Frequently asked questions
What is a name page?
- A name page is a WeRelate wiki page that contains information about a first/given name or a last/surname
- Abraham Lincoln
- Abraham is the "First" or "Given name"
- Lincoln is the "Last" or "Surname"
- The name page is contained in the Name Wiki at WeRelate
- The Name wiki contains over 15,000 first or given names, and 100,000 last or surnames
- Each of those names has a name page
- If you are researching a name that does not appear in the name wiki, please add it, by creating a name page. See Create a new page below for more information.
What are the features of a name page?
- Find possible alternate spellings for family names
- Control how names are searched
- Find links to shared research pages involving family names
- Use a name page's talk page as a forum for discussing name-related issues
How is a name page used in searching?
Alternate spellings can be added to a name page.
- If you search for a surname that has a surname page, the search engine includes the variants listed on the page. The 100K most-common surnames have pages created for them.
- If you search for a surname that does not have a surname but appears as a related name on other surname pages, the search engine includes the primary names (names in the titles) of the pages on which it appears.
- Names are case and space-insensitive. As an example: Leblanc, LeBlanc, Le Blanc, and le Blanc are all the same to the search engine. It is not necessary to list all of these variations.
- "Rare" surnames that do not appear in any of the surname pages are picked up in searches by soundex (double-metaphone actually, which is similar to soundex). So alternates can show up in searches even if the name does not appear on a name page.
How do I find a name page?
- Click on Search in the upper left menu bar
- Select All from the menu list
- Select the appropriate namespace
- Fill in the appropriate fields
- Click "Search"
- Your search results will be shown with the name you entered at the top in most cases
- Try different spellings if your entry did not return the results you desire
- Click on Admin in the upper left menu bar and select Browse Pages
- Select whether to browse "Watched Pages" or "All Pages"
- Watched Pages are those you are watching and will be informed if there is a change
- All Pages are all the pages on WeRelate
- Select a Namespace - either "Surname" or "Given Name"
- If, so far, you have selected All Pages and, "Surname" or "Given Name", you will see a list of all the names beginning with the letter "A"
- Enter the name you are looking for in the Title box and click "Go"
- This will result in a page listing the various name pages that relate to the name you entered
- For Example: I entered "All Pages", Namespace: "Surname", and "Foulke" into the Title box - The result: Foulke Surname Page
- For example: I entered "All Pages", Namespace: "Given Name", and "Walter" in the Title box - the result: Walter Name Page
More Search Information
How do I create a new name page?
- Click on the Add menu in the upper left menu bar
- Select Surname or Given Name
- Enter the name for which you are creating the page, and click the Add page button.
- For Example: if I wanted to create a page for the surname "Quass"
- I would enter Quass in the Title box and click the Add page button
- The system will automatically index your new page in the appropriate namespace ("Surname" or "Givenname")
How do I edit a name page?
- To edit a name page, find the page you want to edit and click on the Edit link in the left sidebar.
When will my changes start showing up in searches?
- Your changes take effect immediately
- The changes will begin showing up in searches the following day
- Pages are indexed every night - so, if you created a new page, made changes to an existing page, or added new words to an existing page - the results will start showing up in searches the following day
How do I tell what changes someone else has made to the page?
- Click on the History link in the left sidebar
- This displays a list of all changes made to the page
- For each change - you can see how the page appeared after the change was made, the date of the change, and who made the change
- To see exactly what was changed, click on the two versions of the page you want to compare, followed by Compare selected versions
What if I want to leave a comment, but don't want to edit the page itself?
- You can leave comments about any page on its talk page
- Just click on the Talk link in the left sidebar, then click on Add topic.
Adding or correcting Related Names
- Related names can include nicknames, name variations, and possible misspellings of the name
- Related Names are used to expand searches for related given and surnames
- Note: Changes that you make to the list of related names will start affecting how searches are expanded the following day
- When entering related names, enter one name per line
- The format of each line should be:
- name is the related name
- source is where you found, or how you know, that the name is related
- The source for most related names is currently WeRelate - similar spelling, which means that our similar-name algorithm determined that the names were similarly spelled. The algorithm isn't perfect however, so feel free to remove related names that don't make sense
- Don't worry about alphabetizing the related names - that's done automatically
- It's a good idea to click on the Show preview button at the bottom of the page to see the effects of your changes
- Don't forget to click on Save page to save your changes when you're finished
Titles for name pages
- Name pages belong to one of two namespaces
- Name pages for first or given names belong to the Givenname namespace
- Name pages for last, or surnames belong to the Surname namespace
- After the namespace in a name page title, comes the exact and complete name
- There are often multiple name pages, whose titles either include or omit surname prefixes
The related names were generated using a weighted edit-distance algorithm (better than Soundex for determining when two names are similar) for detecting probable misspellings, combined with information from name authorities such as:
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