FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Professional Genealogists

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Revision as of 21:23, 27 July 2012 by RitcheyMT (talk | contribs) (cleaned up steps)

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This is a project to help FamilySearch patrons find professional genealogists they can hire to help them find their ancestors. 

Get noticed. It's free!

Professional genealogists can list themselves on FamilySearch Wiki for free. In 2011, the wiki received an average of 306,076 unique visitors per month. How many Websites attract that many genealogy visitors and allow professionals to list thier services for free?

Why promote professional genealogists on the wiki?

One purpose of FamilySearch Wiki is to help patrons find the records of their ancestors. The wiki already contains tens of thousands of links to digitized records that require an access fee. Linking to professional researchers that can provide similar records is no more commercial than linking to fee-based records, and gives the patron one more way to access his ancestors' information. To learn more about why FamilySearch is doing this project, please visit the purpose page.

How to help patrons find you

Step 1: Register on FamilySearch

Registering on FamilySearch Wiki is easy and free. From any page on, click the Sign In link and follow the prompt to create a new account. Once you have registered, the system will send an email to the address you used to register. Click the link in that email to confirm your registration.

Step 2: Create your user page

Once you have confirmed FamilySearch account, follow these steps:

  1. Login to
  2. While you are logged in, go to any page of this wiki.
  3. Click the Personal Tools link on the right of the page.
  4. Under Personal Tools, click your user name.
  5. This will open your user page (click Edit) or to a message asking whether you want to create a user page (say yes!). 
  6. Add some information about yourself to your user page. Remember to click Save frequently to avoid losing any work!

Most wiki contributors add to their user pages information about their background and about projects they are doing on the wiki. But the idea behind this project is for each professional genealogist to add to his user page the sort of information that might help a patron decide whether they'd like to hire him. This may include the following information:

  • Genealogical education
  • Professional and volunteer experience
  • Credentials
  • Specialties
  • Business license
  • Services & Rates
  • Contact information

Many professionals also like to display longer items such as samples of client reports, research plans, or customer testimonials. Adding these to a user page would make it too long, but they can be added as sub-pages and linked from the user page. For help in creating sub-pages, see Help:Subpages or contact the FamilySearch Help Desk

Getting editing help

For help in learning how to edit, see Help:Editing the Wiki or telephone the FamilySearch Help Center.

Step 3: Fill out our online form

If you are a professional genealogist and want patrons to find your résumé / user page, you will want links created that lead to your user page from appropriate directory pages such as Professional Genealogists Who Specialize in Ohio Research. Our volunteers will make the directory pages and all the links for you; all you need to do is fill out an online form. Or if you'd like to help create these links, add your name to the signup table below!

We'll link topic pages to directory pages

To make it even easier for patrons to find professional help, our volunteers will create links from other appropriate wiki pages to the directory pages where you are listed. For example, we would create a link from Ohio Vital Records to Professional Genealogists Who Specialize in Ohio Research. The link's wording might be something like "Professional Genealogists Who Specialize in Ohio Research lists professional genealogists you can hire to obtain these records."

You can drive a lot of traffic to the directory pages where you are listed by creating links from many of the topic pages of the locality. To see a list of all the topic pages that might link to a single locality's directory page, see the page written about the locality itself. For example, to see a list of links to all the topic pages for Ohio, go to the Ohio page and see the list of Topics there. If you'd like to help create links from topic pages to the directory pages that list you, add your name to the signup table below!

Do the math

Let's say you've linked the directory pages of five U.S. states to your résumé / user page, and linked about two-thirds of the topic pages of those states to the directory pages where you're listed. With 18 topics per state (28 times 2/3), that would yield a funnel of 90 pages leading to you. Now imagine if you were to duplicate that at the county level! When one also considers that Google loves wikis -- that Google tends to rank wiki content higher than content from other sites -- it adds up to serious traffic potential.

Inappropriate marketing on FamilySearch Wiki

  • Don't add listings or links of individual researchers to topic pages; add them to directory pages instead. In other words, don't add an entry to a topic page like Ohio Vital Records that says "Joe Genius is a professional genealogist who does fee-based vital records lookups in Ohio vital records. Click here to go to his user page and see his services and fee schedule." Instead, add to Ohio Vital Records a link to the directory page Professional Genealogists Who Specialize in Ohio Research. Then link from the directory page to Joe Genius' user page.
  • Don't use FamilySearch copyrighted materials or images in pages you make to promote your business. Some patrons may incorrectly interpret this to mean that FamilySearch endorses your business. 

Want to help?

We're interested in collaborating with members of the professional community to figure out ways to enable marketing of a professional's services on the wiki. Sign up here if you'd like to help brainstorm ideas. You can also add your ideas to the Discussion page.This page is not the place to advertise. This page is for organizing those who wish to help build the various wiki pages that will point wiki patrons towards professionals who can help them. 

Sign up here by logging in, clicking the Edit link in the navigation bar, adding three tildes (~~~) to the table below, and clicking Save.

user name



How to help

Ritcheymt Michael Ritchey

FamilySearch Any
Michaelhait Michael Hait    
Daudwp Darris Williams FamilySearch

Collection Development

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG(sm)

Brycehrogers Bryce H. Rogers, BA I am a professional genealogist. BA in Family History from BYU ( collaboration with the professional genealogy community
Scotsgen Chris Halliday ScotlandsGenealogy
Professional Genealogist


Don Challis Challis Genealogical Research


Kim Melchior  Accredited Genealogist

Scandinavian Genealogical Research Center

Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish Professional research
Rusgenproject Kirill Chashchin
Russian Genealogical Project

Russia, Ukraine, Siberia, China

Rootsonomy Jim Heddell Professional researcher with FamlySearch and North America and Europe
Melanie532 Melanie D. Holtz, CG Holtz Research Services dba Lo Schiavo Genealogica Specializing in Italian Research

Assignment 1: User testing of directory page design

Description: The directory table used in Professional Genealogists Who Specialize in Ohio Research needs to be tested by users to see whether it bears the information they need.

Assignee: RitcheyMT

Progress: 0%

Assignment 2: Create directories for U.S. states

Description: After Assignment 1 is complete, use the wiki code from Professional Genealogists Who Specialize in Ohio Research to create similar pages for all 50 U.S. states. 


Progress: 2%

Assignment 3: Link from state topics pages to state directory pages

Description: After each state directory page in Assignment 2 is finished, link all the appropriate topics pages listed in its place page to the directory page. For example, link most of the pages listed in the Topics section of the Ohio page to Professional Genealogists Who Specialize in Ohio Research.


Progress: 0%