Locating Online Databases Part One: FamilySearch Wiki Sources
In the last decade, there has been a literal explosion in the availability of online genealogy records. This article will explain methods for locating online records using the FamilySearch Wiki.
- For online records on FamilySearch Historical Records and the FamilySearch Library, see Part Two.
- For online digitized books, see Part Three.
- For internet searches for online records, see Part Four.
Complete or incomplete?
In some cases, the database shows a complete copy of all the existing or known records in a collection. However, in many cases
- 1) the collection is still being digitized and uploaded. The uploading is a work in progress.
- 2) the collection is fully digitized, but only partially indexed. The index is a work in progress.
- 3) the original collection is still being gathered and will eventually be digitized, uploaded, and indexed. The collection is a work in progress.
It is important to read any descriptive notes about the collection. If it is incomplete, you will want to study the source again from time to time until you can determine that the project is finished.
Index, index and images, images only?
Some databases show digitized copies of original documents. Some databases are indexes of genealogical data found in documents. Some databases have indexed a collection of documents and linked the index entry to the digitized image of the document named. Warning! Every time information is copied into an index, abstract, or extract there is a chance of human error. An index may speed up location of a desired record. However, if the indexer misread or mistyped an entry, dependence on an index can result in missing a valuable record or greater details found in an original record. Always study the original source. Look at the digitized copy linked by the index. Browse the original source in the appropriate time period or section where you would expect to find your record, whenever possible.
FamilySearch Wiki Links to Online Records
Online Genealogy Records Pages of the Wiki
|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."
Online Genealogy Records pages only list databases that cover the entire state or country. Databases are also sometimes available that cover just a county, city, or parish. The rest of this article will help you find these smaller databases.
FamilySearch Wiki Locality Pages
Most online sources for countries, U.S. states, English counties, Canadian provinces, and Australia states, are listed in the Online Genealogy Record pages linked above in the left sidebar. At least, a serious effort is made to keep those pages current. However, online databases for lower jurisdictions, U.S. counties and towns, English towns and parishes, European provinces and states, and Latin American are not included in the Online Genealogy Records pages. They are frequently listed and explained in the FamilySearch Wiki pages for these lower jurisdictions. For example, here is a portion of the page for the county (kreis) of Bergstrasse in the state of Hessen, Germany. It gives links to an online database of births, marriages, and deaths from 1876 for this small locality: