In my last article I shared with you over 140 free family history ‘How To’ videos offered by FamilySearch. FamilySearch Wiki is our next adventure with free online help. What is a Wiki? As stated on the site itself; “The Research Wiki is a free collection of family history articles provided by family history enthusiasts from around the world. You can research your family history, contribute your knowledge to the wiki, collaborate in the wiki and you can ‘watch’ pages of interest with your account.”
Go to www.familysearch.org and click on LEARN tab at the top. Scroll down to Research Wiki apart of the large FamilySearch network or you can go directly to http://wiki.familysearch.org. My first recommendation is to view the quick video so you can tour the site, learn how to navigate around and find articles that are prevalent to your research needs. Within the articles themselves you will find additional resources that you can click on to further your research. Searching by subject, place or keyword is one option and browsing by country and topics is helpful when you aren’t sure which direction to take next. Watching the less then 6 minute video will give you additional search tips.
Once you establish an account with FamilySearch Wiki (if you already have an account with www.familysearch.org, it will work with the FamilySearch Wiki site) it will open up other options where you can ‘watch’ an article in case there is any information that has been added or changed, you can be a contributor to your area of expertise or you can connect with those that are searching in the same areas. You don’t need to be an expert to use the site or to contribute, it’s that easy. If you are a Facebook user, FamilySearch Wiki is also on Facebook.
Here are two blogs by FamilySearch that I want to share, the first one is TechTips by FamilySearch. It is a techie blog that is updated several times a week and covers everything from what to look for in a scanner to phone apps. The information is up to date, fresh and a great addition to your family history research. To read more about TechTips, Click Here for a news story from the LDS Newsroom. FamilySearch also has their own blog located at http://www.familysearch.org/blog. The blog will keep you up to date on the latest databases to search that have been added to the FamilySearch.org website. Definitely one to keep track of as they are continually adding new content each month.
My last article in this series will cover the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) and the Historical Books at the BYU Family History Archive. These two resources are essential to have in your family history tool belt, they are free and online.