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Archives of previous years:


Blocking a reverter[]

Mate, please have a look at and the reverter's talk page and tell me whether you think a three-day block was too harsh or not harsh enough! (PS - I'm sorry to see that bushfires are now affecting Canberra.) --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:32, January 23, 2020 (UTC)

Well, I was thinking of being much harsher than that, but I don't really know how to get through to someone like that. (Canberra has had smoke has hanging around for months, and has had the worst air quality on the planet some days. We have just had rain come through, headed by a destructive hail storm. But it looks like, ʾin shāʾ Allāh, we are not getting the fires in town). Thurstan (talk) 20:33, January 23, 2020 (UTC)

Template:Portable infobox person[] shows a lot of work, but do we want people creating pages with it? Somebody did it a few days ago. Is there an easy way to convert that to full SMW? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 20:53, February 3, 2020 (UTC)

We certainly don't want people using it directly, since it sets no properties: it is for use by {{showfacts person}} for display. The recent example looks like fiction to me, and I intended to delete it after a while. If you can find some real documentation for it, we could keep it. It shouldn't be difficult to convert. Thurstan (talk) 21:28, February 3, 2020 (UTC)
Good. I've put a warning on the template and queried the article. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:07, February 5, 2020 (UTC)

Another one - and you may have missed it. Is there a way to stick a flag in that template so that it pops up on a watchlist when used improperly? Or - better - could you tweak it so that it doesn't display when used outside the proper context? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:25, August 6, 2020 (UTC)

And - I missed that one; portable infobox writer!! --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:32, August 6, 2020 (UTC)

I have been carefully ignoring what look like more "fan posts" (as opposed to genealogy). I don't think we can stop the template being used, but a bit of DPL will find improper use. Thurstan (talk) 21:31, August 6, 2020 (UTC)

Script errors[]

Iloilo has not come over well from WP. See where I tried to cut out the worst bits - but could you apply your expertise to the script errors? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:06, February 5, 2020 (UTC)

I think we are in for a hiding for nothing. As you would know, one of ways the young studs earn their spurs on Wikipedia is revamping the {{Convert}} templates, especially now that there is scripting, so we are very out of date. However copying the Lua modules directly from Wikipedia doesn't work, since our implementation of the script is deficient. Several of our regular contributors (of little technical know-how) have been copying templates and modules from Wikipedia with gay abandon, so a lot of our templates are now broken. I have not worked out how to debug the scripting, so I have generally given up trying to fix it. Thurstan (talk) 05:33, February 5, 2020 (UTC)
Fair enough, now that I look at Category:Pages_with_script_errors. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:38, February 5, 2020 (UTC)

"Not to be confused with..."[]

Please see whether Liberty, Texas needs something done to its hatnote that we can easily do. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:16, February 16, 2020 (UTC)

I have added a new parameter to {{Distinguish‎}} to mimic Wikipedia (theirs has been reworked to use Lua). Please keep your eye out for anything I have broken in the process. Thurstan (talk) 04:57, February 17, 2020 (UTC)
I have opened the first half dozen pages that link to it and seen no irregularities, even at - so you are probably OK. Thanks for the effort. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 21:58, February 17, 2020 (UTC)


I had been having fun with that - moved most of the lines to the wrong headings. Genius didn't seem to notice. (|:-D ----- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:41, March 18, 2020 (UTC)

Well, I noticed a double redirect amongst that lot, and decided it was time to clean it up. Thurstan (talk) 21:18, March 18, 2020 (UTC)

Don't have the mw:InstantCommons option on my wiki[]

Hi and good evening Thurstan, i looked at my wiki and tried to find an option that enables images from Wikimedia Commons but it is not there. So i am wondering of where i can contact any central wiki administrator to inform them that on my wiki the mw:InstantCommons option is not enabled. --Matthewb531 (talk) 03:09, April 1, 2020 (UTC)

We are talking about wikia a.k.a. Fandom aren't we? I would send an e-mail to the "support" link at the bottom of the screen, asking for it to be enabled. Thurstan (talk) 03:29, April 1, 2020 (UTC)

Asking for InstantCommons to be enabled[]

Hello and Good morning Thurstan, i am ready to send an email to fandom about enabling InstantCommons on my wiki. When you said today to send an e-mail to the "support" link at the bottom of the screen, do i go to "contact us"? --Matthewb531 (talk) 15:07, April 1, 2020 (UTC)

Yes, that would be the spot I think (it is years since I did this). Tell them the name of your wiki, and ask if the option can be enabled. Thurstan (talk) 20:53, April 1, 2020 (UTC)
Hi, re Alice Whittle, I found her in the !901 Census with her Mum Hannah, sisters Grace, Mary

and Elizabeth. Couldn't find her in the 1911 Census but did find a Marriage Record for Alice Whittle m Ernest Smith, Father named James Whittle. There are two possible Children Dorothy b. 1914 in Bolton and Walter b 1915 in Chorley, both Counties of Lancashire?? I don't know if this is any help to identify if this matches what her Great Great Granddaughter's information but would love to know if I'm on the right track! Atleast one sibling ended up in Canada, Brother Edwin and more than likely brother Thomas as well but I still have to confirm this. Good Hunting. Lynne Down. 04:44, April 5, 2020 (UTC)

Notes not showing[]

John Swan (c1832-) has a screenful of children notes but there's no sign of them in the display. What have I done wrong? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:51, April 6, 2020 (UTC)

SMW seems to have trouble parsing notes and sources at times: for example, if you use the Wikipedia "cite" templates the notes won't show. I think the root problem is something about the HTML tags. You could try without the "pre" tags. Thurstan (talk) 10:34, April 6, 2020 (UTC)
Thank you. OK now that I have moved the pre section to the talk page. Then a slightly different problem comes up 6 days later! --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:48, April 13, 2020 (UTC)

Children notes not showing but their refs are[]

Please look at my new page Hugh Ottes Swynford (1340-1372) and see if you can work out why the children notes are not displaying for me. Tomorrow will be quite early enough - I'm off to bed. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 13:35, April 12, 2020 (UTC)

Thank you for dealing with it. Now please see the new page Help:Notes and sources and offer your expertise to improve it. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:36, April 13, 2020 (UTC)

Another birthday[]

And you celebrate by doing boring useful stuff that Andrei used to do. Great work! I hope you and your friends and family are all keeping clear of COVID-19. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:29, April 19, 2020 (UTC)

Well, we are not in lockdown, but we are "social distancing", so it is mostly sitting around in front of the computer. Luckily we are not very social. Thurstan (talk) 20:17, April 19, 2020 (UTC)

Ancestors' birth nations[]

Can you give me an idea of why my friend is not showing all of the birth nations that his ancestors are? Not even the warning triangles that some of them have. SMW limitation? I have re-edited them all the way down from Rob Roy. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:00, April 24, 2020 (UTC)

Well, John Drummond (1796-1871) shows them all, but his son Alexander (Old Sandy) Drummond (1839-1930) does not. Does a "null edit" of "Old Sandy" fix him? If you get him right, continue with each generation down. I see no reason for it not to work, it works for thousands of other "descendants" of Charlemagne. Thurstan (talk) 06:02, April 24, 2020 (UTC)
Thank you. I was sure I had done that to all of them successively but I must have had another senior moment at Old Sandy and not edited him. At least now I can show Grant that a Familypedia page can do at least two things that a Geni page can't. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:37, April 24, 2020 (UTC)

Good work[]

But too fast. I was coming back to fix that footer, where I had just seen that my stupid laptop had done a double-click so that the brace got killed while I was deleting the redundant line below. I hit Edit and flipped down and was incredulous to see it fixed. Vigilance!

I've been disambiguating Halifax links. Several dozen. One might hope that a decent-sized city in England that gave its name to others would have the single word in WP, but not this time.

--- Robin Patterson (Talk) 07:27, May 2, 2020 (UTC)

Looking at my wiki[]

Since you wanted to look at my wiki just to check, here is the link Ethnic diversities of Argentina Wiki. It does include the svg type by the way. Though i did manage to rename any image from svg.png to svg but image itself goes blank and it would not work. So then i tried to upload that is svg when the file is svg.png but that i don't like that. For me to upload any svg file is not easy. Anyway, i really would like to know how to upload any svg file just like the users here uploaded svg files. For example, these images below are svg not svg.png.--Matthewb531 (talk) 16:29, June 2, 2020 (UTC)

I have just uploaded w:c:ethnic-diversities-of-argentina:File:Thurstan.test.svg from a random svc file I had, and it seems to have worked (do you think it worked?). Can you give me a link to one of the svg files that you have uploaded that doesn't work? Thurstan (talk) 22:31, June 2, 2020 (UTC)

Link to the image[]

Here is the link File:WPVG_icon_2016.svg.png, though at times i tried renaming svg.png files to svg but that would do such a thing. Renaming that file to svg on my computer to upload it on my wiki but the image on my desktop goes blank. Once again, the link will take you.--Matthewb531 (talk) 00:03, June 3, 2020 (UTC)

That image shows okay to me. Thurstan (talk) 05:24, June 3, 2020 (UTC)

United States[]

Could you update the government official section of the United States page? The page currently has government officials listed who served during the Obama administration.

Please note that our geographical pagenames follow Wikipedia: please don't monkey with them. Thurstan (talk) 20:26, July 5, 2020 (UTC)

Australian marriages[]

Where should I look for a marriage that was probably in Victoria?

James Henry Gibson 1829–1906 • LVFN-DKL ​​
Marriage: 1855
Jane L Unknown 1837–1867 • LVFN-6TZ

Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:36, November 17, 2020 (UTC)

They have a website, but there is a charge. However many years ago I downloaded CSV files of the indexes (I have no idea where from). I think your match may be:
1852,02709,F,Nicholson,Jane,Gibson,James Henry,,denom(Presbyterian)parish(Melbourne & Geelong)
1852,02709,M,Gibson,James Henry,Nicholson,Jane,,denom(Presbyterian)parish(Melbourne & Geelong)
1852,33863,F,Nicholson,Jane,Gibson,James Henry,,denom(Presbyterian)parish(Melbourne & Geelong)
1852,33863,M,Gibson,James Henry,Nicholson,Jane,,denom(Presbyterian)parish(Melbourne & Geelong)
Note that these entries will be based on church records, and they often have two copies entered into the registers.
Thurstan (talk) 03:00, November 17, 2020 (UTC)
Their webpage is at Thurstan (talk) 03:45, November 17, 2020 (UTC)
You are a seriously good mate. But age 15? Was she OK marrying in Victoria then? Maybe the birth year was wrong. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:27, November 17, 2020 (UTC)
Victoria, like New Zealand, doesn't charge for searching index to historical events (100 years etc). --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:52, November 18, 2020 (UTC)

Wikipedia's newish location maps[]

Not sure if this has been raised before. See Hokitika infobox. We may need but we are likely to move into module territory with - so are we able to handle that? If so, we should probably create a relevant help page linked from Help:Copying from Wikipedia, with me doing some of the donkey work and you correcting and otherwise improving. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:27, November 17, 2020 (UTC).


Thank you for sorting the map thing in the background. But I don't understand the purpose or the edit summary of - all of the added parameters still appear in the template, which was copied from WP. Is that another quirk we need to deal with in copying because of slightly different software? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:10, November 18, 2020 (UTC)

Yes, in 2017 Wikipedia did the "coordinates in infoboxes" updates, which updated all the place infoboxes not to need the coordinates separately, but to read them from the "coordinates" template. When you copy something like Hokitika from Wikipedia, you have to go back in the history to find that update, and get the old parameters. If you look at some of the many that other people have copied since then, they get an error message rather than the dot appearing on the location map. Thurstan (talk) 02:17, November 18, 2020 (UTC)
Thank you. I'll copy that explanation to some help page while you review Victoria. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:10, November 18, 2020 (UTC)


Officially changed from Manawatu-Wanganui about a year ago. I've created the updated category:Manawatū-Whanganui and "redirected" the original, but there will be hundreds of "facts" using it. Any chance User:ThurstanBot could change it wiki-wide? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 07:25, November 29, 2020 (UTC)

I am afraid that AWB has not worked on this wiki for some years now, and I don't have an alternative. Thurstan (talk) 07:54, November 29, 2020 (UTC)
However, my todo lists notes that I should update {{Showfacts person}} to use the new FamilySearch URL for AFN searches. Will that suffice? Thurstan (talk) 08:00, November 29, 2020 (UTC)
Thank you. That might help some users but I search using names and I haven't found many on FamilySearch related to this section. The article redirect should work for most cases. I'll check for double redirects. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:43, November 29, 2020 (UTC)

Cox birth and death in NZ[] looks like one of your people. New Zealand Births, Deaths & Marriages Online: has :1899/13254 Cox Basil George Macpherson Barbara Catherine George Macpherson

Faulty "What links here" page - the deceased appears on at least two more of his ancestors' descendant pages (the Coxes).

Thanks for that Forlong-Gordon addition.

--- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:57, December 5, 2020 (UTC)

Thank you, I had it on my "todo" list. I am not sure what the correct designation of his place of death is: you may be able to do better there. Thurstan (talk) 21:56, December 5, 2020 (UTC)


Have you studied, which has been in existence since 2008? Could it be used or adapted for Wikia? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 13:19, December 5, 2020 (UTC)

Juelson family and the Adventure videos (and variant) contributor and his relative[]

I'm working on them. Don't try helping before next week if at all. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:29, December 8, 2020 (UTC)

Thank you. Thurstan (talk) 04:04, December 8, 2020 (UTC)
Surnames Covey and Hicks and Anderson and Clausen and Olson, mostly originating from Norway and moving to Minnesota or Wisconsin. Fair coverage in FindAGrave and some on FamilySearch. For one-line pages, I have taken to copying all content to the talk page then deleting article and starting again (acknowledging original author); much less code to type in! (You may have worked that one out years ago.) --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:46, December 9, 2020 (UTC)
Actually, that method could be best for most upgrades. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:48, December 14, 2020 (UTC)
I am inclined to think it more polite to leave the original contributor in the history as the page creator (and easier too), but that's just me. I sometimes leave their actual text, or just remove it if it includes no extra information. Thurstan (talk) 04:38, December 14, 2020 (UTC)
I do that by merging the new proper page with its talk page and restoring all the history. Easier than trying to remember which templates need to be added. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:22, February 14, 2021 (UTC)

Still trying to fit the last of them into a busy December, so you're welcome to keep on keeping away unless you know of a more likely source than Find A Grave or FamilySearch. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:48, December 14, 2020 (UTC)


I recently mentioned Victoria. Progress? Coordinates are a bit meaningless for large areas of land but I've been told that we need them. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:28, December 9, 2020 (UTC)

Sorry, I missed that. It is not obvious. We have had a raft of wanna-bees mucking with our templates lately. Perhaps you can check all the templates that that page uses to see which have been updated lately. Thurstan (talk) 20:35, December 9, 2020 (UTC)
I imagine it uses lots. My first approach is to look at all template changes, starting with and deselecting all namespaces except template. The most recent 500 or so have only you and Andrei editing templates plus a few creations by other people. I guess the culprits could be earlier, so I'll look at Victoria after lunch. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:18, February 14, 2021 (UTC)

Short descendant tree[]

Have you any idea why stops at gen 3? Third-gen Axel's descendant tree goes further. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:42, December 15, 2020 (UTC)

I see five generations. Perhaps your browser has cached on older version. Thurstan (talk) 02:44, December 15, 2020 (UTC)
Thank you. Mysterious. Axel's table was created three days before Erik's, so the 4th and 5th should have been available to Erik right from the start. And I think I republished Erik's to see whether that made a difference. It didn't before I posted here, and on returning now I was still seeing only three for Erik, but a republish fixed him.
A related mystery is why one of the relatives shows no children even though the coding looks perfectly OK. I'll get back to you if I find he's still doing it tomorrow. Thanks again. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:42, December 15, 2020 (UTC)

Jennifer Green?[]

Came across when checking 1904. A 19th-century birth in the page name stood out. You clearly had some well-intentioned involvement but maybe more than you realised. Needs some sort of fix and maybe a new page for Jennifer. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:01, December 17, 2020 (UTC)

Place name standards[]

OK. I will fix up and follow from now on...



Of course you meant "Current nation" rather than "country" fields; the latter could very easily be "misleading" (to use one of your recent words) - suggesting Current province/state/UK "country":. Happy New Year to you and your bird-watching companion. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:28, January 1, 2021 (UTC)

It seems to me that we have had a slew of newbies entering "Australia" into the "County" field, so it seems that "County" is being misread as "Country" Thurstan (talk) 22:13, January 1, 2021 (UTC)

sibs etc[]

Your upgrade of Sarah Pearsall (1644-1729) seems to have omitted the sibs template. I've added it. But I was pleased not to see the ineffective NOTOC! Have you tried my method (for correctly-named pages) of copying a beginner's page to the talk page then deleting the original and starting again so as to get all the current standard templates in one hit (then copy the "talk" page - for what it's worth - back in)?

Noting the namesakes and notable family, and bearing in mind that they show nothing unless they have content, I wondered whether we should include them in the standard form.

--- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:36, January 11, 2021 (UTC)

I don't really see the value of copy to the talk page. Thurstan (talk) 04:41, January 11, 2021 (UTC)
It makes for very easy merger once a proper page replaces the deleted original, thus preserving all history. But maybe you have a foolproof way of upgrading that gets all the required templates (including children) in? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:09, February 18, 2021 (UTC)

Alfa template[]

I would welcome any comments on the alfa template I have developed, which can be included in the pages of any school and link it to the pages of all the alumni, faculty or educators. You can see how it works if you look at the page of Harvard University. When the final version is reached, I will also prepare the documentation pages. Afil (talk) 19:57, January 12, 2021 (UTC)

Local links - Charles Wall[]

Thank you for the guidance on using local links instead of public links. I will follow from now on. Much easier.--Mcmoore01 (talk) 00:12, January 13, 2021 (UTC)

No worries. Thurstan (talk) 00:18, January 13, 2021 (UTC)

Computer fixed[]

I'm back, as fit as ever, with a solid state drive. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:15, February 4, 2021 (UTC)

Congratulations, soundes good. You are ahead of me. Thurstan (talk) 19:07, February 4, 2021 (UTC)

Show image (as thumbnail) in a table as result of an #ask query??[]

Have you anything to take us further with Forum:Problem with Special : Ask now that there's a bit more from outsiders? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:58, February 14, 2021 (UTC)

Odisha update[]

People messing with Odisha so I looked at history then updated. Some quirk is spoiling the top. Easy fix could simply comment-out the infobox etc but you may see a better solution. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:04, February 18, 2021 (UTC)


I have ni problem with the rule of not applying geographical names to family name, but respectfully disagree with how it is applied for the descendants of Hugues Capet, At least a discussion would be necessary. The names of dynasties change in time. The British dynasty is called Windsor and not Saxe-Coburg anymore. The name of Capet for the Bourbons was unvented by extremists during the French Revolution and was never used either by the family nor by any registry of royal or aristocratic lineages. In the case of the Two Sicilies, the name of the family is NOT Capet, but di Borbone. However, the Bourbons (like other families such as the Habsburgs) have differentiated the names of their branches. According to the official site of the branch we are talking about, the name is di Borbone delle Due Sicilie, which distinguishes them from the Borbone Parma or Borbon y Borbon. By the way, while I do not want to criticize anybody, the name used in Familypedia "delle Duo Sicilie" is incorrect. It should be delle Due Sicilie, which I am in the process of correcting. Anyway, forget about Capet, which has absolutely no justification. Afil (talk) 14:24, February 26, 2021 (UTC)

I totally disagree, but please contact User:rtol: he is the expert. Thurstan (talk) 19:19, February 26, 2021 (UTC)
With three or four of us involved, this should be a forum item. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 22:53, February 28, 2021 (UTC)
I feel that I have said my bit: this is our standard, as it applies to over 500 pages (see Category:Capet (surname). I don't know what more to say. Thurstan (talk) 00:09, March 1, 2021 (UTC)
I agree that this should be discussed. In the case of Capet, the name was used for the members of the former royal family during the French Revolution. It was meant to be used as a slur, denigrating the former king, denying him not only royal but even aristocratic credentials. The name of Capet for the name of the entire family has never been accepted by any of the genealogies of royal houses, such as the Gotha Almanac, who for over a century has been the official record of aristocratic families. It has also not been accepted by any of the semiofficial sites of the families which have posted their genealogies on line. In any case using a slur for the name of a family is offensive. The name might be applied to over 500 pages, but that doesn't make it right. Maybe I missed it, but I never saw the discussion which lead to the standard.
Andrei's logic seems pretty good to me. An interesting set of replies on Forum:Noble/Royal Titles goes like this:

Just give people their family name. If this is obscure, call them "of primary property".
This is the rule sort-of-agreed in a previous discussion on this forum, and it is the rule (poorly enforced) on Wikipedia. rtol 06:20, April 24, 2010 (UTC)
Please explain your subsequent "Ludwig II von Wittelsbach (1229-1294) ‎ (Redirected page to Ludwig II. von Bayern (1229-1294))" in relation to the above. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:55, April 28, 2010 (UTC)
I redirected the inferior article to the superior one. rtol 04:54, April 29, 2010 (UTC)
Please explain "superior". The one with the (property-based) family name von Wittelsbach is superior to the ruled-place name von Bayern, according to your argument and my opinion. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:47, July 5, 2010 (UTC)

No reply there. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:11, March 6, 2021 (UTC)

Further discussion best at the very new Forum:Nobles without surnames.


I was trying to finalize the automatic inclusion of categories related to the localities of birth, death etc. in the showfacts person template. You seem to have objections to this. Could we have a discussion about the pros and cons of this suggestion? If for many articles we have the categories such as "born in Berlin" or "died in New York", what is wrong in including automatic inclusions for these categories, the way it is done for the birth years, etc? Afil (talk) 05:40, March 5, 2021 (UTC)

As I said, this was vetoed before. It is redundant: we have the "bdm" subpages for this. I am finding this is taking too much of nervous energy, so I will leave it to Robin to discuss. Thurstan (talk) 06:12, March 5, 2021 (UTC)
To be totally consistent, now that we have SMW, the birth and death year categories should be phased out (though they won't disappear in a hurry because they are the only way with 10,000 non-SMW articles). Some justification for keeping birth and death years as categories, shown automatically on person-pages, is that they match Wikipedia categories. I doubt if marriage years or event places have the same matches in WP. There are only a couple of thousand years to cover, but there are millions of potential places we could have categories for! See how many bdm pages we have already (over 9,000) - and loads of places "set" on person forms still don't have articles, let alone bdm pages, but they do have satisfactory "properties" so that any one wanting a bdm listing can (with minimal coding knowledge) create one. Incidentally, Berlin/bdm has hundreds of people born in Berlin but the category has only 28, and the first one listed doesn't have it shown on his article! --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:40, March 6, 2021 (UTC)

Titles of members of royal families[]

I underestand the rule that for members of royal families, Familypedia prefers geographic names in the titles. There is a discrepancy on how this rule has been applied. If I look at most articles written by Rtol, he preferred the name in the national language of that country. For instance for the Habsburgs he adopted the name "von Österreich" and not "of Austria". I have no objection to this rule, I simply want to ask if this interpretation is correct as policy of Familypedia.

I am asking the question because, the rule has not always been applied. What I would object to would be not to have any rule, and to use both versions in various articles. We could use a redirect for the version which does not comply with the rule. Afil (talk) 06:14, March 5, 2021 (UTC)

BDM etc for former nations[]

When you have a moment, please see Czechoslovakia/bdm and give opinion on my note at top:

  • Wording fair enough?
  • Chance of creating template for easy addition to others (both bdm and articles)

--- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:02, March 6, 2021 (UTC)

This raises the question of how geographic localities are defined. In most cases, Wikipedia indicates the present location of settlements (be it county or nation). For instance, Dolna Krupa may have been at some time in Austria-Hungary or in Czechoslovakia, but, at present, is in Slovakia. Not using the present day location might lead to confusions. It would present people born during WW2 as being born in the Bohemian-Moravian protectorate of Germany, people born during WW2 in Alsace as being born in Germany, or people born in Savoya as being born it Italy. Many other such strange discrepancies could be identified. Therefore, consistent results will be achieved only if the present day information is used. Otherwise, people born in Bratislava during Austria-Hungary would be born in Posony, and before that in Pressburg.
The example presented also shows another discrepancy. Joanna of Austria may have been born in Prague, but stating that she was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in the 1500s is rather strange, as there was no Czechoslovakia at the time. It might have been Prague, Kingdom of Bohemia or Prague Holy Roman Empire but either of these alternatives would require defining when Bohemia was independent and when it was integrated into the Holy Empire. Defining Prague as part of today's Czech Republic, is much more straightforward and would allow the persons who are looking at the article find the information about the locality.
Obviously, that would mean that nobody was born in Czechslovakia. But just look at the results you get for Prague/bdm. You will find out that many people were born or died in Prague, but the overwhelming majority did it in Prague, Czech Republic. Joanna of Austria is the only person born in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
In any case I fully agree with your comment. Use present day locations. A similar note should be put on the bdm articles for any nation or province which has disappeared.
If there is a consensus on this, I am willing to make the necessary corrections in the articles containing the reference to Czechoslovakia.

Afil (talk) 02:52, March 6, 2021 (UTC)

Consensus on preferring current nations was achieved some time ago, I think, greatly helped by Andrei's examples of people who supposedly migrated from one nation to another but actually never strayed from the village they were born in. Czechoslovakia is an easy one at present - only a couple of profiles. Some former nations will unfortunately be impossible to fix where the locality isn't known: Canaan and Byzantine Empire come to mind. Provinces and states and counties too, but there are limits to what a bunch of volunteers can fix. - --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:11, March 6, 2021 (UTC)

Blocked CR[]

I've attended to most recent vandalism. You may extend block if you wish. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:36, March 8, 2021 (UTC)

Thank you. I won't bother, though I favour protecting the "honeypot" pages. Thurstan (talk) 09:38, March 8, 2021 (UTC)

Part-Italian template[]

Please look at Nicastro and see what we might do with {{Infobox frazione}} (no hurry - I've commented it out). I think it's about towns or divisions. ("fraction"?) --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:43, March 8, 2021 (UTC)

We should be able to just copy it across, I think, since it maps to {{Infobox settlement}}. I will see how we go. Thurstan (talk) 09:47, March 8, 2021 (UTC)

Re:Template:Infobox UK transmitter at Bilsdale transmitting station upgrade[]

This was done with the Wikia portable infobox migration tool. BTW, what does a TV transmitter location have to do with genealogy? --Kathleen.wright5 (talk) 07:27, March 13, 2021 (UTC)

What I am saying is that I do not trust the Wikia portable infobox migration tool to preserve the complex functionality of Wikipedia infoboxes, so anyone accepting its results must vouch for checking that it hasn't broken functionality. Thurstan (talk) 09:28, March 13, 2021 (UTC)
The answer to Kathleen's question is that it was a silly renaming by Wikipedia. Now that WP has a Bilsdale page I've fixed it. Thurstan's gallant work in the early days has been preserved. I guess we can thank Oprah for revived interest in ancestors of princes' wives. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:45, March 17, 2021 (UTC)

Sibs not showing[]

I've given Michael Jackson a sibs template, and his father's facts page showing lots of children seems OK, but Michael has only a sibs heading with no content. Both pages got a fresh null edit. What might be wrong? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:22, March 17, 2021 (UTC)

SMW is still not playing well with redirects. Thurstan (talk) 00:27, March 17, 2021 (UTC)

Australian Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander family history website[]

Includes Biographical Index and Collection catalogue.

Thank you, I will keep it in mind. Thurstan (talk) 22:43, March 22, 2021 (UTC)

White space?[]

Was about white space or something worse? (I notice that your "standard" improvement still adds the long-redundant NOTOC!) --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:11, March 25, 2021 (UTC)

I think the "white space" was some sort of tab character, generating the "not allowed in a pagename" message. Thurstan (talk) 19:08, March 25, 2021 (UTC)
I found the page by looking at Property:Has improper value for. After I fixed some fathers and mothers, I looked at spouses with . Thurstan (talk) 20:04, March 25, 2021 (UTC)
My fault,I think. I pasted the second spouse name with a blank in front of it - it wasn't just blanks that would disappear: it must have been an invisible tab, as you say. But lower down you ran several standard templates together - does that reduce white space too?
Have a look at your version: you have to keep your eye out for the tiny triangle that tells you that you have an error. I am still not sure how the "blank space" and templates work: the full set of "footer" templates still seems to throw about 4 or 5 extra lines! Thurstan (talk) 03:42, March 26, 2021 (UTC)
I do see triangles occasionally, nearly always after the "ancestors from", but I've never found how to locate the errors. Just done a test: see Philip Mack Gillette (1927-2009), which has my normal template spacing, and his daughter where I have crammed everything up; I see no difference in display but noticeable gaps above "Children" and "Contributors" - so the unwanted white space is probably hiding in or near those templates. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:10, March 27, 2021 (UTC)
If you hover the cursor over the triangle, you will see the message. The ones after the "ancestors from" are from the coordinates. Thurstan (talk) 11:23, April 9, 2021 (UTC)

Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "["[]

New replacement article Moriori has four lots of :

Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "["

quite early in the piece. Then there are some location map things that can be sorted eventually and currently look much less ugly. Is there an easy solution to the "[" thing? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:57, March 27, 2021 (UTC)

My first guess is that the location map is the first thing you need to fix. I used to use the one from the German wikipedia since the English wikipedia has switched to an LUA version, but I think that the Germans have switched too now, so I don't know where to look (wayback machine?). Thurstan (talk) 04:07, March 27, 2021 (UTC)

Minibio misbehaving[]

Kamala Devi Harris (1964-) is missing several minibio facts. All seem to have perfectly OK code lines. What's happening? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:27, April 6, 2021 (UTC)

Looks to me like one of the usual SMW hiccoughs. The other day when I created pages the facts often didn't stick. There was even one page which I deleted and restored before it would work properly. I haven't had that problem since. Note that we can't just code {{authority control}}, because we can't read the data from wikidata: we have to code the parameters in the old-fashioned way. Thurstan (talk) 06:53, April 6, 2021 (UTC)
I see that you edited it; thanks! Minibio seems fine now, though it still has the two warning triangles that are related to geo coordinates. "Authority control" is not something I've ever bothered to study. If it is worth copying but needs work, could you add an explanatory section to Help:Copying from Wikipedia? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:43, April 9, 2021 (UTC)
Actually, I should modify {{Authority control}} so that it doesn't display anything if there is not paramerer. Thurstan (talk) 11:20, April 9, 2021 (UTC)


Not everyone's choice for birthday ramble, but I trust that you enjoyed it. Three score and ten? Your degree of wisdom had me thinking it was more than that! Many happy returns, cobber. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:47, April 19, 2021 (UTC)

Thank you sir. Thurstan (talk) 09:51, April 19, 2021 (UTC)


I wonder whether you have noticed a new helper; see --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:08, April 22, 2021 (UTC)

Yes, who has done the wrong thing on several levels: the changes double the number of SMW queries, I think (you have to put the logic into an LUA script to fix this) and has made several changes to produciton templates without doing a test version first (I note that this is the second change to the sensor page templates in the last 12 hours, so we have another offender too). Thurstan (talk) 23:26, April 22, 2021 (UTC)

Recent changes to templates:

10:04:44 Template:Set age maternal grandfather at birth‎ (diff | hist) . . (-23)‎ . . SBEyes (Talk | contribs | block) [rollback]
10:04:31 Template:Set age maternal grandmother at birth‎ (diff | hist) . . (-23)‎ . . SBEyes (Talk | contribs | block) [rollback]
10:02:40 Template:Set age paternal grandmother at birth‎ (diff | hist) . . (-23)‎ . . SBEyes (Talk | contribs | block) [rollback]
+ 10:01:35 Template:Set age paternal grandfather at birth‎‎ (5 changes | hist) . . (-23)‎ . . [SBEyes‎; SBEyes‎ (4×)]
+ N 09:58:16 Template:Set if numeric‎‎ (5 changes | hist) . . (+192)‎ . . [SBEyes‎ (2×); SBEyes‎ (3×)]
N 09:23:33 Template:Set if numeric/doc‎ (diff | hist) . . (+382)‎ . . SBEyes (Talk | contribs | block) (Created page with ";Purpose :A simple template that takes a property name and value, verifies the value is numeric using formatnum and #expr, and then attempts to set the property to that value....")
N 08:55:35 Template:Set if not empty/doc‎ (diff | hist) . . (+410)‎ . . SBEyes (Talk | contribs | block) (Created page with ";Purpose :A simple template that takes a property name and value, verifies the value is not empty or does not contain an error (using an #iferror check), and then attempts to ...")
N 08:54:37 Template:Set if not empty‎ (diff | hist) . . (+161)‎ . . SBEyes (Talk | contribs | block) (Created page with "
[create] Documentation


02:16:28 Template:SMW templates‎ (diff | hist) . . (0)‎ . . Rtol (Talk | contribs | block) [rollback]
N 11:31:08 Template:Osica de Jos, Olt‎ (diff | hist) . . (+869)‎ . . Afil (Talk | contribs | block) (Created page with "{{Navbox |bodyclass = |name = Osica de Jos, Olt |title = Commune of Osica de Jos, Olt County, Romania |titleclass = |ima...")
m 11:30:19 Template:Mărunței, Olt‎ (diff | hist) . . (+39)‎ . . Afil (Talk | contribs | block) [rollback]
+ 11:28:04 Template:Milcov, Olt‎‎ (2 changes | hist) . . (+17)‎ . . [Afil‎ (2×)]
+ N 11:12:01 Template:Osica de Sus, Olt‎‎ (2 changes | hist) . . (+1,071)‎ . . [Afil‎ (2×)]
+ N 10:56:52 Template:Dobrosloveni, Olt‎‎ (3 changes | hist) . . (+985)‎ . . [Afil‎ (3×)]
m 10:54:22 Template:Caracal‎ (diff | hist) . . (+53)‎ . . Afil (Talk | contribs | block) [rollback]
+ 09:52:04 Template:Fărcașele, Olt‎‎ (3 changes | hist) . . (+138)‎ . . [Afil‎ (3×)]
09:41:20 (Move log) . . Afil (Talk | contribs | block) moved page Template:Drăgănești-Olt, Olt to Template:Fărcașele, Olt without leaving a redirect ‎
+ N 09:40:49 Template:Drăgănești-Olt, Olt‎‎ (3 changes | hist) . . (+801)‎ . . [Afil‎ (3×)]
N 09:32:30 Template:Izvoarele, Olt‎ (diff | hist) . . (+835)‎ . . Afil (Talk | contribs | block) (Created page with "{{Navbox |bodyclass = |name = Izvoarele, Olt |title = Commune of Izvoarele, Olt County, Romania |titleclass = |image =...")
+ N 09:30:34 Template:Vitănești, Teleorman‎‎ (2 changes | hist) . . (+1,272)‎ . . [Afil‎ (2×)]
+ N 09:19:07 Template:Răsmirești, Teleorman‎‎ (2 changes | hist) . . (+1,111)‎ . . [Afil‎ (2×)]
+ N 09:03:12 Template:Alexandria, Romania‎‎ (2 changes | hist) . . (+1,034)‎ . . [Afil‎ (2×)]
+ N 08:52:31 Template:Mârzănești, Teleorman‎‎ (3 changes | hist) . . (+1,490)‎ . . [Afil‎ (3×)]
N 07:53:34 Template:Ștorobăneasa, Teleorman‎ (diff | hist) . . (+1,288)‎ . . Afil (Talk | contribs | block) (Created page with "{{Navbox |bodyclass = |name = Ștorobăneasa, Teleorman |title = Commune of Ștorobăneasa, Teleorman County, [[Roman...")
+ N 07:33:07 Template:Poroschia, Teleorman‎‎ (3 changes | hist) . . (+1,120)‎ . . [Afil‎ (3×)]
07:27:54 (Deletion log) . . Afil (Talk | contribs | block) deleted page Template:Vâlcelele, Olt ‎(content was: "{{Navbox |bodyclass = |name = Movileni, Olt |title = Commune of Movileni, Olt County, Romania |titleclass = |image = |above = |state = |group1 = Center of commune ...")
N 11:02:37 Template:Coteana, Olt‎ (diff | hist) . . (+669)‎ . . Afil (Talk | contribs | block) (Created page with "{{Navbox |bodyclass = |name = Coteana, Olt |title = Commune of Coteana, Olt County, Romania |titleclass = |image = |abo...")
N 09:54:31 Template:Vâlcele, Olt‎ (diff | hist) . . (+1,073)‎ . . Afil (Talk | contribs | block) (Created page with "{{Navbox |bodyclass = |name = Vâlcele, Olt |title = Commune of Vâlcele, Olt County, Romania |titleclass = |image = |...")
+ N 09:35:10 Template:Crâmpoia, Olt‎‎ (2 changes | hist) . . (+898)‎ . . [Afil‎ (2×)]
+ N 09:34:37 Template:Movileni, Olt‎‎ (2 changes | hist) . . (+830)‎ . . [Afil‎ (2×)]
+ N 09:15:18 Template:Șerbănești, Olt‎‎ (4 changes | hist) . . (+926)‎ . . [Afil‎ (4×)]
N ! 01:07:58 Template:Surnames of tuscany‎ (diff | hist) . . (+434)‎ . . Paolomaldonato (Talk | contribs | block) (Created page with " [censored]...")
I don't see another one. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:40, 27 April 2021 (UTC)

Wiki Managers and Content Team[]

I've copied a certain community user page to here for info. Now I'm creating help:Wiki Managers and Content Team from the relevant blog post so we know how to approach certain editors. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:42, April 23, 2021 (UTC)

New problems[]

See Forum:Migration to UCP‎. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:37, 27 April 2021 (UTC)


Mate, I had done quite a bit of work keeping reasonably conforming. What made you decide to delete it? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:22, 10 June 2021 (UTC)

Sorry, it seemed to be another in a group of self-promoting people from the sub-continent. You can restore it if you wish, and I will leave it alone. I just don't see "Divyam Agarwal is a renowned digital marketing expert" as the words of a genealogist. Thurstan (talk) 05:20, 10 June 2021 (UTC)
Okay, back in you court now. Thurstan (talk) 20:13, 10 June 2021 (UTC)

Notable ancestors[]

Hi Thurstan,

The "notable ancestors" template has been causing havoc since the latest software update. I had hoped this would sort itself out, but it did not. I think the problem is in The |0|-7}} at the end should be |2|-9}}

Unfortunately, I cannot edit that template because it cascades with the Queen (whatever that may mean).

So, can you kindly free this template for editing, or make the proposed edit yourself? The former option is preferred, of course, as there is no guarantee the proposed edit will work.



I have (I hope) removed the protection on the standard templates. You should be able to edit it now. Thurstan (talk) 21:01, 17 June 2021 (UTC)



Could you delete the following page:

It has family information that I no longer want on the internet.

Thanks, M.

Programming Help[]

I've noticed that several of the Template features are still broken such as siblings & descendants and the list of Non-SMW profiles that you had for me to work on under my name. I have several close family members that have very strong programming skills that may be able to help fix these features. Where can I get more info on how these templates work to share with them? MainTour (talk) 13:22, 7 August 2021 (UTC)

I am afraid you have to read the source, and the discussion which occurred when the SMW conversion was happening. The problem requires someone with good debugging skills. I think that the descendants template should be redone using the LUA-scripting, to overcome some of the size limitations. Thurstan (talk) 20:16, 7 August 2021 (UTC)
IMO the easiest thing would be to have your contact add some genealogy pages to the wiki, to see how things are supposed to work together, the same way as the rest of us did. Thurstan (talk) 21:19, 7 August 2021 (UTC)
Please also note, that as I have discussed with Robin, templates should not be updated in place (except possible for trivial fixes). The procedure is:
  • created a test version and get it working
  • make an announcement on the Forum:Templates update page, outlining the changes and inviting other users to test. A note should probably by left on the talk page of all currently active contributors also.
  • when there is sufficent sign-off on the test version, copy it to the production version
Thurstan (talk) 22:48, 7 August 2021 (UTC)

Severe Vandalism[]

Can you help me untangle the vandalism done to the page of Mayflower pilgrim Francis Cooke (1583-1663)? There are three bad edits in a row. Do you start with the most recent and hit the undo button working backwards? MainTour (talk) 16:45, 30 September 2021 (UTC)

Fixed. In the history of a page, you can bring up any previous version of the page (by clicking it). If you then edit (and save) that version, it becomes the latest version. I do recall reading that there was actually an "undo to this version" option available too, but I didn't grasp how it was done. Thurstan (talk) 20:28, 30 September 2021 (UTC)

New page wrongly categorised as page-move bug[]

Just created John Lee Wildbore (1803-1883). Don't bother looking. As soon as it appeared, it was in the page-move bug category and had the "born on an unknown date" etc. Next time I opened it, all was well with no such cat. I guess that this is a minor software upgrade that takes us back to the old 2-bite system, which I thought was fixed about a decade ago. Maybe there's a tweak in our recent major SMW upgrade that you and I or rtol should learn about so as to tweak some templates that might overcome the "error"? Maybe the page-move-bug category coding or what leads to it needs to be changed too (so as not to mislead) unless the above-mentioned template-tweaking stops that? (You've not edited for a few days; I hope all's well.) --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:51, 11 October 2021 (UTC).

Since the "page move bug" seems to have gone away, that test could be removed. However I thought I would wait until someone had fixed our outstanding major problems before fiddling with {{sensor}} to fix minor problems. I note that the "two bite" problem is definitely there, and I think there is nothing we can do about it. Thurstan (talk) 19:18, 11 October 2021 (UTC)

Not gone away.


--- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:41, 13 October 2021 (UTC)

That page looks okay to me now. Did you fix it? Did you refresh it a couple of times? It doesn't seem to need a null-edit or such any more. Thurstan (talk) 06:10, 13 October 2021 (UTC)
No surprise there: same result as for the earlier example. For either a page move or a new page, the first appearance doesn't pick up the birthdate etc until the second opening of the page (not needing even a single null edit) - the old 2-bite procedure. That can be off-putting for newbies and anyone not warned about it because they may think the wiki is broken. I should add more guidance to relevant pages. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 08:32, 13 October 2021 (UTC)

Fixing Showfacts children template call[]

Hi. Is there an easy way to create a bot to edit all of the SMW pages onsite from "showfacts children" to "Showfacts children" with a capital "S"? I have found that pages with the lower case "S" will not 1) transfer children data to their spouse 2)will not properly display descendants and 3) No children lists shows in Special:Browse page properties Property:Children-list1. Many, many pages have this problem. MainTour (talk) 03:33, 1 April 2022 (UTC)

I don't believe it: I think you have been mislead by a coincidence. I have just created the page Mary Goldsbrough (1850-1907) with the upper-case "S" and the descendants page does not work. Thurstan (talk) 07:30, 2 April 2022 (UTC)
Her page of descendants is working now!!! You just have to refresh a couple of times. MainTour (talk) 01:38, 3 April 2022 (UTC)
Well, three purges has not fixed Bertha Ann O'Connor (1852-1928) and Cecelia Sarah Bolwell (1879-1955) (children from spouse and descendants): you must have a magic touch which I don't!!! Thurstan (talk) 02:47, 3 April 2022 (UTC)
For the two new pages listed, Bertha and Cececila, I just now did the following:
  1. Starting with husband, and the original Showfacts children table, I did edit source to verify Capital "S" and save. Then refresh page.
  2. Husbands Decendents list was not showing any descendants, I did edit source followed by refresh page, and now the descendants are showing. PASS. (Edit: FAIL)
  3. Wife's page - children from husband's page are not showing on her profile page. First I did edit source and then refresh page. Now children are showing. PASS
  4. Wife's descendants' page - Did Edit Source / refresh page. Twice, But still no descendants. FAIL.

Well - I got 2 out of 3 for each person.

Thank you for your patience with me: I have just gone over the 60+ /descendants pages that I have created in the last six months, and "fixed" them all. Most just required a "null edit" to the person page and a purge of the descendants page. No capital "S" were required: I still think it is a red herring. This has been a helpful exercise. Thurstan (talk) 04:42, 4 April 2022 (UTC)

2) Now wife's page has stopped showing her husband's children. I'm attempting to debug that - but I cannot seem to locate one of templates being called : "Template:Showfacts children/import step1" - I don't know if I'm typing the name wrong or if it got deleted. It is called from "Template:Showfacts children" MainTour (talk) 14:00, 15 April 2022 (UTC)

Template {{Showfacts children/import step1}} certainly exists: here is the link for you. Thurstan (talk) 20:23, 15 April 2022 (UTC)
Thank you!MainTour (talk) 19:56, 16 April 2022 (UTC)
FYI - You can track the latest details on my debugging this at : MainTour/SMW Notes.

FYI - I've been working nearly everyday at debugging the children/siblings templates and slowly making progress. Actually I find it easier to create a new one from scratch. You can see my progress at Sandbox3 - See section "Nest4". I should have it solved in another 60 days. 13:25, 28 April 2022 (UTC)

Excellent: note that the tricky case is when the children's pagenames contain commas, like Queen Victoria. You might like to create clones of Albert and Victoria as your test cases. Thurstan (talk) 20:34, 28 April 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for the tip, good to know. I can see in the old templates special handling for apostraphes. Can you give me a couple of examples of those like D'artangne? MainTour (talk) 03:15, 29 April 2022 (UTC)
The problem with apostrophes was in the "copy the children from the spouses page" logic. It used to be that {{BASEPAGENAME}} and similar would return a URL-encoded version of the apostrophe (I don't know if this still holds true), so that the logic that says "find this person in the list of spouses of their spouse" would not find a match. The page Jane O'Brien (1792-1826) would be affected by this. There are still two bugs that I have noticed in this logic as it stands:
  1. null spouses are also matched (example cases: some of the pages for monarchs where we don't know the names of the mothers of the illegitimate offspring).
  2. the group numbers are wrong: if the spouse is the 2nd spouse, but he is her 1st spouse, the children are put into group2 but should be in group1.
Thurstan (talk) 22:42, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Siblings Template Lives Again[]

I just turned on Siblings Again - Using my coding. Good example see Brigham Young (1836-1903) - who has quite a few of them. It is incomplete for finding step siblings - but I wanted to give you a visible demostration of what I have created so far. Please give feedback. MainTour (talk) 13:40, 6 May 2022 (UTC)

Sorry, I would have preferred you not to have changed a template that is used in thousands of pages until it was working completely, had been tested, and okayed by the rest of us. Thurstan (talk) 20:13, 6 May 2022 (UTC)
My Apologies! I got overly excited at having finally figured out how to fix these important templates. The Siblings template that I have activated is a simple one just shows all children from the Father's person profile. In next few days I will have ready an expanded Siblings template (for review before making it live) that will better show all half siblings - which brings up an important question I have.
Question: What is the best logical sequence for finding/displaying one's siblings: Here is my assumption of the answer:
1) First check father's profile for all direct siblings and half siblings
2) If no father exists or children data is blank - than check mother's profile for siblings and half siblings that she has listed.
3) If Father does exist with child data - then afterwards check the mother's other spouses/marriages to find more half siblings have from mother's marriages to other.

Introduction and assistance[]

Hello! I’m Héctor, a Fandom Community Manager. First of all, I would like to congratulate you for all the work you have been doing in this community. I would also like to offer our assistance with a project we run for wikis and your wiki is eligible for it. If you’re interested, we can offer to you some key informative areas about wikis and community management to help you grow this one.

To start with, once you agree we typically discuss a bit about your previous experience on Fandom. The procedure is to mention all the areas we can explore with you, and you can later select the ones you would be interested in. Let me know what you think about it. Thanks in advance! --CuBaN VeRcEttI (Contact) 08:56, 11 May 2022 (UTC)

Further to User:MainTour's comments, I seem to remember that when we first started using SMW we has the "template expansion limit" on this wiki increased threefold, to stop some of our larger /descendants pages overflowing. With this last upgrade, the "fix" has been to remove a generation from these pages (without discussion). Actually, I suspect that a better solution would be to recode our templates using LUA scripting, to reduce all the conditional coding expansion and the number of repeated SMW queries. However none of us have the experience or enthusiasm to do this! Thurstan (talk) 22:29, 11 May 2022 (UTC)
Well, Lua is actually something a bit difficult to handle and use, but on the other hand is quite useful for extended templates and code, as you mentioned. Let me search a Wiki Rep. with Lua experience in order to help you. Thanks! --CuBaN VeRcEttI (Contact) 14:48, 13 May 2022 (UTC)
Hello again! Keeping into account how specific was your request, I finally went directly to the people who typically use Lua to share with them your request. While it seems someone could help you, they said me they would need to know more details, and eventually talking with you directly.
These people typically discuss and help each other in our official Discord server for Fandom, so in order to coordinate properly with them, I encourage you to go to this server and talk directly with them. If you agree, I can drive you to the correct place to introduce yourself and share your request. Thanks! --CuBaN VeRcEttI (Contact) 10:04, 13 June 2022 (UTC)
Thank you, but I feel that my days of chatting to strangers are long gone, and the fact that I live in the antipodes would probably give me a time-zone problem. We really need someone who has experience as a genealogist, to be able to judge what is required. Thurstan (talk) 23:46, 13 June 2022 (UTC)

Expanded Siblings Template Ready for Testing[]

I have expanded the Siblings template to find more half-siblings for display in a person's profile. But I have not released it yet - Is waiting for your review - The demo version is "Siblings3". Found here : Template:Siblings3 - The draft template Siblings3 is expanded as follows: 1) Search father's record for all siblings & half-siblings (same as current Siblings template) 2) If no father exist - then search mother's template for siblings and half-siblings listed there. 3) Search mother's other husbands for more half siblings from the mother.

I have three test subjects ready for review of this new & improved template:

Reminder - if you have any test subjects not showing children properly, be sure to refresh the source page using "Edit with Form" to properly declare the children data types. To me everything looks good, but I will do some more indepth testing this coming week before copying this from Siblings3 to Siblings. MainTour (talk) 03:13, 12 May 2022 (UTC)

Completed - New Showfacts Children Template[]

More Good News - I have completed an all new template Template:Showfacts children3 with the following improvements: (Again, I created this new template from scratch, because it was just too dang impossible to trace and debug the old template.)

  • Correctly shows page links for all spouses for each child - when there are multiple spouses - without duplicating spouses.
  • Correctly shows all step-children from other marriages.

You now have the chance to compare them both side by side to see improvements. I'm looking for direction on rolling this out. MainTour (talk) 23:48, 14 May 2022 (UTC)

Are you talking about "showfacts children" or "siblings"? "showfacts children" has nothing to do with "step-children from other marriages". Thurstan (talk) 00:59, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
Showfacts children - shows your children and stepchildren // Siblings shows your siblings and step-siblings (half-brothers & half-sisters). MainTour (talk) 20:55, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
No, I don't think the functionality of {{showfacts children}} should change to also show step-children: it is too confusing. I would like your new version to look exactly the same as the existing version (but work as designed). Thurstan (talk) 21:40, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
Understood - And I see now that is how the old {{showfacts children}} does work that way. Allow me a day or two make the correction. MainTour (talk) 13:19, 16 May 2022 (UTC)
Updated - FYI, I have more answers and questions for you on this at my talk page.MainTour (talk) 03:59, 18 May 2022 (UTC)
Think I got that fixed now! See my talk page for details. MainTour (talk) 04:26, 19 May 2022 (UTC)
I think I am ready to copy {{Showfacts children3}} over to {{Showfacts children}} now.MainTour (talk) 02:41, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
(IMHO) It is not ready to copy yet, it says "Child Demo:Nest3", "TEST SHOWFACTS CHILDREN3 TEMPLATES" and "#g1:". Please take out these extras and get the heading looking like the existing one (it has a border and a different colour). Ideally you would then ask us (all active users, but that it probably just me now) to give it a test and give a signoff. How does that sound to you? (I think it is probably ready to go after that tidy up) Thurstan (talk) 03:08, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
All 4 of those items are now corrected. Test subjects are found at 2022 Showfacts Testgroup. My notes at User:MainTour/SMW NotesUser:MainTour/SMW Notes list 10 major errors that I've corrected in this process. I have reached out several times to Robin for his comments, but no response as of late.MainTour (talk) 16:07, 27 May 2022 (UTC)
You still have a bug compared with the existing version, one I think is critical for appearance sake: in the existing version, the "children" heading is only shown if there are actually children to display. Thurstan (talk) 21:34, 27 May 2022 (UTC)
Simple Request, but oh my - that took quite a bit to move a lot of pieces around so that header is corrected. Here are some test subjects showing the new update: MainTour (talk) 02:42, 29 May 2022 (UTC)

Children Group References[]

Next testing problem - nobody has said anything on this yet - but what do I do with Children Group Sources, Notes& References? My new template will declare these to the spouse, but I don't see any protocol for displaying it. Do you have a sample page or two that I can look at it? Should I create my own test case? MainTour (talk) 02:42, 29 May 2022 (UTC)

  • children-g1_notes:
  • children-g1_sources:
  • children-g1_sources_primary:
  • children-g1_sources_secondary:
I have created Familypedia:Test cases for showfacts children to list some of the occurrences of these properties, there are quite a few of them. They are diplayed by the {{footer}} template, so you do not have to worry about that. Note the processing in {{showfacts children}}: if a property occurs, there should be a link to the footnote in the title of the display box. Thurstan (talk) 06:29, 29 May 2022 (UTC)
Thank you. Yes -that part looks to work well. Haha, Now I just get educated in the importance of the {{footer}}. MainTour (talk) 20:43, 29 May 2022 (UTC)
I've seen nothing more to fix here. I believe it's ready to copy over now.MainTour (talk) 22:34, 3 June 2022 (UTC)
Have you coded the links in the heading to the footnotes (as required)? Which is your test case. Thurstan (talk) 02:51, 4 June 2022 (UTC)
The existing version code says [[#notes_link|<sup>¢</sup>]] is there are footnotes. Thurstan (talk) 04:04, 4 June 2022 (UTC)
Footnotes are displaying just fine in my test files. The {{footer}} picks them all up with no extra help from me - see test files: John Mangum (1817-1881), Mary Ann Adair (1822-1892) and Sandbox18. I think this is good to roll out. MainTour (talk) 02:52, 5 June 2022 (UTC)
Sorry, I repeat my sentence from above: "Note the processing in {{showfacts children}}: if a property occurs, there should be a link to the footnote in the title of the display box": you should do this in your new version. Thurstan (talk) 04:23, 5 June 2022 (UTC)
I understand now. Let me work on it.MainTour (talk) 23:16, 5 June 2022 (UTC)
FIXED. See Sandbox18, John Mangum (1817-1881) and Mary Ann Adair (1822-1892) for demo. What's next?MainTour (talk) 14:19, 7 June 2022 (UTC)
I just tested at John Clarence Parmenter (1899-1947), and it looks like you haven't called {{clear}} at the top of {{showfacts children3}} to make sure that the child box drops below the right info box (compare the old version at John William Parmenter (1873-1931). Thurstan (talk) 23:46, 7 June 2022 (UTC)
(note that the {{clear}} is unconditional: put it right at the top of your template). Thurstan (talk) 03:31, 9 June 2022 (UTC)
FIXED (I think)MainTour (talk) 04:03, 9 June 2022 (UTC)
I have also been meaning to comment on two of your changes compared to the existing version, and I would like to see them discussed. I would like to get Robin's opinion too. One is that I don't think it was a bug that the links weren't "bolded" in the old version, and I prefer it that way (trouble is this is about preferences!). The other detail is that the parent whose page it is has their short_name displayed rather then the link to the pagename. Thurstan (talk) 23:55, 7 June 2022 (UTC)
My preferences is based on what I see in Wikipedia - named link person in header is always in bold / secondary header info is sometimes not in bold. One example over there is Winston Churchill info boxes on the right and all the way at the page bottom. Yes - it would really help to get Robin's input. MainTour (talk) 04:03, 9 June 2022 (UTC)
I notice that the old children template has short name for husband and page name for spouse. Seems inconsistent or is that what we want?MainTour (talk) 04:03, 9 June 2022 (UTC)
not true: see Ann Nina Perry (1854-1895) with short name for current page and page name for spouse. It is what you have to do if the spouse is a red-link, since there is no way to compute a short name. Thurstan (talk) 04:19, 9 June 2022 (UTC)
Also, the current version always lists the husband first in the title of the children box. Thurstan (talk) 06:56, 8 June 2022 (UTC)
Makes Sense. Give me a couple of days to work on that.MainTour (talk) 04:03, 9 June 2022 (UTC)
All fixed (If I understood your directions right to always show father first and short name if this table is on person's own page) 03:14, 13 June 2022 (UTC)
I hate to be difficult, but Ann Nina Perry (1854-1895) doesn't seem to be showing her short name. Thurstan (talk) 03:23, 13 June 2022 (UTC)
Thank you. Switching names around was tricky. I think I got it now for Ann Nina Perry (1854-1895) and everyone else.MainTour (talk) 16:55, 13 June 2022 (UTC)

Table Header Updated[]

I've updated the template table headers to the style you requested. Everything else appears in order and {{Showfacts children3}} appears ready to go live now. There is a list of test subjects at 2022 Showfacts Testgroup for review and comparison between current and revised styles. Please let me know if there is anything else to update here.MainTour (talk) 16:07, 20 June 2022 (UTC)

Still checking, but I think I'm ready to go live with the update for {{Showfacts children3}}.MainTour (talk) 12:44, 24 June 2022 (UTC)
Yes, I think you can copy {{Showfacts children3}} onto {{Showfacts children}} now. Thank you for all your work on this! Thurstan (talk) 06:29, 26 June 2022 (UTC)
Excellent. Change over is done. I'm already seeing improved results for children and descendant tables. Currently I do have to "refresh" pages like twice (beginning with the husband). Hopefully within 72 hours all pages will be updated. Send me a note if you see anything amiss! Thank you for your patience and guidance - I haven't completed a serious programming job like this in 20+ years (haha!) but boy I did sure learn alot here. MainTour (talk) 00:46, 27 June 2022 (UTC)