The Research Wiki—Your Best Friend for Family History

August 2, 2019  - by 
Three friends using the research wiki.

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 here to start your journey.

More about How to Use the Family Tree

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

  2. Hi
    I have a family tree on familysearch. I have been searching for family history of william cartile for many years. I think he was born 1780 in Halifax ns. There is a record of his marriage to hannah purcell dec 1821 in halifax county. He is also noted in1827 Portuguese cove census. There is a record of 2 of his children going to school in Portuguese cove. There is also a record of land transfer from samuel purcell to his daughter and william in portuguese cove and purcell cove. No record of birth or death. There are cartiles in england, ireland, usa and castile in Spain, Carrillo in france. DNA shows British, irish, ibernium and north europe ancestry. Record of gobelino (I think gubeliumo) cartile sponsor to a daughter al8nf with honora Hutchinson. Can you please please suggest what else I can do
    Thank you

  3. I am looking for information about my Grandparents who were Emily and Wilkin Armstrong , lived at Carrickreagh, Enniskillen in l92O’s. I would like to know the date of their marriage. It would have been In Devenish Parish Monea or St.Michael’s Church, Trory, Killeades, CO. Fermanagh. Thank you.

  4. It would help if there were maps to reference when doing research. Knowing where Essex is or Hertsfoshire is would help improve accuracy when doing research.

  5. This article provides more useful details to take advantage of the information that all these means can provide we can find information about our ancestors. Thank you.

  6. Dobrý den,nejde mi otevřít slovenská genealogie

    Google Translate – Czech to English: Hello, I can’t open Slovak genealogy