FamilySearch Wiki:About Us

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Welcome to FamilySearch Wiki!

The FamilySearch Wiki is not about finding the names of your ancestors.  It is not, in fact, about finding people at all.  The Wiki is about finding records that may have been generated about your ancestors and the places in which the records might be found. It is a vast record depository of the paper trail that people leave behind long after they are gone. The Wiki has records from the United States as well as from 244 countries.  Here you will be able to find documents such as census records, marriage records, birth records and death records and much more. Probate documents are often very informative and may help you in your search.  There is an extensive list of United States military records on the wiki .   

Your ancestors and the stories of their lives are to be found in those records and pages. With research and reading, combined with some information gathering to lay the groundwork, you can begin to construct your family tree and fill in the blanks that have may have eluded you.The FamilySearch Wiki is a wonderful place to start!

By just typing a word or two into the search engine at the top right of the page, you can begin to see some of the thousands of records that are here on the FamilySearchWiki.  On every page, you will find links to record collections from all over the world.  You will even find links to lessons: Researching in the FamilySearch Wiki:A Case Study that will teach you how to use the Wiki and videos that will assist you in your searches. The goal of the folks here on the Wiki is to help you to grow your family tree. And all of this is available to you at no cost...ever. 

To use the Wiki in your search for ancestral records you will need to be prepared.

  1. Think about what you want to find about your ancestor.  Be specific.
  2. Consider the location where that event might have happened.The more you can narrow your search, the more successful you will be.
  3. Think about which specific records might contain the information you are seeking.
  4. Work backward instead of forward.  Look for a death or marriage record before looking for a birth record. We generate more and more records the older we become. The later in time you look, the more likely you will be to find a record.
  5. Consider the record/document trails that all of us leave behind.

It is helpful to know the following two pieces of information before you begin your search:

  1. A possible location where your ancestor may have lived; a town, city, county, state or nation.   
  2. A  general time frame of the time between their births and their deaths.

Valuable Resources

Additional research advice can be found on:

One of the following articles can help you decide where to look first for a puzzling:

For information about contributing to the wiki:

Learn more about ...

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Keys to Success Using the Wiki
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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