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Speaking as a new user, I am completely confused by the current organization. Are any of you genealogists?? Have any of you traced your ancestors?

I sent this email to JStanly who said to post it here.

This is what I went through to find the surname 'Stockton';

Hello JSharp.

Since you asked, yes, I have another concern.

I bookmarked Familypedia, skipping the home page. Now I have concerns about your catagories and lack of "Search". MY comments are marked with @@@@

http://genealogy.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page then to;
http://genealogy.wikia.com/wiki/Help:Surname
[edit] Finding Surnames
1. To find a surname, simply go to the following: Category:Surnames. That page is an index to all the surnames that have been indexed.
@@@@ why did I get a help page instead of "Category: Surnames" ??????
@@@@ Using "search geneaology" for Stockton takes you to a page with a 5 Stockton line, not every Stockton on the site.

http://genealogy.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Surnames

@@@@ none of the below let you search for a person's name
Category: Surnames
Search people
@@@@ not clickable
Surnames
@@@@ not clickable
Births by year | Births by decade | Births by century
Deaths by year | Deaths by decade | Deaths by century
Marriages by year | Marriages by decade | Marriages by century
@@@@ NO ONE would search for marriages by decade or century
Birth place | Birth continent | Birth country
Death place | Death continent | Death country
Marriage place | Marriage continent | Marriage country
@@@@ NO ONE would search for any of these by continent!
Continents | Countries
Search families
@@@@ stupid link, right back to the above list, by place, continent and country
Place | Continent | Country *******
Search places
Continents and oceans | Countries | Counties | Cities
@@@@ I cannot conceive of any one searching for a person using the list above. NO place to enter a name! Why would anyone want to get a list of everyone born in 1900?? or on a continent?
Surnames are names given to families or clans. Use the Surname category template for pages of the form "[[Category:... Surname]]", which will appear as subcategories here if the category link is untouched.
@@@@ What on earth does that mean ??????????
Contents: Top 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A Aa Ab Ac Ad Ae Af Ag Ah Ai Aj Ak Al Am An Ao Ap Aq
Ar As At Au Av Aw Ax Ay Az • B Ba Bb Bc Bd Be Bf Bg Bh
Bi ............................
@@@@ eliminate this 2 letter mess leaving the first letter search above it.
Subcategories
@@@@ eliminate this mess completely and make a place to SEARCH for a surname********
There are 200 subcategories in this category, which are shown below. :More may be shown on subsequent pages.
[+] Unknown Surname
[+] Surname stubs
[+] Surnames by nationality
[+] Surnames by location
 ?
[+] ? Surname
A
[+] Aalberdink Surname
[+] Abberbury Surname
[+] Abbott Surname
[+] Abernethy Surname
[+] Abery Surname
[+] Abney Surname
[+] Accurso Surname..............................
@@@@ When I click the letter 'S" all the same junk appears. The Subcatagories change to "S' surnames *******Picking "Stockton" I get a different listing than the 5 Stockton line I found by using "Seach Geneaology":
Pages in category "Stockton Surname" There are 4 pages in this category.
D
Davis Stockton (1685-1761)
J
John Stockton (1565-1630)
P
Prudence Stockton (1584-1665)
S
Stockton
@@@@ [this is the 5 family line group. No where are the first names searchable.
Retrieved from
"http://genealogy.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Stockton_Surname"

Your searchs sees backward to me. Other websites;

First you look for Genealogy, It is a simple matter of first searching the site for a SURNAME; then you refine your search by adding a birthplace, or state, or spouse name, or country.

If you want George Washington's lineage, searching for George Washington is simply typing his name.

Wikia makes you jump through hoops, click the letter W, find the surname Washington, and hope George is there!

Wikipedia has a search box on the home page; type in George Washington and it take you right to him. His entire family and history are right there, with clickable links taking you to his father, siblings, wife. If you're going to copy Wikipedia, copy it exactly or you are wasting everyone's time.

The Davis Stockton listing is too long; his children should have clickable links to reach them, and his grandchildren. While I made corrections because someone took my information and posted it here, with errors, I do not know how to fix your website.

Thank you. :)

Thanks for letting us know about the problems with this site. Since the site is tended to by a community not officially related to Wikia (we merely host wiki content) you'll need to let them know directly. You may want to post your advice at the Genealogy forum. Thanks for taking the time to let us know.
Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns and I'll be happy to help.
Regards,
JSharp
--
Justin "JSharp" Lynn
Wikia Community and Technical Support Team
http://www.wikia.com/
Contact us at community@wikia.com or technical@wikia.com

Vick jay 05:32, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

I can't even post a message to this board! Most of my examples disappeared!


Robin's preliminary response[]

Thanks to everyone who cooperated in bringing those points up here.

You say "Wikipedia has a search box on the home page; type in George Washington and it take you right to him." Well, Wikia has a search box on nearly every page. When I typed "George Washington" into one of the boxes on this page labelled "Find", a minute ago, I got taken straight to the page one would hope to get to. Where's the problem?

It would be good to have those points separated out under headings and/or moved to specific pages that they relate to; for example, the one about the two-letter surname index could be on Category talk:Surnames. (Has anyone wanted to find a category starting with "Me" and been annoyed at having to plough through what seemed to be dozens of "Mac" and "Mc" pages? If you don't want to scroll to the "Me" and use it, that's your choice, but it would not be everyone's!)

Robin Patterson 10:04, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Response to Robin's response[]

Maybe I was not clear. I am a genealogist, not a wiki expert or programmer. My intent was to make suggestions on organizing "Familypedia", your genealogy site. People looking for their ancestors know what surname they want to find. They may NOT know the first name.

I posted my message to the board JStanly said to use.

Most of my message disappeared for reasons I do not understand.

You did not "search" for Stockton. If you had, you would not find Davis Stockton. For some reason, I do not understand, he is not listed with Thomas, John, Randall and Richard which all turn up under Stockton.

I have just this minute searched for "Stockton"; Davis came up third on the list:
Search results

You searched for Stockton

For more information about searching Genealogy, see Help.

Showing below up to 50 results starting with #1.

View (previous 50) (next 50) (20 | 50 | 100 | 250 | 500)
Page title matches

   1. Thomas Stockton (1505-?) (98 bytes)
      2: ...Stockton...
   2. John Stockton (1530-?) (96 bytes)
      2: ...Stockton...
   3. Davis Stockton (1685-1761) (9,629 bytes)
      1: ...Stockton...
      2: ...Stockton...
      12: ...Stockton...
      13: ...Stockton...
      14: ...Stockton...
      15: ...Stockton...
      16: ...Stockton...
   4. Richard Stockton (1710-1775) (6,248 bytes)
      2: ...Stockton... 
Is that the one you wanted? Maybe you fixed his page since saying I did not search for him. Robin Patterson 13:09, 2 July 2008 (UTC)


You said: "It would be good to have those points separated out under headings and/or moved to specific pages that they relate to; for example, the one about the two-letter surname index could be on Category talk:Surnames."

Sorry, I'm no wiki expert. Organization seemed to fit, since that is the bottom line problem.

OK, those of us who are more familiar with the wiki may do the moving. Robin Patterson 13:09, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

"(Has anyone wanted to find a category starting with "Me" and been annoyed at having to plough through what seemed to be dozens of "Mac" and "Mc" pages? If you don't want to scroll to the "Me" and use it, that's your choice, but it would not be everyone's!)"

If you are searching a general topic on a general search, that may be true. This is supposed to be a genealogy site; we are looking for surnames, not catagories. We do not look for surnames beginning "Me". If we want "McPherson" and the search finds nothing, we change it to "MacPherson".

(OK, you don't have relatives named Meek, Melvin, or Mercer; maybe you are lucky.) You don't have to use the two-letter table if you don't want to, but it came from Wikipedia so it can't be a very bad idea. I'm still puzzled at your apparent inability to use the search box, which is almost identical to Wikipedia's. If you use that, you may never feel the need to look at the surname categories. However, they do have the advantage of listing people in first-name order rather than search-engine hit order. See Category:Stockton Surname, which has Davis first on the list. Robin Patterson 13:09, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

The organization of a genealogy website is not the same as would be used on a general topic website. People wanting to add their "Surname" data, or looking for "Surname" data are not going to be looking for people born on "earth", or surnames begining with "Me" or people in general born in a given century.

The first search will be for the surname of interest. The second, if it cannot be done with "advanced search", will be for the, country and state or city. If too many names are found, the search is narrowed to a time period.

I would strongly suggest that someone who understands programing take a look at any of the many genealogy websites currently online. Rootsweb, Ancestry, Gencircles, etc.

Even findagrave.com has a search allowing you to search for a surname, in a country and state. You can then order results by surname, date or cemetery, all in one click.

EVERY genealogy website will find everyone in their database with the same surname, which can then be sorted in various ways. That does not happen here.

Are you sure it doesn't happen here? I found your Davis Stockton and many others by the simplest of searches, as mentioned above. There were 113 hits, not too hard to look through, mostly people pages but many place pages. Robin Patterson 13:09, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Again, I'm no programmer and I do not pretend to understand how a "wiki" works. I don't understand most of the "geek speak" used here. All I can do is edit obvious errors in articles, and leave the rest to you.

Thank you for the corrections. Robin Patterson 13:09, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

I hope my suggestions from a genealogist "User" point of view will be helpful in making this site more "user friendly".

As it stands, the genealogy message boards are saying to stay away.

I challenge that. Have you looked at Forum:Help desk and Forum:Help improve the help pages? Tell us which "board" suggests you should stay away, so that we can fix it. Robin Patterson 13:09, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

I found this site while Googling "Stockton" and Davis Stockton was found. Recognizing my own notes, I came here to correct the errors made by the person who posted it here.

Vick jay 19:25, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

AMK152's response[]

http://genealogy.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page   then to;
http://genealogy.wikia.com/wiki/Help:Surname
     [edit] Finding Surnames
     1. To find a surname, simply go to the following:
 Category:Surnames. That page is an index to all the
surnames that have been indexed. 
******* why did I get a help page instead of 
"Category: Surnames" ??????
********Using "search geneaology" for Stockton takes you to a 
page with a 5 Stockton line, not every Stockton on the site.

I addressed both of these issues. -AMK152(TalkContributions) 20:29, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

http://genealogy.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Surnames
******none of the below let you search for a person's name

Category: Surnames
Search people  ************not clickable
Surnames  ***************not clickable

On the Category:Surname page, "Search people" is clickable - at least the "people" part is. It brings the general "people" categories. "Surnames" is not clickable, on this particular page, because the actual link is to the page you are looking at. -AMK152(TalkContributions) 20:29, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Births by year | Births by decade | Births by century 
Deaths by year | Deaths by decade | Deaths by century 
Marriages by year | Marriages by decade | Marriages by century 
*****NO ONE would search for marriages by decade or century
Birth place | Birth continent | Birth country 
Death place | Death continent | Death country 
Marriage place | Marriage continent | Marriage country
******NO ONE would search for any of these by continent!

More general categorization. Perhaps someone got married between 1862 and 1867? Thus, they were married in the 1860s. So the person is categorized as "Married in the 1860s." It's better to have the decade category to search marriages, than not be able to search for a person by marriage at all. Same idea goes for the other categories. -AMK152(TalkContributions) 20:29, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Continents | Countries 
Search families  ************* stupid link, right back to the 
above list, by place, continent and country

Same as my last comment. Also, More "family" categories will be added in the future, to narrow down certain families in certain locations. -AMK152(TalkContributions) 20:38, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Place | Continent | Country *******
Search places  
Continents and oceans | Countries | Counties | Cities 
********* I cannot conceive of any one searching for a person 
using the list above. NO place to enter a name! Why would anyone 
want to get a list of everyone born in 1900?? or on a continent?

If you're looking for someone born in 1900 and they have their own article here at Familypedia, and they have been categorized, they will be listed under the "Born in 1900" category. You can type in a name in the searchbox on the site. Continents, again, see my above comments. -AMK152(TalkContributions) 20:38, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Surnames are names given to families or clans. Use the
Surname category template for pages of the form
"[[Category:... Surname]]", which will appear as subcategories here 
if the category link is untouched. 
*****What on earth does that mean ??????????

In "Category:... Surname" If you put this on a person's article, you replace the "..." with the surname, and the person will be listed in a category with all others who have that surname. -AMK152(TalkContributions) 20:38, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Contents: Top 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z 
A Aa Ab Ac Ad Ae Af Ag Ah Ai Aj Ak Al Am An Ao Ap Aq
Ar As At Au Av Aw Ax Ay Az • B Ba Bb Bc Bd Be Bf Bg Bh
Bi  ............................ 
******eliminate this 2 letter mess leaving the first letter 
search above it.

Why? -AMK152(TalkContributions) 20:38, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Subcategories ***** eliminate this mess completely and make a 
place to SEARCH for a surname********
There are 200 subcategories in this category, which are shown below. 
More may be shown on subsequent pages. 
 
[+] Unknown Surname
*
[+] Surname stubs
[+] Surnames by nationality
[+] Surnames by location
 ?
[+] ? Surname
A
[+] Aalberdink Surname
[+] Abberbury Surname
[+] Abbott Surname
[+] Abernethy Surname
[+] Abery Surname
[+] Abney Surname
[+] Accurso Surname..............................
 

You can search for a surname using the searchbox on this site. Some people may want to use the searchbox, others may want to use the surname index. -AMK152(TalkContributions) 20:38, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

******When I click the letter 'S" all the same junk appears.  
The Subcatagories change to "S' surnames *******Picking "Stockton"  
I get a different listing than the 5 Stockton line I found by 
using "Seach Geneaology":
Pages in category "Stockton Surname" There are 4 pages in 
this category. 
 
D
Davis Stockton (1685-1761)
J
John Stockton (1565-1630)
P
Prudence Stockton (1584-1665)
S
Stockton **************[this is the 5 family line group.  
No where are the first names searchable.
Retrieved from
"http://genealogy.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Stockton_Surname"

When you click "S" if brings you passed all the A - R surnames, so you can see the "S" surnames without continually clicking "next." Again, I addressed the Stockton issue so that when you type in "Stockton" it brings you to the category page. -AMK152(TalkContributions) 20:41, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Your searchs sees backward to me.  Other websites; 
First you look for Genealogy, 
It is a simple matter of first searching the site for a 
SURNAME; then you refine your search by adding a birthplace, 
or state, or spouse name, or country.
If you want George Washington's lineage, searching for 
George Washington is simply typing his name.
Wikia makes you jump through hoops, click the letter W, 
find the surname Washington, and hope George is there!
 
Wikipedia has a search box on the home page; type in George 
Washington and it take you right to him. His entire family and 
history are right there, with clickable links taking you to 
his father, siblings, wife.
If you're going to copy Wikipedia, copy it exactly or you are 
wasting everyone's time.
 
The Davis Stockton listing is too long; his children should 
have clickable links to reach them, and his grandchildren.  While 
I made corrections because someone took my information and posted 
it here, with errors, I do not know how to fix your website.

Robin addressed the George Washington question.

Davis Stockton's children do not have articles. To make links to his children, use double brackets. Example:

If you edit an article that says:

Davis Stockton (1685-1761)

You will get no link. But, if you edit an article that says:

[[Davis Stockton (1685-1761)]]

You will get a link:

Davis Stockton (1685-1761)

I hope these all help you. -AMK152(TalkContributions) 20:48, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Response to Robin's response July 2008[]

The summary of the edit is: "/* Response to Robin's response */ My replies, better late than never, but it could be a good idea to go through VJ's whole submission and copy parts to relevant pages"

Thank you Robin, but AMT fixed most of the problems a month ago. You found Davis Stockton now, because of the fix. When I posted the first comments, he was part of a family group and not "categorized".

In the last month, I have "categorized" many, many people. There are thousands yet to do. It's ridiculous. That tells me others are uploading their family information without a clue as to what to do next. Instructions need to be more clear on how to "categorize" and connect family members AND why you must do it. Other genealogy sites are user friendly; Ancestry, Rootsweb, Gencircles, LDS Family Search, just upload your gedcom and you are done! The current method is not sensible simply because, as it is, you, AMT and others like me must slog through innumerable entries and "fix" them. What a waste of time!

As time goes by and you have more people adding their data, how on earth are you going to handle the same family members with slightly different information? ie., Davis Stockton b. c1680, Ireland d. 1761 Virginia and Davis Stockton b. about 1688 County Meath, Ireland, d. 2 Jan 1762 Charlotteville, Albemarle, VA. As a Stockton researcher, I know they are the same person, but would you? Is someone here going to "edit" the data and merge the 2 Davis Stockton? What criteria will be used? OR will you leave 2 entrys for the same person?

As a 25 year researcher with a database of 35,000 people, I certainly will not post my work here. It would take me another 35 years to get them "categorized". Sorry. Nice idea - too complicated to use. Vick jay 17:00, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

AMK152's response[]

In the last month, I have "categorized" many, many people. There 
are thousands yet to do.  It's ridiculous.
That tells me others are uploading their family information without 
a clue as to what to do next.  Instructions need to be more clear 
on how to "categorize" and connect family members AND why you must do it.
Other genealogy sites are user friendly; Ancestry, Rootsweb, 
Gencircles, LDS Family Search, just upload your gedcom and you 
are done!
The current method is not sensible simply because, as it is, you, 
AMT and others like me must slog through innumerable entries and 
"fix" them.  What a waste of time!

This wiki started back in 2004, and many pages were created before categorization started to take place. If people had categorized when the article was created, there wouldn't be this problem. Also, as this wiki has just over 20,000 articles, and not 2,000,000 articles, there isn't a huge huge problem. I have been going through the All pages special page and listing all the people on one page. (It may actually be more than one page, in the future) At the same time, I am standardizing article names. After I fully list them, I am going to standardize all categories. Soon, as more and more people see a standard, they will do the same thing. If someone neglects to add categories, I'm sure some willing people, including myself, would monitor the New pages special page and make the needed adjustments. -AMK152(talkcontribs) 03:36, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

As time goes by and you have more people adding their data, how 
on earth are you going to handle the same family members with 
slightly different information?
ie., Davis Stockton b. c1680, Ireland d. 1761 Virginia 
and Davis Stockton b. about 1688 County Meath, Ireland, 
d. 2 Jan 1762 Charlotteville, Albemarle, VA.
As a Stockton researcher, I know they are the same person, but 
would you?  Is someone here going to "edit" the data and merge 
the 2 Davis Stockton?  What criteria will be used?  OR will you 
leave 2 entrys for the same person?

Those researching the person will discuss it. If they're the same exact person, they should have the same exact data. If unknown data is estimated, the sources can be reviewed by both parties, in order to determine the most precise data. -AMK152(talkcontribs) 03:36, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

As a 25 year researcher with a database of 35,000 people, I 
certainly will not post my work here.  It would take me another 
35 years to get them "categorized".
Sorry.  Nice idea - too complicated to use.

This is why I use Info Pages. I put all information on the person in one place, and templates will take the data from that page and put it to where it is needed. I believe this method of storing information will bring about a GEDCOM uploader in the future in which you don't have to categorize all 35,000 entries. But the GEDCOM thing is a whole other discussion. -AMK152(talkcontribs) 03:36, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

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