Quickstart: Adding People


When you come across a person who is not in the A-Z Index, you will need to add them to PERS1.xml, MoEML’s Personography file. For a thorough explanation of how to add many different types of people to PERS1.xml, see Encode Persons in Praxis.
Below, we have broken down some of the most common entries, especially in Survey of London. Unlike ORGS1.xml, PERS1.xml is programmatically rendered in alphabetical order. Because of this, for ease, add new entries to the end of the document.

Lord Mayors and Sheriffs

Lord mayors and sheriffs have very standardized entries. One of the most helpful resources for information on these figures is Mayors and Sheriffs of London (MASL). The MASL database includes the names, years of office, and livery company membership of London’s mayors, sheriffs, and wardens.
When writing an entry for a lord mayor, include their years as sheriff (if applicable), years as mayor, livery company membership, and any additional information that appears in Survey of London such as their family members or place of burial:
<person xml:id="CHIC4" sex="1">
<persName type="hist">
  <reg>Sir Robert Chichele</reg>
<death notBefore-custom="1439-06-05" notAfter-custom="1439-11-06" datingMethod="mol:julianSic"/>
<note><p>Sheriff of <ref target="mol:LOND5">London</ref>
  <date datingMethod="mol:julianSic" from-custom="1402" to-custom="1403">1402-1403</date>. Mayor <date datingMethod="mol:julianSic" from-custom="1411" to-custom="1412">1411-1412</date> and <date datingMethod="mol:julianSic" from-custom="1421" to-custom="1422">1421-1422</date>. Member of the <name type="org" ref="mol:GROC3">Grocers’ Company</name>. Brother of <name ref="mol:CHIC5">Henry Chichele</name> and <name ref="mol:CHIC7">William Chichele</name>. Cousin of <name ref="mol:CHIC3">Dr. William Chichele</name>.</p>
  <list type="links">
    <item><ref target="https://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1386-1421/member/chichele-robert-1439"><title level="m">HPO</title></ref></item>
    <item><ref target="https://masl.library.utoronto.ca/person_detaild9f2.html?person_id=432"><title level="m">MASL</title></ref></item>
    <item><ref target="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Chichele"><title level="m">Wikipedia</title></ref></item>
In the example above, find:
  • "CHIC4": this value is Sir Robert Chichele’s xml:id.
  • @sex: the value "1" is used for males and the value "2" is used for females.
  • "hist": almost all people in Survey of London are historical ("hist"). If you are adding a literary or allegorical character, this value would be changed to "lit".
  • <reg>Sir Robert Chichele</reg>: the person’s full name, including titles (Sir, Dame, etc.), goes here. Since spelling was not standardized in the early modern period, choosing the spelling of the name can be difficult. For mayors and sheriffs, we use the spelling found on MASL. For people with no ONDB or Wikipedia page, we use the spelling used by Stow. See Encode Persons for a full explanation of <reg>.
  • <roleName>Sir</roleName>: some people have multiple role names. If the role name is a title (I.e., Sir), it goes before the <forename> and <surname>. If it is a position (I.e., Sheriff, Mayor, etc.) it goes after. See Encode Persons for a full explanation of <roleName>.
  • Henry Chichele and William Chichele: whenever a person is mentioned in another person’s PERS1.xml entry, their <reg> name should be used.
  • "links": the links we add are in a specific hierarchy (BBTI, BHO, EB, EM, HPO, MASL, OR, ODNB, ROLLCO, Wikipedia). See Encode Persons for a full explanation of linked resources.
Entries for sheriffs look very similar to that of lord mayors:
<person xml:id="FORD7" sex="1">
<persName type="hist">
  <reg>Thomas de Ford</reg>
  <surname><nameLink>de</nameLink> Ford</surname>
<note><p>Sheriff of <ref target="mol:LOND5">London</ref>
  <date datingMethod="mol:julianSic" from-custom="1263" to-custom="1264">1263-1264</date>.</p>
  <list type="links">
    <item><ref target="https://masl.library.utoronto.ca/person_detail11f8.html?person_id=531"><title level="m">MASL</title></ref></item>
In the example above, find:
  • <nameLink>: for surnames with a linking parts (I.e., de or van) we tag them with <nameLink>. See Encode Persons for a full explanation of <nameLink>.


Stow enjoys listing all the members of a person’s family (below is an extreme example). Family entries often take a bit of time because the entries of all family members need to be updated. For example, let’s pretend that in the 1598 Survey of London, Joane is said to be married to Robert Dunne. Then by the 1633 edition, she has also married Richard Stoneley, John Branche, and has had more children. Not only will you have to potentially add new people (husbands and children) to PERS1.xml, but you will have to check if any of the people already exist, and, if so, update their entries:
<person xml:id="BRAN13" sex="2">
<persName type="hist">
  <reg>Joane Branche (née Wylkynson)</reg>
<note><p>Wife of <name ref="mol:DUNN3">Robert Dunne</name>, <name ref="mol:STON15">Richard Stoneley</name>, and <name ref="mol:BRAN4">John Branche</name>. Mother of <name ref="mol:BRAN12">Anne Branche</name>, <name ref="mol:DUNN4">Sir Daniel Dunne</name>, <name ref="mol:DUNN5">Samuel Dunne</name>, <name ref="mol:DUNN6">William Dunne</name>, <name ref="mol:DANT2">Dorothie Dauntrey</name>, and <name ref="mol:HIGH7">Anne Higham</name>. Daughter of <name ref="mol:WILK4">John Wylkynson</name>.</p>
In the example above, find:
  • née Wylkynson: in the text, we learn that Joane is the daughter of John Wylkynson and is the wife of Robert Dunne, Richard Stoneley, and John Branche. We have given her the last name Branche because he was her last husband (theoretically, she likely died as Joane Branche). Since we know her father’s name was Wylkynson, we include (née Wylkynson) in the <reg>. As you can see above, all of Joane’s surnames are also individually tagged with <surname>. See Encode Persons for a full explanation of née and <surname>.
  • Dorothie Dauntrey and Anne Higham: note that Dorothie Dauntrey and Anne Higham are listed as their <reg> names and not as Dorothie Branche and Anne Branche.

Member of a Livery Company

Often all Stow includes about a person is their name and occupation, which is often the livery company they belonged to:
<person xml:id="BART14" sex="1">
<persName type="hist">
  <reg>William Barton</reg>
<note><p>Member of the <name type="org" ref="mol:MERC3">Mercers’ Company</name>. Buried at <ref target="mol:STLA5">St. Laurence, Jewry</ref>.</p>
In the example above, find:
  • Buried at: to document a place of burial, write Buried at and the authority name of the location of burial (I.e., the title of the location’s page).

Unknown Person

Sometimes there is very little information on a person. In these cases, we say Denizen of London (if we at least know that):
<person xml:id="NORM9" sex="1">
<persName type="hist">
  <reg>John Norman</reg>
<note><p>Denizen of <ref target="mol:LOND5">London</ref>. Not to be confused with <name ref="mol:NORM1">Sir John Norman</name> or <name ref="mol:NORM6">John Norman</name>.</p>
In the example above, find:
  • Not to be confused with: if there are multiple people with the same name, it is helpful to add Not to be confused with. This is also how we clear the diagnostic error Possible duplicate personography entries.
If we know nothing about a person, we add this boilerplate text:
<person xml:id="MALV1" sex="1">
  <persName type="hist">
    <reg>John Malverne</reg>
  <note><p>MoEML has not yet added biographical content for this person. The editors welcome research leads from qualified individuals. Please <ref target="mailto:london@uvic.ca">contact us</ref> for further information.</p>

Possibly the same person?

Sometimes it is hard to tell whether two people are the same. For example, maybe you come across John Skinner in your ward, but there is not enough information to know that he matches the John Skinner already present in PERS1.xml. In this case, we add Possibly the same person as so readers know to look at both entries:
<person xml:id="SKIN8" sex="1">
<persName type="hist">
  <reg>John Skinner</reg>
<note><p>Son of <name ref="mol:SKIN4">Sir Thomas Skinner</name>. Possibly the same person as <name ref="mol:SKIN7">John Skinner</name>.</p>

Latin Epitaphs

Beware: if Stow walks into a church in the 1633 Survey of London, he will interrupt his narrative to copy down pages of latin epitaphs. If a person only appears in a latin epitaph, we add Latin epitaph in Stow 1633 to the end of their biographical statement:
<note><p>Rector of <ref target="mol:STNI3">St. Nicholas Olave</ref>. Buried at <ref target="mol:STNI3">St. Nicholas Olave</ref>. Latin epitaph in Stow 1633.</p>

Common Mistakes

Compare these biographical statements to the examples explained above and examples in Encode Persons. Can you tell what should be fixed?
Question 1:
<p>Recipient of a tower by <ref target="mol:BAYN1">Baynard’s Castle</ref>, given by <name ref="mol:EDWA3">king Edward the thirde</name> in the <date when-custom="r_EDWA3_02" datingMethod="mol:regnal" calendar="mol:regnal">second year of his reign</date>.</p>
Answer: king Edward the thirde should be modernized to Edward III (whenever someone is mentioned in PERS1.xml, their <reg> name is used).
<p>Recipient of a tower by <ref target="mol:BAYN1">Baynard’s Castle</ref>, given by <name ref="mol:EDWA3">Edward III</name> in the <date when-custom="r_EDWA3_02" datingMethod="mol:regnal" calendar="mol:regnal">second year of his reign</date>.</p>
Question 2:
<p>Wife of <name ref="mol:DANI10">John Daniel</name> and mother of <name ref="mol:DANI11">Gerard Daniel</name>. Buried at <ref target="mol:STMA16">St. Margaret Moses</ref>.</p>
Answer: When listing family members, every relation should start a new sentence.
<p>Wife of <name ref="mol:DANI10">John Daniel</name>. Mother of <name ref="mol:DANI11">Gerard Daniel</name>. Buried at <ref target="mol:STMA16">St. Margaret Moses</ref>.</p>
Question 3:
<p>Founder of a chantry at the <ref target="mol:STIMI9">Parish Church of St. Mildred Bread Street</ref> in <date when-custom="1419" datingMethod="mol:julianSic" calendar="mol:julianSic">1419</date>.</p>
Answer: When mentioning a location in a biographical statement, use its name from the A-Z Index (I.e., the title of the location’s page) for consistency.
<p>Founder of a chantry at <ref target="mol:STIM9">St. Mildred, Bread Street</ref> in <date when-custom="1419" datingMethod="mol:julianSic" calendar="mol:julianSic">1419</date>.</p>
If you come across a type of person that was not mentioned in this quickstart, see Encode Persons in Praxis. We suggest that you eventually read through Encode Persons once you feel more comfortable adding people, since it contains examples of all the standardized entries we use at MoEML.

Cite this page

MLA citation

LeBere, Kate. Quickstart: Adding People. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022, mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/quickstart_adding_people.htm.

Chicago citation

LeBere, Kate. Quickstart: Adding People. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022. mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/quickstart_adding_people.htm.

APA citation

LeBere, K. 2022. Quickstart: Adding People. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/editions/7.0/quickstart_adding_people.htm.

RIS file (for RefMan, RefWorks, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - LeBere, Kate
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Quickstart: Adding People
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  - https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/quickstart_adding_people.htm
UR  - https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/xml/standalone/quickstart_adding_people.xml
ER  - 

TEI citation

<bibl type="mla"><author><name ref="#LEBE1"><surname>LeBere</surname>, <forename>Kate</forename></name></author>. <title level="a">Quickstart: Adding People</title>. <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>, Edition <edition>7.0</edition>, edited by <editor><name ref="#JENS1"><forename>Janelle</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></name></editor>, <publisher>U of Victoria</publisher>, <date when="2022-05-05">05 May 2022</date>, <ref target="https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/quickstart_adding_people.htm">mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/quickstart_adding_people.htm</ref>.</bibl>