FamilySearch Wiki:Purpose, Policies, and Procedures

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What the Wiki is[edit | edit source]

The FamilySearch Research Wiki is a free, online genealogical guide created and maintained by FamilySearch, a non-profit organization. It contains links to genealogy databases, websites, resources, research strategies, and genealogical guidance to assist in the search for your ancestors. Wiki articles included are locality pages for countries around the world that contain topic pages which include pertinent genealogy record types explaining how to use the record, what it contains, and how/where to find it.

Who Maintains the Wiki[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch owns and maintains the Wiki. FamilySearch relies on volunteers to help update Wiki content and patrol edits made to the Wiki. Because of the enormous amount of Wiki articles, FamilySearch cannot guarantee content found on any Wiki page is current or correct. Like any Wiki, FamilySearch relies on the community to help locate incorrect information and identify broken links. Genealogical community members are welcome to add and update content on the Wiki by either editing the Wiki directly or submitting information to FamilySearch.

Sourcing and citing information helps establish the validity of the content, but no guarantees can be made regarding records and access owing to changing laws and other circumstances. Archives and government entities restructure, physically and organizationally, on a continual basis. It is not possible or reasonable to expect this information in the Wiki to always be accurate.

Content Allowed on the Wiki[edit | edit source]

  • Links to free and subscription websites regarding genealogy databases, records, images, websites, research strategies, repositories, archives, government agencies, finding aids to other collections, or anything else helpful to a user to locate their ancestors
  • Genealogical research strategies and guidance
  • Instructions on how to find, use and analyze records that are genealogically useful
  • Historical definitions of legal terms, occupations and other terms that are useful to genealogists
  • Images: Includes samplings of genealogical records, images of historical interest, current and historical maps

Final determination about the appropriateness of content rests with FamilySearch.

Research Wiki Projects[edit | edit source]

  • Locality pages: containing information about records, strategies and topics specific to a locality in discovering records about ancestors. This may include all jurisdictions, including countries, states, counties, parishes, provinces, departments, etc.
  • Historical Records Collection pages: explaining the scope of the collection and examples of relevant information contained therein
  • Guided Research project: maintained solely by FamilySearch to assist researchers starting research in a locality
  • Libraries and FamilySearch Affiliate Library Wiki pages
  • FamilySearch Family History Center/Library Wiki pages: for more information regarding what is allowed on a center/library Wiki page, go to: Help:Updating a Family History Page.
  • Genealogical and historical society pages

Wiki Content Policies[edit | edit source]

  • Creative Common License: Written content on the Wiki is under Creative Commons license. Exceptions include some FamilySearch images that are copyrighted. Be sure to view the license attached to any FamilySearch images before using or sharing to avoid violating copyright laws.
  • Neutral Point of View: The Wiki is written from a neutral point of view representing fair and without bias all significant views of family history related topics that have been published by reliable sources.

Content not allowed in the Wiki[edit | edit source]

The Wiki should not include the following:

  • Discussions of religion, politics, ethnicity, culture, and history except in relation to family history research and record keeping.
  • Images and files of record sets of source documents except when showing sample documents, especially associated with Historical Records collections.
  • Biographical information about an individual, unless it's used to describe a record or used in a case study to illustrate a research process or principle.
  • Data sets and genealogical records, such as obituaries, military histories, or transcriptions of record sources.
  • Lists of individuals in index form or a repository of individual information.
  • Personal points of view, opinions, arguments, testimonials or stories of research experiences.
  • Advertising or reviews of products or services.
  • Edit wars and fighting over competing viewpoints.
  • Profanity or profane slang in any form or language.
  • Poems, speeches, or other narrative text.
  • Holidays and family traditions. Those which affect family history records or research methods are allowed under specific countries/localities.
  • Religious doctrine or advocacy, or criticism of religious practices.
  • Doctrine and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is inappropriate to include this information on family history center/libraries Wiki pages.
  • Internal policies or contact information of FamilySearch International.
  • Contact information for business affiliates of FamilySearch International.
  • Criticism of FamilySearch or any of its business operations.

What you agree to by using the Wiki[edit | edit source]

  • When you edit the Wiki, you agree to abide by the FamilySearch Terms of Use: Conditions of Use
  • FamilySearch Terms of Use require contributors not to use the Wiki as a forum to conjecture, gossip, or debate about the priorities, motives, processes, policies, or competence of FamilySearch or its personnel. These activities fall outside of the scope and use of this site and may result in loss of contributor privileges.
  • System notifications from the Wiki: You may receive email notifications from the Wiki concerning watched pages, messages left on your user talk page, and when your Wiki editing role changes. Use the instructions found on the Notifications Wiki page to change your notification preferences.

Contributor Expectations[edit | edit source]

We anticipate contributors will add relevant content to the Wiki pages they edit.

Final determination about the appropriateness of content rests with FamilySearch.

Behaviors Not allowed[edit | edit source]

  • Soliciting feedback or collecting suggestions regarding the development of products.
  • Using bots, or programs that update pages automatically, without prior consent from FamilySearch management.
  • Posting copyrighted material.
  • Do not revert any page or any part of a page more than three times within 24 hours. Doing so may lead to an administrator revoking or limiting contributor privileges.
  • Anything that is added, removed, or changed in the Wiki that is an attempt to compromise the integrity of the Wiki is vandalism and will be rectified and may include loss of editing privileges.

Users who fail to obey policy and who do not follow the FamilySearch Research Wiki Terms of Use will be blocked from contributing to the Wiki. This includes, disruptive users, those who deliberately fan controversy, or who maliciously attack members of the community, community standards, or FamilySearch on Wiki pages or User pages. Loss of editing privileges may be temporary or permanent as determined by FamilySearch.

Disputes between contributors regarding editing and behavior[edit | edit source]

  • Disputes between members. When disputes arise between community members they are strongly encouraged to talk together and resolve their differences without using mediation or arbitration.
  • Mediation. A process available on request when disputes between members cannot be resolved on their own.
  • Arbitration. The Wiki Governance Council will form the Arbitration Board. Arbitration is needed when disputes about user conduct are reported. The decisions made by the Arbitration Board are final. However, a community member may appeal to the Arbitration Board for decisions on deletions of content, blocking or banning.