Help:Keys to Success Using the Wiki

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The “Keys to Success” in using the FamilySearch Research Wiki are based in part of four different success stories. Your success in using the Research Wiki to help with your genealogical research will be enhanced by your understanding of some of the best key features in the Wiki.

Success Stories[edit | edit source]

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Visit the Get Help to receive help with contributing to the Wiki.

  1. Carlisle Indian School Records
  2. Finding Pennsylvania Ward Maps
  3. Using the Historical Records Wiki articles
  4. Video:Researching in the Wiki: A Case Study

Keys to Success[edit | edit source]

Key One: Try it![edit | edit source]

In every success story example, the Wiki was not the first choice to search for research help. But in every success story example, the user came away with the realization that the FamilySearch Research Wiki is a valuable tool and in many cases, the answers to research questions are already there.

Key Two: Use different ways to search and browse[edit | edit source]

  1. Keyword searches
  2. Browse by country
  3. Browse by topic
  4. Navigational boxes
  5. Categories
  6. Clickable maps
  7. Disambiguation pages
  8. "What links here" on every page

Key Three: Understand some of the best features[edit | edit source]

  1. Research Content
    • FamilySearch publications were added to the Wiki and updated!
    • New research topics and articles never seen before
    • Links to online databases and descriptions of how to use them
    • Research strategies for births, deaths, and marriages based upon time and locality from the 1500s to the present
    • Use the content as a venue to teach others how to help themselves
    • Research tools
    • Articles that teach you how to locate records
    • Tons of images to help learn about records and places
  2. Answers to common research questions, for example see:
  3. FamilySearch Historical Records content
    • The Historical Records page links to the usage description page in the Wiki
    • The Historical Records Wiki page links to the database so you can immediately conduct a search
    • Anyone can add additional insight into using each of the Historical Records databases by adding what you know to the wiki article
  4. An Opportunity to Share
    • Share what you know
    • No publication delays
    • Preserve your knowledge
  5. Your Own Page
    • Use your “user page” to introduce yourself to the wiki community
    • Use your User Page-Talk page to communicate with wiki community members
    • Add a User Box to your page to help share details about the things that interest you
  6. Talk Pages
    • Use the Talk page to share your ideas about improving an article
    • Use the Talk page to talk to a specific user in the wiki
  7. Viewing a List of Contributions
    • View your own list of contributions
    • Keep track of your contributions for credentialing purposes
    • Learn from a specific author in the Wiki by viewing their “user contributions”
  8. Every Page has a History
    • See a history of all the edits made for any article
    • See exactly what the page looked like on any given day it was saved
  9. Wiki System Preferences
    • Change your preferences.
  10. The Watch List
    • Be notified when new content articles are updated.
    • Be notified when someone improves what you contributed.
    • Manage your watchlist
  11. WikiProjects You Can Join
    • Participate in a WikiProject to help grow and improve the content
    • Choose from a list of tasks identified by the WikiProject leaders
    • Get the help you need from those involved in the WikiProject
    • Create your own WikiProject to share what you know and to help others learn
  12. Disambiguation Pages
    • There is often more than one place for a specific locality name. The list of Ambiguous place name pages in the wiki gives you a glimpse of how many locality names might be confusing in your research. Each of these Disambiguation pages will help you sort through the options and hopefully find the right locality!
    • For non-place-name disambiguation pages, see the Disambiguation category page
  13. The Navigational Boxes
    • There are a lot of different types of navigation boxes.
    • Each navigation box will help you navigate to other pages that relate to the topic you are viewing
    • Each navigation box will help expand your knowledge about related topics and places
  14. The "What links here" feature
    • If the article you are viewing does not have the information you are looking for, choose the option to see a list of other pages in the wiki that link to the page you are viewing. Perhaps the other articles have exactly what you are looking for.
Help-content.png Questions?
Visit the Get Help to receive help with contributing to the Wiki.

Learn more about ...[edit | edit source]

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Wiki Tools for Research
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Help for Basic Searches in the Wiki
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Getting Started in the Wiki
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Family History for Beginners