Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Wiki Design Debuts at FGS

FamilySearch debuted a new look on its Wiki for its series of state research outlines. The wiki series replaces the printed outlines formerly available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers.

Spotlighting the hosting state of this year’s 2010 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, FamilySearch showed off the Tennessee outline. Comparisons between the old printed outline and the new Wiki page shows the dramatic increase in functionality.

FamilySearch old, printed Tennessee Research Outline FamilySearch new, Tennessee wiki page
The old, printed outline The new, Wiki page


“The pages are beautiful and contain a wealth of valuable information,” said Charles Reeves Jr., cartographer and TNGenWeb county volunteer.

Originally 40 printed pages, the Tennessee research outline has grown to more than a thousand pages, according to FamilySearch’s Nathan W. Murphy. The information is separated into topics for ease of use and printing. Web links make it quick and easy to move from topic to topic.

Unlike the printed outlines, the Wiki can be revised at any time by anyone. Local experts, including you, are invited to contribute your expertise. No formal invitation is necessary. Just jump in and add your knowledge.

Professional genealogists benefit by contributing to the Wiki. Contributions highlight their knowledge and establish their standing as experts. Contributors are invited to create a user page, as did Tennessee contributor, Nathan W. Murphy. While soliciting is not allowed, user pages showcase your credentials and give prospective clients an easy way to make contact. (To create your user page, first add something to a page. Then click the history link. Your username appears in red next to your contribution. Click it and select the option to create your page. Users investigate page experts by looking at contributors to the page, where they can click your username to see your user page.)

See the Wiki for yourself. Start from the Tennessee page at .

1 comment:

  1. A beautiful functional layout! Well Done Family Search!

    The next level of a wish-for resource would be a first tier indexing of as many as possible of the subscription (fee based) vendor data bases. It would be nice to know of resources that are available but not freely accessible. I.e., the holdings of,,,, etc.

    Such would be to the advantage of these businesses. Knowing that a specific data set was available would drive subscription.

    The lack of a centralized index results in the expenditure of considerable researcher time canvassing each of the sites to determine if the data sought might be available instead of spending the time examining individual records.


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