Collecting Previous Research by Others Part Four: FamilySearch Wiki Tools
This article focuses on FamilySeach Wiki Tools. See also:
- Part One: Home and Relative Sources
- Part Two: Online Family Tree Collections
- Part Three: Digitized Books
Checking for previous research on your pedigree is an important step. It can save time, provide clues you might not otherwise find, help avoid duplication of effort, and help cooperation between families on research. Now, with the literal explosion of online sources, you can effectively survey online databases of what we call compiled genealogy, where the researcher has compiled original sources to present an opinion of how family groups and pedigree connections probably are most truthfully represented.
Evaluating Evidence to Determine Quality or Resolve Discrepancies
Keep in mind that every compiled genealogy you find is another researcher's opinion or interpretation of the documents he found about the family. Depending on the expertise of the researcher and the quality of available records, compiled research is subject to error. Indeed, you will frequently find disagreements between different versions of the family records you discover. You should carefully evaluate everything you find with both an open mind and a little skepticism. Here are some articles to train you to effectively evaluate the compiled research you will gather:
- Evidence Baby Steps
- Conclusions and Baby Steps
- The Genealogical Proof Standard
- Evaluate the Evidence
Online Genealogy Records
|The FamilySearch Wiki has collected and published lists of online records for state of the U.S., British counties, Canadian provinces, Australian states, and over other 100 countries. The lists are maintained and updated regularly. To find these lists, look in the left sidebar of the Wiki and click on "Online Genealogy Records."
|Within the Online Genealogy Records page for your locality, look for the two subheadings: Biographies and Compiled Genealogies.
If are a member of the LDS church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), particularly if you have Mormon pioneer ancestors, this Online Genealogy Records page focuses on LDS records: LDS Online Genealogy Records.
FamilySearch Wiki Topic Pages
Genealogy records throughout the world are stored by their geographical location. The FamilySearch Wiki provides education about and links to these records, organized by country, state or province, and county. Enter a locality where your ancestors lived in the Search field at the top right of this page. Then look at the right sidebar for topics specific to that locality. To find links to compiled genealogies for the locality, search the topics Biographies, Genealogies (sometimes listed as Genealogy or Compiled Genealogy), and Town Genealogies.
County genealogy societies sometimes collect compiled genealogies of their founding families or early pioneer families. They may also have listings of other researchers following your lines. At the bottom of each locality sidebar, there is a link to an article providing contact information for local genealogical societies. In addition, you can search for societies at*Federation of Genealogical Societies