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FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records/Training Page

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Purpose of This Page [edit | edit source]

This page has been created as a holding page for training documents and videos concerning the WikiProject FamilySearch Records. This page will continue to be updated as training documents and media are created. Check here if you have a question about how to do something for the FamilySearch Records Project.

Thank you.

FamilySearch Records: Your Contributions Can Help Build the Research Wiki[edit | edit source]

Feel like it’s time to get your knowledge out there for all the World Wide Web to see? FamilySearch is launching a collaborative and hands-on project in the Research Wiki. If you have a desire to share what you know and help others with their research in turn, this opportunity is for you!

The new project, called WikiProject FamilySearch Records, will be an extension of the Historical Records. As genealogical collections are published in the Historical Records, a corresponding article will be written about the collection in the research wiki. These articles will provide descriptive information about the collection, as well as tips to help people new to the collection further their research.

We are seeking volunteers who would like to contribute content to these articles. There are many ways to get involved and all levels of expertise are invited to contribute. In fact, you don’t have to be a pro with genealogy or even know what a wiki is to lend a hand! If you are just starting out, we provide training and can help you on your way.

Examples of items volunteers may enter into the articles are:

  • Dates covered by each individual collection
  • The types of records included in the collection and pertinent genealogical information found within
  • The language of the record 
  • The original intent for the creation of a collection
  • A description of the physical state of the originals (i.e.: water damage, torn pages, bleed-through and fire damage)
  • Sources cited
  • Related articles and images

This is a massive undertaking, but one we feel will make and genealogy in general come alive. Come along with us for the journey!

If you would like to help, please contact Jackie Baucom, Dorothy Horan.

FamilySearch Records: Getting Started Series – An Introduction[edit | edit source]

Interested in contributing to the FamilySearch Records Project but feeling a little confused over where to begin? If so, this blog post aims to help you get going.

To start, we want you to know that contributing doesn’t mean spending countless hours researching and writing full articles (unless you want to… we won’t refuse!). Any amount of time spent working towards completing articles in the wiki qualifies you as a contributor and is a huge asset for our community. You can dedicate a couple of hours a week or contribute one-time to project that interests you. We hope that you’ll find the work rewarding, though, and will want to return to help regularly!

The first step is getting registered as a user. You can skip this step if you have already have an account with FamilySearch. Registering allows you to:

  • Edit existing pages and create new ones
  • Receive notification of new information on a page by watching the page
  • Collaborate with fellow community members on Talk pages
  • Create a user page and Talk page to practice editing

To register, visit the registration page. A great bonus to registering is that your newly created account will allow you access to all FamilySearch products.

Once you have registered, it’s time to find a task and article on which you are interested in contributing. Our page features a FamilySearch_Wiki:WikiProject_FamilySearch_Records#Project_Tasks task list which shows many of the ways you can contribute to the articles; the [FamilySearch_Wiki:WikiProject_FamilySearch_Records#Projects_Needing_Content]] section allows you to choose regions and specific areas in which you are most interested. It is entirely up to you where you choose to contribute!

If you need further help there are other resources available to you. We host a half-hour FamilySearch_Wiki:WikiProject_FamilySearch_Records#Project_Meeting every other Wednesday at 1:30 pm. This meeting can be attended online or on your phone and is a great opportunity to meet each other and ask questions. In addition, there are Help:Tour#Articles_with_Demos which can guide you in an overview of the wiki and searching (among other topics) and Getting_Started organized by topic that will help you with many of the specific questions you may have.

Ready to jump in? Have questions? We’d love for you to contact us!

FamilySearch Records Project: Editing in the Wiki Series – An Introduction
[edit | edit source]

It’s easy to get started writing and editing articles for the FamilySearch_Wiki:WikiProject_FamilySearch_Records. While there are a few tricks to it, most contributors find that using the wiki editor is much like using their favorite word processor. Through the “Editing in the Wiki” series, we’ll guide you through the ins and outs of creating content for the wiki.

First, the basics of a wiki: Wikis exist to serve the community at large. They are created to collect and display knowledge from a pool of people, whether among a smaller group, like a business, or the entire population of people who have access to the internet. According to the “Wiki” article on Wikipedia, a wiki is essentially a database for creating, browsing, and searching through information. A defining characteristic of a wiki is the ease with which pages can be created and updated. The essence of a Wiki is as follows:

  • A wiki invites all users to edit any page or to create new pages within the wiki Web site.
  • A wiki is not a carefully crafted site for casual visitors. Instead, it seeks to involve the visitor in an ongoing process of creation and collaboration that constantly changes the Web site (from:

One important part of writing and editing in a wiki is to realize that everything created in a wiki article has the possibility of being edited by other users. This means that the article (or section of an article) you write may not remain as originally written. Staying slightly unattached to your work is important as is realizing that what you contribute is part of a larger whole. Look at working in a wiki as a “group project” instead of as individual work. In turn, this also means that you have the ability (and are invited!) to edit others’ work as necessary. Finally, be confident in your ability to create, add content and edit articles in the wiki project. This is a community effort and you are part of that community. Your input is as valued as that of a long-time contributor. Even “small” contributions can spark larger ideas and research. So if you have some knowledge of a subject, put it in writing! Stay tuned to this series as we give you more tips and tricks about writing and editing articles for the FamilySearch_Wiki:WikiProject_FamilySearch_Records.

FamilySearch Records: Editing in the Wiki Series – Part II: Creating a New Page[edit | edit source]

Since the backbone of wikis are its pages and the articles created therein, we will get started with learning how to create a new page. Though there are several ways and rules to making this happen, the process is simple. Most likely, the easiest and most straight-forward method for creating a new page is using Help:Creating_a_Page which provides three easy steps to creating a new page. This page is also easily accessed using the “Create a New Page” button found on each wiki article’s right sidebar under the header “Make a Contribution”.

After reviewing the steps found on Help:Creating_a_Page, it’s time to create a name. The easiest way to do this is to use the title of the collection on which you are working. This simplifies the search process for other users. In addition, there are also certain wiki “rules” that should be followed when naming a new page. The FamilySearch_Wiki:Naming_conventions given on the Help:Creating_a_Page will give you the basic rules for all pages created in the wiki. Furthermore, each of the FamilySearch_Wiki:WikiProject_FamilySearch_Records articles use their own naming convention to set them apart. This is done by adding the “(FamilySearch Historical Records)” to the end of the title (do not include quotation marks), i.e.: England, Durham Diocese Marriage Bonds and Allegations (FamilySearch Historical Records). This phrase distinguishes articles that describe Record Search/Historical Collections from other wiki articles.

You are now ready to create a new page! If you'd like to find out about the other two methods of creating a page, visit the Help:Starting_a_new_page. And of course if you have any questions, please get in touch with us!