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R.I.P. Rodovid.EN ?

Since an english-speaking sysop is spamming Rodovid.EN, we can think that Rodovid.EN is dead.

And because Rodovid.EN is dead, we can think that whole Rodovid is not in a good health.

Please read this page about this sysop's spamming, complete this page, and do what you think is normal…

If you think that Rodovid is a good idea, please help. --Christophe Tesson - talk. 15:46, 19 July 2015 (EEST)


Advice requested Do we want to use categories for navigation by geography? Right now, we have some spotty coverage of countries and even some subdivisions of countries but it's far from complete. Does anyone have thoughts on creating place-name category schemes? -Justin (koavf)·T·C·M 23:31, 5 September 2015 (EEST)

We try to build these categories in Rodovid.FR. I do think it's really usefull.

It seems to be a lot of work, but no! By doing this, you just have to write the Place Name in the Place field of each record, instead of writing a complex and ambiguous thing (Kiev, USSR etc.)

Remember that Rodovid does not work like Wikipedia on this particular point: it generates red links automatically every time a "Place" field is used.

About categories, you can look at this:

In this categories you will find French "Communes" (Towns and villages, past parishes, something like "township").

For some of these "Communes", we have sub-categories, i.e. the "Tamerville (50)" township has its own category :

This is the longest hyerarchy for "Place:" pages in Rodovid.FR

For most of registered countries there's only one level i.e. :

and sometimes two levels :

For some places in France we have a triple hierarchy :

  1. The one above which is current administrative situation.
  2. Royal administrative situation before the revolution of 1789.
  3. Religious administrative situation before 1789. → Really usefull because records were wrote by priests before 1791.

For "Tamerville" Royal administration (1735) :

and religious administration :

These old hierarchies are a complete mess, because they were… messy.

Sorry for this long post. IMHO theses categorizations are really usefull, but can be simpler! --Christophe Tesson - talk. 13:04, 9 September 2015 (EEST)

Place name protocol

Hi everybody.

Advice requested

Baya "returned to old behavior." So, knowing this, let's decide which protocol you want:

  • "Hartford, Connecticut" does not work because of comma separator
  • "Hartford (Connecticut)" works, but does not look like Wikipedia.EN (Looks like
  • Any other protocol? --Christophe Tesson - talk. 12:17, 10 September 2015 (EEST)

Place name protocol (bis repetita)

Advice requested

Hello everybody.

We're still studying disembiguation of english "Place:" pages in Rodovid.en.

This is much more complex than in because:

  1. Almost every village in United kingdom has one or several duplicates in USA
  2. Disembiguation work is not really complete in Wkipedia.en, and not very regular.

But I do think that this work is usefull. We did it in RD.FR when there was only 8000 red links. Users do like this: it's easy for sysops to find place-name errors, and to create "Lineage:" pages, and needed "Place:" pages, wich are usefull searching tools.

Nowadays there are 36000 red links in RD.EN! (there was 39000 in august). So the biggest problem is to find the best protocol to write these Place names.

This protocol has to

  • Avoid ambiguities
  • Avoid long strings in "Place-fields" (or need the less work possible for users)
  • Look confortable to english speaking users (not too far from their habits)

Proposition for a new rule

When you write a place name in Rodovid, please be carefull:

  1. read how this place name is written in Wikipedia. If this place name has no disembiguation page in wikipedia, just write your place name like wikipedia
  2. if this place name has a disembiguation page, then :
    1. ad the disembiguation part of wikipedia. Unfortunatly, wikipedia.en use "comma" as separator between place name and disembiguation part. It's impossible in Rodovid, because in Rodovid, comma is the separator between several different place names. So, write the disembiguation part between parenthesis just like in, fr, etc.
    2. Because disembiguation is a big problem between american and/or english places names, when there is a disembiguation page in wikipedia, always ad a disembiguation part between parenthesis, even if wikipedia does not use it in the wikipedia page dedicated to the place you wand to write! The most complex is to ad the largest possible disembiguation part!


Very compact strings

What was done from august 2015

  • The above protocol has been used (almost)
  • Because it's a very repetitive work, it's obvious that a lot of mistakes have been done (so take care)
  • Tools for "Place:" pages have been added in MediaWiki:Edittools :
    • {{Whoislistedhere}}
    • [[wk:<PAGENAME>|See the Wikipedia article about <PAGENAME>]]
    • {{DEFAULTSORT:}} and {{PAGENAME}} to be used this way : {{DEFAULTSORT:{{PAGENAME}}}}
  • Categorization is probably too simple (towns, townships, Census-designated place and counties are dropped in "Category:state"…


  • You (english speaking users ;-) have to decide if the proposed new rule is OK! If not, the done work can be easily modified with a bot (unfortunately, I don't know how to use or write bots)
  • There are some place names that have two commas in Wikipedia (e;g;: wk:London Grove Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania). Not easy to write in Rodovid!
  • Some disembiguated places may look strange: Boston (Massachusetts) instead of Boston!
  • etc.

--Christophe Tesson - talk. 12:51, 22 October 2015 (EEST)


I do not have an objection to this proposal. I have questions. On the first point (place names with two commas). We need to figure out a way to accommodate this since county is an important designation in North America (Canada, United States, and Mexico) since it happens often enough that a state will have two cities with the same name but different counties. The location really is city+county+state.

Disambiguating the city and the county or parish separately carries a risk of introducing additional errors. Please note the error on the following location as an example:

John Murphy Long (Long, b. 2 May 1825 d. 14 August 1902)

2 May 1825, Springfield (Ohio), Clark County (Ohio), United States

death: 14 August 1902, Winnfield (Ohio), Winn Parish (Louisiana), United States

The death location is clearly incorrect as a result of searching for each location separately. Also, it is not certain that Parish is a location in Louisiana or a Church district in Ohio.

Another issue is that given the relative youth of countries in the Northern Hemisphere, locations change drastically. For example, In the U.S. there were no official states prior to 1776, there were only colonial provinces and the borders of these changed over the years. Is is more correct to reflect the location in terms of how it was then, (when the person lived) or as it is now (modern location, which could change again). This same question is true of any location world wide, especially in older records where the countries no longer exist.

If we are not using commas for separation then what would be the ramifications of using (Parenthesis), [Bracket] or {curly brace} or some other differentiator. and perhaps we can make better use of the field that appears under the location when you click the "show details" link.

I am open to addition suggestions and exploration since these issues need to be resolved before we finalize the standard. Almoustine 18:39, 23 October 2015 (EEST)

One approach Is to just disambiguate as necessary. We don't need "Boston (Massachusetts)" but we do need "Georgia (U.S. state)". -Justin (koavf)·T·C·M 04:22, 29 October 2015 (EET)
Justin : I do understand that point. I did that because of the difficulty in work when lots of records are already done. There was 109 red links to boston. So, with a "Place:Boston" page, it was difficult to sort records linking to "Boston (Massachusetts)" from others linking to "Boston (Indiana)".
Waiting for a bot to correct this, we can write
  • #REDIRECT [[Place:Boston]]
  • "Place:Boston (Massachusetts)"
But then, it will be really complex to tracks new place-name errors, because there's too much existing red links. --Christophe Tesson - talk. 10:45, 29 October 2015 (EET)
Agreed The best thing for now is to simply disamgibuate where necessary and clean up redlinks. Since we don't have a strict policy, those are good starts. -Justin (koavf)·T·C·M 04:05, 30 October 2015 (EET)
Thank you. As a french speaking user (living in France), I'm not qualified to help you writing a strict Policy.
But, obviously, actual rule:
  • 9.2.2 Place Names: Place field should reflect the geopolitical boundaries at the time the person lived with full administrative-territorial subordination starting from minor and separated by comma, or left blank.
is a bad translation of initial ukrainian rules, which were… a bad idea. There's now lots of duplicated places in Rodovid.UK and Rodovid.RU. But we can understand that "geopolitical boundaries" were an big preoccupation for ukrainian peoples…
the next step is to campaign to convince the Russian and Ukrainian users to write again effective place names. Outch! Won't be easy!
PS: there's now 35000 red links in Rodovid.en. With a little bit of luck, red links hunt will be done in 7 or 8 months. Huh, I feel lonely… --Christophe Tesson - talk. 14:05, 30 October 2015 (EET)
PPS: Next problems: translation errors in system-message in Rodovid:EN. For instance : Lineage as domain name is a huge mistake. In Baya's head it was just : "Last name", wich seams totally different.

EvansKnight 19:31, 3 November 2015 (EET) I'll do what I can to help, it seems good to me.


Hello everybody

Today Rodovid.en fell below the 30,000 red links. It's still a lot, but we had reached more than 39,000 red links. We can consider that a quarter of the work has beendone. Therefore continues. Thank you to those who give the hand. --Christophe Tesson - talk. 14:34, 27 November 2015 (EET)

First results

Hello everybody

Happy new year! Red links hunt gives now its first results. Systematic creation of "Place:" and "Lineage:" pages shows now particular mistakes. For instance:

It has to be checked with first hand sources, but these two shown "Rosalie Couture" are probably the same person. Same thing for her husband.

Rodovid works ! --Christophe Tesson - talk. 11:12, 31 December 2015 (EET)

Thanks to you Tesson, you do a lot of good work around here. Here's looking forward to a very productive 2016. Thanks. -Justin (koavf)·T·C·M 16:46, 31 December 2015 (EET)
I agree with you Koavf. Tesson's help is valuable, now if he can learn how to be polite about it ;) Almoustine 20:29, 31 December 2015 (EET)
Don't thank me… The purpose is just to clean up database from errors… --Christophe Tesson - talk. 23:10, 2 January 2016 (EET)


Just to explain what is being done


Map showing Manche department in France. (I was born here ;-)
Map showing Manche department in France. (I was born here ;-)

Just because it's easy to some french speaking users:

  • We've categorized France by departments, using exactly the same scheme than in Rodovid.FR. So you have nice exclusive geographic maps in almost each department category. It can help : sometimes I find massive errors like "Dreux, Bretagne". Oops, Dreux has always been at least 200km out of Britany.
  • Each french department category has a short presentation with a link to the Archives départementales site. Almost all french department has a site with almost complete scanned parish records and civil records: free complete first hand sources from the end of XVIth century!
  • Each french place has its "interwikilink" to its french version go and back. "Interwikilinks" shows the "in other language" menu, botom left of Wikimedia interface. Same thing for each Department category.
  • "Departments" categorization was the most natural for french users. You, english speaking users, have to decide what categorization will be the most usefull for you!


During the workflow, we introduce some usefull templates in Rodovid.EN. Last one is:

To see how it works, see : Dmitrievna Smolyaninova. This will be usefull to split controversial records, source by source.

To complete this template there's :

See: Dmitri Ivanovich Smolyaninov possible father of Dmitrievna Smolyaninova. Using both templates allows to explain any hypothessis, without poisonning database : both records are linked without ambiguity, this is only hypothesis!

Example: Ancestry hypothesis :
Hypothesis source : {{{Hypothesis source}}}

[[:{{{Language mother}}}:Person:{{{ID mother}}}]]
Image:Lien Hypothèse.jpg
Person:Community Portal
[[:{{{Language father}}}:Person:{{{ID father}}}]]
  • French "Sourcing templates" are just copied in Rodovid.EN (when needed), with no translation. It's not a big problem : most of the time it's a link to a french book, with a page numeber, in Gallica site or "Archives départementales" site.

Please, check my english in these templates.

Some ideas, some questions:

  • About categorization, watching the database, we feel that the most usefull in USA should drop each "Place:" page in two categories: nowadays State and County. Need your advice. (personally I won't do it, too much work)
  • No idea about other countries…
  • Please, write help pages! Users are doing repetitive mistakes in Rodovid.EN. Most common mistake, they don't know how to create "Family:" pages, and use the "Mariage count" of "Person:" pages
  • There's some particular problem with particular naming customs:
    • Indonesia: the clan, or lineage, or familly name concept is useless there. Only a patronimic idea. Rodovid is unable to display this custom… so bad
    • Slavic names, particulary in Russia and Ukraine. In Rodovid.UK and RU, the rule is to write the familly name in Plural form. (Family names have there Masculine and feminine forms too). So many russian users write an "s" at the end of their english transcription. Don't create "Lineage:" pages with that "s"! (Romanov and not Romavs!)

Happy new year! --Christophe Tesson - talk. 13:20, 3 January 2016 (EET)

20,000 !

Rodovid.en just passed under the 20,000 red links !!! Half of the way ! --Christophe Tesson - talk. 19:06, 12 January 2016 (EET)

15,000 !

One month = 5,000 red links.

Did you all decided of the new rules for:

  • Place names
  • Lineage

etc. ? --Christophe Tesson - talk. 11:48, 13 February 2016 (EET)

Standards I don't think there has been any discussion on amending any guidelines. -Justin (koavf)·T·C·M 17:00, 13 February 2016 (EET)
I tested the possibility to use a semicolon (;) for place disambiguation within U.S. states, for example :
Place:Spring Creek (Perry County; Tennessee)
What's your opinion? Dn Gov (d) 00:00, 15 February 2016 (EET)
Formatting I have to admit that this seems odd to me--this isn't standard English. Why did you use a semicolon rather than a comma? -Justin (koavf)·T·C·M 07:11, 15 February 2016 (EET)
It's the same problem that led to the choice of parenthèses for place disambiguation : if you try to use a comma, Rodovid's software will create two different places (here "Spring Creek (Perry County" followed by "Tennessee)").
A semicolon seemed to be the closest thing to a comma, but something else can be used, like a minus sign (-), or nothing, see
Place:Cross Township (Kay County Oklahoma)
Dn Gov (d) 20:00, 15 February 2016 (EET)


  • 2016-15-03 : less than 10,000 red links

We continue? --Christophe Tesson - talk. 18:57, 15 March 2016 (EET)

Shall we continue the place name standardization? --Christophe Tesson - talk. 14:43, 24 March 2016 (EET)

About sources

(received by mail)

Is there an official policy on the use of the "sources" tag?

I've seen a few pages that have been tagged with it, generating a huge banner that dwarfs the rest of the content on the page (eg. Stull (Stull, ?)). To me this seems more vandalistic than productive.

Further, it seems to serve no useful purpose.

Hello Rccarman.
No, there is no official policy about anything in Rodovid.EN… This is the reason why I answer in a public way. It's up to you, users, to debate about all these rules, write them and apply them.
Anyway :
  • Someone (not me) has created the "no source" template. I guess it was to be usefull.
  • the record you're talking about has no source. So it seems coherent to tag it this way.
  • There is a very useful purpose: making Rodovid useful. There are lots of genealogical sites, where users write anything they want, copying other users, who copied other users etc. Do we think that Rodovid should be one of these copy machine? With copy errors at each step?
  • You're right, this template is huggly.
I propose you to open the debate on all these problems on Rodovid EN:Community Portal. This should be usefull.

Thank you for your message. --Christophe Tesson - talk. 09:47, 31 March 2016 (EEST)

Sources I agree that we should have sources where we can. The trick is that a lot of genealogical sources are impossible to verify anyway... -Justin (koavf)·T·C·M 00:26, 1 April 2016 (EEST)
Impossible to verify??? Uh, it's time to read: Karl Popper, and something about falsifiability! :-)
IMHO the first Rodovid rule should be:
  • Don't write "John is the son of jake". Just write: "I red in this partular book/record/article that John is the son of Jake!"
and then we could talk about sources quality! --Christophe Tesson - talk. 09:46, 1 April 2016 (EEST)


  • 2016-22-04 : less than 5,000 red links

Well. So, we're continuing. Erasing dozens of isolated records, creating thousand of "Family:", "Lineage:" and "Place:" pages. Hope it will help Rodovid.EN. --Christophe Tesson - talk. 15:07, 22 April 2016 (EEST)

About sources (bis)

Marriage contract Magdeleine Nicolet / Jean Leblanc 1643
Marriage contract Magdeleine Nicolet / Jean Leblanc 1643

It was not long ago, in Rodovid.EN Jean Le Blanc was married to Euphrosine Madeleine Nicolet (Nicolet, b. calculated 1628 d. 30 September 1689) somewhere in Canada.

Euphrosyne was the daughter of Jean Nicolet (Dit: le Sieur de Belleborne) (Nicolet, b. estimated 1598 d. 27 October 1642), coming from Cherbourg historically attested, who went to explore the North Canada. (Cherbourg is what caught my attention, I was born there)

The Bonhome has had his daughter Euphrosine at a time when we know that he was lost in a Nissiping tribe isolated from other settlers for several years. We know that he was an interpreter for transatlantic fur traders. It matches.

Logical conclusion the mother of Euphrosine is Native American. All this is badly quoted, but it makes sense, and it is rather a nice story.

Let's go back to Euphrosyne, this is where it goes bad. By scratching a little one sees that her husband is called "Jean Le Blanc" (John the White) as a nickname. In fact he is also a Nissiping Native American and his other real names are variously transcribed: Outoutagan, Outoutaga, Otoutagon, Ottoutagan. Same with his nickname sometimes Jean le Bland.

All that stuff is sourced by brief biographies we can read online. It matches: unity of place and time, it's all there ... almost. A family with Franco-Indian marriages over several generations, one has the feeling that it is too good to be true.

Marriage certificate
Marriage certificate

In fact : the primary sources still exist in Quebec, actually our Jean Leblanc/Lebland was born in Normandy at Saint-Lambert, we know his parents identity through his contract and his marriage certificate drawn up in due form in Québec (city).

In short, this tree was a pure fantasy dream, a beautiful poetry on the American melting pot. Nice, but it was one more fake in Rodovid.

In conclusion:

  1. In Rodovid, biographical references are mostly useless, except when they clearly indicate affiliations, which is rarely the case.
  2. Only references to events (not to individuals) are interesting: births, marriages, deaths. So until the end of the XVIth century it is exclusively parish records and civil records (for countries where it exists). Before, there are the genealogical books, which concern only the nobility, and are therefore questionable, because the huge economic interests induced by a busy tree.

So : sources, sources, sources! Write your sources, even if they seem "light", then we can study them! Sources about events. And great care about copying genealogy sites. They are just copy-machines.

No need to write: if you don't have source, don't write anything.

--Christophe Tesson - talk. 17:20, 24 April 2016 (EEST)

No more red links

Well, all "Place:" and "Lineage:" pages found in Special:Wantedpages have been created (about 40.000 edits). There's still big problems in Rodovid.EN. Good luck to you all --Christophe Tesson - talk. 15:55, 23 June 2016 (EEST)

Merci! That's excellent work, Christophe. -Justin (koavf)·T·C·M 07:35, 25 June 2016 (EEST)

Limiting display of whole trees

Hi, Display of big trees does not work (which is OK some trees are really big, i.e. [1] from Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor (Windsor, b. 21 April 1926 d. 8 September 2022)). But I would still like to display part of these trees. So would it be possible to add an option to display only a part of these big trees? I see several possibilities: only display X (10? 20?) generations, only display ascendancy or descendancy, only display links which are certain (ignoring hypothesis, etc.). Regards, Yann 19:00, 14 November 2020 (EET)

There is not much in the way of technical support here, so while I think that's a fine and sensible request, I don't see any pathway to it actually happening. -Justin (koavf)·T·C·M 23:34, 14 November 2020 (EET)
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