FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Fixing links on Online Records Pages

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Current Projects page Gotoarrow.png Fixing links on Online Records Pages

Purpose[edit | edit source]

This project will use previously created spreadsheets identifying broken links on the Online Records Pages for states and countries. We will find the new link (whenever possible) or remove any of the broken links and change them on the Online Records pages.

Project Contact[edit | edit source]

Jane Colmenares

Task List[edit | edit source]

Task List

Project Instructions[edit | edit source]

Video Instructions for Project

Step 1[edit | edit source]

Go to the task list and sign up for a state or country Online Genealogy Records wiki page.

Step 2[edit | edit source]

Click on the link to go to the google doc for this project.  This document was created in a prior WikiProject identifying broken links on the pages.  

Step 3[edit | edit source]

Using the spreadsheet, identify each broken link on the page that is in need of repair.   They are listed at the top of the spreadsheet.  Often, this may be as simple as another website changing the name of one of their files.  In other cases, it might refer to a collection that is no longer available.  

Step 4[edit | edit source]

Copy the broken link and go to: This website has what is called a Wayback Machine. The Wayback Machine has a history of what a URL used to contain.

Step 5[edit | edit source]

In the Wayback machine URL field at the top of the screen, paste your broken link in. Then press the enter key.

Step 6[edit | edit source]

You will now see a calendar that lists when the webpage was archived. Choose a date that has a blue circle around it to see what the page looked like. It is suggested to try a day in the previous year. If the page shows up as a broken link, then try a date 6 months earlier until you see a web page.


Step 7[edit | edit source]

If the Wayback machine does NOT have an original version of the page, try to see if it contains a copy.   Go to: 

Delete the http:// in the Enter URL field and paste the broken URL.


  • Once you find the old webpage, go to Google and searching for the new URL. Try taking the beginning portion of the URL to locate a possible page. Also try googling some key words on the old page along with the first part of the URL.  '
  • For the broken link: from the Wayback Machine you see the words: the name of the website: Illinois State Archives and the database it’s linking to: Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763-1900
  • Type in google: Illinois state archives statewide marriage index 1763-1900
  • Try out each of the URLS until you find a good match. For this example, the correct match is:

Step 8[edit | edit source]

With the correct new URL, go to the corresponding Online Records page.  Locate the broken link and replace the broken link with the new one you have found.  Be sure to check the page once you have updated it to be sure the new link you added works.

If you are unable to locate a new link for the broken one, leave the broken link and make a note on the spreadsheet.

Step 9[edit | edit source]

Return to the Online Records spreadsheet and record the new URL and the day it was fixed. We would like to keep a record of all new links located for quality control purposes.

Step 10[edit | edit source]

Once you have completed the broken links on the spreadsheet, go back to the task list and put the date you completed that Online Records page. You can then choose a new Online Records page from the task list.