Did you know that Ancestry.com has a Wiki? A wiki is a website that is editable by anyone, and it is free to everyone to use. Wikis harness the power of the collective intelligence, and the Ancestry.com Wiki, though still in Beta form, is a great place to learn about genealogy.
There are four different types of content on the Ancestry.com wiki. There’s something called “The Source”, an online guidebook to American genealogy. There is also “The Red Book”, which is a sourcebook of American state, town, and county resources. There is also plenty of content from the Ancestry.com website as well as content added by users.
I looked a little at “The Source”, and found that it is a great resource for learning how to use specific types of research resources. It also has helpful hints for researching information about specific ethnicities. If you’re the type who likes to learn for learning’s sake, there’s an option to view a random page from the wiki. I checked out the “random page” option, and found a great article about how to do research in Massachusetts land records. That is actually relevant for me, because my parents live in Massachusetts so part of my research could take place there.
If you want to share your expertise, there are instructions for contributing to the wiki. Unfortunately, it looks like on some pages, people have typed random stuff that does not make sense. It looks like those pages are intended to get you to click on links to other sites that have nothing to do with genealogy. I am not sure whether this happens on other wikis, although I have a feeling that it does since they can be edited by anyone. In my opinion, though, there is a lot of great information in the Ancestry.com wiki and the useless information that has made its way into the wiki will either get deleted or you can simply ignore it.
Photo by ppdigital on morguefile.com.