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Today we have a plethora of online records available on free and paid sites. As you plan your research, I found the FamilySearch Family History Research Wiki to be especially helpful in understanding what records and catalogs exist for a place or topic when using the www.familysearch.org. While I’ve used FamilySearch for many years, I didn’t realize the value of their Wiki until I started using it this past year. Not only does it tell you what is available but also where to find the information.
Today I’ll walk you through an example by looking at a favorite research location—Grey County, Ontario. Let’s say that I want to find out what land records are available in Grey County for the township of Bentinck. Here are the steps so you can replicate if you wish.
Go to FamilySearch Research Wiki. You'll notice that you can choose to search by place or topic.
Type Canada, Grey and in the results choose:
For me it has worked best to start at a higher level, otherwise you might miss records that were not indexed to that detail.
Once on that site, you can see the listing of all the various records, including the years that are included in these records. Everything from Birth, Death, Marriage to Civil to religious is listed to help you organize your research. Some information will be on FamilySearch.org while other links point you to other websites.
When we started this search we were looking for land records of Bentinck township. Hmmm no land records listed in the Wiki but there are two links provided that may help us with our mission.
FamilySearch Family History Research Wiki has helped me be more planful when tackling a genealogy problem. Not only can I see at a glance what records may help answer my question, but I can also use that information to plan my next topic of research. Land today, perhaps marriages tomorrow. Hopefully you will find this site useful as you gather data about your family and look for ways to include it in your family story.
As long as one keeps searching, the answers come.
- Joan Baez
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With a lifelong passion for genealogy and history, the author enjoys the opportunity to share genealogy tidbits, inspiring others to research and write their family story.