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Green check.png This page explains a policy, a widely accepted standard that all contributors should normally follow.

Please visit the talk page to add comments or suggestions for further development of the policy.

This page offers policies and best practices in naming wiki articles.

Naming an article[edit | edit source]

Use the following guidance to help you name a general wiki page correctly.

Be clear and concise[edit | edit source]

Make sure that the article name clearly and concisely communicates what a user may find in the article. Remove any unnecessary words or punctuation.

Capitalization[edit | edit source]

  • Capitalize each word in the title of the article except for:
    • Articles: a, an, the
    • Coordinating Conjunctions: and, but, or, for, nor, etc.
    • Prepositions (fewer than five letters): on, at, to, from, by, etc.
  • Do not use all uppercase letters - use initial caps on each word in a title except when this conflicts with place naming standards or grammar rules.
Census records of the United States
Census Records of the United States

Things to Avoid[edit | edit source]

  • Avoid the use of pronouns and descriptive adjectives
  • Do not start article names with "A," "The," or "An" if possible
  • Avoid characters such as / + { } [ ]
  • Avoid abbreviations, acronyms, and postal codes
  • Replace "&" with "and" unless it is part of a formal name
  • Article names should be gender neutral.

Ambiguous titles[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Wiki is international, so any article with a general title such as "Census" should really cover the entire globe. On occasion, the preferred name for an article, while correct, may be ambiguous. In these cases the practice is to either extend the article title with more specific information or add a term in parenthesis after the article title, so that the article name is unambiguous. If you are writing an article which applies to one locality only, then this should be made clear in the name of the article, such as Censuses in England or Scottish Census.

Omit name of the article author[edit | edit source]

Because this is a wiki, content becomes stronger and more accurate as the community adds to it. If an author's name is in the title it gives credit to the original author when changes are made by other users. It also gives the illusion that the author owns the wiki article.

Use key words[edit | edit source]

When giving a name to a page or a new article think about how someone would search for that article. Use the same key words you would use in searching for the article in the title you give it, including variations of the locality name. Avoid ambiguous words or phrases.

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

Disambiguation[edit | edit source]

It is often the case that the same geographic place-name will apply to more than one place, or to a place and to other things of interest to genealogists such as a tribe or language; in either case a disambiguation page will be necessary and the articles about locations need to be more specific by adding all jurisdictions to the title. See FamilySearch Wiki:Disambiguation.

Naming Geographical Wiki Articles[edit | edit source]

Adding "Genealogy" to title[edit | edit source]

To improve the rankings of wiki articles in Google and other search engines, the word, "Genealogy" is added to the end of all geographical wiki article titles. A geographical topic page, such as Alabama Probate Records, should not have the word, genealogy added to it's title.

Finland Genealogy
Holwell, Bedfordshire Genealogy

No Abbreviations[edit | edit source]

Do not use abbreviations in naming a place.

Montgomery County, Maryland Genealogy
Montgomery Co., MD Genealogy

Ascending order of jurisdictions[edit | edit source]

When adding place names to article titles, add jurisdictions in ascending order (smallest to largest).

Rockville, Montgomery County, Maryland Genealogy
Maryland, Montgomery County, Rockville Genealogy
Articles about FamilySearch Historical Record Collections

Diacritics[edit | edit source]

Diacritics should not be used in the title of a locality article unless there is no English version of the country or locality. For example, use Mexico, not México. The version of the country name in it's native tongue using diacritics when applicable should be included at the top of the article page to allow the Wiki search engine to retrieve the correct page for the user.

Mexico Genealogy
México Genealogy
When English version of the locality is not known, use the spelling and diacritics found in the native tongue of the country.

Proper use of the diacritics can be found in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog.

Country names in English[edit | edit source]

Use the form of a current country's name as it appears in the CIA World Factbook.

Locality articles should only contain the English form of the country in the title and should not include diacritics. The version of the country name in it's native tongue using diacritics when applicable should be included at the top of the article page to allow the Wiki search engine to retrieve the correct page for the user. Redirects can also be made for incorrectly titled locality articles already found in the Wiki.

Bavaria, Germany Genealogy
Bayern, Germany Genealogy

When a widely accepted English name, exists for a former country or empire, we should use it. For example, New Spain rather than Virreinato de Nueva España, Ottoman Empire Genealogy rather than دولتْ علیّه عثمانیّه or Osmanlı İmparatorluğu.

Special Guidelines by Country[edit | edit source]

United States[edit | edit source]

  • For county and state pages, list two jurisdictions.
Alabama, United States Genealogy
Warren County, Ohio Genealogy
  • For towns/cities pages, include the county and the state.
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois Genealogy
Portland, Cumberland County, Maine Genealogy
  • Always use “County” when describing a United States county in an article name.
Louisiana uses "Parishes" instead of counties and Alaska uses "Boroughs."
  • Do not use "United States" in the title of town or county wiki articles.
Charleston, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi Genealogy
Lincoln County, Montana Genealogy
Charleston, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, United States Genealogy
Lincoln County, Montana, United States Genealogy

England, Scotland, Wales[edit | edit source]

  • For county pages, list two jurisdictions.
Bedfordshire, England Genealogy
Dunbartonshire, Scotland Genealogy
  • For parishes/cities pages, list only the county and do not include, England.
London, England Genealogy
Englefield, Berkshire Genealogy
  • Do not use the word, County in naming the article
County Durham

Canada[edit | edit source]

  • For province pages, list two jurisdictions.
Alberta, Canada Genealogy
  • For county pages, list three jurisdictions.
Essex County, Ontario, Canada Genealogy

Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland[edit | edit source]

  • For county pages, list two jurisdictions.
Jämtland County, Sweden Genealogy
Maribo County, Denmark Genealogy
  • For parish/city pages, list three jurisdictions
Hallen, Jämtland County, Sweden Genealogy
Holeby, Maribo County, Denmark Genealogy

Switzerland[edit | edit source]

  • For canton pages, list two jurisdictions.
Genève Canton, Switzerland Genealogy
  • For parish/city pages, list three jurisdictions
Bergdietikon, Aargau Canton, Switzerland Genealogy
  • Always use “Canton” when describing an Switzerland Canton.

Germany[edit | edit source]

  • For Kreis/Landkreis, list three jurisdictions.
Höxter, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Genealogy
  • For parish/city pages, list four jurisdictions including the Kreis/Landkreis
Sandebeck, Höxter, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Genealogy
  • For more information, please contact

Ireland[edit | edit source]

  • For county pages, list two jurisdictions.
County Kerry, Ireland Genealogy
  • For parish/city pages, list three jurisdictions including the type of parish.
Aghadoe Civil Parish, County Kerry, Ireland Genealogy
  • Always use “County” before the county name when describing an Irish county.
King's County and Queen's County

Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Austria, France and other countries in the wiki[edit | edit source]

  • Include the country in all locality article titles
Alagoas, Brazil Genealogy
Penang, Malaysia Genealogy
Chaco, Argentina Genealogy
Bukovina, Austria Genealogy
Alagoas Genealogy
Bukovina Genealogy
  • Do not list the type of jurisdiction in the name of the article.
Baja California, Mexico Genealogy
Ain, France Genealogy
Baja California State, Mexico Genealogy
Ain Department, France Genealogy