Monday, October 18, 2010

Mailbox Monday: Redbook Online

Dear Ancestry Insider,


I noticed during the NGS conference last April in SLC that announced that the "Red Book" was/would be available on-line.  Some issues you may want to explore in future articles:

1) Where does one find the on-line "Red Book"

2) Availability of the "Red Book" from the FHL institutional version of

3) How the on-line "Red Book" compares to US state searches from .

4) The "price" of the "Redbook" on

Please do not use my name in any on-line articles without prior permission.

Avon O’Toole

Dear Avon,

Oops; Sorry about that. I had already published your letter before reading clear to the end.

1) The Red Book is part of the Family History Wiki found at .

2) The Wiki is available for free, so there is no need to use a different address at the Family History Library (FHL) or at a family history center.

3) A comparison of the two will make an excellent article. I’ll put that on my to-do list.

There’s an even more interesting article that will be written one day. I think these Wikis make a good test case for FamilySearch and Can either organization successfully engage the genealogical community? If one of them can, then its wiki will quickly surpass the other by super human leaps and bounds. My bet is that neither one understands the community well enough. Or if they understand it, they won’t trust it. Or they won’t have the chutzpah.

4) With it free online, who cares what the price is on Amazon? Print is dead. :-)

-- The Insider


  1. I'm sorry but print is not dead. I have tried using electronic books for studying but print is still King for ease of reading, highlighting, marking, taking notes, etc. Unless you have the electronic version on a portable device that's easy to read, it's not even as portable as a book. Seating in front of a computer to read is not my idea of fun or convenience. I do have a few fiction books on my pda that I have with me all the time just in case I'm stuck somewhere. PRINT RULES

  2. I've been wondering for a while now whether these wikis would benefit from a partnership between Ancestry and FamilySearch. I certainly wouldn't want to duplicate efforts on various local and other topics. If a partnership couldn't be reached to work methodically together, perhaps each wiki could develop some form of cross-reference where users could be directed to "More information is available on the Ancestry/FamilySearch wiki at..." on the applicable pages in the overlap. For the long-term benefit of the community, I would hate to see these two resources stay silo'd forever.

  3. As a follow-up to my earlier post, perhaps some partnered wiki co-branded or delineated areas of focus would help. One site has the detailed articles on locations, counties. The other has detailed articles on databases, collections, and where each is stored. I'd just hate to see a group of dedicated individuals having to maintain two copies of an article about their local county or whatever interest. If the collective community could work together and eliminate duplication, then we could have an amazing resource on our hands.


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