This used to be about surname categories, but since July 2008 we have switched to having this sort of thing on article pages; some of this is partly superseded because we are putting some of the information in a more organised template that creates a top-right infobox.

See Forum:Surnames for the reasoning, Help:Surname for the updated guidelines, and Template talk:SurnameArticle for discussion of improvements.

We used to have two "model" forms of the text to be shown on these pages. Neither was compulsory; but contributors who copied and pasted one of the models (and typed or pasted the surname in the places indicated) were ensuring that their page was able to be found easily, more quickly than by typing things out. Because many people are expected to do some work on each of these pages, it is now considered that we should offer just one format so that later editors can quickly go to the familiar headings for whatever they want to improve. If you think a particular heading is not necessary for "your" surname article, please leave it there for someone who can make good use of it.

The infobox template includes a one-click search of Wikipedia for the name. Wikipedia has different ways of presenting surnames; a search should give either:

  • a page with just the name (possibly a disambiguation page linking to places and/or people), such as Wikipedia:Special:Search/Milton; or
  • a hit list starting with some of the most useful pages: such as a page of the form "XXX (surname)" or pages mentioning (in name or text) people with that surname. Try this: Wikipedia:Special:Search/Forlong.

Recommended paragraphs[]

Copy the text below and paste into the [[... (surname)]] article below the Template:SurnameArticle. Replace "XXX", wherever it appears, with the specified name.

<!-- Replace "XXX" below with the specified surname. -->
==Individuals with that surname but no separate page yet==

==Meaning and origin==
(''If there is too much to fit in the infobox, create a separate paragraph or three here; example: [[Ferguson (surname)]]'')

==Alternative spellings and/or variants==
(''The infobox generally handles these, linking to the existing or potential surname categories, but this section can list them in various ways, e.g. by country.'')

<!-- For cultural variants; for example, for names that have very different uses in different cultures. -->
==Cultural context==
--><!--(''Early contributors were keen on that heading but only a small minority of us use it'')-->

==Individuals possibly not listed automatically in main category==
* [[:Category:XXX unlinked individuals|]] 

== References ==

==See also==
(''Articles in this wiki on related subjects'')

==External links==
* [[Wikipedia:Special:Search/XXX|Search Wikipedia for the name]]
* [[Rootsweb]] mailing list, such as
* [[Cyndi's List]] - has surname sections but needs a bit of manual work to list here