WeRelate for Research Support

werelate103The latest news from Ancestry.com about RootsWeb is not good. Restoring the many elements of that platform will take months – at best. We do have another option, one that is properly maintained and has a dedicated group of users who regularly post new content regarding a broad range of genealogical information. Even better, it’s freely-accessible. I’m talking about WeRelate.

WeRelate is “a free public-service wiki for genealogy sponsored by the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy and the Allen County Public Library.” Their aim is to provide free, open access to genealogical data and the evidence that supports that data. Anyone can build their family tree at WeRelate – at no cost. Even more impressive, the community has been building a broad range of research support documents that helps all of us.

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A user page on WeRelate

The content I’ve put into my user page describes the surnames and locations I’m researching, how I can be reached on social media and bookmarks to research content related to the people and places I am researching. My bookmarks link to other sections within WeRelate. Notice the state research guides, cemetery and place pages listed there. These are all crowd-sourced sections and pages and they are full of useful information.

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Some of the resources listed in the St. Augustine page.

These pages are not “owned”. That means any WeRelate user can add or update information on any page at any time. You’ll notice the little [edit] item to the right of each section. Click it and you can add or update that section. Even if I only have one tiny bit of information, it adds value to the page and will help others.

Anyone can visit and browse the various sections of the site. You must have a user account before you can add content. Users also have the ability to “watch” a particular “page” within the site. Anytime new content is added to your watched pages, you are notified. There are also plenty of options for collaboration within WeRelate. For example, each content page has an associated talk page. The talk page can be used to make contact with others researching your surnames or areas or you can use it to ask questions.

WeRelate is built on the same wiki platform that was used to build Wikipedia and the FamilySearch Wiki. It isn’t as pretty as those sites, but it’s just as functional and new information is added daily. Take a look and see what WeRelate can do to help your research effort.

3 thoughts on “WeRelate for Research Support

  1. Hello Denise. It’s ironic to have just received your post when I am so frustrated with Ancestry. I have been trying to access some old RootsWeb items I had downloaded over time, along with their links—which are no good since Ancestry took over. Furthermore, I have run into several messages this morning on Ancestry saying the page is “not available” right now. These are “regular” pages supposedly linked from other pages in Ancestry. And I don’t like the changes made to the search feature! So, I may be going to “WeRelate” as you suggest. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A wiki takes a little getting used to, but WeRelate is full of people who are happy to help. FYI . . . The man who built WeRelate has recently released another impressive genealogy platform called RootsFinder. Go to YouTube and search for RootsFinder. There are several video demos on how to use it. I’m just starting to test it but what I’ve seen so far is very nice.

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    2. WeRelate takes a bit of time to get comfortable, but the wiki platform is quite impressive. They use the same software that runs Wikipedia and the FamilySearch wiki so it has lots of support behind it.

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