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.

WeRelate Portals

Some of the most fascinating information at WeRelate can be found in the portals. Portal pages are designed to serve as an overview for a section or topic. Let’s start with the Community Portal. This is probably the closest thing to a table of contents you’ll find on the site. Here you’ll find links to other portals, WeRelate projects and discussions, administrative information and lots of…

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Putting WeRelate to Work

Putting WeRelate to Work

Now that we’ve looked at the major components in WeRelate, it’s time to see how all this can come together for research and collaboration. We each have our own research style, so I’m throwing out a list of ideas that you can choose to incorporate into your style or adjust to fit it. Do you want to get your feet wet, but are afraid of inadvertently deleting something important? No problem,…

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Putting WeRelate to Work

Putting WeRelate to Work

Now that we’ve looked at the major components in WeRelate, it’s time to see how all this can come together for research and collaboration. We each have our own research style, so I’m throwing out a list of ideas that you can choose to incorporate into your style or adjust to fit it.

    • Do you want to get your feet wet, but are afraid of inadvertently deleting something important? No problem,…

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