Remember when you were young and needed to know more about a subject? You might go to the library (or your front room if you were lucky) and consult an encyclopedia. The encyclopedia had articles on just about everything.
Today, encyclopedias exist online, but they are not the only works to consult. Wikis are like crowdsourced encyclopedias that can help you with answers to your questions. They introduce a subject, define key terms, and help you learn about a subject. All kinds of wikis exist, with the most familiar being Wikipedia. For genealogists, there are some genealogy-specific wikis that can help us learn more and conduct better research. The following are three examples.
Any discussion of wikis has to begin with the wiki that is synonymous with the phrase "genealogy wiki." The FamilySearch Research Wiki has over 105,000 articles (and growing) about everything from locations to methodology to individual records. Use it to better understand the location you're researching and what records exist. Also, check the wiki for record sets found on FamilySearch.
Remember that this is not a place to search for your ancestor. The FamilySearch Research Wiki is a place to learn about genealogy, record types, methodology, and research in your ancestor's location.
The ISOGG Wiki (International Society of Genetic Genealogy Wiki) is the place to learn about genetic genealogy. According to the homepage, "The International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) was founded in 2005 by DNA project administrators who shared a common vision: the promotion and education of genetic genealogy. Our mission is to advocate for and educate about genetics as a genealogical research tool and promote a supportive network for genetic genealogists. This wiki was established for the benefit and education of the genetic genealogy community."
With 734 articles currently, you can learn more about DNA tests, DNA testing companies, methodology, and topics of interest to those searching for birth parents. Take some time to scroll down the homepage to learn more about how to search the wiki.
A German wiki, this website explains: "The aim of the GenWiki is to collect information from all areas that are important for genealogical research and to make it freely accessible. Above all, GenWiki wants to help people to help themselves. The aim is not to present finished research results or theories, but to provide instruments and show ways and means that every genealogist needs or must know to achieve their research results." Use the menu on the left or the center to find pages of interest.
What Wiki Are You Reading?
Wiki's can be helpful to refer to when you are researching. They can enhance what you know about research, a location, or a methodology. If you're not using a wiki already, try some searches today and see how you can enhance your research.