Help:Wiki Basics

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 19:48, 21 May 2014 by Myrasueharris (talk | contribs) (changed size of photo)

Jump to: navigation, search

Return to Contributor Help

Computer keyboard.gif

Welcome to the Wiki community. Whether you are here for the first time, a regular researcher or wanting to learn how to contribute,  the items below will help you understand various elements of the wiki, including how to navigate and contribute to it. The wiki is a community project, and you are now part of that community. If you have knowledge about how or where to search for genealogy records that are not already here, please contribute. Don't know how? Keep reading.

Navigation Menu

On the top left of the page, there is a Contents box. It is a list of the major sections of the page. You can click on any heading in that table and be taken to that heading on the page. Smaller articles do not have a contents box.

Navigation Boxes (right side of page)

  • Search Learning How-to's, is at the top and is the general purpose search box. You can enter search terms in the box and then click on the magnifying glass to search the wiki. Or you can browse by clicking on by country or by topic.
  • Share Your Opinion! is the second box and may change its focus from time to time.  It may be used for gathering information about the wiki.  We are interested in your impressions of the Wiki.  Tell us what features you like, and equally important to us; tell us the things you don't like. Feedback from users will eventually shape the wiki until it becomes a valuable and user-friendly research tool for all.
  • Getting Started is the bottom box and has five headings, separated by thin white lines: Getting Started, Volunteers and Helpers, Views,Toolbox and Personal Tools. Hover over any place on the bar with your mouse and it will turn dark purple. Click on the dark purple bar to open the section and reveal a number of tools and tasks. Click on the name to open the topic.
=== Getting Started   ===
Open yellow box.jpg
  • Wiki Home is the easy way to return to the Home Page and the various sections of the wiki that are listed there.
  • New To The Wiki is a page designed to introduce the new user to the Wiki. It contains easy links to various commonly used research areas.
  • Wiki Tools will explain the different tools that are available to you to enhance your Wiki experience.
  • Find an Ancestor is the page that describes the ways that the Wiki can help you to find your ancestors and build your family tree.
  • Research Help An important and useful feature of the wiki is that we have volunteers available to answer your questions in a number of different ways: including email, instant message and phone. If you have questions,don't hesitate to contact the Wiki.

Volunteer and Helper

  • Submit Wiki Content Will show you how easy it is to start contributing to the Wiki.
  • Family History Centers Will help you to find the physical locations of Family History Centers in your locale.
  • Contributor Help has links to most of our help pages.
  • Personal Sandbox takes you to your own sandbox. Your sandbox should be viewed as your own personal scratch pad. You can write in your sandbox and add to the Wiki when your work is finished.
  • Research Outlines will introduce you to hard copies that you may wish to copy for your genealogy work.
  • Manual of Style will help you to understand the general principles of wiki contributions.
  • Guiding principles and policies has links to pages that help explain these goals.
  • Wiki Home takes you back to the Main page.

The other links in this section are self-explanatory.


  • Page describes the type of page that you are on. In this case, it is a "Help Page" designed to instruct, answer questions and help.
  • Edit If you click on the edit page, it will change screen and take you to a form of the page that can be edited.
  • Talk Each page has a talk page that facilitates communication between all of the people who wish to discuss this page.
  • History shows all action on this page since its creation.
  • Watch Clicking on 'watch' will allow you to watch the activities on the page. When any action happens on a watched page an email will be sent to you. If you have clicked 'watch' it appears as 'unwatch' for you to click when you no longer wish to watch the page.
  • Share is a feature designed to let you post the page on Facebook or email to a friend.
  • Print allows you to print the page.


  • What links here show all the other Wiki pages linked to this page.
  • Related changes shows the changes made to this pages linked pages.
  • Special pages links to all the maintenance pages for the Wiki.
  • Upload file leads to a page where you can upload a image or file to be approved and put in the Wiki

Personal Tools

  • Username will be chosen by you.
  • My Talk will allow you to see your talk contributions.
  • My Preferences allows you to customize your Wiki experience using your personal tools.
  • My Watchlist will show you the pages that you are watching
  • My Contributions will pull up the list of contribution that you have made to the Wiki, including dates.
  • Signout will provide a quick way for you to log out of the Wiki until your next visit. Remember that the Wiki will automatically time out after two hours of idle time.

Registering on the Wiki

You do not need to be registered to look at the Wiki pages.  If you want to add, edit, or ask a question, you must be registered.  This allows other Wiki community members to communicate with you. How to Register with the Wiki

Detailed Help

If you are ready to begin, and would like detailed instructions on adding or editing wiki content, choose one of the following links:

If you need a Help article that doesn't currently exist, you may request one here.


If you find that you need additional assistance once you have begun adding or editing Wiki content, you may request a Mentor. Mentors are also helpful in getting you started on a specific project.