Talk:Scotland Births and Baptisms (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Scotland Births and Baptisms (FamilySearch Historical Records)

It appears that much of the information on the site comes from a pre drawn template that is on most of the wiki articles relating to 'FamilySearch Historical Rcords' If I were you I would edit it now or I will soon Donjgen 21:56, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

The IGI is not the source for this collection. The IGI simply housed all the different extraction projects and now all the projects are being copied over and put in Historical Records Collection There are mainly only two record groups that make up this collection. The OPR which has been extracted and the Civil Registration 1855 to 1875 which have been extracted. No submissions by LDS members are in this collection or any of the other collections. The LDS submissions remain in the IGI and New FamilySearch The OPR and Civil Registration are the sources for this collection, and this is what people should know. This article currently does not reflect this. I would say that the current article could be completely rewritten to reflect this. Donjgen 19:55, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

This message was inappropriately placed on my user page so I have pasted it here in the discusion area where it belongs. Donjgen 06:47, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

The person noted above is claiming ownership of this page and every other “Historical Records” page. I recieved the above note upon rewriting the page to correctly reflect the collection of Scotland Births and Baptisms (FamilySearch Historical Records)

  1. the template was poorly concieved of to begin with
    1. why insist on a template for the sake of the template and not the material it covers
    2. the word 'records' and 'index' are used interchangability even though they have two separate meanings.
    3. links provided without explanantion and out of context
    4. to preserve coding, comment tags should be inserted into the document, though I'm not sure what coding is being referred to. I've seen the tag <!--bibdescbegin--> but I cannot find anywhere on the wiki what this means or does.

part of the thread on this is over on the Derbyshire Talk Page On England's Pages there is the same dialogue pasted into each of the Historical_Records pages. It is like these articles are an island unto themselves. England already has a substanitial material on the subject matter yet there is no appropriate links to the subject matter. I cannot see away of rewriting a page without altering the section headings, since the headings refer to 'Records' and the section is about an 'index' in FamilySearch .
Even after I rewrote the page an inaccurate section was placed back into the article: "Citation for This Collection" just because it was part of a template. There are no images on FamilySearch associated with this collection.
Donjgen 21:30, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

The FamilySearch Historical Records collections are created to describe digital collections published in There are links embedded into the article in the wiki template and the bibdesc coding at the bottom to enable links to and from the published collection. Please do not change either the wiki template or the bibdesc coding that surrounds the source ciation at the botom of the article. If those are changed the Learn More and Source Citations will disappear from the landing page for the collection in These articles are not intended to cover how to conduct research, although they may include tips.

We use templates when we create our articles. They are not all the same. There is an Italian Civil Registration template, and a template for collections like this one that are based on data extracted from the LDS legacy databases, including the IGI. We do not have specifics about where the data came for each of these collections and our citations are therefore, general in nature. We do not cite the original collections, but the legacy data.

As NaDine mentioned some data is being removed from the "legacy" articles as collections with images are published for the individuals listed in the legacy indexes. I will be thrilled when the day comes that the legacy indexes are all replaced by image collections. It is a very slow process however and will not happen for many years.

As wiki articles, anyone can make change to these articles. We need contributions to fill them in. We have a small staff and do not always have time to complete each section. Related websites and wiki article links are very welcome information. You may see some stub articles where the Record Content and Description sections are blank, please assist us with those sections as well, and there are additional places to include your genealogical expertise.

If you are confused about the purpose of an article, feel free to ask questions as has been done here, or in our user pages. We watch the FamilySearch Historical Records collections in order to communicate with our contributors.

We strive not to undo information placed into an article unless it breaks our links.

Thank you for helping with these articles,

Dorothy Horan

In response to helpme request, the wiki support team feels this issue needs to be mediated. I have therefore referred this issue for mediation. Klk3 18:35, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

After reading the above comment by Dorothy about not changing the template, but being able to edit the page my solution is to create another page called, Scotland Birth and Marriages on FamilySearch, that way I wouldn't mangle there template and I could provide relevant data about what is on familysearch. I'll have to see what the mediation comes up with first. Donjgen 20:31, 24 January 2012 (UTC)


I am studying this article in more depth. I've asked the opinions of several others and I'll get back to you more next week.

I am curious about where you obtained the statistics that you quote in the article about the record content. How did you come up with those percentages?

I have a few answers to your question about coding:

The nowiki code should have been removed from the article. We have decided that it is too confusing to place in the articles.

We have two sets of coding that are critical in the Historical Records articles.

The FamilySearch template appears at the top of each article. Within that template we input data that creates the links to the Historical Records digital collections in FamilySearch. These are sensitive templates and easy to disrupt. Prior to publication the link that appears in the template is to the FamilySearch site, the link is altered once the collection is published, and the title of the collection appears, with a link to the landing page of that collection.

The other major set of coding appears at the bottom of the article, around the collection source citation. This coding allows the source citation to appear on the landing page of the Historical Records collection. That coding is also sensitive. The heading we have selected for this section is based on discussion with citation experts. It is "Citation for This Collection". 

Thank you for your interest in this collection and article.

HoranDM 16:17, 27 January 2012 (UTC)


It is well known that the OPR and the 1855 to 1875 civil Registration Records make up the majority of the collection. To determine what there was beyond 1875 I made a search using the most common surnames in Scotland. What I found was that beyond 1910 there are a few over those 40 years from 1910 to 1950. From 1876 to 1910 I found more but when I looked at the sources of these records they orginate from just a few churches in Scotland. From this 95% is conservative. I believe it may be 98%. To say this collection has records to 1950 is misleading. The few beyond 1910 are 'L' which are the few live sealings that were done and inserted into this collection.
Nowiki allows one to talk about code issues
It would be helpful if you put comment tags around those items that should not be altered, so when someone goes to edit they will be aware of how and why the tags work and expalin what a landing page is and other jargon that editors are not aware of. Thats if you want anyone to edit the articles.
The section 'Citation for this Collection' is incomplete. While the citation it self is sound there is no explantion of how or why to use the citation. The current text associated with this citation is inaccurate. I would clasify the current citation with something I would put in a research log rather than my source for a particular birth. That section could be expanded quite a bite. Donjgen 18:08, 27 January 2012 (UTC)


There are two citation sections at the bottom of FamilySearch Historical Records articles.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

The section "Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections" encourages collection users to cite their personal findings, as was mentioned by Donjgen, their research log entry. Within this section is a link to the guidelines that we suggest be followed when citing FamilySearch collection results. This format has been determined using Evidence Explained, the genealogical standard written by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Several citation experts helped us create this format. The format is suggested, but we realize that not all collection users will follow it.

When first written the article will contain examples of citations from other collections. We have now added the sentence above the examples to better explain our hope that the wiki community will replace these samples with examples from the collection as they obtain results by using the collections. That sentence reads:

"The following are examples of records found in different collections. Eventually they will be replaced with a citation for a record you found in this collection."

Citation for This Collection

The second area for citations is the citation for the collection. This citation has coding that allows it to appear on the landing page for the collection in, as explained above.

When the a large collection is being described that is made up of records for many parishes, courthouses, etc., the citation will be a general one. We have in some cases added the names of individual parishes, or county courthouses beneath the collection citation coding. An example of the way that we list those citations is:

<!--bibdescbegin-->"England, Cheshire, school records, 1796-1950,” database, FamilySearch; 2009, from Great Britain, Board of Education. "School Records." Cheshire Record Office, Chester (England). FHL microfilm, 41 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. <!--bibdescend-->
• Acton (near Nantwich) National School (Cheshire). School registers for Acton (near Nantwich), 1877-1920. Cheshire Record Office, Chester, England. FHL microfilm .<br>
• Alderley Edge Day School (Cheshire). School registers, 1875-1915. Cheshire Record Office, Chester, England. FHL microfilm .
• Aldford Church of England School (Cheshire). School registers for Aldford, 1870-1950. Cheshire Record Office, Chester, England. FHL microfilm 1894886, Items 6-7; 2299012, Items 3-5.
• All Saints' Church of England School (Hoole, Cheshire). School registers for Hoole, All Saints', 1899-1926. Cheshire Record Office, Chester, England. FHL microfilm 2299120, Item 20.
• Allostock (near Knutsford) School (Cheshire). School registers, 1878-1939. Cheshire Record Office, Chester, England. FHL microfilm 1894886, Item 9.

It would be great if the community could assist us in adding lists of parishes, etc. to the citations. When the collections are browse collections, a list of localities appears in the browse area. 

In a few cases we have added localities instead of a full citation, with the example above it might read closer to this:

<!--bibdescbegin-->"England, Cheshire, school records, 1796-1950,” database, FamilySearch; 2009, from Great Britain, Board of Education. "School Records." Cheshire Record Office, Chester (England). FHL microfilm, 41 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. <!--bibdescend-->
Localities included in this collection include:

• Acton
• Alderley Edge Day School
• Aldford Church of England School
• All Saints' Church of England School
• Allostock (near Knutsford) School 

How can we better send the message that we want the community to do this without changing the bibdescribe coding?

One suggestion listed above is to add comment tags. What tags would be appropriate?

Thanks for your assistance in making our articles better! HoranDM 18:26, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

I have different take on citations. Elizabeth Mills book is very comprehensive and covers a variety of sources, but I don't think it applies to the average genealogist. A source makes it possible to find the source again. There are four basic parts to any source, author, title, publication, and source detail. That is what should be taught and followed. A person has to understand the basics before they graduate to more comprehensive sourcing. Since the average Joe that comes to FamilySearch is clueless about sourcing, I think the basics are in order. To simply have people copy and paste your sources without understanding what there doing is not the solution.
"Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1955," Database FamilySearch ( then source detail (there is no reason to put anything more than this}.

I am confused by: Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections and Citation for This Collection. There the same thing. I have no clue why or when you would use one over the other. Maybe other people understand it but I don't.

I don' know if it is the job of the wiki to provide a source that can be copied for everything. "England, Cheshire, school records, 1796-1950,” The source detail is what people have to enter themselves after seeing a few examples.

I have been on the wiki some sometime now and see that there are few British contributors, so I would not expect much help. Apparently there is a riff between genealogist in Britain and Salt Lake City. Since it is there country perhaps they should have more say in how it should be developed. If the Brits don't get involved then the wiki will stagnate.

I don't like your templates simply because it is obvious that whoever puts the templates up does not understand the existing wiki material nor take the time to develop them properly. It looks like the "Historical Records" is going for quantity over quality. I think people are turned off by this lack of connection. Donjgen 19:35, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Do you have paid positions available? Donjgen 23:13, 8 February 2012 (UTC)


The two types of citations listed in FamilySearch Historical Records articles serve different purposes. The first citation is an explanation and examples of how wiki users can cite results that they find in collections.

The second citation lists the source of the collection.  

Sounds to me like your trying to split hairs. Do people really understand the split hairs? How many people understand the difference, let alone how even to cite a source in the first place. On this page i should combine the two sections and create one source as noted below.

"Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1955," database, FamilySearch ( Index based on various indexes of Scotland, Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. FHL digital index. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. Source detail
As far as I can determine when citing a digital collection the web address is sufficient without citing a physical address and explanations.

I should mention that somebody has already changed that source, The IGI is no longer mentioned in that source.

Employment opportunities with FamilySearch are found in Our unit doesn't have any openings. We have a very small staff, which is why we are asking the community to help us with the FamilySearcdh Historical Records collections.

Writing is an evolving process. Even templates. The wiki has a function whereby you can search and replace text. I would suggest that the 'Historical Records' use this function to refine your templates. Only administrator have access to the Search and Replace text function. Such as those references to U.S. sources in some of the England pages and other countries.

HoranDM 02:06, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Landing Page

Here is the text found on the landing page. 1910 is the cut off date not 1950, Nearly every locality is represented in this collection. Due to privacy laws -- If they don't display in the index why say anything about them. Most of the collection represents pre 1875 records

Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950 Description

Index to selected Scotland births and baptisms. Only a few localities are included and the time period varies by locality. This collection contains 9,431,034 records. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later. Donjgen 23:13, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

If you could please make corrections to the inaccurate description.

The Landing page is not a wiki page so I am not certain how to change that text.

Source Citations

Please do not combine or change the source citations in Historical Records wiki articles.

The souce citation for the collection is coded to appear on the Landing Page of the collection in

Changing the citation listed in the Citation for This Collection may disrupt the coding and delete the links between the wiki articles and the collection in

Both citation formats were created after discussion with experts. 

The exception to this statement is that we ask collection users to add examples of citations to document their findings about their ancestors in the example section of the Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections.

HoranDM 20:55, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

 Dates of this Collection

I checked with the person who spearheaded the creation of this collection. His data shows that there are records up through 1948 in this collection, but "only a few" after 1936. That is why the message in the collection description is vague. Apparently a collection table will be added to this collection in the future. He feels that we can leave the collection description as it is until the coverage tables are added to the wiki article. It is not an easy thing to change the collection description that appears on the landing page for the collection in In order to do that presently, the collection is removed and republished, which involves the work of several units. Therefore, changing this collection has to be worked into the schedule of collections scheduled to be republished.

HoranDM 17:31, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

I thought I might give you some perspective on this.

I found a birth in 1957, I assume that, that person is deceased. After 1910 if somebody looks for a person in the database there is a 99.8 percent chance that will not find there ancestor. So basically they are wasting there time looking. A few names over a 50 year time period does not constitute a database, it is just a scattering of names that is meaningless to virtually everybody.
From 1876 to 1910 there is better odds of finding someone. It improves to 99% or 98%, so once again it is unlikely that anybody will find there ancestor in that time period.
It is common knowledge for those of us that do research that virtually every parish in Scotland is represented in this database prior to 1875. I personally do not know of any. There must be at least 98% coverage.
Why is another table being created? We have the catalogue, We have the wiki with all the film numbers in them and dates, and now we have to create another table???? I don't believe anything you just said about this collection. There is nothing vague about the collection. The description of this collection just wrong, and inaccurate.
Forward this to FamilySearch
Donjgen 18:46, 15 February 2012 (UTC)