Help:Person pages



  • Share information with your relatives about your ancestors.
  • Automatically create pages for all your known ancestors by uploading a GEDCOM file.
  • Collaborate with others on the same webpage to completely document a person's life.
  • Include dates, places, life histories, diary transcripts, images, and source documents--pretty much anything you want!
  • Link individuals to their parental and spousal families through family pages.
  • Automatically generate pedigree charts and pedi-maps.
  • Merge your person page with duplicates to build a single tree on WeRelate.

Frequently asked questions:

What is a person page?

Person pages are specially formatted wiki pages that are designed to contain historical information about a deceased person. You can create person pages for each of your ancestors, using those pages to record dates, places, stories, and more. Each person page has a talk page that serves as a message board for genealogists researching that person.

How do I create a person page?

Person pages can be created automatically or manually. If you have recorded genealogical information on your computer, you can automatically generate person pages for all your known ancestors with a GEDCOM upload. See the GEDCOM help page for more assistance. If you need to make a person page from scratch, consult our Person pages tutorial. It contains easy step-by-step directions for creating a person page manually.

Can I create person pages for living persons?

No, with one exception. Many people feel that providing data about living people, such as their names and dates of birth, is an infringement of privacy or could expose them to risks of fraud. In some countries it is also against the law. WeRelate focuses on sharing ancestry, not information about living people. We therefore do not permit the creation of pages for most living people, and pages will be deleted when found. If you would like to link pages to others that would otherwise be linked through living people (in-laws with living children, for example), do so by creating direct links in the body of the pages. Do not put information about the living people on the pages.
The exception is for famous and notable people whose ancestry is of interest to the general public. The general rule of thumb is that if someone has a Wikipedia page listing their birth information and/or parents, a WeRelate page may be created for them. This exception is used primarily for heads of state.
In the past, WeRelate has permitted import of living people with pages titled Living Surname, which you may still see on the site. There was also a time when the system did not check for recent birth/death dates before permitting creation of pages. You can help by marking any pages you find with the Speedy Delete template ({{Speedy Delete|Living}}). If you are the only watcher of a page for a living person, please delete the page by clicking on More>Delete from the menu on the left on the Person and/or Family page.

How do I find a person page?

If you know the page's exact title, you may go directly to a person page by clicking on the Admin menu in the upper left menu bar and click on Browse Pages. Choose either Watched pages or All pages and then select Person from the namespace menu. In the title field, type the name of the person page exactly as it appears on WeRelate, including the person index number (e.g., Daniel Phillips (1). Even if you don't know the exact title of the person page or the index number, you can type just the first portion of the title and it will bring up a list of results displaying all person pages that begin with those same words or letters.
You can also try searching all person pages by clicking on the Search menu in the upper left menu bar and select Person from the Namespace drop-down menu. Type in a name, place, or keyword, and click "Search". See the Search tutorial for more information.

How do I create a relationship between one person and another?

While each person has a Person page, people are linked to other family members through the family page, which is a wiki variation of a Family Registry that usually contains the name of each spouse, their marriage info, and a list of their children. For example, on the person page for Daniel Phillips (1), there is a link to his parents' family page (Family:Daniel Phillips and Ella Grey (1)), as well as to the family page for him and his wife (Family:Wayne Phillips and Willie Haynie (1)).
Both person and family pages are automatically created and linked when you upload a GEDCOM. If you are creating person pages manually, follow these instructions (especially steps five and six). Basically, you will include the family names in the correct edit boxes, click on the red links this creates on the person page, and edit the blank pages to create, and link to, the family pages.

How do I edit a person page?

While on the person page, click on the Edit link in the left sidebar. Change or add information, click Show preview at the bottom of the page to preview your changes before saving, make further edits or changes if needed, and finally, click Save Page.

How can I upload an Image from a Person Page?

Some people like to add photos of people to their respective person page. See: Images Tutorial for instructions on how to do this.

Who can edit a person page?

Because person pages are wiki pages, anyone who is logged into WeRelate can edit person pages. This makes collaborating with other researchers easier. If you choose to watch a page, you will be notified via email everytime that someone edits that page.
If you are worried about someone changing your data and messing up your research, remember that all versions of all wiki pages are archived. First, use the TALK page on either the page in question or on the User page of the person who made the changes, in order to discuss the nature of the problem. (You may want to review Wiki etiquette before doing so.)
If you decide it is appropriate to return to a previous version of the page, return to the page in question, click on the History link at the top of that page, find and open the correct previous version, then click on the Edit link in the left sidebar, and click Save page at the bottom of the page.

Where do I include LDS ordinance information? is the preferred location to track that information.

How do I represent names with foreign language characters?

You have two options if you are running Windows:
  • Click on the Start Menu, then Accessories, System Tools, and Character Map. From here you can select any character, copy it to the clipboard, and paste it into your document. You can also see the Alt-NNN sequence that you can use to type that character.
  • If you work with international characters a lot and you use Windows XP, you may want to set up your keyboard so you can enter them easier by typing a ' (for acute), ` (for grave), " (for umlat), ~, or ^, followed by the character you want to modify. For example, once you've set up your keyboard in the manner I'll describe, you would type a " followed by an O to produce Ö. Here's what you do: click on the control panel, then on Regional and Language Options (it's in the Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options category), then on the Languages tab, then on the Details button, then on the Add button, then select a Keyboard Layout of "United States - International". Click on the Language Bar button and make sure that the first, third, and fourth checkboxes are checked. Click "ok" to close all of the dialogs. Now close or minimize all windows. You should see a tiny "language bar" window somewhere on your desktop. Click on the "-" in the upper right-hand corner to move it to your taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Now click on the little keyboard icon in your taskbar. This allows you to switch between your normal US keyboard and the new international keyboard that you just added. If you click on the international keyboard, the '`"~^ characters have the special behavior of modifying the next character you enter as described above. If you click on the regular keyboard, they go back to their normal behavior.
If you are working on a Mac, see these instructions.

General information

Titles for Person pages

In a wiki environment, each page-- no matter what kind it is-- must be unique. Therefore, a WeRelate person page title has three parts:
  1. the wiki namespace (in this case 'Person: to differentiate it from other "spaces" on the wiki (such as Family:, Help:, Special:, etc.). See namespace for more about namespaces.
  2. the name of the person (in Firstname Lastname order). Note: Women should be entered with their maiden, not married name.
  3. the index number (an automatically generated number that the WeRelate wiki software gives to the person page in order to distinguish, for example, one John Smith from another.
If you've used the Add:Person form to create a person page, WeRelate's software will automatically generate a page title, using what you entered in each of the First Name and Last Name fields, and adding a unique index number so there won't be multiple instances of John Smith (1).
While you have the option of renaming a Person page, please keep the format of Firstname Lastname. (The system will add a unique index number; more on this below.). Please do NOT:
  • include middle names or initials
  • include titles or suffixes (Sir, Lord, Reverend; Jr., Sr., III).
There are other places on the Person page for you to enter such information. For example, to create a page for Captain Robert Harold Townsend III, enter "Robert" as the given name and "Townsend" as the surname. There will be an opportunity to enter the other information later.

Why the Rules?

Many documents, sources, and references refer to your ancestors only by their given names and surnames. Your cousins may not be aware of middle names, nicknames, or titles. It is less confusing if page titles are limited to only the given name and surname.
  • For instance, suppose I didn't know my great grandmother's middle name or title and you did. We could easily create duplicate person and family pages without ever knowing it, because the pages would have different titles if you included her middle name. Keeping the page titles simple reduces duplication and keeps us on the same page.
Keeping it simple makes it easier for your cousins to identify common ancestors and collaborate with you.
Because of names such as "St. John," "de la Vega," and "Von Monfrans," the match/merge function considers all words after the first space as the surname.

Person index numbers

Many persons have the same given name and/or surname. Some even share the same middle names, nicknames, or titles.
For instance, there were six men named Lewis Green Caddell, all contemporaries of the same small frontier town and buried in the same cemetery. As they share similar birth and death information, it is difficult to tell them apart. WeRelate adds a person Index number to make each one unique. So, "Lewis Caddell (1)" has a separate page from "Lewis Caddell (2)", and so on.
  • If you are adding a person for the first time, do not use a person index number. WeRelate will give your person a unique person index number the first time you save.
  • When adding a person who already has a person page on WeRelate to a list of children on a family page, remember to include that person's index number. If you don't include the number, the system will assume that she/he is a new individual and assign another index number.
In addition to person index numbers, WeRelate also uses family index numbers to classify families. Click here for more information about family index numbers and how to use person index numbers on family pages.

Pedigree charts and maps

WeRelate automatically generates sortable pedigrees, pedigree maps, timelines and family detail reports from the data on your person and family pages. Click on the More link at the top of a person or family page, then click on Pedigree-Map to view. See Help:Pedigree-maps for additional help.


The WeRelate referencing system allows you to completely and precisely document any and all information you want to share. Including detailed source information, digital images of documents and family photos, and helpful research notes makes it easier for you to collaborate with other researchers. By properly documenting your research, you contribute to the virtual genealogical community. See this tutorial lesson on entering references for detailed, step-by step assistance. Also, check out Help:Source pages and Help:Images.

Personal History

The large text section called "Personal History" on the edit page ignores single carriage returns. That is, it strings the text from one line right after the end of the previous line. Use <br> to make a new line. Alternately, you can enter 2 carriage returns to leave one blank line between paragraphs.

This section also ignores multiple spaces, treating them as a single space. This makes it not a good place for lining up text in columns. Use source or note text for that, or if you understand how to create wiki tables, you can do that in the Personal History section.


  • James Clayton Mason - Person page for a relative who was well known to the primary author. Illustrated with personal images, document scans, and the google map template to specify a location where GIS coordinates are known. Supported by census and other records.
  • William Brewster - Mayflower Pilgrim showing use of a number of standard references including Wikipedia, Find A Grave and the Savage Dictionary. Also uses a navigation template that places Brewster in context with other passengers on the Mayflower.
  • Tristram Coffin - Typical page for an early New England settler with a significant number of descendents.

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