Informal learning activities/Mn wmn

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The group of lists described below provides informal access to a variety of the historic people and, occasionally, the peoples (e.g., tribes and kingdoms) described on Wikipedia.

To start wandering straight away, skip the following explanation.

Men and Women[edit]

  The items in this group of lists link to people who are no longer alive  Relatively obscure people have been preferred, though the use of Wikipedia as target means that very obscure people (nonentities) are absent as they haven't been put into Wikipedia.

  The people in the list have not been chosen on any particular basis, except to provide variety.  Those who have been chosen are mostly people whom the compiler came across in proofreading.  However, unusual names do attract more notice.

  Here are two examples of list items— • Josie Sadler +19 (comedienne)  • Israel Zangwill 18+ (author)  —and you can click on their surname (Sadler or Zangwill) to see how they work.  Don't click on the surname unless you know how to get back (for example, on many browsers it's Alt and left arrow, or clicking on the big left arrow at the top of the window).  And at this stage it would be best if you just clicked on the surname to see the effect, then came straight back here.


  People's names can be rather complex.  Complex names will be simplified in the lists of this group, but the full name will be shown in the first Wikipedia page of a wander.

  Occasionally single word names are listed, mostly being from one or more millennia ago.

  The next most simple names are shown in an item as the given name without linkage, followed by the surname which provides the starting point link for a wander.  In some cultures the surname precedes the given name, but this is not done in these lists.

  The most frequent pattern nowadays, though, is to have two forenames, with the first usually (but not always) the given or familiar name, and the second the middle name used for further identification.  In these lists the first name is shown without linkage even if it is not the familiar name, followed by the surname with the link.  The full name may show up in the URL, otherwise when a wander starts.


  The main name is followed by an indication of the era or lifetime of the person of the item.  If the era is BC then the era is shown in red.

  If the era is a simple number, then the person's life was entirely in those hundreds.  For example, • Maria Mitchell 18 (astronmer)  lived entirely within the 1800s (1818-1889).

  If there is a prefix or suffix, then the number gives the hundreds of the major part of the person's life, with a prefix indicating birth in the preceding hundreds, and a suffix indicating death in the following hundreds.  A . indicates a date within the first decade before or after, a : within the second decade, a ∴ within the third decade, and a + beyond the third.  Thus, • William MacGillivray .18 (naturalist)  was born in the 1790s (1796), • Georgia O'Keeffe :19 (artist)  was born in the 1880s (1887), • Simon Ockley 16∴ (orientalist)  died in the 1720s, and • Maud Gonne +19 (suffragette)  died before the 1870s.


  The era is followed by an indication enclosed in parentheses of the person's main rôle in life, given as a hint for memory retrieval or for sparking interest.

  Of course, many people will have more than one significant rôle, but only one will be shown, typically the most interesting.  When the person is a pioneer in some rôle, then that rôle will be chosen for the list.

Lists by Initial Letter[edit]

The following links will bring up the items for surnames with that initial letter.  The files all deal with more than one initial letter, and, as the following list shows, the groupings are of successive letters within the alphabet.  In addition, links are provided within the item lists to move between initial letter lists, and, because surnames and placenames are often related, a link is provided in each file to the corresponding other specific name file.