Help:Search the Wiki

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Wiki Help Gotoarrow.png Browsing the Wiki Gotoarrow.png Searching

Page Overview[edit | edit source]

The FamilySearch Research Wiki uses the Search Box found on each page to access the Wiki pages using different key words, key phrases, and search strings. This Help:Search the Wiki page shows how to get the best search results when looking for information on the Wiki. This page shows what keywords and search strings bring the best results for positive experiences when searching for available research resources.

The Search Box

The Search Box is found in two places on the Wiki main page.
The image to the right shows the main page locations as the center of the page search box 1 and the upper right hand corner search box 2.

The Search Box in the upper right hand corner is found on all Wiki pages.
Help page search main wiki.PNG

Help page search right side.png

Basic Searches[edit | edit source]

Title Search[edit | edit source]

If the exact title of a Wiki article is known, type it in the Search Box and press enter. This search goes directly to that page.
Exact Title Search.png

Finding Ancestors in England Page.PNG

Keyword Search[edit | edit source]

A keyword(s) search looks for the subject of an article when the title of the page is not known.
In this example, Cornwall is typed in the Search Box in the upper right hand corner of the main page. Notice in the image that once the word Cornwall is entered, a drop down box of page titles starting with Cornwall appears. To select an article to visit, highlight the title and press enter.
1 Cornwall Dropdown Help.png

Brief Explanation of Search Results

(Steps 1-3 refer to the numbers on the image directly to the right)
1: If the search string Cornwall England Census is typed and you hit enter, it will give a list of results as seen here.
2: The total number of possible results from the search is displayed here.
3: The list of possible results are displayed below the Search Box.
2 Cornwall England Census Search.png

Search Tip - Keyword

When only the name of any country, state in the United States, province in Canada, or county in England is typed in the Search Box and then enter button is pressed you will be taken directly to that Wiki page. For example: If the word Alabama is typed in and the enter button is pressed the result is the Alabama, United States Genealogy page.

Topic Search[edit | edit source]

When searching for information on a specific topic such as probate records, type the topic into the Search Box. As the topic is being typed in, a list of pages with the topic word or words in the title appear below the Search Box. If one of the listed pages is the specific topic you are looking for, highlight and press enter.
1 Topic Probate Search.png

Topic Search Probate Records Drop Down Selection.png

After typing in the topic, if the list does not have the desired topic, press the search icon or enter. This action brings up a list of all pages related to the topic. In this case probate record topic search brings up a list of over 37,000 articles which reference in some way to probate records.
Topic Search Probate Records.png

Topic Search Probate Results.png

Basic Search Strategies[edit | edit source]


Remember the purpose of the Wiki is to show what record collections are available (birth, marriage, death, census, etc.) in the area(s) and the time frame your ancestors lived. The Wiki also shows how and where to access these records and other available information to help you find your ancestor.
The Wiki does not have individual ancestor information. To locate specific ancestors by name, date and/or location go to the FamilySearch Search page.

Before you Search:

There are 3 pieces of key information that will help you locate records much faster for an ancestor:

1 What record to look for — What records are missing from an ancestor's life (birth, marriage, death, etc.)
2 Where they lived — Find the location(s) they lived. (If only a country, state, county, or province is known that is enough to start searching.)
3 When they lived — It is important to know a date range (in years) that your ancestor lived. Exact dates are not needed.

Case Study for Basic Search[edit | edit source]

While searching through your family tree, you find that your great-grandfather (Jedidiah Turner) is missing a death record.
To help find the missing document, find the 3 pieces of key information:

1. What record is missing: death record of your great-grandfather, Jedidiah Turner
2. Where did he live: Jedidiah Turner was born in Illinois (you have the birth record). He also lived in Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. Family tradition states he was buried in Kansas.
3. When did he live: According to the birth record he was born in 1852. The exact date of his death is unknown. You know he died before 1930, the obituary of your grandfather (his son) dated Feb 1930, states both of his parents had died.

Search the Wiki[edit | edit source]

a. Starting on the main page of the Wiki, type "Kansas" in the Search Box.
b. Select "Kansas, United States Genealogy" from the drop down.

Search Tip

It is helpful to start this search with Kansas since this is where family tradition says he is buried.
1 Basic Search Strategies.png

c. Under the section "Getting Started" choose the tab "How to Find Death Records"
2 Basic Search Strategies .png

d. The Wiki page “How to Find Kansas Death Records” is solely for the purpose to help readers find the death records

3 Basic Search Strategies.png

e. Start with the options in the gray box. For Jedidiah Turner (our example), the best option to pick would be “1911 thru 1930”. Follow the steps for this time period. If nothing is found then choose another time frame from the gray box to search.

f. (if needed) After following the suggestions on “How to Find Kansas Death Records” page, if the death record is not found, then go back to the main Wiki page and follow steps "a-d" for each of the other two states, Nebraska, and Iowa.
Case Study Image Step e.png