Robin's preliminary essay; introduction
I've talked recently about the subpages that are created for every county by the county genealogy templates (primarily Template:Navbox county2-en with discussion at Template talk:Navbox county1-en). They need subject-matter categories in addition to the county categories, so that searchers for specific names or other subjects that are not confined to a single county can find suitable groupings.
List of their titles
Archeology • Families • Landmarks • Migrations and settlements • Photo gallery • Prehistory • Timeline
Before 1700 • 1700-1749 • 1750-1799 • 1800-1819 • 1820-1839 • 1840-1859 • 1860-1879 • 1880-1899 • 1900-1919 • 1920-1939 • 1940-1959 • 1960-1979 • 1980-1999 • 2000-present
Research, including queries
[County, State] links • Birth records • Businesses • Cemeteries • Census data • Church records • Court records • Death records • Directories • Landowner records • Marriage records • Maps • Military records • Obituaries • Probate records • Queries
Categories for them
Names with "of" in the middle
A few of the counties already have subpages created and placed in categories. Probably the biggest number are "Families". In line with our usual place standards (and with slight support from Wikipedia) I've made them follow the "Category:Families of County, State" form. I suggest that most of the other required categories, except the date-based ones, can use the same format.
Exceptions seem to include the following, listed with their displayed names, their actual subpage name suffixes, and my suggested categories (with explanations):
- Migrations and settlements, /migrations, "Category:Settlements in County, State" ("Settlements in" are an established category, for each U.S. state and several countries, and "settlement" has some implication of immigration)
- Before 1700, /Before 1700, "Category:Before 1700 in County, State"
- 1700-1749, /1700-1749, "Category:1700-1749 in County, State"
- (and so on for all the "Daily life" group; but see below)
- [County, State] links, /links, "Category:Websites about County, State" (Using "of" would apply to only a couple of official sites, whereas we will be including sites based elsewhere such as GenWeb and Cyndi's List)
- Businesses, /businesses, maybe "in"?
- Cemeteries, /cemeteries, "Category:Cemeteries in County, State" (as we have for many already)
- Queries, /queries, - see subsection below
I'm not entirely happy with the time periods' categorisation, because it won't match Category:Eras of United States history. But as the latter (currently based on the Wikipedia divisions) is somewhat arbitrary and not extremely closely related to changes in "Daily life" I think we can live with it. The divisions shown are easy to understand; anything that spans two or more can be added to each; the divisions shown will fit neatly into our "century" categories (as long as we pedants can accept that "decades" in the popular usage don't quite match centuries), and they can fit into the categories for "Eras of United States history" with only the occasional overlap.
My first, tentative, categorisations of a "Daily life" subpage included a slash to make what was, in effect, a subpage of a category: Category:Greene County, Ohio/1860-1879, with parent categories including Category:Ohio/1860-1879. I like that less than the now recommended "in" format. Slashes have their uses but maybe this is not the place. Some of you will recall that even author Bill Willis eventually agreed that the series of pages such as "USA/Ohio/" was not as useful as hoped.
Then there's the question of "Daily life". Should we try to put that phrase in the category names so as to keep them at least nominally separate from history categories and "Timeline of County, State" (but always allowing for interlinking as appropriate)? Category:Daily life in Greene County, Ohio, 1860-1879 or Category:Daily life 1860-1879 in Greene County, Ohio?
I wonder whether that word should just be another link to the "Community messages" - the "Talk about ..." forums instead of going to a subpage. I can probably fix the coding if there's a consensus in favour.
Robin Patterson 14:26, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Note "Cemeteries in ...".
What about "Businesses in ..."?
Robin Patterson 14:00, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Do we really want subpages instead of ordinary pages?
Since studying the UK and US models, writing the middle paragraph under "Time periods" above, creating Template:Navbox Ausdiv for Australia, and reading some earlier pages, I've been steadily moving towards the idea that the creation of subpages is not the best way. As the "People" row produces categories, I can't think of a reason why the other rows should have to produce subpages. Ordinary article-style page names with the standard sort of word order might be just as easy to create and less off-putting to users, as well as being slightly easier to categorise (by hand or by bot).
- McCormick County, South Carolina/cemeteries
- Cemeteries in McCormick County, South Carolina or Cemeteries in McCormick County, South Carolina, USA
The number 2 options are each a plain English article name and will be very easy to categorise: just put "Category:" in front and "|*" at the end.
In March this year after catching up with all of the new county stuff I asked Phlox about that very subject. In November 2007 he had made the original plain-English page into a redirect to the subpage, but I don't think that that ends the matter. Can anyone (even the absent Phlox) see real advantages in the subpage alternative?
Robin Patterson 14:20, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
No response in seven weeks to my question "Can anyone see real advantages in the subpage alternative?" - so I plan to have a closer look at the code to see if there is any problem with making the targets ordinary pages. Robin Patterson 21:50, 9 September 2008 (UTC)