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Has Your Genealogy Research Stalled? Check the FamilySearch Wiki for Fresh Ideas

Toni Carrier
by Toni Carrier

Do you feel like your genealogy research is at a standstill? Have you hit a roadblock or run out of records to search? Perhaps you have an ancestor you just can’t seem to find information for. Maybe you feel that you have exhausted all the available resources. In times like these, the FamilySearch Wiki can be just the thing you need to get your research moving again.

The FamilySearch Wiki: A Power Tool for Your Research

The FamilySearch Wiki is an online learning center where community members share wisdom about all things genealogy. Whether you are just beginning your research or have years of experience, you are sure to find new resources on the FamilySearch Wiki for your area of research interest. The Wiki is a vast repository where you can learn about:

  • Records and the information they contain
  • Record collections to search
  • Where to find offline records for the area where your ancestor lived
  • Research methods to help you develop your skills
  • Information on illnesses and occupations listed in historical records
  • Location specific resources for the United States and 244 countries and territories

You can also share your research wisdom with others by contributing to the Wiki.

Navigating and Searching the Wiki

You can search or browse the more than 82,000 articles on the FamilySearch Wiki. The Wiki Home page is your starting point.

 

FamilySearch Wiki Home Page

FamilySearch Wiki Home Page

 

On the Home page, you can enter search terms or use the map interface to the right of the search for to browse articles on specific locations. If you are searching for a particular state, it helps to enter United States, then the state name in your search. Let’s search “United States, Georgia” as an example search term. The result is a list of all Wiki pages related to the state of Georgia:

 

FamilySearch Wiki Search results for United States, Georgia

FamilySearch Wiki Search results for United States, Georgia

Example Page: Chatham County, GA Genealogy

Let’s do a sample search for “Savannah, Georgia” and view the search results.

 

FamilySearch Wiki Search results for Savannah

FamilySearch Wiki Search results for Savannah, Georgia

 

Now, let’s select the article “Chatham County, Georgia Genealogy” and view the Wiki page. At the top of the page, we see a table of contents for the page, and a map showing the location of Chatham County, Georgia.

 

FamilySearch Wiki Chatham County, Georgia Introduction

FamilySearch Wiki Chatham County, Georgia Wiki Page Introduction

 

Next is a section I find especially helpful if I am researching an area I’m not familiar with: a chart showing the beginning dates for various record types in the county, and a list of county courts, with addresses and contact information.

 

FamilySearch Wiki Chatham County, Georgia Record Dates and County Court Addresses

FamilySearch Wiki Chatham County, Georgia Record Dates and County Court Addresses

 

Next, we see a history of Chatham County and a list of populated places in the county:

 

FamilySearch Wiki Chatham County, Georgia History and Places

FamilySearch Wiki Chatham County, Georgia History and Populated Places

 

The page includes an  extensive list of genealogy resources for Chatham County, Georgia, including a section with resources for African American genealogy research in Chatham County. The list includes links to online collections and resources.

 

FamilySearch Wiki Chatham County, Georgia Genealogy Resources

FamilySearch Wiki Chatham County, Georgia Genealogy Resources

 

FamilySearch Wiki Chatham County, Georgia Probate Records

FamilySearch Wiki Chatham County, Georgia Probate Records

 

The resource guides are extensive, and even contain some resources you might not think of consulting (note the two collections of Oyster Leases in Chatham County below!)

 

FamilySearch Wiki Chatham County, Georgia Land and Property Records

FamilySearch Wiki Chatham County, Georgia Land and Property Records

 

Here’s a list of vital records for Chatham County that includes addresses for ordering records that are not online:

 

FamilySearch Wiki Chatham County, Georgia Vital Records

FamilySearch Wiki Chatham County, Georgia Vital Records

 

Research Guides on the Wiki

There are a number of helpful research guides for African American genealogy on the Wiki. Here are a few that may be of interest:

The United States Record Selection Table is an especially helpful research tool to keep handy when you are researching. It is a quick reference for which records may contain specific information you are seeking.

 

United States Record Selection Table Genealogy FamilySearch Wiki

United States Record Selection Table, FamilySearch Wiki

 

The FamilySearch Wiki contains articles for every level of experience, from Family History for Beginners to Solving Tough Research Problems

Jumpstart your Research

Ready to give the FamilySearch Wiki a try? Conduct a sample search for your area of research interest. If you find new resources, let us know in the comments below!

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