Alternatives to Onsite Research

If there’s one thing we’ve learned this year, it’s that there are actual, functional alternatives to the normal way of doing things. Libraries and archives are some of our favorite (and most useful) resources, but most have simply not been open and available to researchers since March. Do we just stop our research and wait? We could, but we don’t have to.

One of the least used but most broadly applicable resources for genealogists is the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Featuring nearly 94,000 articles, the “FSRW” is a location-driven resource guide for genealogical researchers of records from around the world. See the list of quick links on the left to get an idea of some of the site’s contents, but those topics just scratch the surface. You can also try the “Guided Research” box on the right side of the page, but since it focuses on online databases for vital records, it’s of limited usefulness in my book.

To get to the goods, just click on the world map to begin to zero in on the locality you’re interested in.

(click to enlarge the image; this is not the live page with links)

Let’s take a look at the “Show-Me” state as an example of what FSRW provides in the way of research guidance. Click on “North America,” then “United States,” then “Missouri.” The sections on that page include “Getting Started with Missouri Research,” which features “Step-by-Step Missouri Research, 1880–Present.” The step-by-step guide walks readers through their suggested process with a great deal of detail, examples, and dozens of images.

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  1. January 2, 2021 12:30 pm

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