Help:Wiki University How to Research Using the Wiki

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How to research using the Wiki[edit | edit source]

  • Research is the reason why FamilySearch Wiki was created in the first place.
  • Users looking for their ancestors can discover what records exist in the place of their ancestor's origin and how to gain access to them.
  • If you are totally new to genealogy research and have never engaged in any in the past, click here to learn how to begin your genealogical quest.

First step - What do you know?[edit | edit source]

We are going to assume that you have had some experience with genealogical research and have started your own family tree. We are also going to assume that you are new to the wiki and want to know how it can help you find information. Here are the first steps using the Wiki:

  • GATHER: You do not need to gather everything you know about all of your ancestors - just the one you want to research now.
  • CHOOSE: Select an event you want to research such as a birth, marriage or death.
  • FIND: Go to the Wiki to determine if the records you are looking for exist and how to get access to them.
  • SHARE: Next, if the information is useful, enter it into your family tree on so other members of your family can learn more about their ancestors.

Case Studies[edit | edit source]

Below are three case studies on how the Research Wiki was used to find records on a particular ancestor. Feel free to follow the steps described in each case to discover the logical flow of researching using the Wiki.

Case study - One[edit | edit source]

Let's say you want to find the birth certificate for Ivan Rogers who was born in 1922 in Arizona.

  • In the search bar, type "Arizona." A list of choices will appear in a drop down box.
  • Click on "Arizona."
  • In the "Getting Started" section, click on "How to Find Birth Records."
  • You will be directed to another article entitled "How to Find Arizona Birth Records."
  • You will notice a detailed description of what records are available from the state archives in relation to birth records.
  • Clicking on any of the links will take you to a section of the page further down.
  • Since Ivan was born in 1922, he was born 67 years before 1989, which means the designation "Birth from 75 years before present year thru 1989" would be the place to click.
  • Next click on the "Arizona Department of Health Services" link.
  • Click on "A-Z INDEX" in the tool bar and click on the letter "G", then "Genealogy."
  • Fill out the Last Name and First Name boxes as well as the Birth Year box.
  • Click "Submit" and select from the list of responses.
  • You should see a list of individuals matching your search criteria.
  • Click on the proper one and you should see a copy of the original birth certificate. (Hint: Ivan's is the third one. See Document #2)

Case study - Two[edit | edit source]

Let's say you want to find the parents for Herman C. Sherburne who was born in 1892 in Maine.

  • In the Wiki search bar, type "Maine."
  • A list of choices will appear.
  • Click on "Maine."
  • Scroll down slightly to the "Getting Started section;" click on "How to Find Birth Records."
  • You will then be directed to another article titled "How to Find Maine Birth Records."
  • Notice the blue "Next Step: When did the birth occur?" box.
  • Since Herman was born in 1892, click on "Births Between 1892 and 1922."
  • Next click on "Maine, Vital Records, 1670-1907 (without the $)."
  • Fill out the "First Names," "Last Names," "Birthplace," and "Birth Year (Range)" boxes.
  • Click "Search" and select from the list of responses.
  • Click on the proper one and you should see a copy of Herman's birth certificate with his parents' names.

Case study - Three[edit | edit source]

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

You have pioneer ancestors who came across the plains and wintered in Winter Quarters, Nebraska. They decided to stay when the rest of the company moved on. You want to know what resources are available regarding them.

  • In the Wiki search bar, type "Winter Quarters, Nebraska," then hit "Enter."
  • A list of choices will appear. Note that there is no page specifically titled "Winter Quarters, Nebraska." Look through the descriptions to pick the one that best relates to this search.
  • For this study, click on ""
    • Scroll down and notice the links provided. Since we are specifically looking for Winter Quarters, Nebraska, click on the "Pioneer Research Group" link under "Pioneer Research Group - Winter Quarters and Kanesville."
    • You will then be directed to a list of links pertaining to Winter Quarters provided by BYU.
  • Go back to the "" page.
    • Click on the link "Early Church Information File (ECIF)." Scroll down the page and see what links are available to assist you there.
  • Go back to the "" page again.
    • Click on the bullet link "Early Latter-day Saint Database."
    • You can now scroll down the page and search this database for your pioneer ancestors.

Try these out[edit | edit source]

Quick Quiz
  • You can search for names of your ancestors in FamilySearch Wiki.
  • FamilySearch Wiki has a complete list of all places where genealogical records are kept in the world.
  • The only way to get to the FamilySearch Wiki is through