Help:Wiki Basics

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Return to Contributor Help

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Welcome to the Wiki community. Whether you are here for the first time, a regular researcher or wanting to learn how to contribute,  the items below will help you understand various elements of the wiki, including how to navigate and contribute to it. The wiki is a community project, and you are now part of that community. If you have knowledge about how or where to search for genealogy records that are not already in the Wiki, please contribute. Don't know how? Keep reading.

Navigation Menu[edit | edit source]

Just above is a Contents box or the Table of Contents (TOC). If the Table of Contents is closed, click on [show] to open. It is a list of the major sections of this page. You can click any heading in the Table of Contents and be taken to that heading on the page. Smaller articles with fewer than four page sections will not have a TOC.

Also see Navigation Basics for more information about fully utilizing this wiki.

Navigation Boxes (left side of page)[edit | edit source]

  • Getting Started is at the top of the page.
  • Volunteer and Helper, and Tools are the last two titles separated by thin lines.

Click on the small arrow to the left or the title and a drop-down list of subjects appears. Each topic has its own links to additional subjects. Hover your mouse over the links and a box appears with a brief description of the link. Explore each of the links under these five headings. Each one of them is described in greater detail below.

Getting Started  [edit | edit source]

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  • Wiki Home is the easy way to return to the Home Page and the various sections of the wiki that are listed there.
  • Wiki Tools will explain the different tools that are available to you to enhance your Wiki experience.
  • About the Wiki is the page that describes the ways that the Wiki can help you to find your ancestors and build your family tree.
  • Online Genealogy Records are wiki pages that contain links to online records for different states, provinces or countries. These online records may include birth records, marriage records, death records, biographies, cemeteries, censuses, church records, histories, immigration records, land records, maps, military records, native races, naturalizations, newspapers, obituaries, or probate records.
  • Research Resources is a list of some helpful genealogy research resources.
  • Browse by Country is an alphabetic listing of countries, linked to that country page on the Wiki.
  • Browse all Wiki Content This link is being developed further. It contains subcategories on some subjects.
  • Resources for Individual Help An important and useful feature of the wiki is that we have volunteers available to answer your questions in a number of different ways: including email and instant message. If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact the Wiki.
  • Report a Problem See a problem? Click and report.

Volunteer and Helper[edit | edit source]

  • Personal Sandbox takes you to your own sandbox. Your sandbox should be viewed as your own personal scratch pad. You can write in your sandbox and add to the Wiki when your work is finished.
  • Adopt a Page describes page adoptions and instructions for requesting a page to adopt.
  • Submit Wiki Content will show you how easy it is to start contributing to the Wiki.
  • Family History Centers will help you to find the physical locations of Family History Centers in your locale.
  • Manual of Style will help you to understand the general principles of wiki contributions.
  • Guiding principles has links to pages that help explain these goals.
  • Community News is the family history Research Wiki community page highlighting current news and events as well as links to important discussions and introductory articles.
  • Community Meetings contains links for getting involved in the Wiki.
  • Wiki Support leads to the Wiki Support Center Toolbox.
  • Wiki University lessons that will help you to gain the knowledge necessary for you to edit and add content to the FamilySearch Wiki.
  • Contact Us Want to make a suggestion, register a complaint or offer to help.

Toolbox[edit | edit source]

  • What links here show all the other Wiki pages linked to this page.
  • Related changes shows the changes made to this pages linked pages.
  • Special pages links to all the maintenance pages for the Wiki.
  • Printable version ability to print a page on a regular sheet of page.
  • Permanent link links to a page of Success Stories.
  • Page information links to a table of information regarding the page.
  • Cite this page how to cite reference to this page on another page.

Other Navigation Sites[edit | edit source]

If you are NOT signed in these are the tabs you see at the top of the page.

  • Read is the link to the page.
  • View Source shows you the Wikitext coding of the page. You cannot edit if not signed in.
  • View History links to the edit history for the page.

When you are signed in, you will see these additional tabs:

  • Edit links to the Visual Editor.
  • Edit Source links to the Wiki Text Editor.
  • Star allows Watchlist changes.
  • Down Arrow a drop down box links to other actions that can be taken.

Also there is more information above the tabs:

  • Username will be chosen by you.
  • Talk will allow you to see your talk contributions.
  • My Preferences allows you to customize your Wiki experience using your personal tools.
  • Watchlist will show you the pages that you are watching.
  • Contributions will pull up the list of contribution that you have made to the Wiki, including dates.
  • Sign Out click on the down arrow by your name for options that include Sign out. This will provide a quick way for you to log out of the Wiki. Remember that the Wiki will automatically log you off after two hours of idle time.

Registering on the Wiki[edit | edit source]

You do not need to be registered to look at the Wiki pages.  If you want to add, edit, or ask a question, you must be registered.  This allows other Wiki community members to communicate with you. How to Register with the Wiki

Detailed Help[edit | edit source]

If you are ready to begin, and would like detailed instructions on adding or editing wiki content, choose one of the following links:

If you need a Help article that doesn't currently exist, you may request one here.

Mentoring[edit | edit source]

Help-content.png Questions?
Visit the Get Help to receive help with contributing to the Wiki.
If you find that you need additional assistance once you have begun adding or editing Wiki content, you may request a Mentor. Mentors are also helpful in getting you started on a specific project.