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               September, 2011

      Charles Hansen, Editor

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  Family Search Wikipedia
  — by Charles Hansen

       A couple of years ago Family Search started their own Wikipedia, which in time I think they hope it will replace the resource guides they originally did in paper, and today they have online. So how does it work? I think everyone online has used Wikipedia which is the online encyclopedia. It allows anyone to add or change any information included in the Wikipedia, so it is always up to date with the most current information.

       The Family Search Wikipedia is for genealogical information and is arranged by country and in the USA by states and counties. I first added our local genealogical society; Eastern Washington Genealogical Society a couple of years ago after a seminar I attended at the Washington State Genealogical Society annual conference, and one of the librarians added the Spokane Public Library. The Wiki was in beta then and adding information was fast and pretty easy.

       Now the Wiki is out of beta and I was asked to add more information to the Spokane page, so I went to FamilySearchWiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FamilySearch) and found the Spokane county page. It was almost the same as I had left it a couple of years ago. In order to add or edit a page you need to register and I did not remember my password or name I had used, but when I put in my E-Mail they had remembered my name, but I had to put in a new password as the old one had expired. First I edited the EWGS information since it was out of date already. Then I added the names of most all the cemeteries in Spokane county and the URL for each where you can look up the online listing of each cemetery.

       When the Wiki was in beta it was fast and easy to edit or add information, it is still easy to to edit or add information, but it is a lot slower than the beta Wiki. I guess since most everyone is on broadband today they will never notice how much slower it is now than when it was in beta a couple of years ago.

       So have you checked out the Family Search Wiki? Have you added information for your county? Your genealogical society? Your local genealogical library?




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