Likely very few genealogists realize the slow but extremely effective additions to the FamilySearch.org Research Wiki. Volunteers are continually adding information, links and explanations about how to find valuable genealogical records. No where is the improvement noted more completely than with the Research Wiki Projects. One of these massive projects has just recently been completed for the Pennsylvania articles. There are several ongoing Projects in addition to this one that was just completed.
Of course, there is a Research Wiki page listing the Projects. I am currently, and have been for the past couple of years, working with the Utah Project.
This is probably one of the most low-key, uncelebrated aspects of genealogy that exists on the Web. Adding information to the Research Wiki takes time and meticulous effort. Except for your immediate co-contributors, no one knows what is being done and there is seldom, if ever, are recognition for a job well done. In addition, you are working on a program that is all but invisible on FamilySearch.org and hardly mentioned by the online genealogical community and all but unknown by everyone else.
At the Mesa FamilySearch Library, I am continually asked questions about how to find resources. Frequently, I will simply sit with the person asking the questions and show them the Research Wiki where their question is immediately answered. Time after time, the researchers expresses surprise that this valuable resource exists. It is almost as if everything I have said and taught goes in one proverbial ear and out the other. Maybe instead of a white shirt and tie, I should be wearing a T-shirt that says: BEFORE ASKING ME, LOOK IN THE RESEARCH WIKI!!!
The Pennsylvania Project Highlights include:
- List of church records available online for each county
- Links to online naturalization records
- Links to online wills
It is still evident, when you browse through the Research Wiki that there is always more work that can be done. For that reason, at the bottom of the State articles and in other places in the Research Wiki, you will see this plea for help with adding information:
This link takes you to a Help Wanted Page that looks like this:
If you haven't explored the Research Wiki, do so today. If you are familiar with this resource, spread the word.