FamilySearch Wiki:Success Stories

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Revision as of 19:12, 26 May 2009 by JensenFA (talk | contribs) (added two experiences that were orginally posted to the FamilySearch Alpha Blog)

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Welcome to the FamilySearch Wiki Success Stories page! Here you may want to include experiences where the Wiki has helped you; or someone you know find some genealogical research database or resource. Please feel free to add and contribute, but if you have an especially lengthy experience, consider creating a separate page in the FamilySearch Research Wiki, and then include a brief summary here and link to the rest of the article. Thank you for using the Research Wiki, and we wish you many successes in your research!

2008 Success Stories

NOTE: This page was started in 2009, however, please feel free to add any previous experiences here.


Some Family History Library employees were just learning how to contribute to the Research Wiki. On May 29th, one of the employees, Sylvie, was asked to accept an assignment in a staff meeting. She cheerfully responded, "I don't have time for that. I am addicted to the Wiki!" Her manager withdrew the assignment and told Sylvie that she could spend all day working in the Wiki.

2009 Success Stories


While teaching a class on the FamilySearch Research Wiki at the Family History Library, one class attendee mentioned that she wanted to learn how her grandfather died. I asked where her father died. He died in Utah. We searched under the search terms "Utah" and "death." The results page led us to an article containing a link to online vital records for Utah. We searched the online database for her grandfather's name, and within only a few minutes, had the answer to her question! He had died in an avalanche. She left the class now knowing where she could locate that record online, and was surprised to find the answer to her question so quickly!



Wiki to the rescue

Recently I was working at the research desk in the Family History Library. A patron came into the library in hopes of finding information about her American Indian ancestors. She wanted to find the records for the school that her ancestor attended. She asked, “I want to find the Carlisle Indian school records.”

My first reaction was a big, silent “gulp” because I have no experience in American Indian research. I had no idea where the Carlisle school was located so I asked her if she knew what state the school was in. She replied, “Pennsylvania.”

I knew that a lot of instructions for American Indian research had already been added to the FamilySearch Research Wiki, so I was hopeful that the article about Pennsylvania American Indian records would help me be successful in assisting this patron with her search.

From the home page on FamilySearch Research Wiki, I clicked on United States, then I selected Pennsylvania, and finally American Indians.

There are no words to describe how excited I was to see an explaination of the “Carlisle Indian Industrial School” right there on the first page. In addition, there was a link to the web site for the school that contained a complete history of the school. The patron and I reviewed all the information on the Wiki about the school and the availability of records for the school. Thanks to the FamilySearch Research Wiki, the patron left that day with the knowledge she needed to continue the search for her ancestors who attended the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. (Franjensen 19:12, 26 May 2009 (UTC), originally posted on Friday, February 20th, 2009 at 4:12 pm on the FamilySearch Labs project: FamilySearch Alpha - Blog.)

"Let's give it a test"

On Saturday I was working at the Family History Library. When I am working I try to introduce the Wiki to everyone who asks for research advise. This is especially true when the person is visiting from out-of-town.

On Saturday I helped one lady a couple of different times but the third time we talked I discovered that I hadn’t told her about FamilySearch Research Wiki. She was thrilled to learn about the Wiki and also about the Forums that are linked from the Wiki. After the introduction she said, “Ok, let’s give it a test.” Then she said that she wanted to find out how to use the ward maps with census records for Pennsylvania. I didn’t know if any information about using the ward maps with census research was in the Wiki, so we went looking.

First we looked at the pages for Pennsylvania Census records, but nothing was mentioned about using the ward maps. Next we looked at the page for Pennsylvania Maps. Right at the bottom of the page was an explanation for using the city ward maps when doing census research. The article also linked to the catalog entry for the maps that are available at the Family History Library on microfilm and microfiche!!! She was thrilled with what she learned about using the ward maps. Evidently she had been trying for a long time to find out if ward maps were available and how to use them. Within a few short minutes, the Wiki answered her question. She loved what she saw and was anxious to share the news with friends back home. Franjensen 19:12, 26 May 2009 (UTC) (Originally posted on Monday, March 9th, 2009 at 9:14 am on the FamilySearch Labs project: FamilySearch Alpha - Blog.)