You found success! While researching your great-grandfather, you finally found where his father was born. However, it is in a place where you’ve never researched before. Now you’re wondering, where do I start? What are the most valuable records to begin with as I research in this new place? And how do I get access to those records?
The answer is to search the FamilySearch Research Wiki, where you will discover a gold mine of genealogical research advice. While you won’t find your great-grandfather’s name in the Research Wiki, you can discover where to search for more about him and his family.
What’s in the Research Wiki?
Some of the types of articles you’ll find in the wiki are about:
- What records are available in a given location.
- Links to tools that can help you organize and further your research.
- How to use the census records (US, England, and more) in your research.
- And much, much more.
The Wiki is not:
- A database of names of individuals (go to familysearch.org to search for individuals).
- A record of detailed historical accounts and events (Wikipedia.org is a good resource for that).
5 Tips for Wiki Success
To be successful while searching the Research Wiki, remember the following tips:
- Search by place or topic—Search the places your ancestors lived, or the events they might have been involved with where records were left behind, such as the Civil War. Watch a video with more information about searching in the Research Wiki.
- Start broad—Look at the state- or country-level pages first to get a feel for researching in the larger localities. Then drill down to the county, province, or town level. (There may not be as much information yet in some of the smaller jurisdictions.)
- Notice the topics—Each higher level locality page (countries and US states) has a list of topics with more information. Be sure to take a look at those topics for great overviews of each of those types of records.
- “Watch” pages where you research—Click Watch in the upper right corner to “watch” pages and receive an e-mail when anything is changed on the page.
- Leave notes for page editors—If you feel something specific should be addressed on a page, or if you find something that is confusing to you but don’t feel you can make a change yourself, you can ask the contributors to clarify. Click on Discussion at the top of the page. Then click Edit this Page to leave a note for the contributors to make them aware of the issue.
Preserve your Knowledge
If you’re familiar with the Research Wiki, you may already know all of the above. If so, consider preserving your own research knowledge in the Wiki. FamilySearch is joining hands with the community of genealogists to create a place where you can share what you know for the benefit of the entire community.
The genealogy world is changing so rapidly—the only way we can keep up is to work together. We welcome you!