Help:Name pages


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?

Conventional Search
  • 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
Browse Searching
  • 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.

General information

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|source
        • 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
Exact name
  • 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

Related pages

Source information

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: