FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Utah Community Meeting 2012 July 11

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Welcome! Make a difference! Add your voice to the Utah Wiki Project.

Join with other Utah project participants to see progress, to share ideas, and to get news and training. Please add items to the agenda before or bring them up during the conversation.
The Wiki currently has 85,960 articles in English



Anyone new to this meeting?

Meeting Participants:

News and Events

Review of last meeting

Progress reports

  • On June 13th, a problem with the " " code showing up in headings after a "show preview." Pat may have discovered an insight.
    • When we leave a page open in edit mode too long, the wiki editor has, in some cases, turned most of the page into very strange code. It is likely a bug, but let's avoid it by not staying in edit mode more than ___ minutes?
  • Birth topic was updated per last meeting. Will review it FIRST in order to complete discussion and begin writing the task.
  • Probate, and Cemeteries are ready for review prior to writing tasks.
  • History timeline update: Marty Simon (a missionary) is starting those updates Beaver County. She was given a pattern for citing internet sources for information added to the timeline.
  • Neighboring county maps: What do you think? (Joy Bogar, a missionary, has been practicing and is starting in ernest.
  • Utah page updated: The area previously called "Utah's Most Unique Genealogical Features" was renamed to "Major Online Resources", with resources and brief commentary added. Also the "Utah Featured Articles" area had been fouled up by the FCK editor somehow.
    • James noted that several links were again fouled up. He fixed all or most of them during the meeting

Idea share

Vital records (BMD, Div)

The discussion today will focus on sources suggested. Areas of concern are:

  • Not repeating state-level on county, but only linking them to state pages
  • What sources will help the user most for this topic, whether it is state, county, or town level.

Birth in bulleted style Suggest resources, review for dates and content.

Discussion minutes:

    • Add the link to the state VR page for birth -- remove the death certif one (take off the statewide ones).
    • If they go to the state page, will a novice find it easily, quickly?
    • Should have that (guidance? ease of finding?) on the state page, if not add it.
    • If we send them to the death collection on the state page -- too many resources on state page, get discouraged with too many links. Catch them with success and you have them forever.
    • Link directly to that item on the state page, which also lists other resources.
    • Too many links, or state page may be overwhelming
    • List in order of importance (on state pages).
    • Why make them click twice? Once to the state page, then again to the database.
    • Uncomforatable with putting state sources on county pages.
    • Need to train them to go to the state pages
    • But if we are constantly sending them back to the state page, why do the county pages?
    • Be sure to have them look at what is on the state page.
    • Need tips for how to make the best use of the wiki. Look at county as well as the state. Some things that are training.
    • Would be helpful for ward consultants -- ask them how do you want us to teach people to use the wiki? They get to county level quite fast
    • Historical Records Collections are putting things on state level that are actually county level. A change from tradition.
    • Really want them to get to state, since so much is there that would be useful for them; county level gets more specific for that county; jurisdiction levels -- they need to know; they need a training and mentality set they need to know or it is a dis-service to them.
    • Beginners have some tendency give up too quickly if we present too much
    • Lots on state pages, they don't know.
    • More explanations (are/should be) on state pages as well. They miss that when they only go to the county pages.
    • Need explanations on the county pages. At FHC's they won't have us sitting by them, refer them to the state page.
    • They do have to have some training -- help them not to lose (what?).
    • Basic search strategies tip. (How to use this outline.) Get them going in the right direction.
    • People are looking for a database, not analyzing what they need. They need to be going back and forth between co and state
    • Database mentality is for initial success. Then they will read once we have them. Give the shortcuts - do anything to find the name, to get them the desire.
    • Reach the people who don't have someone sitting by them to understand how to do the proper research.
    • I like to think the wiki can do all of this -- we just haven't discovered how as yet.
    • Compromise: list one or two state items per page, then suggest the state page. Give a flavor of what is on the state page.
    • Put search strategies on county pages (did I get this right?)
    • Have something that helps them go back to the state page.
    • When I want them to know what they need to know, send them to the US page, which has done a good job.
    • Repetitious - is that the concern? (With writing or using?)
    • The Wiki is so tied to words -- wade through so many words. Templates must be carefully worded, brief, effective.
    • Short, and it needs to be there (where?). Keep it short. Once we know it, we skip over it. When the format is consistent, we tend to filter. (So repetitious is not a problem to the reader?)

Comments recieved offline:

  • Use the link to whet their appetite to go to the state pages.
  • Don't be like the yellow pages, where you get to what you want and it says to look under another topic. It takes the same amount of space and time to just give them the link.
  • Should just put a one sentence blurb on each county page saying for search strategies, go to the Utah page and link them to that page
  • The state vs county issue shouldn't even be an issue with the "birth information" style we have set forth until we reach DATES where there are REAL birth records. The "birth information" style already pre-supposes a professional level study/assessment has been made on what to include for this county and ANY resource ---whether from state wiki page or outside link---is in the "birth information" section because it is the best for that county.
  • The state vs county issue is more for when we reach the DATES section that have REAL birth records.
  • Issue one: sometimes a collection on the state page doesn't cover a county and if it's mentioned on the county page via our link to the state page and they search that collection ---we have wasted their time; much more serious than a few extra clicks
  • Issue two: The "state" collection "Utah Birth Marr Deaths" may have "x county" records, but may be MISSING years (say 1897 and 1899) for that county. (Often this kind of thing isn't noted in Historical Records descriptions or Ancestry's equivalent of their database description.)
    • So, on the county we point out this "state" level collections scope for that county? Or should the state page cover all that?
    • I'm thinking the state page should refer people to the county page for county scope limitations
    • It would seem to me that some of the scope limitations unique to a county would only be recognized by someone who has buried themselves in extensive research in that county.
    • We as Utah county wiki project people may spot a few and the Utah (State pages) wiki project people will spot a fair amount. But it will be the "Tom Jones" doing research in a specific county who will really find the unique scope limitations. (And who will have used the state pages to identify collectios whose scope need to evaluated and tested) I think the wiki needs to be organized such that it would be obvious where he could note his scope findings.
      • We could do a "deep" task description to have people test the best, most available statewide resources.
    • Stage One: template sending people to State page for state jurisdiction level and compendiums (This is for county that have no specific content under record type)
    • Stage Two: Selection of one or two state page resources especially helpful for THAT county.
      • IE: "Utah Birth, Death, Marr"[clickable] as noted on Utah State page [clickable], where there are other compendiums relevant to x county.
      • Inclusion of county level resources
    • Stage Three: Keep "birth information" style;
      • Have breakout page link (IN THE APPROPRIATE DATE SECTION WHERE REAL BIRTH RECORDS EXISTED) for a serious professional presentation of birth rec existence (where originals are kept);
      • Start to incorporate scope comments about databases. Talk page can be used for notes on what is known so far about scope for that county. Ie: one person notices something abt the 1898 year in a collection. Someone else notices something abt 1910-11. Eventually a "Stage 4" person does an exhaustive study.
        • IE: "Birth Records of x county"[click-able] or...
          • County Level
            • Originals housed [clickable; link to appropriate section on Birth Records of x county page]
            • Electronically Searchable or Index [clickable; link to appropriate section on Birth Records of x county page]
            • Dates [clickable; link to appropriate section on Birth Records of x county page]
          • State Level
            • Originals housed [clickable; link to appropriate section on Birth Records of x county page]
            • Electronically Searchable or Index [clickable; link to appropriate section on Birth Records of x county page]
            • Dates [clickable; link to appropriate section on Birth Records of x county page]
    • Stage Four: Reconstruction of breakout page done by a researcher who has done exhaustive research on this record type in this county. Incorporates previously "hidden" scope comments. Cites where original records are, etc.
      • note: if one words the template from Stage One carefully, Stage Two could incorporate same stmt
  • So we end up with a "soft" "birth information" format on the county page with a link to a "professional" "Birth Records of x county page". Experienced researchers will tend to skip county page anyway ---having searched for "Birth Record of x county" rather than "x county". "Newbies", our data shows, tend to land on the county pages, so having the soft teaching going on with vital records there will be helpful

Summary of minutes:

"Quick" Tasks

Topics that may need less discussion: Leader/assistants do examples, get suggestions and approval:

Future meetings

Meetings will be held on Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m.

Next week:

  • Progress reports
  • Future focus for discussions:
  • Church records
  • Cemetery records
  • Library area of each county
  • Tip Bank