Genealogical Research and the Wiki
The wiki is a useful tool for genealogists to have in their bookmarks tool box. What is a wiki? According to google.com a wiki is “a web site developed collaboratively by a community of users, allowing any user to add and edit content.”
The most well known wiki is Wikipedia. On this wiki you can find information about countries, provinces, states, counties, towns and villages. You can also find information about churches and other organizations to be found in the area you are researching. Many people have started a wiki page about their ancestors.
FamilySearch has a wiki which is a wealth of information. There were 66,570 articles at the time this post was written. If you are trying to learn more about things such as Methodist church records in Ireland there is a page that can help you. They provide links to websites that can provide more information. They also provide the steps to search the Family History Library catalogue to see what records are available.
There is a tutorial at FamilySearch to help you use the wiki and start your own wiki page. It is called Help: Tour. You can learn to contribute to the wiki, store information on the wiki and research your family history on the wiki.
Ancestry.com has a wiki that has four kinds of content: “The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy,” “Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources,” “Other great Ancestry.com content” and “Content added by you.” They have a list of pages that they would like to have added to the wiki and are asking for contributors to start these pages.
My Heritage has a wiki called My Ancestry Wiki which is based on the family tree. You either upload your own or join one that is already started. You can invite family members to go in and update and add new information.
The wiki’s that would be most useful to the researcher at the moment are the FamilySearch Wiki and Wikipedia. The other wiki’s are a work in progress and tend to be very specific in the areas of coverage.
Wiki’s are a great tool but you must use them carefully and double check all the information you find. Check the sources for the pages to see where the information originated.
If there is a subject you are very well versed in then consider creating your own page on a wiki.
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