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Friday, May 16, 2014

What is FamilySearch Wiki and Will it Help My Research Problems?

You may have heard about Wikipedia ( http://www.wikipedia.org/ )....a free on-line encyclopedia where topics can be searched using a wide variety of international languages.  FamilySearch has a similar learning webpage entitled FamilySearch Wiki ( https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Main_Page ).


 FamilySearch Wiki answers the question, What is the Wiki ?

 The Wiki is about finding records that may have been generated about your ancestors and the places in which the records might be found. It is a vast record depository of the paper trail that people leave behind long after they are gone. The Wiki has records from the United States as well as from 244 countries.  Here you will be able to find documents such as census records, marriage records, birth records and death records and much more. Probate documents are often very informative and may help you in your search.  There is an extensive list of United States military records on the wiki .    

Search by place or topic by clicking on a map, as seen below:


OR learn how to search your family history, simply by choosing from the many research helps offered, from getting suggestions about organizing your family history, choosing a database to file your family facts or learn about basic research principles to keep you on track.

Using the Wiki Tools, you can view many articles written regarding online library catalogs, international websites, and internet repositories, just to name a few topics.  

Most importantly, there are links to contact research help specialists at FamilySearch.  I have never contacted them....yet.  But, sometime in the future if I am unable to break down a brick wall in my research, I just might take advantage of these specialists.  I suggest that you do, too.

You can also share your information and suggestions regarding research in a particular topic or country.  Adding your own "user page" could help to keep yourself more organized, too,  There are Talk Pages to share your ideas, or communicate with a specific user.  Sign up for a Watch List, and be notified when new content has been added to topics that interest you.  Browse the WikiProjects lists and join one if you'd like, or establish a new one yourself.  Submit an article regarding a particular topic in which you have expertise, or add to the content of articles already featured. 

Ever have trouble with geographic places with the same name?  The category "Ambiguous Place Names"     (https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Category:Ambiguous_place_names) can be a big help for you.  I searched for the location "Georgia".  The result made me pleasantly satisfied :

Georgia may refer to:
  • Georgia (country), formerly Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) 1921-1991; and Democratic Republic of Georgia 1918-1921.
  • Georgia (state), a state in the southern United States, and formerly one of the British colonies in North America.
Georgia may also refer to other local jurisdictions:
And, of course there is the wonderful topic : Family History For Beginners
From evaluating the family history that you know, to starting the research for the information that you want to know....this is the ultimate in self-learning, step-by-step instructions to get you started in your quest to find your ancestors and their life stories.  Learn how to properly document and cite the sources of your research results. And, don't forget to review the genealogy and legal terminology categories.  It helps to know what you're talking about, right?  

I can go on, and on, about FamilySearch Wiki.  But, I won't be able to cover everything in this blog.  Try it yourself, and see what you can learn, and maybe contribute, to this FREE resource.  It's just waiting for you to experience the fascinating world of learning.

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