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Adding new content

Content can only be edited and created by registered users. Registration is free and only take a few moments using the create account link

Basic information organization principles

The basic organization of the GenGuidesWiki is from the largest area, country, to the smallest item, either an archival reference or a web site. Three examples of this organization are shown in the table below.

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3
United States
Czech Republic
New York
Repository (Archive/Library)
Leo Baeck Institute
Czech National Archives
Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe
Archival Collection
Berthold Rosenthal Collection
Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths of Jewish Communities in the Czech Lands
GLA 390 - Standesbücher

If you are adding a new resource, you may encounter that a page or series of pages does not yet exist in the GenGuidesWiki. If you see a country or state/province that appears as a red link it means that the page has not been created. However, when you click on the link you will be taken to a page where you can create the page. It's generally advisable to create all new pages with forms.

Using forms to create new pages

When you select a form below you'll first encounter a blank box. Enter the name of the page that you would like to create. Each page must have a unique name. Then click on the "create or edit" button. Fill in the boxes with the information you have. When you're done click on the "show preview" button to see what the completed page will look like. Make sure to click "save page" if you're satisfied with the preview.

To create new pages please use the following links:

Form Example Description
State New York First-level administrative divisions within a country (i.e. states, provinces, regions, etc.)
Repository Organization Center for Jewish History Federal or state agencies, Umbrella organizations
Repository Leo Baeck Institute Archives, libraries, historical societies, cemeteries
Collection Berthold Rosenthal Collection Groups in which information can be found at a repository
Item Dreifuss Family Tree (by Berthold Rosenthal) Boxes, folders, individual items found within a collection
Publication Jüdisches Leben in Ludwigsburg Books, newspapers, magazines, journals
Website Vienna Cemeteries Primarily for resources that only exist as websites
Publication List GerSIG Community Histories Research groups can create lists of publication of interest to the group
Repository and Website List GerSIG Resources Research groups can create lists of archives, libraries and websites of interest to the group
Free Form Guide Jewish Genealogy in Austria Guide to doing research in a place or type of record (done without templates)
Templatized Guide not yet available Guide to doing research in a place or type of record (using one template for each section)

If you need assistance in setting up a page or have additional questions please contact the GenGuideWiki administrators at

A detailed guide to Wiki formatting can be found at .
The following has been adapted from Wikipedia's help pages[1], but is also applicable to creating and editing content on GenGuidesWiki:

Getting along with other editors

  • Be civil to other users at all times. If you have a criticism, comment about content and specific edits. Don't make negative remarks about other editors as people. Be constructive and be respectful.
  • Assume good faith: Try to consider the person on the other end of the discussion as a thinking, rational being who is trying to positively contribute to GenGuidesWiki. Even if you're convinced that they're an [insert insult of your choice], still pretend that they're acting in good faith. Ninety percent of the time you'll find that they actually are acting in good faith (and the other ten percent of the time a negative attitude won't help anyway). Be gracious. Be liberal in what you accept, be conservative in what you do. Try to accommodate other people's quirks as best you can, while trying to be as polite and straightforward as possible.
  • Discuss contentious changes on the talk page: Mutual respect is a guiding behavioral principle for wikis. Although everyone knows that their contributions may be edited by others, it is easier to accept changes when you understand the reasons for them. Discussing changes on the article's talk page before you make them can help reach consensus even faster, especially on controversial subjects. Always make an effort to explain changes to other editors, and feel free to ask them to do the same.
  • Undo others' edits with care: Undoing someone's work is a powerful tool, hence the three-revert rule that an editor should never undo the same content more than three times in twenty-four hours (ideally, even less). Try not to revert changes which are not obvious vandalism. If you really can't stand something, revert once, with an edit summary like "I disagree, I'll explain why on Talk", and immediately take it to the accompanying talk page to discuss. If someone reverts your edits, do not just add them back without attempting discussion.
  • Deletion Policy: If an article has to do with a family tree source it belongs on GenGuidesWiki. However, GenGuidesWiki is not a place to host individual family trees. Individual family trees or content not at all related to family tree research will be deleted.

Working efficiently together

  • Use clear edit summaries: Straightforward, simple explanations are greatly appreciated. Please state what you changed and why. If the explanation is too long, use the Talk page to add details.
  • Sign your posts: Sign on talk pages (using ~~~~, which gets replaced by your username and timestamp when you hit "Save page"), but don't sign in mainspace articles.
  • Preview your changes: Repeatedly saving small edits clutters the page's history, which makes it difficult for some editors to follow along with changes. Several small changes without edit summaries are even harder to follow. Use the Show preview button rather than saving many times.

Building this wiki

Editing most GenGuidesWiki pages is easy. GenGuidesWiki makes use of Semantic Forms, which means that most of the GenGuidesWiki pages can be edited by clicking on the "Edit with Form" button. Alterntively, you can click on the "Edit" button and edit the article using wikitext editing, described below.


  • Edit. Nearly every page on GenGuidesWiki has an edit link on it, either in the page itself or at the top left of the screen. Click [edit] and you'll see a place where you can type and make changes. It will look a little different since wikis uses a language called "markup". Don't worry if it looks intimidating. Just try a few small changes and copy what others do that gets the result you want.
  • Basic markup. Markup language is a very simple way to add formatting with symbols. These can be inserted using the editing tool bar or manually. Otherwise, just type normally.
    • Looks
      • For italics, type two apostrophes ( ' ) around the word like this ''italics''.
      • For bold use three apostrophes: '''bold''' .
      • For bold and italics use five: '''''italics and bold''''' .
    • Sections and lists
      • Section headers are made with the equals sign ( = ) on each side. More equals signs make smaller sub-sections. You won't use a level 1 header, since that is the title of the page itself.
      • Bulleted lists are made by putting * at the beginning of each line.
      • Numbered lists are made by putting # at the beginning of each line.
    • Links
      • Links from one GenGuidesWiki page to another are made with two brackets on each side of the word like [[wikilink]]. To make a link go to a different page than the word it shows, use a pipe: [[Page|word]].
      • Links to external websites are made with one bracket on each side like [external link]. These are used in the External links section of an article.
      • Images are added with [[File: IMAGENAME|thumb|Image caption]]. The "thumb" part is just a size and should be left in.
    • Paragraphs and references
      • Line breaks and paragraphs require hitting [return] or [enter] twice (showing an empty line in between).
      • References go between ref tags: <ref>References here.</ref> Place these after the punctuation of the sentence they are used in.
  • Preview and save. If you want to see a draft of your changes, click [Show preview]; otherwise click [Save] and your edit will go live.
  • Page structure. Articles follow a common format. Start with the introduction, a few paragraphs summarizing the page. Place the article's content in level 2 headers like only capitalizing the first word unless it's a proper noun. The last sections can add information such as See also, References, and External links, in that order. Place those sections in level 2 headers as well.


  • Talk pages. In addition to the pages you read for information, for almost every GenGuidesWiki page there is a corresponding talk page where discussion happens among editors. To use the talk page, click [edit] and add your comments. To create a new topic, click [new section] at the top of the page, give the section a title, and leave your comment. New topics go at the end of the page.
  • Indenting. To make conversations easier to follow, place your comments below the one you are responding to and indent it using a colon (:). Each colon moves the comment farther to the right, so if the person above you used 3 colons ::: you should use 4 ::::. To start a new talk page topic, click [new section] at the beginning of the page and type a title with your comment, or start a new level 2 heading for the same effect.
  • Signatures. On talk pages but not article pages, all comments should be signed with ~~~~. Once saved, this will turn into your username or IP address with a timestamp.
  • Edit summaries. Leave a brief note about what you did and why any time you make an edit. Place it in the edit summary box before you click Save.

Adding images

To use a picture on GenGuidesWiki, you need permission from the owner/photographer:

  • If it is your own picture, then you can just upload it yourself saying "It is entirely my own work".
  • If it is not yours, then you need permission from the owner.

Adding tables

If you have data that is already in a table one easy way to convert the table into wiki format is to use the website .

Adding a Reference

To add a reference to a web site in the form of a footnote citation:

1. In the place that you want to add the reference put the URL, book, or other publication between a <ref> at the beginning and a </ref> at the end. For example <ref></ref>. This will then be transformed into a superscript reference.

2. In order for the citations to show up at the bottom of the page, and to avoid an error message, make sure to insert </references> at the bottom.

Parts of this page are based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article Wikipedia:Plain_and_simple; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA