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Monday, October 25, 2010

5.5 million page views of the FamilySearch Research Wiki

Nearly two thousand contributors averaging about 500 new articles a week go into the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Now linked and integrated into the Beta.FamilySearch.org website, the Wiki is accessed through the "Learn" link on the startup page.  Here is a screen shot showing where the link is located:


Clicking on the link brings up the Wiki page:


Both the search area and the link shown by the red and blue arrows take you to the Wiki itself. In addition below the search area shown by the red arrow, there is a link to browse the Wiki articles.

I recommend the Wiki as the number one go-to place on the Internet to get started researching your family history. I admit, you could go to one of the major online subscription sites, but in almost all cases searching for information on those big databases, for the most part, doesn't educate you on other sources that may have the information you are seeking. I must admit that Ancestry.com does have its own Wiki which is also a valuable resource, but it is very U.S. centered and does not yet have the international links and vast research information contained in the FamilySearch Research Wiki.

As an example of the breadth of the information pouring into the Research Wiki, here are the links to the recently added Wiki articles:



OK, so all that is well and good, but what about the content of the Wiki. It is true, the Research Wiki is a work in progress. There are still thousands of pages begging to be added. I was totally intrigued by one suggestion made by Diane Loosle of FamilySearch at the recent Bloggers' Day, she keeps her research notes in the Wiki. In other words, when she discovers sources or new places to look, she adds them to the Wiki so that she will always have the resources available. She also suggests that the Wiki is also the place you can go to share all the experience and information you have learned over your lifetime of doing genealogy. Adding your experience to the Wiki will help to keep that information alive for future generations of genealogists.

Here is another suggestion from Diane Loosle, society pages. To quote from the help page: "Family history or genealogical societies are mentioned in many articles throughout the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Societies can join one of the largest genealogical Wikis in the world by creating a page for your society that includes a snapshot of the benefits and activities of your society." In addition, societies, archives and other family history organizations are encouraged to adopt a page. See Adopt-A-Wiki-Page - General Information.

The Research Wiki also has Wiki Projects and Teams. For example, check out the "Indians of North America." After you have clicked on a few of the links you will begin to appreciate the vast amount of information that is already in the Wiki. If what you are looking for isn't there today, be sure to look tomorrow and you might just add the information in yourself.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, thanks for the excellent review!

    Nathan W. Murphy, MA, AG | United States and Canada Research Consultant | Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Favorite FamilySearch Wiki pages:
    VIRGINIA http://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Virginia
    TENNESSEE http://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Tennessee
    SOUTH CAROLINA https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/South_Carolina

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