properties, categories, etc ...) ...
Best regards -- Pierro78 (talk) 13:42, January 5, 2013 (UTC)

User:Vilius2001x Edit

I got your message. My problem with user Vilius is that he includes in his articles categories which make little sense. The ones I have objected to related to players of various video games for children or teenagers. I do not think that they should be included in Wikia especially if we have only one player for each game. Wikipedia does not have such categories. Vilius objected to this. If I would use my judgement I would delete these categories. But others might have different views. So for the time being I left them there. Afil (talk) 23:48, January 5, 2013 (UTC)

b-us Edit

I am a US citizen, but that does not mean that I consider that in Wikia the United States should have a different treatment from any other country in the world.

Generally, if for any country there is a category "born in settlement X" this category becomes a subategory of category "Settlement X" and of "born in county (district or other administrative unit) Y" which in turn leads to categories until they become "born in country Z". For the United States, the template b-us does not permit this. Instead it includes a category "People of X" which does not appear for other countries.

I would have corrected the template, to make it consistent. Unfortunately (or you may say fortunately) the template is blocked and cannot be modified. Therefore, the only solution for the time being is to include the categories manually. Or to accept that the United States deserve a treatment different from Mexico or Australia, which I reject. Afil (talk) 02:05, January 8, 2013 (UTC)

Beckley, East Sussex Edit

We don't need {{showfacts locality}} when we have the "bdm" tab for the same purpose. That is the standard, thanks to Afil. Thurstan (talk) 19:17, January 8, 2013 (UTC)

OK. I didn't see a bdm tab. It's showing now. I guess I should look for or edit pages where users are encouraged to use the template or to create the bdm tab. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:11, January 9, 2013 (UTC)

Theodrada (784-) Edit

Another thing that broke in the last upgrade, which I have neglected to write up, is that the function that assembles the dates no longer accepts years with only 3 digits. I have been adding a leading "0", which fixes the dates but create red-links to years like 0993. We probably need some logic in {{showfacts person}} which automatically adds the leading "0" for the date calculation. Thurstan (talk) 02:41, January 9, 2013 (UTC)

Copied to a forum for wider readership. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:07, January 10, 2013 (UTC)

The Hills Shire Edit

I don't recall any discussion about calling The Hills Shire a "county". Thurstan (talk) 04:44, January 10, 2013 (UTC)

I'm not surprised, for two reasons. Shires are counties in the sense of being second-level administrative divisions. They are also counties in traditional language. Where do you put the local govt areas? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:06, January 10, 2013 (UTC)

I'll leave William for a while - I was just starting to put in the references. I'll go back to add the references later. Mmm, William the well documented. LOL. Just like the Australan History. William's life brings so many elements together.

The father that he had at the start is just wrong. This father appears to have been made up!

Wikipedia links Edit

How do I link to other language Wikipedias? I use [[wikipedia: Wikipedia|Wikipedia]] for the English version. Richard Arthur Norton (talk) 02:15, January 12, 2013 (UTC)

Births Edit

I added information to the documentation pages of bdm and bdm1. Please correct anything you do not like or is not clear.Afil (talk) 03:53, January 17, 2013 (UTC)

ifmarried-g1 Edit

I see your edit of Ann Dowie (1820-1897): one of the little nasties in the July "upgrade" is that "ifmarried-g1=Yes" no longer works, it has to be "ifmarried-g1=true". So whenever you "edit with form" an "old" page, you may have to reset the "ifmarried" flag. In particular, your edit aforementioned has lost the "ifmarried-g1" flag. Thurstan (talk) 04:43, January 17, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. I recall that we used to have a "married? Yes" (approx) thing attached to the spouse list, which I guess was the origin of what's now a problem. Do we need a bot run or are very few pages likely to be affected? Or can we manipulate the property so that Yes=true? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:08, January 17, 2013 (UTC)
After a little tidying up, Property:Has improper value for is not reporting any improper values for ifmarried-g1, ifmarried-g2, ifmarried-g3. I think pages are okay until they are editted with the form, and then the property disappears (unless re-selected). If you try to search for them, the query seems to map "yes" to "true", and returns all values. However, the form processing doesn't seem to do this mapping any more, and just drops "yes" when it sees it. Thurstan (talk) 06:17, January 17, 2013 (UTC)

Categories named after settlements Edit

Wikipedia does have such categories. I am quoting just some of them:

  • Category:Wikipedia categories named after populated places in Australia
  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • Alabama
  • the United Kingdom

etc. which are all subcategories of

Wikipedia:Category:Wikipedia categories named after populated places.

In Familypedia instead of "populated places" for some reason "settlements" is used. Also, there are not Wikipedia categories but only categories. Therefore the categories have been converted to

Category:Categories named after populated places in ......

I have used these categories intensively, but do not have the feeling that I have invented them. By now, Familypedia should already have several thousands of these categories. The reason I adopted them was that when for a certain settlement you have categories such as born in..., died in..., married in... etc. those should be part of a category for that settlement which would group these categories under a single umbrella.

01:35, January 23, 2013 (UTC)

The system I am using can be exemplified by the settlement of Kadarkút. The settlement has an article which is classified under the categories "Category:Kadarkút" and "Category:Settlements in Somogy County"

Besides the article for the settlement (and potentially other articles on items related to the settlement such as buildings, cemeteries, etc. located in this village) the category is a supercategory of other subcategories such as "Died in Kadarkút‎", "Married in Kadarkút‎" (and potentially other articles such as Born or Buried in Kadarkút), which in turn is included in "Category:Categories named after settlements in Somogy County", which in turn is included in "Category:Categories named after settlements in Southern Transdanubia Region" which is included in "Category:Categories named after settlements in Hungary" which is included in "Category:Categories named after settlements".

I agree that this system is not applied for Ohio. Generally, for some unclear reason, different systems are applied for the United States and for the rest of the World. This is valid also for Wikipedia and concerns not only the geographic data. Unfortunately, the categories which you will find in Familypedia, besides the ones which follow the system indicated above, are generally inconsistent. Without great efforts you will be able to find individual cases in which other views have been applied. As far as I am concerned, I have tried to use the presented system in all the articles which I have dealt with. Afil (talk) 03:25, January 23, 2013 (UTC)

OK, I see the system applied in WP (as noted by my creating a link above). You're in advance of WP with your Hungary one! But it's not fair to say our systems distinguish USA from the rest of the world. Greene County, Ohio is meant to be one of our "model" counties, but those of us who have made an effort have tried to make them consistent across the world; we and the Wikipedians do, however, have the problem that not every country divides itself neatly into a single set of non-overlapping regions or states. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:00, January 23, 2013 (UTC)

French communes Edit

1. The reason for the wider boxes (which does not appear in all articles using the template for French communes) is that in Wikia the convert template does not work properly. It converts metric data to English data for isolated numbers, but when there are more numbers which have to be converted simultaneously (such as when upper and lower limits are indicated) then the Wikia system does not work even though the template is copied identically from Wikipedia where it works. There seems to be something wrong with the Wikia system, not with the program which works in Wikipedia.

The glitch appears not only in this or other templates but even in articles if limits are indicated. I agree that this is annoying but probably cannot be fixed by any of us and Wikia administrators would have to be contacted.

2. In the specific case of the commune of Renaison, if you look at the box, you will notice that for the elevations, these are not converted but an error message is displayed. The width of the box is increased so as show the error message.

If you go to the source form of the article, you will be able to notice that for this particular article an (average) elevation, a maximum elevation and a minimum elevation are indicated, which causes the problem. If you delete the maximum and minumum elevation (you have to delete both and not only one of them), these elevations will not be displayed and converted (actually they are not correctly displayed because of the error message) the average elevation will be displayed and converted and the width of the article will not be increased. This is the solution I would recommend for the time being until the administrators can fix the glitch.

3. Generally, I am not very happy with the use of different templates for the localities in different countries, and I use the generalized
Robin Patterson
. This also gives me the possibility of using location maps for regions of countries, which is possible for countries like England, but not France or Austria. As an example of an article in France which uses such location maps, you might look at Saint-Avit, Puy-de-Dôme. In the case of Renaison, I do not have a location map for the Rhone-Alpes region but I am generally developing such location maps as the need arises. But besides that I have used the Infobox settlement for the Renaison where I have also included the picture of the Town hall in the box, which is mostly but not always done. You will also notice that this template correctly displays all the elevations.

I leave it up to you to decide if you want the use the French template and eliminate the max and min elevation in order to keep the width of the box in reasonable limits or if you want to keep the settlement box.

Hope this answers all your questions. Afil (talk) 03:48, February 2, 2013 (UTC)

Superb. We can certainly do without maximum and minimum elevations, which would be of minuscule interest to people looking for genealogical information here or even on the ground. Presumably we can just cut those elevation parameters out of our copy of the template? I'll tell Thurstan about this posting to see what he thinks. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:23, February 2, 2013 (UTC)

PS. I have completed the Rhone-Alpes location map and included it in the Settlement template. But you have to decide how you want your article to look like. You cannot leave both boxes in the article. While I prefer the settlement box the final decision is yours and you should delete what is not appropriate:

- if you want the Infobox settlement which I prefer and is more complete, the French box and the picture in the article have to be deleted. - if you want the Frech commune template, then the max and min elevations in that box must be deleted and also the settlement template.Afil (talk) 06:38, February 2, 2013 (UTC)

How to fix people created with dates Edit

OK, thanks for the tip on including dates as children, etc are created. What's the best way to fix them now?

R.A. Canfield (talk) 02:54, February 4, 2013 (UTC)R.A. Canfield

Thanks for help on using Rename. I was working with my son to create pages. I added the children's names on the parents' pages for him to add birthdates, thinking it would be easier for him to click on the children's names and add their info. Looks like that's not ideal w/o birth year.

R.A. Canfield (talk)R.A. Canfield


Is it just my imagination or has the tool to find backlinks gone? --Richard Arthur Norton (talk) 23:44, February 4, 2013 (UTC)

That did the trick ... thanks!

Location properties Edit

I noticed the creation of the page Oscar Emanuel Rosén (1892-1982), which uses the property:Death address. I am not sure where the documentation is, but I suspect that the "address" properties are the ones which were designed to contain all the location info subordinate to "locality", which I have been putting into the "street" properties. So I suggest that we both change our habits. I propose we:

  1. define these properties. I think they should be just "strings"
  2. convert the existing pages which use "street" and "other" properties
  3. put these fields on the simple form (in place of "street")

What do you think? Thurstan (talk) 05:55, March 2, 2013 (UTC)

It would probably be a step in the right direction. Maybe I should try to find Phlox's documentation for that area, unless you've searched fairly exhaustively. He was pretty thorough with documentation as far as it went. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:02, March 2, 2013 (UTC)
Yes, please check the documentation, I haven't really looked. The other thought I had is that maybe Phlox did mean "full address" when he said "address" (as in the Property:Remains address for Stanley Armour Dunham (1918-1992)), and he does seem to have meant "street" when he said "street", in which case the concept I want is a new one. So do we create a new property (eg "street address"), or do we modify one of the old ones (such as "street" or "address"). Thurstan (talk) 00:40, March 3, 2013 (UTC)
OK, done a little looking. Category:Facts_templates_docs may be a handy half-way point, worth remembering even if not directly relevant to this question. If really stuck, I guess I might skim Phlox's contribution list! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:18, March 3, 2013 (UTC)
I don't like the look of that category: they look like templates for the first thoughts about SMW, which are completely obsolete. Thurstan (talk) 02:27, March 3, 2013 (UTC)

I have found

which seems to cover some of this. Thurstan (talk) 03:05, March 3, 2013 (UTC)

Forums broken? Edit

When I go to Forum:Index, I get error messages: "Invalid tag extension name: forum". Has there been another upgrade that we don't know about? Thurstan (talk) 02:37, March 3, 2013 (UTC)

I've just sent a Contact Wikia with screenshot. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:47, March 3, 2013 (UTC)
I checked the forums in Central Wikia: gets you in. Thurstan (talk) 03:16, March 3, 2013 (UTC)
Reply to my contact explained that the site had been having problems all day but is now back to a reasonable state. Wendy kindly sent me a link to clear the cache, which probably did what your longer one does. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:14, March 3, 2013 (UTC)

Latin Edit

Quid fortuitum! Lingua Latina ecclesiastica Intelligo. Whroll (talk) 18:43, March 8, 2013 (UTC)

Moves Edit

Might it not be that P. K. Shukla (living) and S. P. Kumar (1997) are the same person? Thurstan (talk) 02:41, March 12, 2013 (UTC)

Different surnames and not quite the same initials. Maybe you know more about Indian naming systems than I do. (Both probably need more disambiguation; we'll see whether their author returns to clarify.) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:45, March 12, 2013 (UTC)
I probably don't know more, but initials are "PSK" in some order in each case: that is why I was suspicious. Wikipedia:Raj Kumar Shukla may be relevant. Thurstan (talk) 02:52, March 12, 2013 (UTC)

Portland, Iowa Edit says "Sometime in the eighties Portland, Iowa, was rechristened Leando". Thurstan (talk) 20:43, March 13, 2013 (UTC)

Excellent sleuthing. (And I thought everything was on AWT!!) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:38, March 14, 2013 (UTC)
I needed Google for this one. I was amused to see that the contributors to Ancestral File also struggled with this place name, and some moved it to the wrong county. Thurstan (talk) 03:05, March 14, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for the help Edit

Thank you for your help, Robin. You are much appreciated. Whroll (talk) 16:51, March 17, 2013 (UTC)

Charlemagne Edit

Ordering on the sensor pages is still rather elaborate. If the main pages are properly linked (that is, parents are parents, rather than renamed parents; and parents are properly stored as properties), then the sensor pages need to refreshed at least once, but often two or three times. It's a lot a tedious and boring work, and with the next software upgrade the property database will be wiped, so you can start all over again. rtol (talk) 12:14, March 21, 2013 (UTC)

Is there a bot procedure that we could set in motion to refresh each sensor page (maybe restricted to people categorized or otherwise listed as likely to be descendants of KdG?) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:20, March 21, 2013 (UTC)

Template:Famous500s-header‎‎ Edit

Well done, sir. Thurstan (talk) 21:02, March 22, 2013 (UTC)

XML gateway to simple GEDCOM uploading (to start) Edit

Robin, I see XML code at the bottom of person pages! This could be the key to importing GEDCOMs. I notice Special Pages:Import page is missing under Page tools on my Familypedia (only Export page is there). That's a disappointment. My Windmillwiki (it's out in the wild) has both Import and Export pages (I'm the bureaucrat). At my Windmolen (Dutch for windmill) site, where I am a bureaucrat, Import page appears... so it limited to bureaucrats.

I think I could write a program (or work with someone) to write one to convert a one person GEDCOM into XML. Then that XML could be imported into Familypedia to an unused person page. The Familypedia pages are only wikitext. Forms would be bypassed in this process, but the pages would be exactly like all the other standard person pages. GEDCOMs are just plain text that has tags in it. XML, as I perceive it, is souped up HTML, which is plain text. The GEDCOM tags would be switched to the appropriate XML tags. Special:Import page would do the work converting it from XML to wikitext.

At first the program would just produce a simple page with vitals and so on; later notes, sources, etc. be added to the translation process. Images are not included in GEDCOMs, so they would be left out. Being able to upload single person GEDCOMs to a new page would ease data entry considerably. Merging with an existing page could be worked out after the import process is worked out. For a while, the merging would be manual.

My reduced version tree has 7,015 persons, and 2,443 marriages in it, and it is growing. I don't think I will live long enough to get all that on Familypedia. My full tree has 67,069 individuals and 28,258 families... wasn't hoping to get all that online, though.

What programming language to use? I'm not sure. The conversion is really a very simple process given we are working with text files: the GEDCOM and XML files. All my programming for the school district was done in compiled Applesoft BASIC, and no one uses that anymore. Perhaps a modern scripting language like JavaScript (I've written some code in this language) could be used for the conversion from GEDCOM to XML. I know some word processors have macros that could be written to do the same thing in a word processor. A GEDCOM can be loaded and viewed in a web browser like Firefox. The JavaScript would be run from a browser. I think the PHP language could be used. I have written some PHP as well. Have the software to write and run it on my computer now. If JavaScript and PHP can't be run on Familypedia's server, perhaps it could be run somewhere else online to convert the GEDCOMs. For my own use, I was thinking about just writing a program so I could import the XML.

Multiple person GEDCOMs, and merging with pages that already exist is a bit beyond me at this time.

Has anyone ever tried this? Is there any code available from previous efforts. Is the person or persons that were involved in past efforts still active at Familypedia?

Although GEDCOM has a standard format, I know that is seldom strictly followed. This can be dealt with through experience, and a long period of testing before going public.

Familypedia is attractive because it may still be there long after I have passed on. WeRelate is permanent too, but is far more complicated to use than Familypedia. My database at is permanent, but not readily viewed by the public, and even difficult to find for Ancestry subscribers.

You can do whatever you want with this text...I don't know exactly where to put it myself. Whroll (talk) 04:06, March 23, 2013 (UTC)

I've put it on the most recently edited forum on the subject. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:18, March 23, 2013 (UTC)

Springfiield, New Jersey or Springfield Township, New Jersey or Springfield Township, Union County, New Jersey Edit

Now I am really confused. The last information was to follow Wikipedia. I discovered there are several Springfield, New Jersey, so I went for Springfield Township, New Jersey. No go. I don't like to ask for help, but this is incomprehensible to me. Should I go to each Springfield, New Jersey person, edit without form and enter the long Wikipedia format "Springfield Township, Union County, New Jersey" in the locality section? Seems a bit long. I did a disambiguation page for Springfield, New Jersey. But the Springfield Township, New Jersey I set up can't be redirected to Springfield Township, Union County, New Jersey. Help, please. :) Whroll (talk) 22:59, March 23, 2013 (UTC)

Actually, the Springfield Township, New Jersey might be better redirected to a disambiguation page? Whroll (talk) 23:02, March 23, 2013 (UTC)

TOCs Edit

Yes, I ~like~ TOCs whenever they are useful. Thanks. Whroll (talk) 02:46, March 24, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you Edit

Dear Robin,

Thank you for your confidence. I will proceed cautiously, until I get the real feeling of what I am supposed to do. Please notify me if there is anything specific you will want me to to.

Regards Afil (talk) 01:00, March 25, 2013 (UTC)

Table of Contents Edit

I do still object to including a TOC. However, if you must have one, I think it will vary page-by-page where it looks best. I don't like the look of William Wilmott (1797-1886) with a TOC as part of {{Showfacts biography‎}}. Are you happy with it? My standard format for an immigrant (particularly a convict) is to have the arrival details straight after the biography (see, for example, William Singleton (1752-1835). I don't like the TOC before that line. See also Richard Martin Case (c1814-1863) and Matthew James Everingham (1769-1817) as examples. I would prefer it at the beginning of {{Showfacts children}} for these pages, but this won't work for those instances where there is a lot of text in between. Thurstan (talk) 01:19, March 25, 2013 (UTC)

Yes. I can agree that the pages you listed do not need a table of contents. TOCs there are a waste of space. Whroll (talk) 02:19, March 25, 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, chaps, for lateish response - my internet was down for 10 hours.
I've looked at the Wilmott example. TOC isn't part of the mini-bio there (nor probably anywhere else). (And it would look pretty much OK if the article had a few headings; when I was proofreading online law commentary books we would not have allowed such a lot of consecutive paragraphs with no heading.) On the Singleton example, TOC lets a reader get to the Sources and Notes in one click instead of three. If TOC could be organized to be just before the child box but movable, I'd be happy. What I want to avoid is the big white gap that appears on most pages that don't have much free text but do have several lines of infobox (i.e. most articles at present, I think). The {{clr}} in the child box pulls the TOC down with it. I also want to avoid having to tell users that they can add a TOC wherever they like - but maybe that's the only satisfactory solution. (I've forgotten - does NOTOC cancel it?) Hey - another solution is to widen the infobox, so that it and the minibio would tend towards the same length. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:29, March 25, 2013 (UTC)

Question:Showfacts person template Edit

I hope you're not too far behind. Out internet here is down now and then, but it is improving with time.

I had a question as I prepare to use PHP to insert information into the table produced by the Showfacts person template. I don't fully understand the more complicated templates, but it is not necessary to know the inner workings of templates to get GEDCOMs converted. I notice that only data types (e.g. "birth_year=", "death_year=") that contain data are displayed. Persons have varying assortments of data types. Can additional data types be added, or is the table limited to a particular set of data types? For example, could I add "residence_year=" and "residence_place=" in the table? If the set is limited, where can I see the complete list? The PHP program needs that information, all the data type names, included in the code.

I have written successful computer programs using complex text string manipulation before. I think PHP can handle the job of GEDCOM to Wikitext conversion. It is more highly developed now than it was when I last fiddled with it.

I'm not sure yet if it can be a one or two or more steps operation. As I see it, the user would upload the GEDCOM, with a maximum allowable size. GEDCOMs could be upload as a file using the existing Upload photo link on the left menu. It's not just photos that can be uploaded. Permitted file types listed there on the upload page include ".ged" (GEDCOM). The GEDCOM would be viewed by the arbitrator and approved or disapproved. There are tools to browse GEDCOMS and edit them without loading them into a regular genealogy program. Even Microsoft's Notepad program can accomplish that. Once approved, the GEDCOM would be uploaded to a more open web server, where PHP would be used to convert the GEDCOM into individual Wikitext tables, along with whatever else is needed for each standard person page. Then the pages would be uploaded by a bot (an automated "user") into Familypedia. I'm almost certain Wikia allows bots and limits them to Familypedia's normally accessible content area.

I don't think Wikia will ever give us permission to run PHP at Familypedia. It is too powerful, and therefore a security risk for them the way they have the various wikis on their system set up. Normally a Mediawiki sysop would have access to their wiki's root directory. Familypedia sysops most likely would not be trusted by Wikia to access root. An error would have disasterous consequences. But that will not stop development of GEDCOM conversion, we still have access to the part of the wiki that we need to get the job done. I hope I am not too long-winded. Whroll (talk) 01:46, March 26, 2013 (UTC)

That is absurdly over-complicated: I recommend (again) my procedure: export the GEDCOM from your datebase (I use PAF) and processes it on your own machine (I import it into LifeLines and run a script to output the page, then tweak it with some vbscript). Then you can just create the page on the wiki (or import, if you want to do them in bulk). I find that the fiddly bit is getting the place names correct. Thurstan (talk) 03:30, March 26, 2013 (UTC)
Moved the above to the recently-edited forum; it's no use asking me about PHP. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:43, March 26, 2013 (UTC)

Logging in etcEdit

I have been trying to rename a page for Elizabeth Sophia MITCHELL and amend it to plain Elizabeth MITCHELL. I have been advised to use the dropdown on the edit button and select the "rename" option to achieve my amendment. Well, the whole problem is on Elizabeth MITCHELL's page, THERE IS NO DROPDOWN on the EDIT BUTTON. All that is being offered is a green button labelled "Edit with Form" with absolutely no dropdown anywhere.

Please be more specific about where this edit button is located on Elizabeth MITCHELL's page.

I can't log in either because your system won't accept my password. Also, I don't know where the four tildes are meant to go!



Presumably Elizabeth Sophia Mitchell (1874-1941), daughter of William Benjamin Mitchell (1824-1919). Replied on User talk:Dottles44 and on "anon" page. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:04, April 3, 2013 (UTC)

Hi there again!

For some intensely frustrating days now, I have been trying to discover how to amend the title name of a page belonging to Elizabeth Budd (1829-1908) who married William Benjamin Mitchell (1824-1917) in 1844 at East Maitland, NSW Australia. It has annoyed me immensely that this woman has been given the middle name of Sophia (her mother's chosen name in preference to the Spanish Hozepha which she either disliked or decided was too hard for Australians to use), when in fact she had no middle name at all - ever. (In fact, none of the six Budds/Budd children ever had a middle name.)

As the second daughter and one of these six children of Thomas Budds (an Irish soldier in the British Army) and his Spanish wife, Hozepha Wood (possibly an Anglicised form of the Spanish surname Bosquete)  who were allegedly married in San Sebastian, Spain in 1814, when Thomas served there with the 31st RoF during the Peninsular Wars, Elizabeth was the first of their daughters to be born in Australia, Elizabeth was christened in Newcastle, NSW as plain Elizabeth; she was married as plain Elizabeth in East Maitland - and died as plain Elizabeth in Sweetmans Creek.

However, she named one of her daughters Elizabeth Sophia Mitchell (1874-1941) and I think that this has confused some researchers; therefore, in the interests of historical accuracy, I believe that it needs to be amended to reflect all official records.

All I want to do is remove the name "Sophia" from the head of the page currently named "Elizabeth Sophia Budd" which I believe is confusing, inaccurate and misleading. In addition, I believe that its continued existence on that page, encourages other researchers to perpetuate the aforementioned confusion.

Unfortunately, I have experienced major problems in my attempts to achieve this outcome, and I was recently informed that I am not one of the people with permission to make this change. Accordingly, I respectfully request that the "owner" of this page be approached with the intention of producing some official evidence that Elizabeth Budd (1829-1908) ever used the middle name "Sophia" in any official capacity during her lifetime. (Incidentally, it is a matter of official record that Elizabeth's parents had originally arrived in New South Wales in 1816 aboard the Elizabeth which may well have been their inspiration as a suitable name for any future daughter born in the New Colony.)

In the absence of such official recognition of Elizabeth Budd ever using Sophia as a middle name, all evidence of this unfortunate, mistaken use of a middle name "Sophia" should be removed from her page.

Every other mention of her on this page has been amended by me to show her correct name, so all it needs is for the name at the head of the page to match the rest of the information, which is totally supported at every level by every historical record involving Elizabeth Budd's life.

Respectfully yours,


Sat 6 Apr 2013

Fixed, with pleasure. I'll copy the above to EB's talk page. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:16, April 6, 2013 (UTC)

Robin, can you rename her father too, so that the link works again. Thurstan (talk) 02:18, April 6, 2013 (UTC)

Am I being hacked? Edit

I didn't upload File:N. Thurstan (talk) 02:55, April 6, 2013 (UTC)

Nor did I. It's allegedly used on a lot of pages. Origin Try Contact Wikia. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:07, April 6, 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I've sent them a note. Do you see your name on it too? Thurstan (talk) 03:12, April 6, 2013 (UTC)
No. But the metadata row "published 1,284,090,704" looks ominous.

You have File:P of your own now. Central Wikia didn't seem to know anything about mine. Thurstan (talk) 12:19, April 12, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. I've reported to the experts:
I suggest that we leave it in place for expert attention. But maybe we can blame it for recent losses of important templates in the Form:Person process? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:48, April 12, 2013 (UTC)
Category:Uses_form-media_facts has some relevance. Look at File:N. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 13:01, April 12, 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Edit

Thank you Robin Patterson. I am very, very grateful for your assistance in sorting out my request!  It is really good to see the confusion eliminated about Elizabeth's name. Thank you again most sincerely.


How to Use Forms Edit

Hi Robin - I'm still having a hard time getting going on forms. I'm trying to create a new person with this link

But when I open the link it is the blank new page template. However do you get to become one of the newer Add Person templates?

Thanks ````MainTour````

Sensor pages Edit

I see from Hendrikje van Sniedelaar (bef1777-)/sensor and others that you are adding {{sensor}} to pages when the form it doing so too, so that you get two copies. Thurstan (talk) 23:26, April 8, 2013 (UTC)

I'm not consciously adding it. Those with an edit summary of "Shorten" are getting the existing {{detect tabs etc reduced to {{Sensor}}. Should I be just blanking them? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:33, April 8, 2013 (UTC)
Yes Thurstan (talk) 23:42, April 8, 2013 (UTC)

George B. Lindauer (1867-?) changed to George B. Lindauer (1867-) or is it George B. Lindauer (1867). Which are you standardizing on. In the past yyou had been changing them to (1867) now it is (1867-).

== Ideas


Can you start off some pages about Jane Austen and her ancestors ?


Dear Robin,

I have a few questions for you and hope you will be able to help me ?

1. How can I change the Glemmens1940 page into Geard W. Ch. Lemmens page as a heading ???

You can't. I tried and failed. It's a "User:" page. But you don't need to: I created a new page with the same info. See the link at the top. I suggest that you check that I got everything right, then delete all except the link. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:44, April 18, 2013 (UTC)

2. How can I add a photograph to a new page ??

See Help:Images. Ask me if that doesn't help. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:44, April 18, 2013 (UTC)

3. How can I add MORE photographs to a page?

Same as adding the first one? See above. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:44, April 18, 2013 (UTC)

4. Is it likely that pages are removed on Familypedia like they are done on Wiikipedia NL and Wikipedia EN. by a group of Cyber Bullies who are operating there ?? Somebody told me those nasty people also contribute to Wikia and Familypedia; is that true? These have stopped me contributing both to the Dutch and English Wikipedia but I do not care as they are horrible people to work with. In political circles they would be called plebs ?

Our standards are much looser. Here an article would have to be very bad to be deleted. I'm aware that some admins on Wikipedia enforce the standards in a very bullying way. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:44, April 18, 2013 (UTC)


It has nothting to do on Wikipedia about standards - they are behaving like Vulgars and they just do not read the sources and references but are just out to bully and remove in group form the new page !!!

Gwclemmens (talk) 19:13, April 19, 2013 (UTC)

With many thanks for your help,

GwcLemmensGwclemmens (talk) 13:46, April 18, 2013 (UTC) 15:23, April 18, 2013 (UTC)


I understand that user Sulphur is active in VSTF for a very long time. I don't know if he has any other interests in the various Wikia projects especially in Familpedia. What do you want me to do?Afil (talk) 21:06, April 23, 2013 (UTC)

William H DobbsEdit

Mr. Patterson

I just received notification that you made edits to Captain William H. Dobbs site. The edit that you made is very confusing since I placed that very picture on the site several months ago. Giving you the benefit, I gladly accept your explanation. You can email me at I look forward to your email. Charles E. Dobbs

Emailed and explained. Cautionary tale - use unambiguous file names! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:55, April 27, 2013 (UTC)

Template:Showfacts interwikis and Category:Famous people Edit

As you know, I have been adding your favourite Category:Famous people to pages, though I suspect that there are thousands of pages of European nobility who are still missing it. As an interim messure, in January I added the category to {{Showfacts interwikis}} (with a parameter to suppress the category for a handful of "settlement" pages which use the template). However, recently rtol has been creating "settlement" pages using the template, and has rightly signalled that he would like the category removed from the template (the template was never documented as having been designed exclusively for "people" pages). To make up for the loss of this "automatic" category, I would like to do a bot run to add the category to those pages in "Category:Facts articles- person" which link to this template. Do you think this a good plan, or is there a better way to go? Thurstan (talk) 21:10, May 4, 2013 (UTC)

The category is getting rather big, probably too big for anyone except an outright famous-people-enthusiast. I tend to substitute it for the birth and death categories when copying a somewhat famous person from Wikipedia, but I wouldn't go out of my way to add it to lots of pages. I've not taken much notice of {{Showfacts interwikis}}. Your bot idea seems good.
I'm afraid I am a perfectionist: if we don't at least try to make the category exhaustive, then we may as well delete it because it will be misleading if incomplete. If you like the bot idea, my next query: I seem to recall that I should get general agreement before I do a bot run: how do I post for that? Thurstan (talk) 07:07, May 5, 2013 (UTC)
I gave you (maybe not obviously enough) the link to bot, which redirects to Familypedia:Bot policy. As far as I'm concerned, you can fire ahead with your plan, and as it will do such a small amount to any page it touches I don't foresee any need for all the standard recommended safeguards. Run the idea past rtol and Afil and Richard Whatsisname and you should get at least one further vote of approval. However, I'm not certain how your plan will make the category "complete": unless we have a clear definition of "famous", we can omit almost anyone without being taken to court over "incompleteness" (unless their supporters can show that they are clearly more famous than some Revolutionary Colonel or football coach who has managed to creep into the category). What coverage does {{Showfacts interwikis}} give you? As mentioned, I've not taken much notice of {{Showfacts interwikis}}, but I do have the impression that it seldom appears on pages I edit. Should we perhaps sound out the wider community with a Forum item? Or you could write a blog post about it, for front-page display. (I've been wondering whether I could persuade one of you chaps to write a blog post so that the displayed list is less of a one-man show.) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:42, May 5, 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I hoped that when I gave you the link to Category:Famous people you might read the description: it says "This category is for people who have a page here, and also a page on one or more of the different language Wikipedias." So being "complete" is straightforward to check. {{Showfacts interwikis}} is another way of saying "here is a link to this page's Wikipedia entry". Sorry about missing the sentence on the "bot" page: I was expecting something more formal. Thurstan (talk) 20:54, May 5, 2013 (UTC)

I fear we are drifting into the topic of the appropriate name for the category: I have posted a note at Forum:Famous_people#Category_name. Thurstan (talk) 01:36, May 6, 2013 (UTC)


I am related to the Blakes of Menlough Castle

I live in Melbourne

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) - heading and links added by me -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:06, May 25, 2013 (UTC)

User Monitor Edit

Can you look at the history of this user was doing today. The record created for this person has unusual data: Eldon Sebastian Kozaks (1984-) edited by Bluelaketexans74 9 minutes ago - May 25, 2013 User:MainTour (Talk) 03:06, May 25, 2013 (PST)

The new forms being what you get when you click on the "Create article for person"? If so, ya using that for new pages. I still have some older pages I need to convert at some point. :) Trying to get used to this site again lol. William Allen Shade (talk) 22:52, August 3, 2013 (UTC)

Moore (surname)Edit


    My name is Katelyn Donovan and I am extermely interested in your findings on the Moore family. If I am correct, I am a direct descendent of John Moore. I am interested spcifically in stories and dates. I would love to know where you found some of your information, if possible, and I may be able to contribute a little myself. I am particularly interested in finding out where you found the information about John Moore's birthplace, as we had believed him to be Scottish but were unsure. If you would please email me at I would be very grateful.

Thanks in advance, 02:45, August 27, 2013 (UTC)Katelyn Donovan

Hmmmmm - seems we haven't cited enough sources! I'll look into it. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:58, August 27, 2013 (UTC)
Copy of email I've just sent:
I wonder why you asked me about John Moore, because I had little or nothing to do with any John Moore page. I looked up the earliest one, - nothing there about sources, though some of his children's pages have a reference to a book about the Walkers.
The main author of the Walker pages was Bill Willis. He hasn't edited much lately, but he answered e query on his talk page a few weeks ago, so you could try
Please add what you can! Starting with an article on your parent or grandparent who was in the John Moore line.,_places,_or_surnames/Guidance is a good page to start with.


Hi, can you help my wiki? The Gir's and Sings of Asia 20:09, September 5, 2013 (UTC)

I doubt it, but I'll look if you give me a link. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 20:25, September 5, 2013 (UTC)


42a6cefeb9de85fee540637202b21215.jpg is our current highlight. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:48, September 25, 2013 (UTC)


In many cases administrative units (such as counties, districts etc.) take their name from the capital of the unit. This is also the case of Viersen District which takes its name from the capital Viersen.

In such cases the common practice, also followed by Wikipedia is to use complete name of the administrative unit. For instance, Fairfax County takes the name from the settlement of Fairfax and is not called Fairfax County. This rule is followed for most countries of the world. In the case of Germany, the same rule is followed in Germany and in the German language Wikipedia. Viersen District is called in German Kreis Viersen (and not Viersen (Kreis)) the name deriving from the capital settlement of Viersen. The rule is followed also in other language Wikipedias, for instance in French Arrondissement de Viersen, Spanish Distrito de Viersen, Dutch Kreis Viersen, Polish Powiat Viersen, Turkish Krei Viersen a.s.o. As we are talking about a district in Germany, there is no reason to invent a special rule, applicable only to German districts and which is inconsistent with the original name, with the way units in other countries are named and with the way other language Wikipedias apply it.

I see absolutely no justification of what has been done by the English language Wikipedia and absolutely no reason to follow an absurd solution. I do not consider English Wikipedia to be a Bible, on the contrary I find it has many unjustified inconsistencies. Afil (talk) 01:31, October 6, 2013 (UTC)

Hmmmm, well, departing from en:WP makes more work for us, but if you are happy to do the work for this particular departure I don't mind. Can you be sure that our templates will make all necessary linkings if a contributor inserts the Wikipedia name in the person's field? Have you put a note somewhere related to Germany telling contributors what you want? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:57, October 6, 2013 (UTC)

Established Edit

I am not disputing what you are saying. All that I am doing at present is using the categories existing in Familypedia and trying to eliminate them from the wanted categories. Of course they can be improved. But for the time being we have only the settled in or established in categories, which have been used for all things which have been settled or established. It might be better to have more details. That however means that somebody will have to look at all the established categories and change them. Afil (talk) 18:05, October 10, 2013 (UTC)

We have dozens of "Settlements established in ..." categories. But you have been changing pages that wanted more of them. Please stop changing them. "Settlements established in ..." is a valid and genealogically useful type of category, corresponding almost exactly with Wikipedia's "Populated places established in ...". They should not be merged with "Institutions established in ...". -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 13:18, October 11, 2013 (UTC)

Maybe. But you have dozens of "Settlements established in..." categories. But you have thousands of "Established in...". The problem is not what I like or do not like. The problem is how the thousands of existing categories will be corrected and who is going to do it. Having inconsistent categories does not help. Afil (talk) 13:58, October 11, 2013 (UTC)

Well, Andrei, many of the "Established in ..." categories have been created by you after you changed "Settlements established in ...". For a long time, I didn't realise that you were doing it; and I was without internet for 5 months last year. That aside, linking or correcting should not be much of a problem. "Settlements established in ...". and "Institutions established in ..." should both be subcategories of "Established in ...". A bot could probably do that in a few minutes. Or the job might appeal to someone who is really interested in the dates of establishment of local government or whatever it was. I'm more interested in the dates when people started building homes in a place, which helps sort out whether a particular person could have been born there or must have been born somewhere else and might therefore really be someone else! Now that we do have a couple of thousand years' worth of "Established in ...", they are better than nothing, and "correcting" is perhaps one of the least important things the wiki needs now.
You seem to be very good at creating articles and categories dealing with central and eastern Europe, where you have a distinct advantage over those of us who can't even pronounce many of the names. I'd love to see you concentrating on those. We also have the work of upgrading Category:Non-SMW people articles, which I am doing some of. User:rtol may welcome help with Project Charlemagne (where you again have a language advantage). And there are many wanted "place" articles (from birth-places etc on people pages), which when created can immediately have "bdm" subpages to make the wiki distinctly more useful for genealogists.
Kind regards! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:24, October 12, 2013 (UTC)

Usedwps-pers-en Edit

{{Usedwps-pers-en}} will require a parameter, because the Wikipedia page name is different from the Familypedia page name. Thurstan (talk) 03:02, October 11, 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I'm planning to organise it so that we need to paste the WP name in somehow. Current thinking is that it needs subst. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:08, October 11, 2013 (UTC)

Categories Edit

I do not want to be on a collision course with you. But we have different views. What I am doing is sorting the "Wanted categories". I did not invent this, but if they are listed as wanted it means that somebody wants to define these categories. If not, the list could simply have been deleted.

Of course, some users may invent categories which should be classified in a certain way. If they exist in any language of Wikipedia, it can be assumed that the existing or a similar category could be used. However if any user, invents a new category which is not used by other encyclopedias, it would be normal to assume that that particular user, even if it is Robin Patterson will classify them so that his views are clear. Unfortunately if this is not done, then we get into actions such a deletion of categories.

For instance, take the Category of Landlocked counties of New Zealand. I am not disputing that they are equally justified as coastal counties. However, except for countries, other encyclopedias do not use this category. So, if you think this category is justified (which I am not disputing), would it not have been nice to include it in a category of which they are a subcategory. As this is not done for any other country of the world, and you use this category, how can anybody have a clue on what your intentions are. Otherwise, the category is automatically included in a list of "wanted" and it is anybody's guess why you invented this category. Had you had simply classified this new category, the whole issue would have disappeared.

The same is valid for all the other categories which I may have eliminated or incorrectly classified.Afil (talk) 21:12, October 15, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for explaining that. However, it does not justify deletion. I take up your point "Unfortunately if this is not done, then we get into actions such a[s] deletion of categories. ". "We" DO NOT NEED to get into any actions about a wanted category. We mostly have much more positive things to do for the wiki. But, as you suggest, the best person to deal with a wanted category is the person who started it. Other people can leave it alone, no matter how long it takes to be resolved. I have added a section to Familypedia:Categories to respond in a way that other users can more readily see and discuss. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:19, October 15, 2013 (UTC)

Just to give you another example. There is an article you wrote. It has a category Category:Society Gardens. I don't know what it means. I found no definition about the Society Gardens. This is a category probably you included. According to your rules, you should be the best qualified person to deal with it.Afil (talk) 00:04, October 16, 2013 (UTC)

Exactly. A link would have helped, but I think I can find it. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:08, October 16, 2013 (UTC)
It wasn't in an article. It was in a subpage of my user page (as you presumably saw). I've deleted it. I'll leave you to find the other instance, which was not my doing, and you may delete it from there!!! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:21, October 16, 2013 (UTC)
Sorry to bother you again. What are the Category:Parishes of Aberdeenshire?  Can you do something about this category please.Afil (talk) 06:16, October 16, 2013 (UTC)
You are absolutely right for the UK and US. And I also do transfer information from WP when it is available, which is the case for bigger cities in other countries. Unfortunately when we go to smaller settlements in other countries the situation is different. I am mainly concerned with countries in Central and Eastern Europe about which I know more than for instance countries from Asia and South America. For these, unfortunately the information from the English language Wikipedia is incomplete. For Romania and Moldova no articles for rural settlements are accepted - they exist however in Romanian, Hungarian and sometimes even German or Portuguese Wikipedias. There are very few for other countries for which I have used information: the Czech Republic, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia or Lithuania to quote just a few. For all these I use the information of the national Wikipedias which unfortunately I cannot just copy, but have to translate.
I also encounter another difficulty. Familypedia is an encyclopedia which is mainly concerned with persons and their genealogy or other specific information, such as birth, death or marriage localities. In Central and Eastern Europe the situation has historically been much less stable than in the UK or US. The same locality may have a different name in Hungaria, Slovak, German, Polish, Slovenian or Romanian. While today's day is relevant for the article regarding these localities, the biographies of various persons quote the names of these localities such as they were before. It is essential to present all the names used by the various historic ruling countries in order to have the system work and to make the links work. Wikipedia has a different scope and is less concerned. In most cases the information can be found in different national Wikipedias, but has to be compiled.
I just want to inform you that I am doing this for Central and Eastern Europe, about which I know more. I do not have the capacity to do it for other parts of the world, not only the UK or US (where I live and which I know), but for northern Europe (such as Sweden, Norway, Finnland just to give you an example, about which I know very little.
All this is just to tell you that I am concerned about the quality of information which is presented in Familypedia and its usefulness for the scope of Familypedia. Afil (talk) 21:17, October 16, 2013 (UTC) 

Good stuff there, Andrei. I've copied most of it to a forum on Forum:Watercooler. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:04, October 17, 2013 (UTC)

Gertrud von HaldenslebenEdit

Death date was a copying error from her mother. rtol (talk) 08:45, October 16, 2013 (UTC)


Hi Robin, just stop by to say thanks for your help on Lena Zavaroni (1963-1999)

regards, Rob Robcamstone (talk) 11:27, October 17, 2013 (UTC)

Surname category Edit

You are right.Afil (talk) 20:13, October 17, 2013 (UTC)

Stockton Edit

That is exactly what I did. The system had a different way of presenting alumni of UK universities (which are Alumni of the University of Oxford) and US universities (which were of the form Princeton University alumni). The educational systems of both countries are basically similar, and in any case do not warrant such a differentiation. It should be one or the other. Checking the history I found out that the author which you do not want to lose had Scottish ancestry and had closer ties with the UK than with the US (which is exactly opposite in my case). So, in order to respect potential susceptibilities, I unified the system adopting the British system. I definitely think that this correct for several reasons among which that the first English universities are a few centuries older than the American ones. If I misunderstood and you consider that the British system is not adequate and the American one is superior, then I apologize and can revert the changes done for the Stocktons, though that would put their academic credentials in a different category than all the other Princeton graduates. The graduates of Princeton University would be Alumni of Princeton University and the Stocktons would be Princeton University Alumni.

However, as you have raised the problem, I have another question which you might be able to answer. In Wikipedia, all the former student of a school, university, college etc. are called alumni (with the diffence quoted above between the British and American systems which put the university or the college first). However for High Schools in Australia, the former students are not called alumni but people educated by school.... Of course, this is done be Wikipedia. But as you know more about Australia, can you find an explanation on why Australian Schools are so different from the ones in the UK and the US, so that the former student have a different name? Afil (talk) 06:37, October 19, 2013 (UTC)

I prefer "Alumni of ...", and I think Thurstan agrees, as did Phlox (who did most of our major bulk imports). On the "people educated" point, I think they are wider than you note. On a very recent English one straight from WP, I noticed that the Universities had alumni but the high schools had the "educated ..." form. Thurstan is our Australia expert. But the whole subject probably deserves a forum before we do any changing from WP. Forum:Alumni etc. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:50, October 19, 2013 (UTC)

Uncategorized imagesEdit

I've categorized quite a few today, starting with all the gravestones I could find in the first 1000 images (which is all that we are allowed to see). There are over 300 census pages, which we really should do more with - e.g. by categorizing under legible surnames or at least by precise census date/place. Anyway, here's the current block for copying

[[Category:Group photos]]
[[Category:Images of military people]]
[[category:images of war memorials]]
[[Category:Images of memorial inscriptions]]
[[Category:Images of cemeteries]]
[[Category:Images of gravestones]]
[[Category: (surname)]]
[[Category: (surname)]]
[[Category: (surname)]]
[[Category: (surname)]]
[[Category: (surname)]]

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:49, October 20, 2013 (UTC)

Duntisbourne Rous Edit

Are you sure it is Duntisbourne Rous? You know I don't believe Wikipedia, but all searches seem to prefer Duntisbourne Rouse. If necessary, please do the necessary correction. Afil (talk) 21:40, October 20, 2013 (UTC)

You could be right. It's from, the only mention of that place on thePeerage, so I'd have no hesitation in changing it on further investigation revealing what you have seen. I hope it isn't as hard as "Bennham" was. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 22:28, October 20, 2013 (UTC)
Checked. Web search started with two WP pages for "Rouse" then a respectable-looking page for "Rous" (which was the original, based on a French name) and a good mixture thereafter. Settled on "Rouse" for ease of linking from WP. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:52, October 24, 2013 (UTC)

Biblical figures Edit

Comparing {{Adam to David}}, I think something is broken: Enoch claims to be the father of Methushael (aka Methushael ben Mehujael), who claims to be the son of Mehujael ben Irad. Thurstan (talk) 19:27, October 21, 2013 (UTC)

Vilius was doing things with them, mostly harmlessly, but he seemed to confuse Methushael with Methuselah giving him Enoch as father (despite the "ben Mehujael"). I thought I'd fixed that, but there may be more, so the template is probably worth adding to the pages of everyone mentioned on it, so as to check each more easily (if anyone really wants to bother!). There's also a template about doubdtful sources, which I thought had been or should be added to some of those pages. Maybe one of our literalists removed it! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 22:12, October 21, 2013 (UTC)

Adam and Eve to William Mountbatten-Windsor? Edit

Can you check this? --Vilius2001 (talk) 11:27, October 23, 2013 (UTC)

I've commented on the blog. Most pages need sources. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:52, October 24, 2013 (UTC)

Born in etc. Edit

I have added the following features to the Showfacts Person template.

The template now adds automatically the categories  Born in xxxx (year) ,  Born in yyyy (locality),  Died in xxxx (year) and Died in yyyy (locality)  if the years or localities are included. 

Please tell me if it is OK. If not, I can delete the instructions and no harm is done. If however it is OK I can add the same information for the weddings, baptisms, or burials Afil (talk) 00:26, October 24, 2013 (UTC)

Brave man. I've occasionally thought that those additions could be worth making. It will certainly improve those categories and reduce need for manual additions to facts pages. It will create lots of "wanted categories" initially, for some keen person to categorize - or in rare cases to correct the person page! I wonder how the pre-1000AD years will get on. And I wonder whether there will be noticeable performance reductions anywhere; Thurstan and rtol may have ideas about that. I think we should link this conversation from Forum:Templates update so that the experts are more likely to see it. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:52, October 24, 2013 (UTC)
The main problem will be with the redirects. We now get a wanted Category:Born in The Hague, Netherlands even though we have Category:Born in The_Hague, because The Hague, Netherlands redirects to The Hague. Thurstan (talk) 11:05, October 24, 2013 (UTC)
That's more of a maintenance indicator than a problem, because it points us to people whose locations are non-standard (which isn't obvious when you view the pages, because of the pipe trick). We can use the redirects to home in and and fix. "Wanted categories" are GOOD. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:50, October 24, 2013 (UTC)
I see it as having been turned into a maintenance problem by this change, as it wasn't previously necessary to edit all referring pages when a placename page was renamed. I suppose that if Afil is happy to change them, and the authors don't object, there is no problem. Thurstan (talk) 19:45, October 24, 2013 (UTC)
It will help us catch not only the redirected names but also the disambiguations, e.g. "Born in Portland", which are not obvious even when you see the code. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 21:58, October 24, 2013 (UTC)

Wives without a surname? Edit

I had a question. There are times when we know birth and or death dates for a wife without knowing what their surname is. So far I have avoided adding pages for such people. I was wondering if there was a standard way of making such page though. Do we make a page such as Sarah (1850-1914) or Sarah Unknown (1850-1914) or use the married name but differenced like Sarah (Gore) (1850-1914). Just curious. I have also noticed confusion when there is a page made with just the first name. I think I have a page where I have Mary, but I know she was not the same Mary that was the mother of Jesus. Thanks --William Allen Shade (talk) 03:18, November 3, 2013 (UTC)

Missing General Information ParagraphEdit

Not really sure what to call it. But the advanced form usually creates an automatic beginning paragraph with birth, death and marriage information. For some reason pages such as Sarah Jane Woolsey (1859-1934) do not have one. Not sure if I did something when they were initially created or were a strange hybrid when I was converting pages. Is there some code I can use to made this "paragraph" to appear? Thanks - --William Allen Shade (talk) 03:19, November 5, 2013 (UTC)


A few years ago, you posted the article Jens Rosenkrantz (1640-1695). It indicated that Jens was born in Kjelgaard. I was not able to find any reference to this locality and also did not find it on any map. Are you sure about this information? Afil (talk) 23:27, November 5, 2013 (UTC)

Sorted. See reply on Andrei's talk page. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:29, November 6, 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. I took the liberty of translating the page to English (thanks to the computer software). The article is now in English as Kjeldgaard (as you preferred) with a redirect from the Danish ortography. The Danish version is still following the redirect, though it is visible only if you want to edit it. I hope this is convenient, as probably few persons using Familypedia know Danish. Afil (talk) 01:38, November 6, 2013 (UTC)

Thank youEdit

Thank you for the information and the help. I have been trying to update things along the way too. If there is a way to give me a list of my pages that need to be updated I can try to work on that. Not sure if you can make such a list or not. Anyway, thank you again for your help! -- --William Allen Shade (talk) 00:57, November 6, 2013 (UTC)

Files on commons Edit

Until two days ago the system worked and files which were on commons (not on wikipedia) were automatically loaded or accessed by wikia. But this did not work any more yesterday, nor does it work today. For some reason, the system does not load them any more. I don't know if it does this only for my computer, where some kind of glitch might have appeared or if it is a general problem. However, what happened yesterday and today is that when loading an article, the pictures do not load and the only way I can solve the problem is to load each separately, which is tedious. I don't know if this happens recently also to what you are doing. If the system works for you, then I will have to find out what is wrong with my computer.Afil (talk) 21:42, November 8, 2013 (UTC)

Map is there in Bletchingley. But photos of Medieval church and Church walk - both from commons - are not loaded, at least in my computer.Afil (talk) 22:45, November 8, 2013 (UTC)
Same here. Church walk produces ",". Needs investigation. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 22:58, November 8, 2013 (UTC)
The pages I updated yesterday: Wallerawang, Murrumburrah, Coonabarabran, Binalong, I notice failed to load their images at the time (I am sure I have seen this before!). This morning when I checked they are almost all okay, after a purge (and better then yesterday). However Murrumburrah did work and doesn't now. I think Wikia have a problem. Thurstan (talk) 01:00, November 9, 2013 (UTC)

OK, guys, I've sent Wikia the following:"Images that should be coming straight through from Commons are coming or not coming in a seemingly random fashion. The URL above is for the section on my talk page where three of us have pooled experience with links to specific problem pages." And I had noticed a few failures earlier. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:12, November 9, 2013 (UTC)


Tim Quievryn, Nov 09 03:20 pm (UTC):
Hello Robin,
Thanks for contacting Wikia. We appreciate you letting us know about this problem. We can confirm that Commons images are sporadically failing to load or be imported on Wikia and we have a high-priority bug ticket in with our engineering team regarding the issue. I will pass your examples directly to our technical staff for investigation and review.
Sorry for this issue and thanks for using Wikia.
Timothy Quievryn
Director of Technical Support
Wikia Community Support Team

the widow of Sir John Biundell Maple Edit

In searching for Blundells, I found this: The Grenfell Record and Lachlan District Advertiser, 14 June 1912, page 6 which says that the widow of Sir John Biundell Maple was remarried on 19 Mar 1912 when you say 1906. Who can doubt an Australian country town newspaper! Thurstan (talk) 21:32, November 9, 2013 (UTC)

Nice one. Always try to corroborate Wikipedia. (But I'm confident they misspelled the doctor's name - C. J. Williams was the daughter's first successful liaison) You may be able to get more newspaper info about the occupants of Blundells Cottage so that our article can be MUCH better than WP's. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 22:07, November 9, 2013 (UTC)

Showfacts Edit

The showfacts software had some glitches. The years posted in the written biography were one year less than the actual birth or death years. For years before the year 1000, if only the year was given (no month or day), for some reason a strange date of 1 Jan 1970 was posted. I have corrected these errors. However, if you identify other errors, please let me know. Afil (talk) 01:24, November 12, 2013 (UTC)

I have already posted at least twice about one or both of these, possibly in the forums (the best place to report this sort of thing because it affects all users) or on a template talk page, and Thurstan has commented at least once. Basically the "one year less" was (I believed) because the program assumes 1 January then converts to Gregorian calendar, which is usually a few days earlier; doubtless you have restored the "Julian". I'm glad you've corrected the "1970" glitch - some of the subscribers to the SMW mailing list may be pleased to learn how. Incidentally, 1970 was the start date for early computer systems, so it's not totally strange. Next related problem will be to stop "9999" showing! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:45, November 12, 2013 (UTC)
I have fixed {{set date}} so that we don't get the "1970" glitch. Thurstan (talk) 07:02, November 12, 2013 (UTC)
What do you want me to fix. The text in the example you are quoting is exactly the one which was posted before, the only difference being that the years are correct
This is the text which would have been posted in the previous version Ilosvay László was born 1520 in Hungary and died 1554 of unspecified causes. Notice that the years were not consistent with the years which were entered in the box. As far as the comma in the years is concerned, I discussed the issue with Thurstan and he indicated that Wikia does not accept the correction of this glitch.
.Afil (talk) 20:35, November 13, 2013 (UTC)

The commas are highly undesirable, and in my opinion worse than a one-year error. You might refer me to a discussion in which Thurstan says that, in effect, we are stuck with them. We didn't have them before you started editing the template. You have also deleted the space that should be after the birth year. The solution is probably not in that template itself. See "proleptic Gregorian calendar". I have reverted your changes so that we do not have commas even though some centuries do produce the one-year error, which is worth pursuing. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:26, November 14, 2013 (UTC)

I can't see how to do calendar arithmetic, so I have altered {{Set date‎}} so that it sets properties Birth date string‎ and Death date string‎ which are the formatted version of the dates (as entered). These strings may need more processing before we can use them in the template. Thurstan (talk) 02:41, November 14, 2013 (UTC)

 Dorothy Harrison (1935-2006) Edit

Over two years ago, you posted the article Dorothy Harrison (1935-2006) who was born in Sunderland East in County Durham. Isn't it the same locality as Sunderland Bridge, County Durham or Sunderland, Tyne and Wear as I am not able to identify another Sunderland in North-East England? Afil (talk) 06:11, November 13, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for asking. Guessing that it's a vague term probably referring to part of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, I've tidied the article and invited clarification in a note. Maybe it's time for me to "finish" Kate's ancestry, as it's now part of the ancestry of a potential king. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:06, November 13, 2013 (UTC)

Hello and thanks Edit

Many thanks Robin for your gracious and helpful comments (on my Talk page) upon my newbie entry into this community.  Before I respond to specifics, I have a basic question: is this (your Talk page) the right place/manner to respond to you?  Fil Yeskel 16:52, November 13, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for updates to Samuel Yeskel page Edit

Thank you again Robin for the updates you just made to my father's page .  Seing the proper markup is incredibly useful.  I'm appreciating why the Wiki "help" pages are scattered with warnings about the dangers of using forms and direct markup together....that is exactly where I was getting bollexed up.   Is there a fix or workaround for the annoying absence of a useable "Preview" function?  Whenever I attempt to use it, no matter how simple the page, I get the "Rich text editing has been disabled because the page contains complex code."  For newbies like me, that necessitates many iterations of Publish and review to get the markup right.  Fil Yeskel 03:40, November 14, 2013 (UTC) 

Reply to your latest updates & query Edit

You did indeed find the correct Polish town .  Wonderful.

As I try to build on your very helpful updates to my father and grandfather's pages, it's clear to me that I need to improve my skills with the source code markup editor -- the very editor I'm using to write these words -- and that I presume you use. Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but after carefully reading the relevant help , I still don't see how to, for example, locate and imbed all the available fields for the {Showfacts person} template.  

Also, perhaps I have some sort of configuration problem.  I'm using Chrome as my brower but get similar behavior in Firefox. When I click the blue "Edit with form" (as opposed to the source code edit accessed via the pulldown arrow) I get the following interesting error atop my screen: "Semantic Forms error: backtrace limit exceeded during parsing! Please increase the value of pcre.backtrack-limit in the PHP settings."  The link leads me to a PCP manual?   

Re my previous hand-coded-in-HTML genealogy site, yes, I can still edit it and will gradually add pointers to the new pages on Familypedia as I migrate the data.  

Many thanks again.  Fil Yeskel 09:27, November 14, 2013 (UTC)

We old-timers have decided not to worry about that backtrace error message, which makes no difference to anything that we have noticed. So persevere with Form:Person. You shouldn't even have to think about a concept such as "locate and imbed all the available fields for the {Showfacts person} template" (which may be good normal "IT Architect talk" but is not something we expect ordinary family historians to tackle)! Just fill the fields/boxes (noting that some of them will offer "autocompletion" if you're lucky and not too fast) and Tab from one box to the next or "Hide" a section when you've filled everything in it that you can - and don't overlook the "Other" box below the marriage - it offers you baptism and 2nd marriage and burial. (Now keep trying to remember that signature button - it makes it easier for me to get back to your talk page!) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:00, November 14, 2013 (UTC)

Rye, New York Edit

I don't know if you sent me the unsigned message regarding Rye City. I had the impression that we agreed (except for Germany) that we would try to comply with the way Wikipedia presents settlements. According to Wikipedia, there is Rye (city), New York and Wikipedia:Rye (town), New York.  Also according to Wikipedia, Rye, New York redirects to Rye (city), New York. Some articles including the one of Marvin Pierce (1893-1969) indicate Rye, New York, which is not the name of a settlement according to Wikipedia, which tries to distinguish between the city and the town. The correction I made is consistent with the redirect of Wikipedia. I therefore do not understand your objection and why you would insist to adopt names of nonexistant settlements. Afil (talk) 22:49, November 22, 2013 (UTC)

Categories and redirects Edit

It seems to me from your recent responses that you may not have seen the implications of the "automatic categories" interacting with redirects, so I would like to spell out what I see:

I do not think that this is a very satisfactory state of affairs. Possible futures include:

  • [status quo] we could continue to have Afil change all redirected names to their standard form. We are going to have to advise him about dealing with contributors who do not agree.
  • we could try to fix the "automatic categories" to follow redirects. It presumably requires each place page to have a "canonical name" SMW property.
  • if we use concepts rather then categories, we do not have a problem, because concepts do follow redirects (as long as SMW noticed them, which it occasionally doesn't).

I would like to go with concepts, because we get the advantages of the redirects, and we can (generally) rely on SMW to follow them for us. Thurstan (talk) 02:37, November 23, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for the detail. I had "seen the implications", to some extent, but not fully incorporated them into my conceptual framework. The situation is a disadvantage of the automatic place categories, and it would be good to find a workable method of nullifying the disadvantage, preferably if it could be semi-automated with a bot or similar device rather than keeping some diligent contributors tinkering with pages that most readers won't be interested in. But like you I believe that concepts may usefully replace many of our categories. I recall writing something relevant on Forum:Concepts not long ago, and I think there's been no response. Maybe I should check what I said or which other relevant pages I was working on. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:18, November 23, 2013 (UTC)

Manawatu-Wanganui Edit

Isn't the Wikipedia article Manawatu-Wanganui regionWp globe tiny? Thurstan (talk) 03:54, November 23, 2013 (UTC)


Whanganui Edit

Just because I am curious. If I am to believe Wikipedia, in New Zealand there is a city called Whanganui, which is the seat of the Whanganui District, located in the Manawatu-Wanganui region. Why on earth is the name spelled Whanganui for the settlement and for the district and Wanganui for the region? Would it not be logical to use the same spelling for all three, at least in the titles of the articles, even if we indicate that there is an alternative spelling?. Besides, Wikipedia accepts Manawatu-Wanganui region or Region. Is there any reason why you are against the region in the titles of the article? Afil (talk) 06:13, November 25, 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for asking.
  1. Your first question would be better directed to the New Zealand Parliament, which created the optional spelling (which the district council has adopted, no doubt at some cost to the ratepayers but pleasing many of them).
  2. It would NOT be logical to depart from Wikipedia's spelling of a name merely so that it could look like another name of similar origin, particularly where Wikipedia's spelling is legally correct. On that "uniformity principle", you might want to change Bucks County to Buckinghamshire County, but Pennsylvanians would not be pleased.
  3. I am NOT "against the region in the titles of the article". I don't mind if someone changes it from Wikipedia's former spelling to Wikipedia's current spelling, but it's not something I feel like doing while so many genealogically or programmatically more important things are waiting to be done. If we really want to keep up with Wikipedia's changes to names of places and people, we should seriously consider devising a bot procedure to do it.
-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:49, November 25, 2013 (UTC)

Notting Hill & Ealing High School.Edit

There has never been any discussion that Familypedia categories have to be identical to Wikipedia ones. It is even not advisable to have them identical, as the scope of Familypedia is different.

However, if you do not agree with the categories which I am using, then nothing prevents you from including all the other links of the wikipedia categories you wish to use. What I am objecting to is leaving the categories without any links. Actually Wikipedia does not leave such free categories which are not linked to other categories. But it is unfair to include some unlinked categories expecting other collaborators to do the cleanup.

I am sure that you are aware that I am correcting only the unlinked categories and do not care yet about the existing ones. I simply go along the list of wanted categories and take care of them, assuming that if they are wanted, is that the author of the article does not care about how they are linked, otherwise he would have linked them himself.

In the case of Notting Hill categories you simply reverted my edits without doing anything to link the categories the way you want them. Afil (talk) 07:25, November 25, 2013 (UTC)

Notting Hill & Ealing High School.Edit

There has never been any discussion that Familypedia categories have to be identical to Wikipedia ones. It is even not advisable to have them identical, as the scope of Familypedia is different.

However, if you do not agree with the categories which I am using, then nothing prevents you from including all the other links of the wikipedia categories you wish to use. What I am objecting to is leaving the categories without any links. Actually Wikipedia does not leave such free categories which are not linked to other categories. But it is unfair to include some unlinked categories expecting other collaborators to do the cleanup.

I am sure that you are aware that I am correcting only the unlinked categories and do not care yet about the existing ones. I simply go along the list of wanted categories and take care of them, assuming that if they are wanted, is that the author of the article does not care about how they are linked, otherwise he would have linked them himself.

In the case of Notting Hill categories you simply reverted my edits without doing anything to link the categories the way you want them. Afil (talk) 07:26, November 25, 2013 (UTC)

Andrei, I think it is time for you to re-read Help:Copying from Wikipedia. Please also look at and use its talk page for anything you disagree with. (I have now created one or two of the remaining Notting Hill categories.) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:27, November 25, 2013 (UTC)

Thanks again Edit

Very grateful Robin for your guidance and examples of the "mechanical stuff."  Feel free someday to post a copy of your diet or whatever is your source of indefatigable energy.  :)   Fyeskel (talk) 19:20, November 29, 2013 (UTC)

William de CassinghamEdit

I would like to know who gave you permission to invade and alter my publication "William de Cassingham", as a adminstrator you must ask permission first, I am talking to my solicitor right now, in order to see the prejudice you have caused. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Williambaxter (talkcontribs)

Hahaha. You were not the creator of that article. Did you get permission to edit someone else's article? Maybe you should read the terms of use carefully. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:46, December 28, 2013 (UTC)

About Celtic origin Edit

Dear Robin, I appreciate your explanation, but I would appreciate you not to touch my page, please, it is a family study that took time to have ready the tree, it is not a thing as too conventional people are used to seeing. I have my form or style to my work, that's as it should be, each leaves his distinctive personal touch or touch in every work.. Actually, what you're asking me about the Celts, it's simple, don't exist names or surnames of Celtic origin, some believe they are the Irish, Welsh and Scottish surnames are Celtic, but this is not true, because the Celts have also been in England and spread of northern Spain, the Basque Country, Portugal, France, northern Italy, came to Germany and Poland, and they formerly existed a town called Galatia in Turkey founded by the Celts. The Celtics and the Protoceltic, we are a diverse people in Europe and we have also come to the Americas. We can talk about roots or ethnic origins, but it is illogical to mention names or surnames because where are the Celts, they have taken all the names or surnames that are not the ancient Celtic language or Gaelic languaje (actually the Celts had several languages ​​and dialects, therefore, there is no language that can be called the "Celtic language", that there is in the thought of the Celts, we only feel proud of our origins and customs that have maintained over the centuries).

All the best.

King-Mac.Coll.Cole (talk) 22:01, December 26, 2013 (UTC)

OK, King-Mac.Coll.Cole, I'll leave your text alone (though I may create more links from it), but I stick with most of my suggestions. If you want people to read a long web page, headings definitely make it more readable. And the title is too ambiguous because "My" could be any one of millions of people. Your logic is also a little strained - you say "it is illogical to mention names or surnames" but you have many paragraphs about them! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:46, December 28, 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Robin, I would clear, but anyway, again, some suggestions are fine, but not all, some did not like me and I stand firm on this review. If you can help me improve the page, I'd appreciate it, but respecting the original form, the original content of the page, agree?. I appreciate that this will have in consideration for future editions or amendments. Ok? As you tell me, that there are many names, yes of course, it is true, are given names and surnames that documents my family are all of Celtic origin, also are DNA tests that we have performed, the results are irrefutable...genetically spoken. We come from this ethnic group in Europe, it is perhaps the oldest of the European continent people, with another former discovered people in Bulgaria and is older than the Mesopotamian towns where it was believed that appeared the writing (cuneiform), but the finding changed many things in the history of Europe. Exist a television documentary about this. King-Mac.Coll.Cole (talk) 03:17, December 28, 2013 (UTC)
OK, now you say "If you can help me improve the page, I'd appreciate it, but respecting the original form, the original content of the page, agree?". I have said I will leave your text alone. What sort of help would you like? Any help is likely to change the form a little, even if it leaves all the words unchanged. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:45, December 28, 2013 (UTC).
Thanks dear Robin, for the suggestions, I think step by step we can go shaping the work started on my family page. Best regards. King-Mac.Coll.Cole (talk) 13:21, December 28, 2013 (UTC)
Thank again very much, dear Robin, for your contributions to improve and beautify the page, it is a family project. Good start and happy 2014. King-Mac.Coll.Cole (talk) 21:55, January 8, 2014 (UTC)


Hello Robin, I saw your response on Consanguinity, I actually think "decedent" was intended and that even if it was an error it wasn't a misspelling, though the issue is fairly trivial.  The chart shows "degrees of consanquinity", a concept rarely used except in common law estate and probate law (an area at which I am particularly experienced) and historically in discussions of the legality of a marriage.  Also, one is not a decendant of one's issue or siblings or cousins or even aunts and uncles, the point is to show the relationship of one deceased to others.  Unless this chart was created from whole cloth for Familypedia, which I doubt, in which case one would expect it to look more like an inverted version of the canon law relationship chart that I link to below, so that the "decendant" was at, or at least near, the bottom.  If you want a chart that doesn't say decendent, there is one very similar but not quite so pretty here: that uses "person" for the zero degree; and one with colors but without degrees shown here:, that uses "self".   You may also find helpful and appropriate to this site, although it is less intuitive for the unitiated and it is more than a little gender biased, it shows degrees of relationship from a common progenitor and takes some thinking to understand how to read the degrees of relationship.  It would probably also be useful at some point to have a discussion of affinity, though it's a bit more complicated, since some modern systems will say that a husband and wife are related by one degree of affinity (e.g., though at canon/common law, the relationship is zero degrees (since a husband and wife are "one person").  All of these are likely just general information, unless someone is reviewing a court document that uses the terms to determin heirs.  Most people probably just need to be set straight on the relationships between cousins and even that has little practical application, IMHO.BewareofDoug (talk) 14:11, December 31, 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, BewareofDoug. Maybe "decedent" was meant, in which case it's not a spelling error, but - as you say - "person" or "self" would be better. (Why have a table that an individual can't use until dead??) It could be an idea for you to give us an article with some of what you've written here, if you avoid misspellings of "consanguinity", "descendant", "determine", and "uninitiated". (:-D ---- Robin Patterson (Talk) 14:35, December 31, 2013 (UTC)
Oh my! Sorry for my crappy spelling today. :-(  Maybe I've become too reliant on redline spellchecking on other sites. :-\
I think the reason it would say "decedent" is that the intended users were courts and solicitors and maybe church or public officials. (edit: not specifically this chart of course, but the material it is based on).  BewareofDoug (talk) 17:41, December 31, 2013 (UTC)

Marina Major Edit

Google found here a family group for Thomas RIDLAND/Marina MAJOR. Thurstan (talk) 19:58, January 2, 2014 (UTC)

Good work, thank you. You and my nieces and ex-sister-in-law can do the googling while I finish transcribing my brother's work from his printouts. That death notice was a great addition: it let me add "bef1922" or "aft1920" to the names of several children. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:35, January 3, 2014 (UTC)

Progress Edit

I have populated William Mountbatten-Windsor (1982)/ancestors alphabetically back some generations. I don't know if this solves your problem, because I don't know what your problem is. It is not exactly the same data as William Mountbatten-Windsor (1982)/ancestors, since the latter includes links which are not represented on familypedia (yet). It does highlight various cases where there are different links (particularly red links) which refer to the same person. I will update the Ahnentafel when I have fixed a few of these links, and added a few of the interesting "missing links" (eg in Burdenell and Cavendish families).

It seems to me that if you want to compare the ancestries of "Wills" and "Kate", then that should be done on the Ahnentafel for George Mountbatten-Windsor (2013-), rather than by disconnected footnotes in his father's Ahnentafel (just MHO). Thurstan (talk) 01:51, February 25, 2014 (UTC)

We have billions of problems on this site but we take them as they come. I wasn't aware of a real problem when commenting on the ancestors talk page. The clever new page looks like a great invention! You could be right about the comparison method.
I presume you know that the Tomsett (Hull University) site is probably one of the most complete Royal sites in terms of people though it's a bit short on detail for many.
-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:12, February 26, 2014 (UTC)
I will keep Tomsett in mind (I haven't been using it): my main problem has not been finding connections, but getting estimates for the dates. Thurstan (talk) 19:15, February 26, 2014 (UTC)
I found a bug in my program (my programs always have bugs!), which was understating the number of "Consequent Duplicates" for each person. In fact, I estimate there are 285521080 different lines of descent for Prince William from Charlemagne, and 1102961608 from Mummolin der Franken (bef548-), so their "Consequent Duplicates" counts should be close to these numbers. These figures are based on our current data, which miss many lines yet. Rather than attempt to show several sets of 1102961608 different numbers (I suspect that Wikia's servers may be too small), I have given the table a "Children" column, which is usefull for finding the origin of the red-links in particular. Thurstan (talk) 03:04, March 5, 2014 (UTC)
Admirable. We do make progress. (Have you read my blog post about Wikimedia?) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:23, March 5, 2014 (UTC)

Robert Richey Page Edit

Hi Robin - Can you help me correct the page type for the following Robert Richey (1772-1835)? Some how it is showing as an article page instead of person page. My other related people links are not displaying properly. Thank You. MainTour (talk) 16:14, March 9, 2014 (UTC)

... I tweaked him a bit and gave him a death-place-bdm-subpage and three of his own subpages, which may do what you wanted.

Thanks Robin, the page works much better now. How did you do that trick of adding subpages for ancestors and descendants? (BTW - I have an uncle named Robin. This Robert Richey is his G-G-G-Grandfather.) MainTour (talk) 19:13, March 11, 2014 (UTC)

I suggest that you reread the main guidance page - top menu bar > "Create article for person" > "Help: Creating articles". -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:49, March 12, 2014 (UTC)

Skene Edit Arbuthnot (talk) 14:21, April 2, 2014 (UTC)

Association Wikimedia Edit

Please would you make your reference into a link? Arbuthnot (talk) 14:29, April 2, 2014 (UTC)

Correction Edit

It is a fact that I "joined with" Tanya but I never espoused her. Arbuthnot (talk) 14:41, April 2, 2014 (UTC)

Belatedly fixed after the same wording had misled -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:02, September 6, 2014 (UTC)

Richard III's DNA Edit

Did you see which shows the line of descent of the mtDNA from Cecily Neville (1415-1495), the mother of Richard III of England? Barbara Cholmley (c1575-1619) is one of the links where this line crosses the ancestry of Prince William. I would like to create pages for all these people, but he doesn't give dates for all the husbands! I will see what I can do. Thurstan (talk) 06:23, April 4, 2014 (UTC)

Forlonge in CondobolinEdit

Hi robin,

I am trying to get some more info on the Forlonge family that lived in "Cromarty" house in Condobolin. I am actually trying to find out more about the house and whether they built it around 1890 ish. Do you know anymore about this?

Thankyou in advance. Anna----

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Anna, all that I know about that family there is what I took from the cemetery web records. Maybe one of the descendants (many of whom live in Western Australia) knows - maybe try the Facebook page, which is called, I think, "My name is Forlonge". And check our Category:Forlonge (surname). -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:08, April 10, 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the tip.  MikeKellyKirrawee (talk) 03:15, September 13, 2014 (UTC)

Robin, In relation to Thomas Olaham Smith, I have an image of his birth certificate - I assume you want me to transcribe it and post it to Tom's birth details.  Is this correct?


the Rev. Father Furlong Edit

iS "the Rev. Father Furlong" one of your mob? see the marriage of Hedley Francis S Askew (1895-1972). Thurstan (talk) 00:58, October 4, 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, but no. The surnames were somewhat interchangeable in the 18th century but since about 1800 the only variant has been the final "e" (mostly in Oz, descended from Tassie and Euroa merino-breeders). My middle name was bestowed by a mother keen on family history; the NZ surnames are probably all just "Forlong". -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:21, October 4, 2014 (UTC)

Redirects Edit

I will do so, except for cases when the deletion is due to an obvious misprint, for instance if in the name I forgot to close the brackets after the death year. The major problem I am wrestling with is that wikipedia has changed the accents of ș and ț in Romanian names, and that this has also been done by Microsoft in the new keyboards. Wikipedia has automatically changed all the names and redirects from the old to the new accents. Unfortunately, for Familypedia I am doing the whole thing manually. The problem is complicated because articles which have been transferred from Wikipedia before the change took place, have the old accents. But I get your message and will include redirects wherever they are justified. Regards. Andrei Afil (talk) 06:02, November 8, 2014 (UTC)

Blocked from Creating Special PagesEdit

Since Sunday my wikia account seems to be blocked from creating special pages / template pages. None of the green buttons work for me any more (ie when I try to add a parent or spouse to a person).   I've tried on several other computers and both in Firefox and IE.   It is a bit cumbersome to create a person.  I cannot create the sensor/tree/descendants subpages for any existing person any more.  Please advise.  Bryce MainTour (talk) 05:00, December 11, 2014 (UTC) 10 Dec 2014 (18:01-PST)

Royal descent Edit

You may be able to add something useful to Talk:Famous_Descendants_of_William_the_Conqueror_of_England#Catherine_Stanley_and_Dulcia_Savage.: this is outside my comfort-zone. Thurstan (talk) 00:56, January 9, 2015 (UTC)

Joan Tudor Edit

You might like to have a go at cleaning up Joan Tudor and connected pages, lest I declare them illiterate drivel and delete them. Thurstan (talk) 21:25, January 31, 2015 (UTC)

Ooh, you're a hard man to please. (-D - see -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:14, February 1, 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for taking that on: you'll note that anon has her mother wrong. Thurstan (talk) 00:27, February 1, 2015 (UTC)

Alan la Zouche Edit

Looking at parents, it seems to me that Alan la Zouche (c1157-1190) and Alan la Zouche (c1093-1150) are supposed to be the same person. What do you think? Thurstan (talk) 00:55, February 10, 2015 (UTC)

Another upgrade Edit

We seem to have had another upgrade, around about 20 Feb. Now when the "sources" and "notes" properties are retrieved, the line-breaks and the "new note" tags have ben removed, so that the formatting no longer works. Would you please ask your SMW contacts what we can do about it? Thurstan (talk) 21:07, March 9, 2015 (UTC)

subcategories of Category:Deaths by country Edit

I have just noticed that the Wikipedia categories "Deaths in countryname" are not at all equivalent to our "Died in countryname". There are at least two problems:

(1) not every page in a subcategory of such a category is a page for a person
(2) even if it is a page for a person, the person did not neccessarily die in the nominated country

So examples: {{#ask: [[Category:Deaths in the United States]] |?Death place }} gives:

  Death place
Amzi Lewis Armstrong (1827-1910)
John Endecott (bef1601-1665) Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
Kieft's War
John Doyle Lee (1812-1877) Mountain Meadows, Washington County, Utah, United States
Mountain Meadows, Utah
Margaret Hilda Roberts, Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven (1925-2013) The Ritz London Hotel, London, England, United Kingdom
Hyrum Smith (1800-1844) Carthage Jail, Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois, United States
Somerset County, Pennsylvania
Waco, Texas
Brigham Young (1801-1877) Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States

so 2 localities, a county and a war as well as some people, not all of whom died in the US. It is interesting to trace how Margaret Thatcher got here!

{{#ask: [[Category:Deaths in Canada]] |?Death place }} gives:

  Death place
John Endecott (bef1601-1665) Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
Kieft's War
Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond (1764-1819) Richmond, Ontario, Canada

so one person who didn't die in Canada. A similar case: {{#ask: [[Category:Deaths in Japan]] |?Death place }} gives:

  Death place
Lionel Colin Matthews (1912-1944) Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

These are not really errors, just the fact that Wikipedia categories are not designed to work like this. This is the same reason that we don't put the "Counties of" categories into the "Valid name" categories, and the reason you hacked a subcat of the "Monarchs" category. Thurstan (talk) 05:09, March 30, 2015 (UTC)

Non-standard license for imageEdit

You've taken one of my images from wikipedia, without providing proper attribution on your site:
Please delete the image unless you are willing to provide proper copyright as per wikipedia page.,_New_York Niagara_Falls_before_a_rain_storm_%282007%29.jpg

Same goes for any other pictures you are using from Dmitri Markine  without proper authorization or permission.

Best Regards,

OK, attributed on our page - though I don't see anything similar on the Wikipedia page. Images on Wikipedia pages that we copy are transcluded automatically from Wikimedia Commons with no indication that there may be a non-standard license. Please see whether the attribution I have given is OK and give us a list of your other images that we may have. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:37, April 4, 2015 (UTC)


Could you add Acheivments?

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Indigo76 (talkcontribs)

We could, but it would send wrong signals and encourage undesirable addition of category links. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:10, June 5, 2015 (UTC)

Munsell/Munsil, etcEdit

How do I add my gedcom of over 7700 folks?

EoGuy (talk) 00:37, June 5, 2015 (UTC)

Infobox Updates Edit

Please consider Forum:Infobox_Updates. Thurstan (talk) 07:02, July 29, 2015 (UTC)


Yes, Wikia wiped all property values again. It takes time to restore the chain to Charlemagne, particularly for later descendants. It also takes time to restore the properties birth & death nation when these are taken from the location pages. rtol (talk) 05:59, August 2, 2015 (UTC)

Vandal Edit

He is. Thanks man! :). — Jr Mime (talk) [VSTF] 01:23, August 5, 2015 (UTC)

Found 4 more accounts :L. — Jr Mime (talk) [VSTF] 01:26, August 5, 2015 (UTC)

Forms and page names Edit

When we first implemented forms with SMW, I thought "Wouldn't it be nice if contributors could just click a Create Person button, and fill in the details on the form, and have the page name calculated automatically, since that seems to be a source of difficulty". Now browsing through the SMW documentation I discover that this is possible (see "The one-step process" on that page). I have created Form:Create Person to test this: it generates the page name from the short_name, birth_date-approx, birth_year, death_date-approx and death_year properties. I can see two things going wrong:

  1. contributors seem to misunderstand "short name", so we will probably get a crop of pages called "Bessie (-)"
  2. the implementation seems to have a weakness: if there is already a page with that name, it will just get overwritten. To fix this, I have added the "unique number" parameter to the end, so we will get "John Blair Smith (1756-1799) 2" if we try to create another copy.

I have tested the form by creating John Blair Smith (1756-1799) and a couple of his sons. You might like to have a play with it too.

This is actually set up by adding a tag {{{info }}} to the form, so there is no reason that we can't make this change to the existing form, even if we do not offer it for general use. Thurstan (talk) 01:38, August 5, 2015 (UTC)

Good, I hope. (When we started SMW, that page wasn't there: )
We will also get "Bessie Marriedname", which someone will have to move.
Using the short name will also inspire a desired move for anyone with three or more names, not all of which are in the short name. (I've not looked at John Blair Smith yet.)
The unique number thing will have us looking more like WeRelate; but is it perhaps the key to automated GEDCOM upload? A program like Yewenyi's could create pages more easily if it didn't have to devise a pagename. A bot can run around the namespace once a month finding pagenames that end in a number greater than 1 and sending a message about possible duplication to every editor of each version. Downside could be that a renaming of just one of the duplicates could leave the bot with nothing to find (unless it was instructed to treat redirects as investigable pages). Tell me if this is hopeless uninformed speculation!
I don't see how we can add a tag to a form but not offer it for general use. Maybe you mean we have a parallel form that is reachable only with deliberate clicking of options.
-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:33, August 5, 2015 (UTC)

Category Salva, Bistrița-Năsăud Edit

You are right. Sorry about the error and thank you for sending me the remark. I corrected the error. All the best, Andrei. 17:46, August 8, 2015 (UTC)

Template documentation Edit

I have recently noticed that the template gremlins have included {{Notable ancestors}}, {{Migration}} and {{Locations}} into {{Showfacts biography}}, and that these templates set properties which cascade from parent to child. This means that {{Showfacts biography}} is now a standard part of a person page, not an optional extra. You might like to check documentation where you describe it as optional. Thurstan (talk) 01:37, August 11, 2015 (UTC)

Migration has been part of biog for about 5 years; I haven't checked on the introduction-dates of the others (though I've glanced at Locations and wonder how it affects biog - and wondered which of many possible locations it gives the spouse!). But I don't see why their inclusion makes biog a standard part of a page. Highly desirable but not essential, surely? I usually add it if it's missing (e.g. from an infopage-conversion). But some less prolific contributors have grumbled about aspects of it. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:00, August 11, 2015 (UTC)
Well, it is essential in the sense that if you leave it out of one person in a line of descent, it breaks the chain. And if everyone is descended from the big-C, then everyone is part of such a chain. (1st spouse gets place-of-birth) Thurstan (talk) 05:04, August 11, 2015 (UTC)


On a different note, you may have noticed that I have refined {{Reflexivity test}}, and I am finding that Familypedia:Diagnostics is now showing lots of cases of people with the wrong parents, wrong links from parents to child etc etc. Thurstan (talk) 01:37, August 11, 2015 (UTC)

Amazing software you and rtol develop! I guess the recent refining was a success. Would some of those cases be merely from renaming without redirects? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:00, August 11, 2015 (UTC)
Some have been simple mistakes (grandmother instead of mother etc), others have been duplicate pages. I haven't seen much evidence for the renames as the problem. You might like to analyse William Herbert (1696-1757), a page you created, who was not linked to from his father. Thurstan (talk) 05:09, August 11, 2015 (UTC)
And another source of problem is the fact that the /info page upgrade dropped kids off the end sometimes. Thurstan (talk) 05:28, August 11, 2015 (UTC)


First version of Thomas shows William as the only child. Third revision, still in 2010, also by me, adds five other children with Margaret and one with Barbara. Fourth revision, in 2012, by Thurstan, changes child William to "c1696-1757" - still blue link, so presumably a redirect somewhere in the system. Last three versions, all by Thurstan, leave him with the "c". It redirects happily (though we both know that for perfect SMW operation it should match, and one of us should try to find out whether the "c" is the best prefix).

(William had his death year changed, fairly early in the process, before his father's page was created: - but he has never been changed to add a "c".)

At what stage(s) was William "not linked to from his father"?

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:08, August 11, 2015 (UTC)

(Wikipedia has the "c"): he wasn't linked until I created the redirect (with the "c") this morning, so maybe I broke it in 2012. Thurstan (talk) 06:15, August 11, 2015 (UTC)
Indeed it does. Both authors of Parliamentary history have "c." - so I've renamed him. Guess what: no double names. Pagemove bug dead? But the first "Edit with form" wouldn't show the "Create/update sensor page". I tweaked the address bar for that. Republishing sensor shows tabs, and his article shows them now that I've edited it twice (once to add the "c", once to add the sibs}. Could the weekend java raid responses have affected some of our stuff? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:51, August 11, 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for fixing William. Maybe the bug is dead: I will try a test when I get a chance. I notice that the "collapsible section" of the Person form is neither collapsed nor collapsible this morning, and the same is true on the Monopoly wiki, so that must depend on whatever has been switched off. Thurstan (talk) 06:59, August 11, 2015 (UTC)
Bug still alive: I got it with move to Margaret Ferch Llywelyn (c1202-aft1268) on the sensor. Thurstan (talk) 07:17, August 11, 2015 (UTC)

Can you untangle? Edit

It seems to me that Ivy Smith (1904-) is the same person as Ivy Maria Smith (1904-2000), and her daughter Betty Dunn is the same person as Betty M Turner (1931). Can you sort this out? Thurstan (talk) 08:50, August 17, 2015 (UTC)

Father name differs a little. I'll see if the various contributors can put their heads together. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:11, August 17, 2015 (UTC)

Bonvolu - in EsperantoEdit

I spend most of my time on the alternate history wiki where I'm in second place in number of edits.

I have been awarded Best Editor the last four years in a row.

I have also made spelling and grammar corrections on Disney, Star Trek and others.

I tell folks I'm like the English professor in the men's room - I don't write on the walls. I just correct the spelling and grammar.

Bil EoGuy (talk) 18:46, August 17, 2015 (UTC)


To see why kids sometimes call me Santa go to the ham radio website and enter my call sign K1ATV.


PS - Bonvolu means please.

Hello is Saluton. Good morning is Bonan Tagon. Good night is Bonan Nokton.

I think I entered a GEDCOM or two many years ago. EoGuy (talk) 15:48, August 18, 2015 (UTC)

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