Category talk:Families by name

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People by name vs. Families[edit]

Hi. FYI, I've reverted your recent change to Category:David_Price (baseball). Those family history categories should be reserved for people that are known to actually be family - not just groups of people with the same last name. Is there some precedent for what you did there? Wknight94 talk 14:54, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

The category is for any person with the surname Price as is all the categories that say ""XXX family". They don't necessarily have to be related. Thanks! FieldMarine (talk) 15:14, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
In Category:Family histories by surname, there is a mixup between surnames and families, such as category:Smith (surname) versus category:Kennedy family. --Foroa (talk) 15:37, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm taking this to the discussion page here. Thanks! FieldMarine (talk) 15:40, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Sub categorization names[edit]

Response to comment from Foroa above. I agree that there should be consistency with these cats. I recommend sticking to "XXX family" format, i.e. "Smith family" vice Smith (surname) for the sub cats related to people with the same surname. Thanks! FieldMarine (talk) 15:47, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with that. Implying that two people with the same surname are related is a very bad idea. In the example above, Price may not have even been their original name - maybe it was Przykowski or something. Like Foroa says, Kennedy family makes sense - they're well known, they're all blood-related, etc. Otherwise, not good. I don't like the name of this category in general actually. Family histories? What is the intent here? This whole thing may need broader examination. Wknight94 talk 16:28, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Now I'm looking through this category for the first time, and I don't understand many things. What is the point of so many one-subcategory categories like Category:Newcomb and Category:Kimsey and Category:Holmdahl family and Category:West (surname)? In fact, what is the point of some of the multi-subcategory categories like Category:Walker (surname) and Category:Hall (surname) and Category:Houston (surname)? I am very confused. I could see myself starting numerous COM:CFD discussions in here. Wknight94 talk 16:50, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

I think having a category that contains all people with the same surname has merit. Any recommendations for clarifying the category description or improving the overall taxonomy are great ideas for making it more useful. I recommend that we get community comment on the overall scheme before a series of COM:CFD’s are started. FieldMarine (talk) 17:06, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Also, I agree that a category with few entries may not be useful in many cases. However, most of these surname cats are likely to get populated over time once a structure is in place. Thanks! FieldMarine (talk) 17:57, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

I am reminded of Category:Towns and villages in the Highlands - A where someone arbitrarily broke up Category:Towns and villages in the Highlands by the first letter of the town name. How is that better than just using {{CatAZ}}? The same applies here - it's more user-friendly to keep the entire list of names at one level and use {{CatAZ}} for navigation, than to break up the list by something arbitrary like surname. The family relationship is less arbitrary and should be kept as is. But the surname ones are useless and actually make navigation more difficult. Wknight94 talk 19:05, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

I support removing "histories" from the cat name, but think "surname" should remain instead of dropping to "name". I can understand how using "histories" in this cat name could be confusing. However, I do believe an overall cat scheme that allows groupings of surnames together is useful. There is almost 67,000 names listed in Category:People by name. A category scheme that provides additional breakdown of this category and another view of people with the same surname is a useful organization. Thanks! FieldMarine (talk) 04:05, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Great. I support the move. I did some clean up before I stumbled on this talk page. I proposed a move from category:Family names to category:Surnames as this seems be more international. I do believe a surname list is usefull, it will be probably better maintained than deeper level disambiguation cats. My major concern is how to keep real families apart from the surnames. --Foroa (talk) 06:11, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

My recommendation is to have the cats structured as follows:

  • "People by surname" as upper level cat for all surname cats.
    • "Kennedy (surname)" for all people with same surname.
      • "Kennedy family" for all people in a specific family grouping. This is a subcat of "Kennedy (surname)".

Thanks, FieldMarine (talk) 06:37, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

A priori, I agree. Careful however that in historical contexts, the family name is not necessarily the surname (category:Thurn und Taxis family) and that in most countries, families contain people with other surnames as in Category:Kennedy family. So families are not always a subset of surnames. Category:Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to have made (...) his way into the Kennedy family, but should not be in a Kennedy surname cat. --Foroa (talk) 07:24, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
That's one of the many reasons I disagree with grouping by surname. It is not useful. We even have {{LargeCategoryTOC}} for huge lists, so if I wanted everyone named "Smith", I can click on Sm. Actually putting those Smiths in a separate category is just confusing, especially if other names are not put into surname subcategories. But if they are, you end up with many categories with only one subcategory, like many of these (which I was gathering for COM:CFD):
  1. Category:Achmat
  2. Category:Allen family
  3. Category:Bache family
  4. Category:Baggs
  5. Category:Beanes
  6. Category:Beightler
  7. Category:Boyington family
  8. Category:Butler (surname)
  9. Category:Carmody family
  10. Category:Casey
  11. Category:Chen (surname)
  12. Category:Coker
  13. Category:Custer
  14. Category:Daisey
  15. Category:Dmochowska
  16. Category:Dwyer
Wknight94 talk 11:57, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the above for the situation as it is standing right now. But if you look to the parent category:Genealogy, such surname categories can provide the root information for category:Genealogy information, roots or maps of the distribution of specific surnames in a country such as for example Allen in France, surnames in Belgium (try smith), Butler in the US and Butler in the Netherlands. Such categories could contain family trees that are not connected at first sight without needing to create all sorts of other categories. In such cases, those categories make sense (in the long run). --Foroa (talk) 13:12, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
So categories like Category:Smith family trees? Or Category:Smith family maps? Sure. But that's not what is happening here. Instead, completely separate and unrelated individuals are being grouped together for no other reason than their last name is the same. Smith is a perfect example of why that's a bad idea - countless people arrived at Ellis Island and their names were changed to Smith, because they couldn't write their own name, or because they wanted to escape persecution due to their name, etc. Some were Russian, some were Jewish, some were German, etc., etc. There is no reason to group together people like that without even knowing the background of their name. Otherwise, it is just confusing at best, and misleading at worst. Wknight94 talk 13:30, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
You are right that this is not happening here (yet) why I have no hard preference. There is little population of Category:Family trees.
Your Smith example is an exceptional case and a bad example to base a decision on. Moreover, I noticed that in general, people of America are showing much less curiosity in the origines of their names than elsewhere (I personally did ask that to at least 30 Americans). Personally, I did some searches on name distribution from families that emigrated from Belgium to America, and I found that fascinating. Different strokes ... --Foroa (talk) 14:06, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

A good category description can make it clear as to what it contains, so it will be neither confusing nor misleading. I for one would find it useful to see all people with the same surnmame in one category, related or not. As for people with the same name that are related - that too is covered by the proposed scheme above. Thanks! FieldMarine (talk) 14:40, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

@Foroa, it's not so exceptional though. Skotarczak's became Scott, Pokrzywka's became Polk, etc., etc. Two people named Jones can be from two entirely different backgrounds - and even different races. Grouping five or six people named Jones into one category does not accomplish anything here - at a media repository. You won't get any information about general name distribution by grouping pictures of Bob Jones together with pictures of Category:Andruw Jones - you'll only get a set of pictures of two people who share nothing but a surname. Again, what you are alluding to is pictures of maps or something that give information about name distribution - and I have no problem with that at all. But I don't think that is where FieldMarine is going with all of these categories. He just wants to see pictures of a bunch of people with the same last name. Wknight94 talk 17:46, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Actually, what I propose is a surname cat that contains any media related to that surname, including people, maps and files. This would be notable to several fields of study, including genealogy and anthroponymy to name a few. Thanks! FieldMarine (talk) 19:49, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

At the very least, it needs to be very clear when the categorizing is just based on surname, and when it is based on family. Right now, there is a nasty mix in here. If it means we append "family" to the name of every family-based category, that's fine. Wknight94 talk 19:56, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Deal! I'll write a cat header for the surname one & see if you agree that it is clear & meets your expectation. I'll take a crack at that later though. Thanks! FieldMarine (talk) 20:05, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Hi, FieldMarine, thx for your message and sorry for my late response and my poor english. This is imho not the right place to discuss such an important matter (one of the most if not the most important categories) and a too big deal (66.000 categories to move) to be discussed in one day and bemong only three users. Please move this discussion to Commons:Categories for discussion. I am not convinced that this is the right way to proceed: a never ending number of one category or one file containing parent-categories. Some do only contain one photographic portrait others also the place of residence, others mix up people squares, streets, stadiums, theaters and what ever else is named after them. What about the thousands of places or houses where the Taylors or Myers settled? What about the women? Are they categorized with their parents or their husbands? What about the three upper generations of a couple, with at least 16 different surnames? What about the brothers and sisters in law, the witnesses of marriages and godparents? After having investigated my family-tree back to the 1690s, I agree that genealogy is fascinating, but the only way to come to results is to put people together by country, regions, districts, cities and year of birth (that's what wikimedia commons does already) by places of baptism and marriages, by comparing the witnesses to marriages and the godparents within the same family, and so on. That's what wikimedia commons will not be able to do for decades. In the meantime you may use specific high-performance genealogic tools like or By the way: all the mentioned categories - Category:People by name, Category:Families, Category:Family names/Category:Surnames will use the same criteria for categorizing: the name/family name/surname which is all the same. This is highly confusing. So please, let's ask for more opinions than three or four and discuss on Commons:Categories_for_discussion. Thanks. --Bohème (talk) 21:04, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Sorry for the late response. As you said, we should achieve as much input & consensus as possible. If there are any ways of getting people involved, I think we should go for it.
I’d like to summarize two of the discussion issues below:

1. It seems there is consensus so far that there are some redundant categories & in some cases confusing. To fix this, I recommend we move Category:Surnames, Category:Family names and Category:Family histories by surname to Category:Families by surname.
2. In the above category, I recommend we have sub cats listed as for example Kennedy (surname) for files associated with the surname Kennedy and Kennedy family for files directly associated with this specific Kennedy family.

The part that can get confusing is making sure it is known that files in the Kennedy family are ones associated with this specific family while the Kennedy surname are files just with the surname Kennedy.
I recommend the xxxx (surname) cat be defined as:
"The following category contains media associated with the surname XXXX. Individuals contained in this category may or may not be directly related by blood or marriage." Just some ideas to further the discussion. Thanks! FieldMarine (talk) 14:26, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

The discussion about this category should take place on Commons:Categories for discussion. Would you please move it there? Thx. --Bohème (talk) 01:12, 29 April 2010 (UTC)