FamilySearch Wiki:Naming Conventions

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Blue check.png This page documents a guideline. It is a generally accepted standard that contributors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense and the occasional exception.

Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.

This page offers best practices in naming articles, categories, images, files, and templates on FamilySearch Wiki.

Place names in article titles

Use ascending order of jurisdictions in naming a place

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

Correct: "Rockville, Montgomery County, Maryland"

Incorrect: "Maryland, Montgomery County, Rockville"

Example: "Cemetery Records of Rockville, Montgomery County, Maryland"

Avoid abbreviations, acronyms, and postal codes

Do not use abbreviations in naming a place.

Correct: "Montgomery County, Maryland"

Incorrect: "Montgomery Co., MD"

Example: "Cemetery Records of Montgomery County, Maryland"

Use the word "County" in identifying counties

Use the word "County" in identifying a county in an article title.

Correct: "Montgomery County, Maryland"

Incorrect: "Montgomery, Maryland"

Example: "Cemetery Records of Montgomery County, Maryland"

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.

Correct: "Census Records of the United States"


Omit name of the article author from titles (or articles, for that matter)

This is a wiki. Content becomes stronger as the community adds to it. The name of an author in a title does two bad things:

  1. It tells other authors "This is my turf. Don't edit this because it's mine."
  2. It credits the original author with all changes made by other users. Since many users will tend to improve an article far outside its original scope, the crediting of the original author with all revisions doesn't make sense.

Special rules for templates

Spaces in the name are allowed, e.g. {{train topics}}. The first character (only) is not case-sensitive, so {{cleanup}} and {{Cleanup}}are the same template, but {{cfd}}and {{cfD}}are not.

The template name in general should be short. Many on Wikipedia are abbreviations.

Special rules for namespaces

Only a system admin can create a namespace. Namespaces should be created only after much discussion. The name should be a single word.

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