(H)Ermengarde of Arles, Gevaudan and Toulouse are one and the same woman, but she had three separate pages. There is agreement on her mother, but disagreement on her father. I'm sorting this out. Also sorting out one of her dads. There's a sequence of Raymond's, one of whom seem to have been dropped.

What is broken?[]

Rtolbot is running a job on all sensor pages. This puts stress on the servers, and other page updates may be put in a queue rather than implemented immediately. rtol 06:13, January 15, 2010 (UTC)

Country data templates[]

I see you recently copied at least one from WP. Have you seen my note about the related templates on the Flu Wiki? — Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:48, February 3, 2010 (UTC)

Surnames that include "de" and similar prependages[]

Thank you for improving some of the Beauchamp pages. I was working on them with a view to encouraging a dissatisfied Geni user to try here.

Please link me to discussions or guidelines about not including "de" in a surname box.

Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:00, February 17, 2010 (UTC)

You're asking the wrong person: the Beauchamps were split between Category:Beauchamp (surname) and Category:de Beauchamp (surname). I just moved them all together so that I wouldn't make any duplicates. Thurstan 21:20, February 17, 2010 (UTC)
If you really think it's a good idea, you should move them all. And add a note to that surname category page to guide searchers. And maybe suggest to Phlox and rtol that the instructions on the form should ask users not to include prependages such as "de" in the surname box.
It could be a good idea, but there could be a problem with names that incorporate "De" in a single word, such as:
De' Medici (surname)	DeFalcon (surname)	DeFalcon Surname

DeGraff (surname) DeGroat (surname) DeGroat Surname DeKalb County, Alabama DeKalb County, Indiana DeLapp (surname) DeSoto County, Mississippi DeWitt County, Illinois

Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:03, February 18, 2010 (UTC)

WP categories[]

Mate, you're doing an impressive job with WP categories, but so much that I wonder whether a bot could do them much more easily. Phlox and/or his bot imported about 5,000 county pages (and added the genealogy template at the top) very quickly. Have you thought of it? — Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:43, February 27, 2010 (UTC)

On the same general subject, our number two contributor cautions against overdoing categories and I acceded to his structural suggestion by reviving Forum:Categories, where our number one contributor would be welcome to discuss the steenking things. 8-D — Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:59, March 3, 2010 (UTC)

/corben relation[]

Hi Thursten,

Do you know what nationality our Chinchen ancestor was? Elizabeth Chinchen (1800-1837) father Johathon Chinchen 177l.

I note the Corben's have lived in Dorset for many generations before our ancestor migrated to Australia. Where did Johathan Chinchen come from and do you know anything about him? 05:23, March 8, 2010 (UTC)


I guess Wikipedia has decided to change the meaning of the word. Do we really have to follow? Phlox will want us to do so for the placename, but we surely don't have to change all the categories too? There are thousands of our existing or potential categories that are not the same as the "matching" categories of WP and never will be (unless WP adopts our names). I'm not at all impressed with "Fix" as part of the edit summary for,_Washington&s=wldiff&diff=0&oldid=205047 - it weren't broke. (8-D — Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:32, March 8, 2010 (UTC)

As I see it, anything that we have imported from wikipedia will possibly be refreshed from wikipedia (for various reasons), so we have to track wikipedia category changes, especially if no one is running {{category redirect}} bots to fix any mismatches. Thurstan 20:52, March 8, 2010 (UTC)

Map categories - more parent categories than other categories have[] - yes, we do, thank you. They are images, and that will put some of them in the same categories as aerial photographs. They are also similarly an important part of geography. One of the cases where the old "two parent categories each" principle is inadequate. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 07:01, March 13, 2010 (UTC)

Fair enough. Are you going to create them, or are you leaving that to me? What should their content be (maybe some more templates)? Thurstan 07:18, March 13, 2010 (UTC)
I have been creating them from time to time and have no plans to stop. Content? - most will just have parent categories but I'm open to suggestions. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:28, March 14, 2010 (UTC)

Surname categories[]

I've been off for a few minutes upgrading to Firefox 3.6. What do you mean by "I have just changed {{Showfacts person}} to fix the sort key for surname categories." - had I done something wrong? — Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:26, March 14, 2010 (UTC)


I just added Pope Felix V = Amédée VIII de Savoie (1383-1439)

The categories do not make much sense to me. Shouldn't there just be a category Popes, and a redirect from the papal name to the civilian one? rtol 12:43, March 14, 2010 (UTC)

I don't know: you'll have to discuss it on commons. Thurstan 20:37, March 14, 2010 (UTC)

Wanted categories, whether or not on Wikipedia[]

We have thousands of categories that are not also on Wikipedia. Some of them are still "Wanted", but that's not a reason for deleting them. We are more specialised than WP and can therefore use linkages that are not notable enough for WP. I'll go and give my war graves orgs a parent or two, but I hope you'll be less of a deletionist from now on. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 22:24, March 18, 2010 (UTC)

Sorry I was so precipitate, but I am annoyed that people are proposing new categories and not "putting their money where their mouth is" by creating said categories. I will not remove these categories any more, just create them as "stubs". Thurstan 22:29, March 18, 2010 (UTC)

Dukes of Brittany ou Ducs de Bretagne[]

This is new. Since when are categories in the native language? And since when is French the native language of Brittany? rtol 05:51, March 20, 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I think "Dukes of Bretagne" is an unfortunate mixture of languages. Thurstan 06:36, March 20, 2010 (UTC)

It looks like I was just shouting at myself. Sorry, everyone. Thurstan 07:04, March 20, 2010 (UTC)

The questions were hard to answer. As a former student of Old French I might be able to answer the second one but I don't see a need yet. Your 06:36 polite shout was commendably restrained. Clearly a case for English-language category names. Maybe it's worth a forum shout to remind people of what has been said on this wiki earlier?? — Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:36, March 24, 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia's people[]

I'd like to have your thoughts on User blog:Robin Patterson/Wikipedia's people pages some time. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:21, March 24, 2010 (UTC)

What wasn't working[]

Obviously {{commonscat}} wasn't working properly in Aug '08. But OK now, as is "commons cat" apparently. We improve little things as we go, and they mount up magnificently. I've just read another message from a disgruntled user of Geni. Hmmm - just another 100 edits from you and we will have to have a celebration. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:13, March 26, 2010 (UTC)

Under the same heading, I wonder if you can explain to me (and maybe others who tinker with templates) what was wrong with my {{Sensor}} before you put it "right" at My understanding of what you did goes as far as to think that someone's sensor page must be transcluded elsewhere. (Actually, the template may be useless, because its components get duplicated as soon as one clicks "Create/Update Sensor page".) --— Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:09, April 7, 2010 (UTC)

Census Categories[]

Hi. I have uploaded a few images of census and added some categories that were not already in existence. I thought I'd wait for you to take a look at them before I tagged the whole lot.

Also, we have both 'Census' and 'Censuses' used in category titles, could you please let me know which is going to be canon on this site. I prefer 'census' as both singular and plural, but the word 'censuses' seem to have the majority at the moment.

Thanks, Lanica 14:51, April 8, 2010 (UTC)

First comment: use commas in the category names: so "Census of Benton County, Iowa" and "Census of Florence Township, Benton County, Iowa". Thurstan 21:00, April 8, 2010 (UTC)
Okay. I've edited those.Lanica 12:47, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
Should I just go ahead with adding census pages? I can keep or avoid the red links...whatever you think is best. If your still thinking about details, let me know and I'll wait on uploading any more. I can keep working on other things. Thanks.Lanica 23:10, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Born in ... categories[]

Note that these are redundant. Birth_locality etc are properties, so you can get this info by query. rtol 05:38, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Not from the non-SMW articles. Thurstan 05:39, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
And not always even from the SMW articles that have been converted from info pages, because they generally put all the places in "other" and show them in the infobox in quote marks. I doubt if the "Born in" family of categories will ever have their usefulness reduced to zero. Current policy (to let contributors create non-SMW articles) would need to be changed as one prerequisite. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:45, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
And words such as "England" can currently be found in both "State" and "Nation" properties, so that a combined query would be needed. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:45, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
I would clean up those pages rather than put effort into an outdated system. rtol 05:24, April 11, 2010 (UTC)
We are working on it. See Born in England. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:05, August 19, 2010 (UTC)


I reinstated this template. It had been redirected to a disabled template. rtol 05:24, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

Template category[]

You broke it. It pulls the sidebar onto itself. Look for dead WP links and unfinished templates or divisions. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:24, April 14, 2010 (UTC)

Please be careful with Wikipedia[]

I noted that you made Sancho II of Pamplona (c940-994) King of Navarre, following Wikipedia. The Kingdom of Navarre did not exist at that time. Sancho was King of Pamplona. His grandson was the first King of Navarre. rtol 05:52, April 21, 2010 (UTC)

Template:Year by category[]

Your update deleted usage instructions and several categories. I look forward to seeing the doc page, which I presume will have them. (Good grief, 52,658 edits, but I guess if you have a cunning plan to give us every WP category it will need lots of edits. Please mark WP copying of new pages, and category additions, "minor" whenever convenient, so that on your good days we can hide the minors to get an easier run through Recent changes.) — Robin Patterson (Talk) 14:54, May 17, 2010 (UTC)


(55 960) For the "minors". And when I hide them and hide my edits and hide logs I can really see what's been going on. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:34, May 19, 2010 (UTC)

WWI and redirects[]

"Dear Robin Patterson,

"A Wikia page you follow on Familypedia has been deleted. The page was at World War 1

"The summary of the edit is: "fix broken redirect"

Didn't fix anything. Nothing relevant was broken. Deleting a redirect is rarely good, because the prevention of creating duplicate articles is of more value than the discouragement of creating links to redirects.

Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:54, May 21, 2010 (UTC)

SMW replacing categories??[]

Our top category-builder may like to see what two of the lesser lights have been saying on the subject. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:20, May 28, 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia (again)[]

Heinrich von Nassau-Dillenburg (1483-1538) was not a "Dutch stadtholder", regardless of what Wikipedia says. Heinrich was not Dutch (as he was born in Siegen to a German family) and he was not stadtholder of the Netherlands (which did not exist before 1549). He was stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland. rtol 10:37, May 31, 2010 (UTC)

Be that as it may, category names are plural. If you get them right, and create them, I will leave them alone. Thurstan 11:19, May 31, 2010 (UTC)


I hope you're well, friend. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:34, June 7, 2010 (UTC)

Alive and well, thank you, but I need a break to pursue some other projects. Thurstan 21:10, June 7, 2010 (UTC)

Balmain, New South Wales and facts about place pages[]

Our new NSW contributor should be pleased to see one of his stamping-grounds newly featured.

But I see that it is time I learned how to do facts for place pages. Lanica may want to know too. Must be a useful adjunct to the creation of concepts. Where do we look?

Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:33, June 14, 2010 (UTC)


I had a feeling we agreed that a page with dates like that should be redirected to the bare hndis page (even if that doesn't exist yet). Maybe that was a minority suggestion. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:43, June 18, 2010 (UTC)

I recall disagreeing with you, and I notice the recent strident call to not create page names with question marks in them. So what is to be done? Thurstan 03:41, June 18, 2010 (UTC)
On the page where you made memorable mention of such appendages to names, Forum:People with no birth or death dates, I supported your concern about an improperly redirected page of that sort. I didn't think much of your wish to create links to such pages that you never intended to create, but I think I suggested that it would be better not to waste space with the extra four characters. I then recommended that ?-? pages redirect to the plain hndis page and that people be discouraged from creating ?-? pages. AMK152 seemed to agree. If you disagreed, it must have been silent or on another forum.
Where a ?-? page exists, somebody created it. If we redirect it to the plain hndis page, nobody will carelessly re-create it as an article, and anybody trying to will be guided in a proper direction. Making it a redirect seems to be OK in software terms. If, on the other hand, we delete it, someone (who might be the original creator) can obliviously re-create it and even try to turn it into an article with sensor page and all the rest, leading to the problems the software has with question-marks in forms, problems such as today's newcomer had with a couple of pages he had created from improper links on a relative's page.
Maybe it's time for an update to that forum?
Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:12, June 18, 2010 (UTC)
No, I did not "disagreed ... on another forum", I disagreed on that forum. You just said that "I didn't think much" of my argument. I would thank you to not put words in my mouth. Why should I have to repeat what I have said when you just totally dismiss it. Thurstan 05:15, June 18, 2010 (UTC)
Anyway, let's not argue about the past, let's check what is to be done. You are talking about creating "fake" parent pages for people when we don't know their parent's details. Then we need to get rtol to change the templates so that such people don't end up in Category:Not father's child or Category:Not mother's child. Thurstan 06:35, June 18, 2010 (UTC)

I'm terribly disappointed at having apparently been disagreed with (by a very good friend) without realising it. I almost wonder whether we are talking about the same forum!! I started this section by saying I thought we had agreed to redirect ?-? pages to a plain hndis page, which you had just done at the time you started that forum. In response here, you "recall disagreeing" with me. How could I be expected to know that you were disagreeing with my approval of something on which I commended you? My response to your first forum paragraph was "Agreed, up to a point..." and in discussing AMK's response lower on the page I said the page "now, very properly, redirects to Margaret Stewart, a hndis page...". AMK said "Good points..". However, on a minor aspect of your proposals, he and I both suggested that there was no value adding the extra six characters to your links. You added nothing to the forum after our responses. So I repeat that any disagreement you might have had with us was silent. I wasn't aware of any disagreement or of saying anything that could be taken as dismissal of an argument. I said nothing even slightly dismissing anything that looked like an argument. You seemed to be arguing in favour of being allowed to create links that would probably remain red, not making an argument about the importance of including "(?-?)" in such a link. (That was the standard at the time.) You were keen to reduce work (e.g. by not having to "name the link Margaret Stewart daughter of James II, King of Scotland"), so the idea of typing even less seemed to be something you might welcome after AMK and I expressed approval of it. I agreed with nearly everything you had argued, and I disagreed only with the apparent desire to add six characters that had no value because you were not intending to use them as a link to create a page from - "if I have nothing else to say about a child, in particular for people who died in infancy, then they don't need their own page".

Now (having incorrectly said that I said I didn't think much of your argument) you have put additional surprising words in my mouth. Have I been "talking about creating "fake" parent pages for people when we don't know their parent's details"? Well, only to the extent of talking (in response to your doing so) about how undesirable such a practice might be.

I think that we are much more in agreement than in disagreement. Not for the first time.

As you say, let's check what is to be done. I would like your opinion on my paragraph above that starts with "Where a ?-? page exists, ". It could be a suitable start for a new section of one of the forums that deal with the now troublesome question-marks. I could just put it there and let everybody have a go, but I'd like to hear your views first.

Now I'm off to do some free searching on

Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:55, June 18, 2010 (UTC)

Category:Facts articles- descendants[]

Are you aware of the above category, built into {{showfacts descendants}}? Does your new category do anything different? — Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:29, June 25, 2010 (UTC)

No, I wasn't aware of it, and it doesn't seem to be working properly (all the /descendants pages are showing up as uncategorized). That is why I invented mine: Special:UncategorizedPages is full of trees and decendants. Thurstan 05:38, June 25, 2010 (UTC)

Ben. Peters[]

Thanks for correcting those pagenames. I copied and pasted them and wasn't paying attention... Plcoffey 13:05, July 16, 2010 (UTC)

Year categories[]

I've adjusted {{info year}} so that it autocats the page about a year to that year. rtol 05:04, July 18, 2010 (UTC)

That won't take effect until the page is edited anyway. Thurstan 06:35, July 18, 2010 (UTC)


This is some wiki you have here! Very interesting. I would like to help, how can I? SSDGFCTCT9 天皇陛下萬歳! 19:47, July 24, 2010 (UTC)


Note that coordinates are used. Instead of removing them, please fix the display instead. rtol 23:37, July 29, 2010 (UTC)

Deletion or blanking?[] suggests that talk pages are an easy target for repeat visits. I think there's less work for us if we blank it instead of deleting it. Single-click rollback next time. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:14, August 2, 2010 (UTC)

Trivia about a large bird[]

You may recall seeing a vandal; I just noticed this historical evidence of the same bird: Patterson (Talk) 06:29, August 19, 2010 (UTC)


See {{locality}}. It has a bit of standard text, but more importantly it creates properties to that, say, {{getfact|locality nation|page={{getfact|birth locality}}}} retrieves the country of birth from the place of birth. rtol 05:34, August 20, 2010 (UTC)

What do I put for "locality type" for places like Launceston, Cornwall, which are both "village" and "civil parish"? Is "village and civil parish" acceptable? Note that {{infobox UK place}} is also supposed to set the properties. Thurstan 05:41, August 20, 2010 (UTC)
There is no list of reserved words for "type", so anything goes. I would, however, do a sequential [[locality type::village]] [[locality type:civil parish]] (this has to be done manually). The result is "locality type: village + civil parish", so that Launceston is grouped with both "villages" and "parishes", rather with "villages and parishes".
I'll have a look at {{infobox UK place}} rtol 07:23, August 20, 2010 (UTC)

{{infobox UK place}} sets up properties alright. Of course, the properties have different names. Can you kindly make a decision which names are better, those by Phlox in {{infobox UK place}} or by me in {{locality}}? rtol 07:33, August 20, 2010 (UTC)

Since I don't much care, I would go by priority: I expect that Phlox's were done before yours, so I vote for them. You should check with Robin to see if he has a strong preference. Thurstan 07:37, August 20, 2010 (UTC)

New Features/ Pain Points[]


I'm pulling together a list of 3-5 new features that would be helpful for the continued success of Familypedia. These could be something small like a new template form or something more integrated into the site, such as a new background theme or logo. It could also just be a list of "pain points" that you've had that we could design a tool/feature to help alleviate. Please let me know as soon as possible on my Talk page!

Cheers, JeskaD 20:43, August 26, 2010 (UTC)

Removal of Article entered in error[]

I need help to correct an article for Sarah Urmston (1881-1918). I was trying to correct my mistake by rename the article Leila Mae Leslie (1881-1918). So, I'd like to know how the remove the article Sarah Urmston (1881-1918) and the redirect you have placed on Leila's article. Thanks, Longsk 12:38, August 29, 2010 (UTC)

Okay, I'll fix it: you can't delete the article, but you can request an article be deleted. Thurstan 21:21, August 29, 2010 (UTC)

Weddings etc[]

Thanks, mate, for

I presume "mode=simple" means it appears on the simple form as well as the advanced.

Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:35, September 9, 2010 (UTC)

New user[]

I came. saw marcia emma georgiana arbuthnot. created a page for her using the red link. and it says nothing links to her. how come? Arbuthnot 08:53, September 18, 2010 (UTC)

I am not sure what you are seeing: when I look at Marcia Emma Georgiana Arbuthnot (1804-1878) and Special:WhatLinksHere/Marcia_Emma_Georgiana_Arbuthnot_(1804-1878) I find 2 links:

I suspect that our convoluted templates and SMW make this wiki more sluggish than is normal. Do you see what you expect now? Thurstan 09:08, September 18, 2010 (UTC)

Much better. But still sluggish. Marcia links red to Charles Arbuthnot. Marcia has a category (surname) rather than Arbuthnot (surname). Charles Arbuthnot has no name in his persondata box. And how do I search for the surname throughout the database? Arbuthnot 09:44, September 18, 2010 (UTC)
Henry Arbuthnot (1803-1875) has no Swedish ancestors. Arbuthnot 06:36, September 21, 2010 (UTC)
No, but he was born in Sweden: if you don't like it, talk to User:rtol. Thurstan 06:44, September 21, 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, that was a bit terse (I had to dash to pick up my wife): User:rtol has written a template which automatically computes "ancestry", as the (logical) sum of "birth country" and ancestry of father and mother. As a result, someone who is born in Sweden is decribed as having ancestors from Sweden. If Henry Arbuthnot (1803-1875) died in the UK (I assume he did), then the template will use that country of death to categorize him as an "immigrant from Sweden to the United Kingdom". Thurstan 07:09, September 21, 2010 (UTC)
I have written to rtol asking for an override. Arbuthnot 07:26, September 21, 2010 (UTC)


Our new user Arbuthnot is a contributor to that site (who has recently confirmed my presumption by email) and is probably just republishing his own work. I'm delighted. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 16:28, September 20, 2010 (UTC)

It still seems dodgy to me to publish your own work under two incompatible licenses: you can't release something into the public domain and still have "all rights reserved". I will say no more about it, since it is not my field. Thurstan 20:39, September 20, 2010 (UTC)

Hndis pages[]

Do you dislike hndis pages? Have you read User_talk:Arbuthnot recently? — Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:32, September 19, 2010 (UTC)

No, but I like to have the wikipedia pagenames redirect to our pagenames, at least until all the related wikipedia pages have been copied across. Actually, deleting Charles Arbuthnot was an oversight, sorry. Thurstan 04:35, September 19, 2010 (UTC)
Good man. We remain almost 100% in agreement. I hope Arbuthnot is pleased with all of your improvements for his or her family. I'll dig into the redirect and maybe restore its hndis function. It may have more than one page to link to soon, because there's at least one other Charles in the kittybrewster index. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:25, September 19, 2010 (UTC)


Replied on my talk page and created Forum:Multilingual support problems. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:02, September 23, 2010 (UTC)


Why don't you just add [[Category:Tree pages]] to Template:Showfacts tree02. rtol 05:37, September 23, 2010 (UTC)

Because the pages stay "uncategorized" until they are updated. Thurstan 05:39, September 23, 2010 (UTC)


I noticed with interest and a little perplexity your brief correspondence with User:Arbuthnot asking if he had "a GEDCOM version, it would make connecting all these people much easier", then saying you would make one.

  1. How would you plan to make one?
  2. How would it make it easier to connect people using our current technology? (I find the kittybrewster site really easy to create pages from, starting with the youngest in a line)

Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:32, September 24, 2010 (UTC)

I "made" one by downloading GEDCOMs from Ancestral File and, and merging identical entries. (The PAF merge function has its bugs, but is quite usable in version 5.1. They seem to have broken it in version 5.2). I "cut and paste" from kittybrewster to make sure that I am on the same page as they are (since they pointedly disagree with Ancestal File at times, mostly around "Old Style" versus "New Style" dates). Then I use my "Lifelines" script to generate the page content. I try to avoid anything (such as the "Form" system) that feels like "data entry", because I make so many mistakes (eg, lots of the GEDCOMs I download have people with the same "marriage date" and "death date", because it is so easy to enter the date in the wrong field). I have written several small utilities to reformat GEDCOM files (eg to automatically create the "sources" field, and convert surnames to proper case), since my profession was computer programming. Thurstan 06:47, September 24, 2010 (UTC)
I have linked to this section from — Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:45, September 25, 2010 (UTC)

NSW question-marks[]

OOOPS, you've found a death year for R Marks. I'd better leave him alone for a while longer. But please remember we need to get rid of "?" ASAP. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 07:54, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

My project is getting rid of malformed placename fields for New South Wales, legacy of the /info conversion. Please don't create more! Thurstan 07:56, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
OK, remind me where to find the current guidelines for Oz placenames. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:39, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
We follow Wikipedia, which for New South Wales is almost always "Place, New South Wales" (except for Sydney). However I think they have dropped the ", New South Wales" from their county names (at least those with unique names) since we did them. Thurstan 20:48, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
That's roughly what I thought. Dropping the state name for some is shorter but impossible to remember which! We can't automatically track WP changes yet, can we? At least we have the redirect system to use whenever we come across a change that we want to follow. Putting "Orange, New South Wales" in locality and "Wellington County, New South Wales" in the next box seems a bit repetitive but is easy enough with drag and drop and will get even easier as we add to the autocompletion database. Similar principles apply to non-users of forms, I guess. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:33, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

Non-Firefox garbling?[]

I've got an email with puzzling information (as is not uncommon):

A page has been added to a category you are following, (surname), on Familypedia.
See Heinrich Ahrens (c1815-1891) for the new page.

Page looks like a non-Firefox form job, with not much in the infobox though the page does have "surname=Ahrens". shows some additions and alterations, including some odd characters. You have edited it previously, and you understand what can go wrong with templates. Your move, if you feel like it.

Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:08, October 3, 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, I've fixed it (not by the shortest route, mind you). Thurstan 06:14, October 3, 2010 (UTC)

List of Byzantine emperors[]

Why copy a million redlinks? rtol 05:56, October 10, 2010 (UTC)

It's an easy way to start pages for them. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 14:11, October 10, 2010 (UTC)
Rather, it's a great way to embarrass this site. rtol 05:20, October 11, 2010 (UTC)

The elusive John of Gaunt[],_1st_Duke_of_Lancaster_%281340-1399%29 is definitely not wanting to display for me. Four reloads and still a blank white screen when the status changes to "Done". — Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:26, October 14, 2010 (UTC)


I see that you are using a bot to add Category:Whatever to subpages. As I have pointed out before, it would be much easier to add that category to the main template on that subpage. This would have the additional advantage that you'd not be clogging up the servers, making it very hard for others to use the site.

Please stop. rtol 05:46, October 22, 2010 (UTC)

Using explicit categories has various advantages, as I have said before. Thurstan 05:48, October 22, 2010 (UTC)


Please have a look at the new page Help:Children and improve or correct where practicable. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:39, October 26, 2010 (UTC)

Talk:Caroline Maggie Belcher (1870-1951)[]

You may have noticed that Caroline was recently edited. Several sentences of valuable-looking data but confusion. I'm proposing to email the contributor to try to clarify. Address is Canberra. You may take over if I have no luck. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:42, November 1, 2010 (UTC)

John replied. He may give us more details but with your sleuthing expertise it might be unnecessary! Where did you find all those dates for his father and uncles and aunts? — Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:20, November 2, 2010 (UTC)

Well, I must admit to educated guesswork! The NSW BDM Indexes give the children's birth years, and death years (for those who died before 1979). Note that I usually flag these as "circa", because it is actually the year of registration, so the event may have occurred in the year before. The death notice for Ada Rose Hahn (1870-1949) (which I quote there) confirms the list, and gives various second names. Then the Ryerson Index gives the exact date of death for those that have died more recently. As you can see, Lillian Adelina (Mrs. E. Post) has eluded me, so I don't know if she is still alive or not. I also found the various marriages in the BDM Indexes.

The next generation back is interesting: the IGI says that Ada Rose Hahn is the daughter of Ernest Henry Hahn and Margaret Henderson, who married in Sydney in 1857. This would give her siblings Emma Selina Hahn (c1859-1941), Ernest Hahn (c1862-), Henry E Hahn (c1864-), Arthur H Hahn (c1866-), who (except for Emma) do not seem to have deaths recorded. Did they move interstate, or change their name? The IGI says that Emma married Richard Lee in 1883. However it also says that Arthur married Isabella Field in 1887 in Kempsey (BDM #5539/1887). But the "Isabella Field" that they identify as born in 1865 seems to have also died in 1865, so I think they have the wrong "Isabella Field".

I think Ernest Henry Hahn died 28 February 1922 at Lidcombe Hospital, aged 86 years (see Death notice and Funeral notice), but these don't give any detail to confirm that he is the correct person. There is a "Margaret P Hahn" died 1929 (registered Hurstville, #7953/1929), but I can't find her in the newspaper, so I don't have any idea if this is her, but there aren't many other candidates. The next stop would be to look at Rookwood Cemetery inscriptions (since Ernest Henry was buried at Rookwood), but they are not available online (due to the Sydney genealogists making money out of selling the CDs).

So I would certainly like to see if John has any more detail here. Thurstan 04:59, November 2, 2010 (UTC)

STOP PRESS: I have just found the death and funeral notices for "Claude Taswell Belcher", who died January 13, 1943, "as a result of accident, ... late of Stuart Bros., builders". He married "Ina Ileene Cousins" (#1063/1924), who died 27 June 1994 (according to the Ryerson Index). If John could give exact birth dates for these people, we could create pages for them. Thurstan 05:43, November 2, 2010 (UTC)

Fantastic work. I've asked John to have a look:
John, "Thurstan" has been doing some detailed online research. Please read:
As you can see, we could give several more of your relatives their own pages if we had more definite birth dates for them.
He might be interested in talking to you by telephone, since you are fairly close. Is that possible?
Careful with those question-marks, please! — Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:44, November 2, 2010 (UTC)
We've lost nephew Donald, it seems: That's life. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:31, November 5, 2010 (UTC)
No we haven't: Rocliff McDonald Belcher (c1902-1997) was known as "Don", in the same way that Daphne Euneta Belcher (c1908-1973) was called "Neta" or "Nita". Thurstan 02:42, November 5, 2010 (UTC)
That's reassuring. I hope you've left a paper trail or URLs for me and Yewenyi and John to follow? — Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:11, November 5, 2010 (UTC)
I googled Emma Selina Hahn - no Hahn families connected with Australia in the first page or two of hits. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:31, November 5, 2010 (UTC)

Contact with John Belcher[]

John's response:

          Yes I would like to talk with or even meet with John(Thurstan) 
about going about inputting all the data i hold. My telephone number is 
02 62586741.



Article display[]

Something's wrong. The first two articles I've opened since breakfast have looked like complex templates. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:04, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

I guessed that the whole of the SMW extension had been turned off. Thurstan 05:32, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

Now that it's reportedly restored, is it all back to normal with you? It wasn't for me: despite closing nearly every troublesome FP page then restarting my laptop, I could not get any FP page to load. This one, for example, was still trying to load 3 hours after I clicked on it. User:Brashley46 has commented on my blog about continuing problems, and Mr Doty's ancestor, quoted on the forum, is still badly displayed. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:37, November 14, 2010 (UTC).

It was extremely slow this morning, requiring repeated retries to load (regardless of SMW: I was mostly looking at "locality" articles and at templates). If I look at an SMW article (for example), there are two things not working:

  • the string lookups are not working, so the captions on the tabs and on the infobox are not appearing properly. Similarly the "children" heading is not appearing. Perhaps we should see if we can set them to "default" to the English version, if they can't find a translation.
  • the "internal" SMW queries are not working, so {{showfacts biography}} is showing no info. However, the details for the children are displaying, so some of the queries are working. Perhaps some of the SMW keywords are not working. Thurstan 01:53, November 14, 2010 (UTC)


Ik erin geslaagd om een flink aantal directe links voor onze familie band met Ludwig Van Beethoven BRON, maar het is bewijst deze link die is uitgegroeid tot het meest cumberson, kunt u helpen ...

Sir John Alexander Macdonald (1815-1891)[]

I've semi-protected Sir John Alexander Macdonald (1815-1891) after lots of anon edits, some of which looked mischievous. You were the last recognised editor and may like to examine its current state. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:05, November 30, 2010 (UTC)

I was thinking of that myself: I think I will repair it to match wikipedia: if our anonymous contributor(s) think that it is wrong, he should convince the wikipedia community. Thurstan 03:30, November 30, 2010 (UTC)

Hi i just wanna ask you can you improve my wiki website its called Thanks it will be a great help.

My new wiki[]

Hi there i was just asking if you could improve my new wiki website its called thanks that will be a great help.Quinser's 16:11, December 17, 2010 (UTC)