Community News/Archive 3

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Editing the Wiki[edit | edit source]

Dear Wiki Users,

Because of excessive spamming on our Wiki, we now require that all users (new and current) who wish to contribute and edit the wiki contact us through a Google form. We then assess each request to determine if they are legitimate users and grant editing and page creating rights.

How to Edit

  • All users who are moderators or have other Wiki roles have automatically been given rights to edit and create pages in the Wiki.
  • If you are a regular contributor, you can find out if you have been given the right to edit by logging into the wiki and then visiting this test page. If you have been given editing rights the tabs “Edit” and “Edit Source” will appear in the right hand corner of the page.
  • If you do not have the option to edit at this time, please contact us immediately by clicking here. We are working diligently to grant permission as soon as possible and once you have been given access to edit, we will notify you through the email address you supply us.
  • If you are new to the wiki and would like to edit, you will need to create a free FamilySearch Wiki account. Use this link to create your account. After you create the account, fill out this form. We will email you when you have been given permission to edit.

Keeping the spamming problem under control has caused a great strain on FamilySearch resources. All edits by spammers have been reverted or their pages deleted. We hope that this new system will stop the problem. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes for our regular contributors. Please note that your status will not change once you have been granted access to edit the Wiki.

Thank you for your support and patience.
Wiki Management

Wiki Upgrade Starting March 14, 2016!!![edit | edit source]

On March 14, 2016 the FamilySearch Research Wiki will begin upgrading it's software. The Wiki will be closed to all editing on March 14 and will resume on March 21.

Please keep the following in mind regarding this significant change:

  • All information will be kept and put in the new upgraded version of the wiki.
  • Navigation will change from the right side of the screen to the left.
  • Country and State pages will be redesigned for better use.  This redesign will occur as close to the time of the new release as possible, but may not be completed when the upgrade takes place.
  • The URL for the Wiki on the website will be changed for better usability
  • The Rich Text editor will be replaced with Visual Editor.
  • The upgraded version of the Wiki will be editable in all browsers including Chrome.

To ensure all information is included in the new upgraded version, the Wiki cannot be edited from Monday, March 14, 9am MDT, to Monday, March 21, 9am MDT.

Wiki Meeting/Social at Rootstech 2016[edit | edit source]

Come join us at the FamilySearch Research Wiki Community Meeting at Rootstech 2016 on Friday, February 5th, from 9:45 to 10:45am in Room 252 at the Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • Hear the latest Wiki developments from the Wiki Manager, Giuseppe Martinengo
  • Meet with fellow contributors and users of the Wiki
  • Light refreshments will be provided

Future Changes to the Wiki (12 June 2015)[edit | edit source]

From the Governance Council:

FamilySearch is undertaking a new approach to help improve the usability and functionality of the FamilySearch Research Wiki. From past experience, we know the Wiki has often had a different user experience from page to page. To help both current and new users of the Wiki, a decision was made by the Wiki Governance Council to standardize locality Wiki pages including country, US state and US county pages. We hope to do other localities at a later time once we see the impact of these changes.

In the future, you will see these improvements made to the wiki:

  • A complete upgrade from Media Wiki 1.17 to 1.24. This upgrade will vastly change the look of the wiki but will help us fix the many broken features and bugs that have plagued the Wiki for the last 6 years. This will also allow us to install plugins such as one to improve the search feature to the Wiki.
  • US county pages will generally be the same throughout the US. Exceptions will need to be made in some states relating to different record types, but the counties will be standardized within the specific state.
  • Standardization of country pages and US state pages
  • Font size and colors used on the Wiki will be standardized

As we go through these changes, please note: We do NOT intend to delete any data from the pages. The information will instead be rearranged to a standard look on Wiki pages and headings will be standardized.

Also, as always, we encourage contributions from all users, and the changing of these pages does not mean we don’t want information added to them. Please help us grow the wiki by adding any content you might have to any of the redesigned pages.

New Community Projects meeting on March 18, 2015
(13 Mar 2015)
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To coordinate and facilitate wiki content projects, a new Community Projects meeting will begin Wednesday, March 18, from 11am to 12pm MST. This weekly Wednesday meeting will provide information about ongoing projects in the wiki community. Training will be provided on various projects for those who want to help add content or to help maintain the wiki. No prior wiki editing experience is needed. Skill level of projects will range from beginner to more advanced. For more information visit the Community Projects meeting wiki page.

Governance Council members announced
(26 Jan 2015)
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Updates to the Wiki Governance Council page announces the members that make up the council and lists the GC objectives and responsibilities.

RootsTech 2015
( past Event )
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RootsTech 2015 is scheduled for Feb 12-14, 2015 with an Innovator Summit on February 11.

Note from Contributor's meeting 18 Dec 2014
Just a quick update on the Wiki breakfast – things are going well with the planning!
Here are some details:
Date: Friday, February 13th Time: 8:30 to 9:30 AM Location: The Nauvoo Café
Special Note: It will be a dutch treat. We’d just love everyone to come, get some breakfast and mingle with one another for a bit.
Note from Contributor's meeting 22 Jan 2015
Wiki edit fest -- 2 hours, 1-3 p.m. gather in a room at the Library, Wednesday 11th (innovator day)

An alternative image map sizing method
(5 Jan 2015)
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A new coding option has been developed and is now available. These optional changes will allow more versatility when sizing the image maps used on our Wiki pages. By substituting a simple wikitext code modification the image size can be controlled independently from the template itself which eliminates the need for multiple copies of the same template. These changes also allow the size of the image map to be easily changed while editing the target page. The instructions can be found in the image map help article in the section called Trick of the Trade.

The Research Wiki passes 80,000
(25 September 2014)
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The FamilySearch English Wiki now has more than 80,000 article pages!
Congratulations to all who contributed to this achievement!

Identify and report Beta issues
(19 September 2014)
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The link to a Google spreadsheet has been posted on Yammer for feedback about the testing of the beta version for the wiki. If you find an issue or problem with the new version please report it here.

Note: The beta format may be unavailable periodically.

Research Wiki Contributor's Meetings
(21 August 2014)
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Guest speakers are periodically being invited to attend the monthly Contributor's Meetings.  Check out the meetings page for recordings of past guest speakers.
(10 August 2014)

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The beta test site for the new Wiki version (1.22) is up and running.  It is based on a snapshot of the wiki from late 2013 and can be used to evaluate how the current wiki pages will be affected. Your input will help to identify what issues have to be corrected prior to launch.

Note: The beta format may be unavailable periodically.

Missing news items
(1 August 2014)
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There was a period where nothing was reported as news but despite that oversight several things had occurred and are listed here (covering the period from September 2013 to August 2014).

• New input (feedback and results) page has been initiated
• "Tip of the week" started on Yammer
• New welcoming committee lessons are available for new users
• The “Main page” has been retitled “Family History Research Wiki”
• Previous image map editor no longer available (page revised)
• FamilySearch releases NEW Freedmen's Bureau Records
• County seat pages and city pages discussions (Community Council)
• International news (updates about the England wiki projects)
• The Illinois page redesign for the new wiki version was completed
• Content team collects results of metric testing on Illinois page
• New collaboration between and
• The “share your opinion” sidebar link has been change
• The Governance Council has been formed (June 2014)
• The support tool box page was completed
• The revamping of the “get involved” pages have started
• The 6000+ uncategorized pages have been reduced to zero
• The wiki will be going to a new version (1.22 from 1.7)
• The Wiki main page redesign was completed
• Changing from Yammer to SalesForce in the future
• Wiki contributors group started on Yammer
• Browser issues (Chrome/RichEditor compatibility)
• Usability test results from January (results?)
Washington State wiki project completed by Content Team
• “Portal” pages eliminated (do not work with search engines)
• HTML-wikitext classes started (also available as wiki pages)
•“Meeting Place” replaced by WebEx
• FamilySearch Wiki mentioned in New York Times article (see "In the News" - Nov2013)
• New guideline added by Community Council to address “syllabuses”(Template:Superseded)

Using Images on FHC and Society pages (5 Sept 2013)[edit | edit source]

Family history centers and societies have often asked to show pictures of classes and activities on their wiki pages, showing an active and vibrant organization, but the policy of no images with living people on the wiki kept those from being approved.

We are excited to announce that the Wiki Image Use policy has been adjusted to allow these types of images. As detailed in this policy:

  1. Living individuals should not be included in any images, with the following exceptions:
    • a headshot (only) of the contributor, only to be posted to the contributor’s user page;
    • individuals that are not identifiable because they are in the far distance of the image or their backs are to the camera; or
    • an image of a society, library, or family history center showing the facilities being actively used.
  2. If living individuals are included:
    • Approval must be obtained from every person in the picture to post the picture publicly on the Wiki. If any of the individuals in the photo request that it be taken down, it will be removed from the site.
    • The images must not include any of the situations in the Grounds for immediate rejection section

Use the guidelines on Help:Submitting Images for Approval when submitting your image. 

Non-English Wikis are growing (5 Sept 2013)[edit | edit source]

Have you noticed that the other Wikis now have new main pages? See the new German and Chinese Wiki main pages just put up last Tuesday (3 Sept 2013). Other languages that have been up for a while: French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish. Check them out.

We are looking for contributors for these Wikis. If you have specialized research knowledge on any of these countries, we could sure use your research experiences in developing these non-English Wikis.

New Wiki Home Page Design (Nov 16, 2012)[edit | edit source]

A new wiki home page design is in the works. It will be rolled out in stages. Feel free to add your comments, thoughts, and suggestions onto the Talk page.

Wiki Community Council has been created! (Nov 16, 2012)[edit | edit source]

The Wiki Community Council has been created, and they held their first meeting on November 14, 2012. The purpose of the council is to be advocates of the FamilySearch Research Wiki and help promote the Wiki to the genealogy community, and to be advocates of the Wiki Community to FamilySearch.

Would you like to see something done in the wiki? Would you like help for a WikiProject, either setting one up, or finding volunteers, or anything else? The Community Council can help.

Creating a Wiki Community Council (Sep 20, 2012)[edit | edit source]

Calling all Wiki contributors,

The creation of a Wiki Community Council, made up of wiki editors from the general public, has been a common discussion over the last couple of years. The purpose of the Council is:

  • To be advocates of the FamilySearch Research Wiki and help promote the Wiki to the genealogy community, and to be advocates of the Wiki Community to FamilySearch.

While many things can be done on the Wiki without any need for a Council or governing board, a Community Council can help by educating community members about the best ways to "get things done" in the wiki. It can support community members with the things that they would like to do to make the wiki better. It can make recommendations to FamilySearch for major changes to the wiki that require FamilySearch support or authorization.

It is finally time to create this Council. A forum thread includes a document setting out the Charter and Scope of this council with more specifics of what it will be involved in.

We invite your nominations now, to recommend those you have seen as valuable members of the community to be a part of this council. Do you see someone who has done great work in the Wiki? Someone who is an advocate for the general public? Please send your ideas and nominations to

New Sign-in Option (Jul 23, 2012)[edit | edit source]

Tired of the wiki signing you out when you are in the middle of editing a page?

When you sign in now, you can check the box "Stay signed in for 2 weeks" and not worry about getting kicked out in the middle of an edit!  When you Sign Out in the Wiki, you will probably be taken to and signing in there brings up the 2-week option.

Community Support Meeting, Wiki Contributors Meeting, Technical Meeting Time and Date Change[edit | edit source]

  • Community Support - This meeting has been scheduled for 9:00 am on Tuesday morning in the past. It will now be held at 9:30 am on Thursday morning.
  • Wiki Contributors - Previously met at 1:00 pm on Tuesday afternoon.  It will  now be held on Thursday afternoon at 1:00 pm 
  • Technical Meeting - Previously held at 2:00 pm on Tuesday afternoon, will now be held on Thursday afternoon at 2:00 pm.
  • This change will take place on 28 June, 2012.

Milestone for Links from Learning Center to Wiki Pages (12 Jan 2012)[edit | edit source]

Spy glass icon.jpg

Links have now been made from the tutorials on the Learning Center Page, left hand navigation bar, to corresponding pages on the Wiki. Each lesson is linked to at least one Wiki page. All the content for the countries has been linked, except for United Kingdom and the United States. Those country's links will come along soon.

--Carol B. Moss 22:46, 12 January 2012 (UTC)