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.
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:
Example Page: Chatham County, GA Genealogy
Let’s do a sample search for “Savannah, Georgia” and view the search results.
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.
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.
Next, we see a history of Chatham County and a list of populated places in the county:
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.
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!)
Here’s a list of vital records for Chatham County that includes addresses for ordering records that are not online:
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:
- African American Genealogy: Introduction
- Researching African American Genealogy
- Quick Guide to African American Records
- African American Census
- African American Military Records
- United States Census Slave Schedules
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.
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!