FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records/Guidelines for ArticlesEdit This Page

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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.

We need your help! Below is a style guide to assist you in editing and authoring desciptions of wiki articles that describe FamilySearch digital collections.

Contents

Some Style Notes

FamilySearch Collections are found in the new version of FamilySearch.org. The wiki articles that describe the collections have the phrase "Historical Record Collections" in the title of the article.

Wiki articles that are created to describe FamilySearch Collections are written to assist wiki users who may or may not be genealogical experts. The articles should be written in a basic language style, using simple words. Descriptions of each section of a Family Search Collection wiki article are listed below.

FamilySearch Collection Template

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Historical Record Collections .


The template brands the article as describing a collection from the FamilySearch website and creates links to digital collections. 

Members of the User Guidance Unit will add the FamilySearch Colllection template to Historical Record Collections wiki articles. 

Title in the Language of the Records

In this portion of the article, we ask the community to supply a translation of the title in the language of the records for non-English language collections. When this section is incomplete, a template is added. The template serves two purposes:

Example of a known Title in the Language of the Record:

Argentina, Censo de 1869

Example of an unknown Title in the Language of the Record:

Record Description

This section of the article is a description of the physical state of the items in the collection. Include the time period covered by the records and mention the physical state of the originals, such as:

  • Water damage
  • Torn pages
  • Bleed-through
  • Fire damage

It is also helpful to describe the types of records included in the collection, the language, and what format they are written in.

Example:

This collection of census records covers the year of 1901. Census enumerations were recorded in registers with legal size papers in landscape orientation. Each book (libretto) is separated by a title page, which includes the name of the province, the section, and the type of population covered. It is followed by the enumeration sheets containing surname and names of the inhabitants, age, gender, and civil status, nationality, place of birth, occupation, literacy, and special conditions. At the end of each book (libretto) is a global summary page of the register.

If this section is incomplete, a template is added. The template serves two purposes:

  • Makes the incompleteness of the image translation easy to spot
  • Automatically categorizes this section in the incomplete section page.

Citation for This Collection

This section always has the same exact format for every article, but with the specific citation information for each individual article. The citation itself has coding around it which allows this citation to be pulled from this page and placed on the actual collection page under the "Source Information" section. The third paragraph is a link from this section down to the "Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection" section. Once again, every article will have the same coding to create this link, but the first part will be the title of the individual article.

Example:

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

Author. Title of the collection. Archive name, location of the archive.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

This section should list the major genealogical items discovered in the records. If this section is incomplete, a template is added. The template serves two purposes:

Example of complete key genealogical facts:

Key genealogical facts found in marriage records include:

  • Groom's name, age, civil status, origin, residence and occupation
  • Bride's name, age, civil status, residence and origin
  • Groom's parents' names
  • Bride's parents' names
  • Event date
  • Event location
  • Witnesses' names, age and residence

Example of incomplete key genealogical facts:

Template:Incomplete Content Section

Any sample images or tables should be included under Record Content as well.

Sample Images

Samples of images from the collection will be added to this section individually, or with a number of images, in galleries. Images should be placed above or next to the record content section that describes each image. Images in other languages may include call-outs of major phrases in the document or a translation of the document. If the image is in a non-English language and it has not been translated, a template is added. The template serves two purposes:

Example of the template for an image needing translation:

How to Use the Record

Add specific research strategies to this section if possible. When describing how to use a browse collection, include the categories of the path to get to the images. If describing an index, explain how to find the indexed records and what fields to except to see. If this section is incomplete, a template is added. The template serves two purposes:

  • Makes the incompleteness of the image translation easy to spot
  • Automatically categorizes this section in the incomplete section page.

Example for a browse collection:

To browse the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the "_____________" category
⇒ Select the "_____________" category
⇒ Select the "_____________" category which takes you to the images

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

'Example for an indexed collection:

To search the collection using the index: Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

Example of the section when instructions are not given:

Related Websites

The purpose of this section is to encourage the community to add links to websites for archives and other websites with related material. If this section is incomplete, a template is added. The template serves two purposes:

  • Makes the incompleteness of the image translation easy to spot
  • Automatically categorizes this section in the incomplete section page.

To create website links:

  1. Type the title of the related website that will be linked to the new article, then highlight it.
  2. Click on the “Insert/Edit link” icon (the Globe with a single chain link).
  3. Paste the website URL into the “Link” box.
  4. Click “OK”.
  5. You should be returned to the wiki article and the link should be created.

Example of the section when website links are not given:

Example of the section when website links are provided:

Related Wiki Articles

List wiki articles with material relating to the topic of this article. If this section is incomplete, a template is added. The template serves two purposes:

  • Makes the incompleteness of the image translation easy to spot
  • Automatically categorizes this section in the incomplete section page.

To create the link:

  1. Type the title of the Related Wiki Article that will be linked to the new article, then highlight it.
  2. Click on the “Insert/Edit link” icon. (Globe with a single chain link)
  3. Type the name of the article that you wish to link to into the “Link” box. It should appear. Shortening the title is sometimes more useful than typing the entire title into the box.
  4. Once found, select the correct title and click “OK”.
  5. You should be returned to the new wiki article and the link should be created.

Example of the section when other wiki links are not given:

Example of the section when wiki links are given:

Known Issues With This Collection

This header will be added as needed by World Wide Support staff and missionaries when they add information about problems with the collection.

Contributions to This Article

In this section, add the “Contributor Invite” template by following these steps:

  • Click on the Template {T} Icon
  • Click on the “Manual” tab
  • Select “Template:Contributor_invite”

The template may also be created using wikitext by typing: {{Contributor invite}}

End Result:

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

Please add the following in normal text:

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

In this section we ask that the community help us add actual citation examples for a record found in this collection. The generic citation templates are given below and vary for index collections, browse collection and legacy collections. If the collection uses an index to search for records, the index example should be in this section, and so on. If this section is incomplete, a template is added. The template serves two purposes:

  • Makes the incompleteness of the image translation easy to spot
  • Automatically categorizes this section in the articles needing citations page.

Example for an Indexed Collection: “Delaware Marriage Records,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 4 March 2011), William Anderson and Elizabeth Baynard Henry, 1890; citing Delaware, State Marriage Records, no. 859, Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover.

Example for a Browsed Collection: “Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 > image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clementina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata, Buenos Aires.

Example for a Legacy Collection: "Caribbean Deaths and Burials 1790-1906," index, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org: accessed 17 March 2011), John Edward Jones, 26 Nov 1865; citing Burial Records, FHL microfilm 1,223,999; Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Stub Article

If the article has three or more incomplete sections (count how many incomplete templates there are), the stub template needs to be added to the bottom of the article. The template serves two purposes: