FamilySearch Wiki:About Us
Welcome to FamilySearch Wiki
The FamilySearch Wiki is a tool for finding information about subjects, records that may have been generated about your ancestors, and the places in which the records might be found. It is a vast information depository. When you search in the Wiki you can search for places your ancestors lived, but also for subjects and research methods to help you understand and learn about the history of your families. You can possibly find records and record collections from the states, counties and cities where your ancestors may have worked and lived. You will not find Wiki pages about specific ancestors, but you may find a link to a database that contains your ancestor's birth, marriage and/or death record! Until you have found your Great, great, great Grandfather in a census record dating back to when he was 5 years old...you can't imagine the surprise and joy that you can experience through your work on the Wiki!
The Wiki has information from the United States, as well as from 244 countries. Here you will be able to find information about records available in these countries as well as links to 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 links to United States military records on the Wiki.
With research and reading, combined with some information gathering to lay the groundwork, you can begin to construct your family tree and fill in the blanks that may have eluded you. The FamilySearch Wiki is a wonderful place to start to learn about the places your ancestors resided in order to be better able to discover further information and records!
By simply typing a word or two into the search engine at the top right of the page, you can begin to see some of the thousands of information pages that are here on the FamilySearch Wiki. Although each page is different—it is a community-compiled information source—you can find location- and subject-specific information as well as links to record collections from all over the world. You will even find links to lessons: Researching in the FamilySearch Wiki:A Case Study that will teach you how to use the Wiki and videos to assist you in your searches.
In addition to searching for information here on the FamilySearch Wiki, we would like to invite you to contribute to the Wiki by writing articles about where you might have found records we are missing and editing articles that may need editing. We view the Wiki as a community effort that will only get better with your participation. The only thing more fun than watching your family tree grow is helping others to grow their family trees as well. Your expertise is needed!
To use the Wiki in your search for ancestral records you will need to be prepared.
1. Think about what you want to find about your ancestor. Be specific.
2. Consider the location where that event might have happened.The more you can narrow your search, the more successful you will be.
3. Think about which specific records might contain the information you are seeking.
4. Work backward instead of forward. Look for a death or marriage record before looking for a birth record. We generate more and more records the older we become. The later in time you look, the more likely you will be to find a record.
5. Consider the record/document trails that all of us leave behind.
6. When you begin adding names to your tree, remember to use first name, middle name, and last name whenever possible. He may have been "Uncle Tommy" to you, but on his records, he would most likely have been Thomas Middle Surname.
It is helpful to know the following two pieces of information before you begin your search:
- A possible location where your ancestor may have lived; a town, city, county, state, or nation.
- A general time frame of the time between their births and their deaths.
Additional research advice can be found on:
- Get Started in the Wiki
- Help: Keys to Success Using the Wiki
- Success Stories
- Rookie Mistakes
- Family History for Beginners
- Identify What You Know
- Obtain and Search the Records
- Use the Information
One of the following articles can help you decide where to look first for a puzzling question:
For information about contributing to the Wiki:
- The Vision: Why We Built FamilySearch Wiki
- Purpose and Appropriate Topics
- Accuracy and Collaboration
- Content Organization, Browsing, and Categories
- Contributor Help
Learn more about ...
Keys to Success Using the Wiki
Help for Basic Searches in the Wiki
Getting Started in the Wiki
Family History for Beginners