FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records/Guidelines for Articles

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Blue check.png This page documents a guideline. It is a generally accepted standard that contributors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense and the occasional exception.

Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.

We need your help! Below is a style guide to assist you in editing and authoring desciptions of wiki articles that describe FamilySearch digital collections.

Some Style Notes

FamilySearch Collections are found in the new version of The wiki articles that describe the collections have the phrase "Historical Record Collections" in the title of the article.

Wiki articles that are created to describe FamilySearch Collections are written to assist wiki users who may or may not be genealogical experts. The articles should be written in a basic language style, using simple words. Descriptions of each section of a Family Search Collection wiki article are listed below.

FamilySearch Collection Template

The template brands the article as describing a collection from the FamilySearch website and creates links to digital collections. 

Members of the User Guidance Unit will add the FamilySearch Colllection template to Historical Record Collections wiki articles. 

Title in the Language of the Records

In this portion of the article, we ask the community to supply a translation of the title in the language of the records for non-English language collections.  

Example - Known Title in the Language of the Record:

Argentina, Censo de 1869

Example - Unknown Title in the Language of the Record:

This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying a translation of the title in Dutch here. 

Record Description

This section of the article is a description of the physical state of the items in the collection. Include the time period covered by the records and mention the physical state of the originals, such as:

  • Water damage
  • Torn pages
  • Bleed-through
  • Fire damage

It is also helpful to describe the types of records included in the collection, the language, and what format they are written in.


This collection of census records covers the year of 1901. Census enumerations were recorded in registers with legal size papers in landscape orientation. Each book (libreto) is separated by a title page, which includes the name of the province, the section, and the type of population covered. It is followed by the enumeration sheets containing surname and names of the inhabitants, age, gender, and civil status, nationality, place of birth, occupation, literacy, and special conditions. At the end of each book (libretto) is a global summary page of the register. 

Record Content

This section should list the major genealogical items discovered in the records. Any sample images or tables should be included under Record Content as well. 


The census of 1869 includes the following information:

  • Name of the province
  • Name of the section or district
  • Type of population
  • Last name and given name
  • Age, gender, and civil status
  • Nationality and place of birth
  • Occupation
  • Literacy (ability to read and write) 

Sample Images

Samples of images from the collection will be added to this section individually, or with a number of images, in galleries. Images in other languages may include callouts of major phrases in the document or a translation of the document. Images should be placed above or next to the record content section that describes each image.

How to Use the Record

Add specific research strategies to this section of the guidance, if possible. If describing an index, outline who authored it. Also describe the fields that are indexed and how to find the indexed records. 


Begin your search by typing: the family surname, country (which is China most of the time), province, and then the county, if known. The title of the records from the county will be listed. Some of the records include a publication year, if known. Even though many records are from Guangdong Province where most of the families lived in the last century, some of the records are listed under the province and county where the ancestors originated. Some records list “unknown” as the family’s locality because the record itself does not specify any particular place or no single place can be used because the family is too widely scattered. 

Related Websites

The purpose of this section is to encourage the community to add links to websites for archives and other websites with related material. 

To create website links:

  1. Type the title of the related website that will be linked to the new article, then highlight it.
  2. Click on the “Insert/Edit link” icon (the Globe with a single chain link).
  3. Paste the website URL into the “Link” box.
  4. Click “OK”.
  5. You should be returned to the wiki article and the link should be created.

Example - No Website Links Provided:

This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying links to related websites here.

Example - Website Link Provided

Chinese Genealogies

Related Wiki Articles

List wiki articles with material relating to the topic of this article.

To create the link:

  1. Type the title of the Related Wiki Article that will be linked to the new article, then highlight it.
  2. Click on the “Insert/Edit link” icon. (Globe with a single chain link)
  3. Type the name of the article that you wish to link to into the “Link” box. It should appear. Shortening the title is sometimes more useful than typing the entire title into the box.
  4. Once found, select the correct title and click “OK”.
  5. You should be returned to the new wiki article and the link should be created.


Argentina Census

Known Issues With This Collection

This header will be added as needed by World Wide Support staff and missionaries when they add information about problems with the collection.

Contributions to This Article

In this section, add the “Contributor Invite” template by following these steps:

  • Click on the Template {T} Icon
  • Click on the “Manual” tab
  • Select “Template:Contributor_invite”

The template may also be created using wikitext by typing: {{Template:Contributor invite}}

End Result:

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records. The User Guidance unit will create this citation. The citation includes coding which makes the citation appear on the collection page in The coding is very sensitive and should not be changed.

Source Citation Example:

<!--bibdescbegin-->Arizona Department of Health Services. Death certificates, ca. 1870-1951. Arizona Department of Library, Archives and Public Records, Records Management Division, Phoenix.<!--bibdescend-->

Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

Please add the following in normal text:

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. 

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Examples of Citations for Records Found in FamilySearch Historical Collections

Please add the following in normal text:

The following are examples of records found in different collections. Please help FamilySearch by replacing this example with a citation for a record you have found in this collection.

  • “Delaware Marriage Records,” database and digital images, FamilySearch ( accessed 4 March 2011), William Anderson and Elizabeth Baynard Henry, 1890; citing Delaware, State Marriage Records, no. 859, Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover.
  • “Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” digital images, FamilySearch ( accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 > image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clementina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata.

When the citation has been replaced with a citation specific to the collection being described, the heading should be changed to “Example of a Citation for a Record Found in This Collection”.