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Benefits of Using the FamilySearch Wiki in a FamilySearch Center

What A Wiki Is

A wiki is a website where every page can be edited in a web browser, by whomever happens to be reading it. Wiki is a Hawaiian word meaning "fast" or "quick".

General Wiki History

The history of wikis dates from 1994, when Ward Cunningham invented the concept and gave it its name.

the FamilySearch Wiki

Looking for an ancestor? The FamilySearch Wiki has 80,612 pages about records, localities, subjects and methods that can help you find your ancestors. Articles are written by community members like you, working together to create an online-library of information which will eventually enable all members of the community to discover precious details about their families. From the novice to the professional, everyone knows something that can help someone else. As we work together, we will find our ancestors!

FamilySearch Wiki History

FamilySearch Wiki was launched on the Web in an open beta using MediaWiki software during the first quarter of 2008. Before that the wiki was available to a limited group of users on a Plone site.

Advantages to Using the FamilySearch Wiki

  • Easy to use
  • Invites collaberation
  • A great place to get free Family History Research advice *Using Place Search - learn more about the place your ancestors lived
  • Accessible from anywhere with a web connection
  • Contains Instructions on how to find, use and analyze records that are genealogically useful.
  • It has Historical definitions of legal terms, occupations and other terms that are useful to genealogists.
  • It is instantaneous so there is no need to wait for a publisher to create a new edition or update information.

Advantages to Using the FamilySearch Wiki in a FamilySearch Center

  • Excellent training tool for FamilySearch Center Missionaries and Volunteers, so they are all giving patrons the same information
  • The Wiki allows a Center to have access to a large amount of information on how to research, records in cities, counties, states and countries without having to have the information on site physically.

Wiki Case Studies

The following case studies show how researchers used the Wiki to lead them to further information about their ancestors. Click on the case you would like to view.

Example using vital records
Example Finding Information about a locality
Example Finding a person


Each of these cases involved different research needs, methods of searching, and results.  They are good examples of how the Wiki can be used to help find information that would lead to the desired results.