FamilySearch Wiki:Manual of Style-Naming

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Naming[edit | edit source]

Name a New Article[edit | edit source]

Main article: FamilySearch Wiki:Name a new article

Before creating a new article, check to ensure that another article does not already exist for the topic. 

  • Unique titles: No two articles may have the same title.
  • Avoid duplication: If an article already exists for the same topic, edit the existing article rather than creating a new article.
  • Specific but short titles: Titles should be as short as possible but specific enough that users can identify the topic of the article when it appears in the search results. Avoid clever but unclear titles as they will be difficult to find using the search feature. Remove unnecessary words or punctuation.
  • Common terms: Titles should use common terms that users might search for. A well chosen name for a new article can be very helpful to users and make it easier for search engines to guide users to the most relevant wiki article.
  • Get input: Consider consulting with an experienced wiki contributor if you have questions.

Capitalization in Article Titles[edit | edit source]

In titles, use sentence-style capitalization, which means that only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized. (For some wiki capabilities, sentence capitalization is required.) Do not list words all in capitals unless the word is an acronym.

Exception: The historical records collections in FamilySearch.org use book title capitalization.
Correct
Incorrect
Finding newspaper records
Finding Newspaper Records
Cemetery Records for St. Joseph County, Michigan
Cemetery records for St. Joseph County, Michigan
Franklin County, Illinois Court House Franklin County, Illinois court house
Canada Ontario Births (FamilySearch Historical Records) Canada Ontario births (FamilySearch historical records)

Other rules apply when citing sources within wiki articles. See FamilySearch Wiki:Source Citation Format.

Place Names[edit | edit source]

Places listed in ascending order: If a city or county is listed in a title, at least the state, province, or country where the place is located should also be listed. The place is listed in ascending order (smallest place to largest). Unlike most genealogy software place name conventions, the word "county" should be included in the title of an article about a particular county.

Exception: The titles of historical records collections in FamilySearch.org list places in descending order.
Correct
Incorrect
Cook County, Illinois
Illinois, Cook County
Canada Ontario Births (FamilySearch Historical Records) Ontario Canada births (FamilySearch historical records)

Places that have had different names or jurisdictions: If a place has had more than one name or been in more than one jurisdiction (county, state, province, country, and so on), the current name and jurisdiction should be used in the title. If the article gives information about the place only when it had a specific name or jurisdiction, use those in the title. Redirects can be used to make sure users will find the article regardless of the name or jurisdiction they search for.

Non-English place names: Generally, if a country is listed in the title, use the English name (for example, Germany rather than Deutschland). Search engines pull up a different list of articles depending on the place that is listed in the title. Redirects can be used to make sure users will find the article regardless of which spelling is used.

Places and dates in titles: If the place, country, or time period is important to the content of the article, include them in the title of the article. Add the word "county" in the title if the article is about a county.

Correct
Incorrect
 Utah Birth Records, 1890 to 1925
1890 to 1925 Birth Records for Utah
Orange County, California Orange, California

Diacritics and Quotation Marks:
[edit | edit source]

In article titles, you may use words with diacritics (symbols used in other languages) or letters that do not appear in the English alphabet. However, the search engine may not display the article if users search for the English version of the word. Quotation marks should be avoided in article titles.

Punctuation in the Title:[edit | edit source]

Do not end the title with punctuation.

Correct
Incorrect
Finding newspaper records
Finding newspaper records.

Abbreviations[edit | edit source]

Abbreviations, including US postal codes, should not be used in article titles or text because abbreviations can mean different things in different parts of the world. For example, the abbreviation CA could mean either California or Canada, depending on the reader's nationality.

For more information about naming conventions, see also Help:Naming Conventions.

Italics[edit | edit source]

In a title, italicize only the titles of books and ships.

Rename an Existing Article[edit | edit source]

Renaming an article requires moving the content of the article to a page with a different name. Articles may need to be renamed to correct an error, or to better state the purpose of the article. If it is likely that the page has been widely viewed and bookmarked, a "redirect" should be placed on the old article following the move. After the content has been moved to a new article, some old articles can simply be marked for deletion.

Main article: Help:Renaming a page


Naming Subheadings Within Articles[edit | edit source]

Organizing Information[edit | edit source]

In an article, subheadings or sections should be used to organize the content and keep similar information together. Subheadings should help users scan an article to find the information they need.

Guidelines for Subheadings/section Titles[edit | edit source]

Use the guidelines for article titles with the following differences. Once you put in a title it can't be changed by you but subtitles can be changed, removed and reorganized by you.

  1. There are many templates that will help to organize a page. Two great examples:
  1. Use Help pages. They are guides to assist in the detailing of a page. An example:
  1. Another guide that will help you organize a page is Headings for Articles about Records
  1. Then go to Editing the Wiki. This page gives many ways to add to your page and options to use.