FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Professional Genealogists

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This is a project to help FamilySearch patrons find professional genealogists they can hire to help them find their ancestors. 

Get noticed. It's free!

Professional genealogists can list themselves on FamilySearch Wiki for free. In 2011, the wiki received an average of 306,076 unique visitors per month. How many Websites attract that many genealogy visitors and allow professionals to list their services for free?

Why promote professional genealogists on the wiki?

One purpose of FamilySearch Wiki is to help patrons find the records of their ancestors. The wiki already contains tens of thousands of links to digitized records that require an access fee. Linking to professional researchers that can provide similar records is no more commercial than linking to fee-based records, and gives the patron one more way to access his ancestors' information. To learn more about why FamilySearch is doing this project, please visit the purpose page.

How to help patrons find you

Step 1: Register on FamilySearch

Registering on FamilySearch Wiki is easy and free. From any page on, click the Sign In link and follow the prompt to create a new account. Once you have registered, the system will send an email to the address you used to register. Click the link in that email to confirm your registration. You will have a user name and password which need to be remembered, that will give access to all the FamilySearch sites.

Step 2: Create your user page

Once you have confirmed your FamilySearch account, follow these steps:

  1. Login to
  2. While you are logged in, go to any page of this wiki, which is done by clicking the learn tab at top of page.
  3. Click on Research Wiki at bottom left.
  4. Click the Personal Tools link on the right of the page.
  5. Under Personal Tools, click your user name.
  6. This will open your user page (click Edit) or to a message asking whether you want to create a user page (say yes!). 
  7. Add some information about yourself to your user page. Remember to click Save frequently to avoid losing any work!

Most wiki contributors add to their user pages information about their background and about projects they are doing on the wiki. But the idea behind this project is for each professional genealogist to add to his user page the sort of information that might help a patron decide whether they'd like to hire him. This may include the following information:

  • Genealogical education
  • Professional and volunteer experience
  • Credentials
  • Specialties
  • Business license
  • Services & Rates
  • Contact information

Many professionals also like to display longer items such as samples of client reports, research plans, or customer testimonials. Adding these to a user page would make it too long, but they can be added as sub-pages and linked from the user page. For help in creating sub-pages, see Help:Subpages or contact the FamilySearch Help Desk

Getting editing help

For help in learning how to edit, see Help:Editing the Wiki or telephone the FamilySearch Help Center.

Step 3: Fill out our online form

If you are a professional genealogist and want patrons to find your résumé / user page, you will want links created that lead to your user page, from appropriate directory pages, such as Professional Genealogists Who Specialize in Ohio Research.

Our volunteers will make the directory pages and all the links for you; all you need to do is fill out an online form by:

  • Finding the locality page you desire by clicking "State List or Outside US." (You may wish to copy these instructions since you will be  leaving this page.)
  • Selecting the locality from the list,
  • clicking the Edit link, in the navigation bar, on the State or Country page you have selected,
  • Using any open  row, (If there are no open rows: Right click where you want the row, choose insert  row,)
  • adding three tildes(~) to the first box in your row (and nothing else), filling in the info in the other cells and clicking "Save" at the bottom of edit box.

 If you'd like to help create these links, add your name to the signup table below!

We'll link topic pages to directory pages

To make it even easier for patrons to find professional help, our volunteers will create links from other appropriate wiki pages to the directory pages where you are listed. For example, we would create a link from Ohio Vital Records to Professional Genealogists Who Specialize in Ohio Research. The link's wording might be something like "Professional Genealogists Who Specialize in Ohio Research lists professional genealogists you can hire to obtain these records."

A lot of traffic can be driven to the directory pages where you are listed, by creating links from many of the topic pages of the locality. To see a list of all the topic pages that might link to a single locality's directory page, see the page written about the locality itself. For example, to see a list of links to all the topic pages for Ohio, go to the Ohio page and see the list of Topics there. If you'd like to help create links from topic pages to the directory pages that list you, add your name to the signup table below!

Do the math

Let's say you've linked the directory pages of five U.S. states to your résumé / user page, and linked about two-thirds of the topic pages of those states to the directory pages where you're listed. With 18 topics per state (28 times 2/3), that would yield a funnel of 90 pages leading to you. Now imagine if you were to duplicate that at the county level! When one also considers that Google loves wikis -- that Google tends to rank wiki content higher than content from other sites -- it adds up to serious traffic potential.

Marketing appropriately on FamilySearch Wiki

  • Use language reflecting Neutral Point of View. A wiki page's language shouldn't read like the script of a used car salesman or a Sham-Wow ad. State the facts -- only the facts.
  • When linking a wiki page to a web page outside the wiki, do it once. It's okay to add multiple links from a wiki page to various unique pages on another site if each of those pages lends value to the reader of the wiki article. However, if multiple links from a wiki page led to a single page on another site, the links would be redundant, and would usually constitute link spamming. 
  • Don't add listings or links of individual researchers to topic pages; add them to directory pages instead. In other words, don't add an entry to a topic page like Ohio Vital Records that says "Joe Genius is a professional genealogist who does fee-based vital records lookups in Ohio vital records. Click here to go to his user page and see his services and fee schedule." Instead, add to Ohio Vital Records a link to the directory page Professional Genealogists Who Specialize in Ohio Research. Then link from the directory page to Joe Genius' user page.
  • Don't use FamilySearch copyrighted materials or images in pages you make to promote your business. Some patrons may incorrectly interpret this to mean that FamilySearch endorses your business.