FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Overall Objectives

The first purpose of the Washington Wiki project is to get good, basic information on each of the county pages. The Wiki needs to help readers find and use Washington resources to support correct connections in their family tree.

The second purpose of the project is to enlist contributors who will advise the project and will deepen and maintain the pages after the "jump start" the project provides.

We want people to like the Wiki, to use it, and to make it better.

The project will update and simplify these Wiki pages:

  • Washington county pages. Example: <a href="Okanogan County, Washington">Okanogan</a> county
  • <a href="Washington">Washington</a> main page.
  • Statewide topic pages. Example <a href="Washington Cemeteries">Cemeteries</a>
  • Other Washington-related pages. Example <a _fcknotitle="true" href="King County, Washington Newspapers">King County, Washington Newspapers</a>

Guiding Principles

The project is guided by these principles for both immediate and lasting value to users of and contributors to the Washington wiki pages.

  1. Provide information that quickly guides users to the correct records of their ancestors.
    1. Increase clarity and understanding of records, links, research methods, and what to do with the information found. (Can link them to the Research Process page(s))
    2. Give them enough information to decide whether to follow a link or not.
    3. Create an inviting look that reinforces or enhances the information provided.
    4. Call attention to obscure records (Add stars or a tip).
    5. Promote good sourcing and correct connections for submission to family tree databases, such as FamilySearch Family Tree,, One Great Family, and others.
2. Help beginners without getting in the way of experts.
3. Encourage and promote a sense of fulfillment for all contributors and advisors as they:
  1. Add lasting content that will help many people.
  2. Give ideas of what/how to contribute
  3. Get training to use WikiText (in varying degrees) and to follow patterns

Spread the word

If they don't know about it, they won't use it, and these principles don't make any difference. But if we have good content and satisfaction, word of mouth if not more will help. Social media, Yammer, FaceBook, Twitter, Google

  • Some (C:/1 My Default Area/1 Washington Wiki/Social Media Contacts) Washington FHC workers have been found on Yammer

Project Guidelines

During the project, specific tasks will be claimed by team members and other contributors. "Basic training" will be given for those wanting easy tasks. As comfort levels increase, tasks with some increase of difficulty will be available. The most difficult tasks will be by assignment.

Guidelines for adding content to the wiki:

  • Highlight and list important and relevant items. Long lists would bury, rather than highlight, what's important.
  • Tell readers what to expect when they follow a link or search a suggested record.
  • Balance wiki content with these four factors in mind:
a. <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Utah Hows#Genealogical_Value">Genealogical Value.</a> Does this help Wiki users further their research?
b. Clarity. Make sure everyone understands your meaning and the purpose of your words.
c. Brevity. Be succinct as possible without sacrificing purpose or clarity.
d. Documentation. Use footnote(s) to identify the source(s) of the content you are creating.

On the county pages, the purpose of the topics is to help users know how these records can help in their research. This includes:

  • Intro paragraphs: These are "templates" or form paragraphs that explain:
    • Dates of the records: This tells people whether those records existed when their ancestor(s) lived there.
    • Contents of the records: This helps people know if the records have the information they need.
    • Where the original records are stored.
  • Specific records for the topic are mentioned using bullet lists and include:

For more <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington - Style and Guidelines">style and guidelines for the Washington Wiki Project</a>.

Washington Wiki Project Tasks

Post FamilySearch Collections to County Pages

Gbo started this 9/25/13. Wilma's instructions were inadequate for browse image collections. Bo took the assignment below 10/30/13

Browse Image Collections

1) Click "Browse Images"
2) Click on the county. This is the URL that gets pasted into the county page under all appropriate topics. (Some collections have a variety of topics for the same county)
3) Under each topic listed
a) Create a link: [ + URL + space + years covered and specific records + ]
For example, under Land Records, are these deeds, mortgages, plat maps, or other specific type of land record?)
b) After the link, add FamilySearch Historical Collection (Browse images).
4) Go to the next topic listed for that county and repeat.
5) Back up to the list of counties in this collection, and repeat for each county.
6) Go to the next browseable FS Historical Collection.

County histories

Bo accepted this 10/30/13

  • list/link to online county histories: search google for county name "history"; also check WA state (archives/library?); google books; If none found, also try Internet Archive; HeritageQuest Online
    • Histories intro - Wilma rewrite?

Cemeteries: Add county list to chart

On each county, remove bullet: Alpha list of cemeteries in the county with links to online transcripts. Put it on the first line of the Chart: Combined list (Sortable by town, cemetery name)

This requires the others to be moved down one line.

Fixed on Okanogan County chart

Websites section of county pages

Copy the entire section (wikitext) from Okanogan County to all other counties.

If there is already information under that heading, paste below the heading and above their info. Sister Heaston completed 11/6/2013. Wilma fixing extra materials thru Grays Harbor county

Add dates to major records table

  • At library, copy Washington pages from Ancestry's Redbook. Also copy Title page and next page, with publication date, etc.
    • Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 676-677. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004.

Once copied:

  • Add dates and reference to major records table (under the County Overview heading).
  • Be sure formation year is correct in the SEO

Cemeteries: Gather, Excel, Post to Counties

The steps are detailed on Excel spreadsheets named by site to be gleaned:

  • WA Cem Gathering Find A Grave
  • WA Cem Gathering Billion Graves
  • WA Cem Gathering
  • WA Cem Gathering Ewinida Rail
  • WA Cem Gathering USGenWeb
  • WA Cem Gathering var sites (Requires more analysis)

Wilma: update in State page if WA state Dig Archives are searchable state-wide.

Once gathered, do the Excel magic, detailed on each excel file. At this point, only Joy and Wilma are trained.

After the magic, post to the Summary file: Can be done by a team member after minimal training.

Scour Washington State Archives/Library

  • Scour Washington State Archives for items to post to county pages, 2) state pages for the topic, or 3) WA online collections page.
1) Click to <a href="">Washington State Archives</a>
2) Type county name in search box, select a collection, click Search. Post if the following collections appear for the county:
Birth, Cemetery, Census, Death,
Frontier Justice (post to Court records on the county pages), Institution Records (post to Correctional Institutions on county pages)
Maps, Marriage Records, Misc Family History, Naturalization
Plats and Surveys (post to Land Records on county pages), Real Property Record Cards, Superior Court Records
3) Post to the appropriate heading on the county page
3a) See entry under <a _fcknotitle="true" href="Okanogan County, Washington#Land_and_Property_Okanogan_County_Land_Records">Okanogan County, Washington#Land_and_Property_Okanogan_County_Land_Records</a>

TEAM: Is this too much for one person? Shall we divvy up the counties?

Libraries Finalize

  • With team, consider how to make Seattle (and other very large areas) more usable by people.

Ideas were given 10/29: sortable table by zip code; Wilma will play.

Items for Wilma

  • US GenWeb Church, Tax
  • Other repositories template?. Revise? Wilma - what do you mean by this?
  • Church recs Intro
  • Probate and Land Records
    • Create the "Contents" table for these topics.
    • Start the "Don't miss the clues" page for these topics.
  • IMPORTANT: Wilma, lets fix the vital records page.

Tasks in planning

Vital Records: Birth, Marriage, Death, Divorce
Links to vs
Format, effective explanations
Contents table, don't miss the clues page?
Final cleanup
  • Decide with those in Washington and the team: is that which was scoured from FamilySearch HRC's, from Ancestry, and from WA state archives and libraries enough?
  • Do links give enough info? 1) specific type of record, such as deeds, 2) time period covered, 3) source (database publisher or library/repository), 4) ($) or (Free)
  • Are there long paragraphs? Yes: shorten them, break into smaller paragraphs, or put them somewhere else.
  • Last visit to above the fold -- minimal space between county quick start and contents
  • Cemetery Records Task: (Difficulty level 3. People trained specifically for this task) 1) Link to major cemetery websites that contain cemetery transcriptions for the county; 2) Copy the colored table; 3) Adapt the websites to current county; 4) Check the links
  • Vital Records: include what records are available, time period the record covers and how they can be accessed including links to databases, images and references to books and microfilm and information to repositories.

County Newspapers

Phases 1-4 completed.

Phase 5: Identify online newspapers
A) Identify online copies of newspapers from well-known sites.
Purpose: find and paste links to online copies of newspapers from the county sortable tables
Use the Excel file (WA Newspapers 2010) to 1) identify the counties and 2) create the external link
  • See "CA online" tab in WA Newspapers 2010.
1) Find the counties for each newspaper (done in Column G by Wilma)
1a) (Done) Sort by county (Done)
1b) (Done) In column H, copy the formula: =left(b1,search(".",b1)-1)
1c) -- etc. Wilma finish these for next state.
2) Find the next county on the Excel page (sorted in Step 1a)
2a) In the Wiki, navigate to that_county's newspapers page
3) In WikiText, find (Ctrl+F) the newspaper on the list
3a) Go to the fifth pipe (which is for Online) and create the link as follows:
[ + URL + space + CA + ]
To get the URL, click the icon in column B of the Excel File.
3b) Edit summary "link to CA online", Save page.
4) Back in the Excel file, type Done in column J and go to next newspaper on the list.
  • See "SOS" tab in WA Newspapers 2010
<a href="">WA Sec of State</a> site (These have been pasted to SOS Site tab in WA Newspapers 2010)
1) For each one that says "Not yet in CA" (Col D)
2) Navigate to the __ County Newspapers page in Wiki
3) In WikiText, find the newspaper on the list (Ctrl+F)
4) In the online column (Pipe # 5), link to the planned online copy [ + URL + space + SOS + ] (For the URL, click the newspaper in column B of the Excel File.)
5) Back in the Excel file, type Done in column J.
For Wilma: <a href="">PDF</a> of candidate titles for digitization, SOS
  • See University of Washington: Code is UW
Finalize Newspapers
  • Paste Small town newspapers provide historical content and contain obituaries, birth or death notices, legal notices, and community news, such as visits to or from out-of-town relatives. See Washington Newspapers for tips, resources, and details. below the Newspapers heading for each county. (Okanogan is done) 10/29/13 Sis Heaston
  • Paste This key is a list of sites used when the list was originally compiled in November, 2013. As you find other early newspapers, please update the key as well as the sortable table.
    Code Site name Remarks ($)
    CA Chronicling America Select State, then County, and click Search. Click on a title, then on "Libraries that have it"
    GB Genealogy Bank Click "List of Titles"
    NA Newspaper Archive ($) Slide down and click Browse by location. Under "United States," select "Washington" Click "See papers by location," click "List" (very small lettering, next to Newspapers Map), type "Washington" in the search box
    Own The link is to the newspaper's own site
    SOS Washington Secretary of State

    between the "Sortable Table" heading and the beginning of the table {| This should erase the old key and wording that may already be posted there. 10/29/13 Sis Heaston Spot check: King was not done

  • Go through the counties. Some mention online newspapers. Be sure the table includes them.
  • Wilma to do: update the Newspapers pages intro template
  • Wilma to do: update one of the templates above--1) explain value of language newspapers?; 2) tell areas of the newspapers they should search and why?;
  • Newspapers and Obituaries Task: Pattern somewhat after Utah. Be sure to add Chronicling America to the list.

Tasks completed


Scour for items to post to 1) county pages or 2) WA topic pages or 3) WA online collections page. Completed by Joy and Sister Heaston before 11/12/13

1) Done. On (, click the Search tab, then select "Catalog". Filter by USA and Washington. Add Washington to the title and search. (There were 103 items were copied to Excel file "WA Online" 23 Oct 2013. About 40 entries were Not for Washington state).
2) Done. Determine counties for the entries
3) On the county wiki pages, copy the info to the correct topic. Try pasting: if it works, use this one. If it doesn't, tell them how to get it (Search, catalog, title search)*2%7C1*50%26
  • Note that some of these entries will go onto the Newspapers table.
  • Wilma and team: get exact wording for the entries:Done 10/29/13.
    • (If the link does not work, go to <a href=""></a> ($), click Search, select Card Catalog, paste Title into search box, click Search)
  • Also, statewide ones: where to post on Wiki: Resolved by Joy and Wilma 10/29/13


    Purpose: Help users by providing contact information and ideas of what the libraries may have that will help them with family history and genealogy. Task - For each county:

    1) Cut and paste the template WALibraries Intro under the Libraries heading
    Local public libraries—even smaller ones—often have Unique Genealogical Collections that are not online for the area they serve. Many libraries in Washington have an area dedicated to local history and genealogy.
    2) Copy the libraries for this county from the Excel file labeled Tasks Libraries
    3) For each library, add the "Online Resources" and "Unique Collections" lines
    a) Use <a href="Grays Harbor County, Washington#Libraries">Aberdeen Timberland Library</a> for your example.
    b) If all of the libraries use the same web site, use <a href="Okanogan County, Washington#Libraries">Okanogan County</a> as your example
    4) Explore their site, and indicate if the library has Online Resources, such as and Heritage Quest. Leave it blank if you cannot find something.
    5) When completed type the date and your initials in the Excel file (Col H, on the same line as the first entry for that county.)

    Newspapers (Phases 1 - 4)

    Phase 1: Gather the data

    (Ready) Gather the newspapers, county by county from Chronicling America
    Instructions are in the Excel file WA Newspapers under the WA Gathering tab at the bottom.

    Phase 2: Prep the Newspapers page for counties

    (Ready) On each County page:
    A) Navigate to the "Newspapers" heading.
    In WikiText, place the cursor below the Newspapers heading and ABOVE the "{{WA Newspaper abstracts...." template.
    Copy the following (include the asterisk "*") to create a link to an empty page.
    *WikiProject Washington Newspapers (Sortable by towns, years, and titles)
    Summarize: "Newspapers" and Save Page
    Click the red link to the empty page

    B) On the newly-created empty page, paste (Ctrl + V) the shell
    The shell is found in <a href="User talk:AdkinsWH/Sandbox County Newspaper pages">WA Newspapers Shell</a>.
    (Ctrl + A to highlight the entire shell, then Ctrl + C to copy)
    Summarize: "Pasted shell" then Save Page

    C) Adapt the shell to the county
    Breadcrumb: ___ County: You add the county name (2 places on the breadcrumb)
    Category: ___ County: You add the county name (only once)

    D) Do steps A - C until all counties have a shell

    Phase 3: Manipulate the data This step will translate everything into WikiText so it will go into the sortable table and so we don't have to do it manually.

    A) Check for stray towns on each county's Excel page
    Why? Chronicling America lists some towns as well as counties under the "Counties" search. The gathering process did NOT catch these.
    1) Look at the numbers on the county list: some will have two "1."s or have a "1." at the end of the list.
    When that occurs, verify the county for the town where the newspaper was published. Move that entry to the bottom of the list for the correct county.
    2)Track this task. 10 lines below the end of the list on a county, type "Checked for strays" and your initials. This statement is needed regardless of whether changes were made or not.
    B) Search/Replace on each county's Excel page
    Why? Chronicling America used some characters that will confuse our WikiText.
    1) Search/Replace (Ctrl + H) Search for [ Replace with (
    2) Search for ] Replace with )
    3) Track this task. Type "Replaced [ and ]" under the line "Checked for strays"
    C) Ready, but Wilma will train specific people for this task. Perhaps the young missionaries?

    Phase 4: Paste to the sortable table Copy the newspaper info to the table on the county newspaper shell

    Clickable neighboring counties

    Joy is in process with this. She may do the difficult image portion and teach others to do the easier "clickable" portion. Completed 9/25/13 This had a huge learning curve, very high time commitment, and VERY helpful for users. Thanks Wyzer17!

    Create the History Timeline

    Timeline for each county. See <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:Wikiproject Washington Tasks History Timeline">task description</a> Completed by gbo17 on 9/25/13 Excellent! A yeoman's job!

    Identify Family History Centers

    in (or near) each county. Add the template WA1) Create a link (if not already there) and click to the Wiki page for each center. Then add contact information and hours, if not already there. 2) On the county page, indicate if they have the FHC Portal. 2a) If none in this county have the Portal, identify the nearest Center (or library) OUT of this county that does have it. See <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-Family History Centers">task description</a> This task was completed 9/25/13 by ClaudiaJ64. Good job!

    Cemeteries table on counties

    Completed by Jeff 10/15/2013

    Images of the county

    Have been added to the top of each county page by ClaudiaJ64. (Thanks, Sister Heaston) Awesome pics, time-consuming. Very inviting!

    County headings

    Make counties consistent. Done by <a href="User:Wyzer17">Wyzer17</a> Aug 20, 2013. (Big job. Thanks, Joy)

    Other tasks completed

    • Huge maps have been placed under the Maps heading. Please put those into templates and make them a more viewable size. Done by <a href="User:Wyzer17">Wyzer17</a> Aug 20, 2013.
      • a. Add a caption to the images. Done by <a href="User:Claudiaj64">Claudiaj64</a>
    • Cut and paste tasks - topic intro templates. Done by <a href="User:Wyzer17">Wyzer17</a>
    • Boundary change links and History timeline prep. Done by <a href="User:Wyzer17">Wyzer17</a> and <a href="User:Gbo17">Gbo17</a> (These instructions took longer than the task itself)
    [See Discussion page for instructions that never made it to an actual project page. 1) Copy the text, 2) use Wikitext when pasting, and 3) change the county name.]
    Step 1A. Copy the following immediately below the Boundary Changes heading on each county, then adapt ADAMS to the current county. This link gives a timeline of boundary changes for the county, and will be valuable to users.
    Historical County Boundaries from Newberry Library<ref>John H. Long, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (Chicago: Newberry Library, 2006) online.</ref><br><br>
    Step 1B. Copy and adapt the same link immediately below the "History Timeline" heading on each county.
    Step 2. Copy the following below the link adapted in Step 1B, then adapt the essay #, author and county from <a href="">History Link</a> for Washington counties. This sets up that section so someone else can actually create the history timeline for that county.
    Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were gleaned from Wilma, David. Okanogan County -- Thumbnail History, History Essay 7608.

    Previous project tasks

    (These were written before August, 2013, when the Wiki Content Team took over.) Washington Wiki Project Tasks

    Before beginning any tasks please review the <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington - Style and Guidelines">Washington Project guidelines</a>.

    FIRST TIME WIKI USERS: For instructions on how to edit the wiki use the following:

    • <a href="Help:Videos and lessons">Online and Video Instructions</a>
    • <a href="Help:Editing The Wiki">Editing on the Wiki written instructions</a>

    The following are tasks to be accomplished for the Washington Wiki Project. Each task has step-by-step instructions to accomplish it. SOME TASKS ARE NOT YET COMPLETED. WHEN TASKS ARE LINKED (typed in blue) THEY ARE READY FOR PARTICIPANTS TO WORK ON THEM.

    • Task Difficulty Tasks are rated for difficulty. Within each phase task table look for 1, 2, or 3, with 1 being the least difficult and 3 being the most difficult.
    • Background and Repositories Tasks

    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-County Headings, Neighboring Counties">Verify neighboring counties.</a>

    County topic list
    Not all counties have records included in these tasks. Please add the tasks only to the counties listed. Tasks and the list of counties appear when you click on the blue link.
    Complete Task Difficulty
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-Standardize County Subject Headings">Standardize County subject headings</a> <a href="User:HillierLW">HillierLW</a> 20:53, 15 April 2013 (UTC); redone by <a href="User:Wyzer17">Wyzer17</a> Aug 2013
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-Parent Counties">Verify parent counties.</a>
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-Societies">Locate county societies. Add contact information, link, and significant collections.</a>
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-Repositories">Locate county archives, libraries and museums. Add contact information, link, and significant collections.</a>
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-Family History Centers">Locate FamilySearch Centers. Add link.</a>

    • Vital Records Tasks
    Washington county/topic interest list
    Not all counties have records included in these tasks. Please add the tasks only to the counties listed. Tasks and the list of counties appear when you click on the blue link.
    Complete Task Difficulty
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks - Vital Records Intro">Add Vital Records Introduction</a> 1
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks - Vital Records Subheadings">Add Vital Records Subheadings</a> 2
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-Ancestry Vital Records Part A">Add Ancestry Vital Records Part A.</a> This task will become available when Vital Records Intro and Subheadings tasks are complete.
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-Ancestry Vital Records Part B">Add Ancestry Vital Records Part B.</a> This task will become available when Vital Records Intro and Subheadings tasks are complete.
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-FamilySearch Vital Records">Add FamilySearch Vital Records</a>. This task will become available when Vital Records Intro and Subheadings tasks are complete.
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-Vital Records Other Repositories">Add Vital Records Other Repositories template</a> 3

    • Probate and Land Records Tasks
    Washington county/topic interest list
    Not all counties have records included in these tasks. Please add the tasks only to the counties listed. Counties appear when you click on the blue link.
    Complete Task Difficulty
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:Wiki Project Washington Tasks – Probate Intro">Add Probate Records Introduction</a> <a href="User:Ericcharlesperazzo">Ericcharlesperazzo</a> 01:30, 11 July 2013 (UTC) 1
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-Ancestry Probate">Add Ancestry Probate Records</a> 2
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-FamilySearch Probate Records">Add FamilySearch Probate Records.</a> 2
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-Probate Records Other Repositories">Add Probate Records Other Repositories template.</a> 3
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks - Land and Property Intro">Add Land and Property Records Introduction</a> <a href="User:Jnsouth">Jnsouth</a> 01:54, 11 July 2013 (UTC) 1
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-Land and Property Records Other Repositories">Add Land and Property Other Repositories template</a>
    <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Washington Tasks-US GenWeb Vital, Land and Probate">US GenWeb Vital, Land and Probate Links</a> 3


    Beginning 1st Quarter 2013; Completed Oct 31, 2013

    Examples of Washington County Page

    Note: The sample county started out as Adams when Marilyn Markham was using the FamilySearch Library missionaries, but became the Okanogan page when the Wiki Content team took over.

    <a href="Adams County, Washington">Adams County</a>; <a href="Okanogan County, Washington">Okanogan County</a>



    If you are interested in participating in the Washington Wiki Project, <a href="">click here</a> to register as an Washington FamilySearch Wiki Project Volunteer. As soon as you are registered, you may begin to add information to any of the tasks typed in blue in the tables above.

    Community Meetings

    To be determined

    Online meetings with focus on Wiki pages for Washington.

    • Share ideas, suggest improvements
    • Get news and progress reports.

    Attend from home, at a library, or wherever you have an internet connection and a telephone.

    Current Meetings

    None are scheduled at this time.

    <a href="Category:WikiProject_Washington">WikiProject_Washington</a>