FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject U.S. counties

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Revision as of 20:08, 11 July 2011 by VasquezJL (talk | contribs) (removed question that was resolved)

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These are some notes from the meetings community members had regarding county page design.


Here are the questions we must resolve:

  • Label: "Birth, Marriage, Death" or "Vital"?
  • Historical Facts vs. History and Geography
  • Archives, Libraries, and Museums - is this the right label, with societies down below? Yes. It was resolved during the 30 Jun 2011 meeting that if the society has a repository, the repository's information should be listed in the Archives, Libraries and Museums section. All other information about the society should go under the Society heading. RitcheyMT 18:36, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Biography - does it belong?
  • Census - should we have subheadings for Federal/State?
  • Church Records
  • Court Records
  • Ethnic/Religous/Political Groups
  • Military Records - name?
  • Websites - Under resources, or a top level category?
  • Where do obituaries go?

Other questions:

  • How do we highlight "quick finds," what the most popular links/important resources are?
  • Do we restrict heading level in the contents box
  • When creating another page because the section is to long, how do we link out to the other page?



Moving a section to a new page: When a section becomes half a screen to a full screen in length, seriously consider moving it to a new page linked from the existing page.

Courthouse information:

  • Courthouse information is needed in Courd, Land and Property, Probate, and Vital records sections. It is a good idea to avoid duplicating the same information (such as the courthouse address and phone number) in each section. The courthouse is also a repository with its own unique collections, organization of records, and other search ideosyncracies. 
  • Therefore, create a section for the courthouse, put the information there, and link to the courthouse section from other sections.
  • Resolved that the "Courthouse" section belongs under the section of "Repositories." Move the information onto another page when needed based on the "Breaking a heading/section into a separate page" section.

Courthouse section of Infobox: Link county page infoboxes to the Courthouse page. Need heading of "courthouse" above the picture and address of the courthouse. Under that will be the courthouse name, linking to the courthouse section or page, with just one main address/phone#. A link to an official courthouse site could be done below the address, or on the courthouse page.

Courthouse page: When a new courthouse page is created, keep the heading on the page and link out to the new page.
Name example: Adams County, Illinois Courthouse

Web variable in infobox: This variable is for the county page, not the courthouse page.

Libraries, Archives, and Museums: Rename to "Repositories." The reason Lise’s draft does not contain headings for IRAD depositories, Family History Centers, and public libraries is that she wasn’t sure about when a Records and Resources section needs a subheading. That is, what would the word-count or paragraph-count be that prompts writers to add a heading? Our resolution on this is the "Breaking a heading/section into a separate page" section.

Places/Localities: Move to the bottom of the page, after Resources


Breaking a heading/section into a separate page: We resolve to add a guideline that when a section becomes between half a screen and a full screen, the writer should seriously consider creating a new page for that section.

Adding headings to county pages: We resolve to add the headings initially and hope it prompts people to add information. We will not add trailer words like “If you know information about this section, please add it here.”

Links: Links should be inline (within the sentence) instead of saying “For resource X, click here.”

Subpages: We resolve not to use subpages (titles with slashes). Backlinks (a MediaWiki feature that makes subpages attractive) don’t even work in the main namespace anyway. So if we need to break up a page by taking some of its sections and creating new pages for them, we will make those new pages regular pages (not subpages) and link to them from the original page.

Section editing: Although during the meeting of 6/30/11 the Illinois page was broken (with the right nav bar displaying underneath the content), the team agreed that we should not turn off section editing. They would rather learn how to fix the div tags when the bug occurs.

Breadcrumbs: Later let’s make a decision on real or manual breadcrumbs.

Mock Up Pages

Three options: We are going to create three options of the County pages - one using the new Taxonomy, one showing important resources first, and one using a flat list of what we've been working on to this point. This will allow us to do some usability testing to test the three pages to see which one works better. See the mockups below.