The Research Wiki—Your Best Friend for Family History

August 2, 2019  - by 

When searching for your ancestors, have you ever needed help finding a birth or military record? Do you know what types of records were kept in your ancestors’ birth country and how to find these records?

It would be great if you could look in one place to find the answers to these questions. Well, you can! The Research Wiki on FamilySearch makes it simple to find where and when records were kept and if they are online. 

What Exactly Is the Research Wiki, and Where Do You Find It?  

The Research Wiki is a free, online family history guide. It lists websites, shows different strategies to learn more about your family, and suggests records and resources to help you find ancestors from all over the world.  

A screenshot of the main page on the Research Wiki.

Wiki articles explain how to use records, what the records contain, and how to find them—and it does that for countries all around the world. Although you do not search for an ancestor by name in the Research Wiki, you learn the best places to search. You can also use the wiki as a reference for learning which types of records will help you find your ancestor.

How to Locate the Research Wiki

From the main page of FamilySearch, click Search. Then choose the last option, Research Wiki. The main page of the Research Wiki will open.

A screenshot of how to find the Research wiki.

Finding Records

Type in a country where you know your ancestors lived.

A screenshot showing working on the FamilySearch family tree.

A landing page for the country should pop up or be in the first few search results. This landing page is like “one-stop shopping” for your family history research. It shows you how to get started and directs you to helpful research tools. The sidebar on the right lists record types and topics pertinent to research in that country.

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Each country page also has a blue Online Records button that will take you to a list of record databases—places where you can search for your ancestors’ records online.

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This list will often include places where you can find birth, marriage, and death records—but they might also include church, military, and immigration records and much more, depending on what is available for that country. To provide you with all available options, the wiki links to both free and subscription databases. Websites labeled with a ($) require a subscription to use.

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To provide you with all available options, the wiki links to both free and subscription databases. Websites labeled with a ($) require a subscription to use.

A screenshot of the Research Wiki with a dollar sign highlighted.

The Research Wiki is a treasure trove for all research skill levels! It has over 90,000 articles with worldwide information and tools for beginners as well as for those who are more experienced.

Will the FamilySearch Research Wiki help you find your ancestors? Click to here to start your journey.


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Comments

  1. Thanks for this great article! The wiki is absolutely amazing. It’s an indispensable tool for anyone doing family history.