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Welcome to FamilySearch Wiki,
free family history research guidance
for the community, by the community
featuring 78,905 articles in English

Research Guidance

Numerous articles are available within FamilySearch Wiki to help you get started in family history. The following links are to articles about general research topics.

Principles of Family History Research

  1. Identify What You Know
  2. Decide What You Want to Learn
  3. Select Records to Search
  4. Obtain and Search the Records
  5. Use the Information

If you are wondering where to get started in your family history research, the following articles will help you with this decision.

How to Guess Where to Start

Research Analysis

There are several articles in FamilySearch Wiki that explain how to correlate, corroborate, interpret, and evaluate research, records, and information to determine their relevance, authenticity, reliability, and accuracy, and how to deal with contradictory evidence.

Organization and Documentation

Organizing and documenting your research is a key concept for both beginners and seasoned family history researchers. File organization is important in computers, but for genealogy and family history research work it is absolutely imperative. Creating links between files (such as source documents that have been scanned, research logs, analysis forms, and records managers) can help in keeping the sources available for quick view while studying and analyzing a research problem. Many types of organizing methods exist, so researchers can adopt and then adapt them to personal styles.

Finding relevant guidance

How can I find guidance that is relevant to my research?

You can start by searching for the information directly in this wiki, or you may find if useful to browse by country or by topic.

Contribute to and improve the guidance

How can I add guidance and information that I have found useful?

Helpful step-by-step articles and tutorials that will teach you how to be a FamilySearch Research Wiki Contributor are given in the article Help:Edit and Contribute.

Featured article

Pacific island scene.jpg
Pacific Island Guide to Research - Because Pacific island family history is based largely on an oral tradition, researchers face special challenges. They need to use special methods.

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