The Encyclopedia of Genealogy serves as a free compendium of genealogical tools and techniques. It provides reference information about everything in genealogy except people. Look to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy to provide explanations of how to look up your family tree. It will also provide explanations of terms found in genealogy research, including obsolete medical and legal terms. In addition, it will describe locations where records may be found. Within a few months, this online encyclopedia will describe how to research Italian, German, Polish, French-Canadian, Jewish, Black, Indian, and other ancestors. In short, the Encyclopedia of Genealogy will serve as your standard genealogy reference manual.
NOTE: This encyclopedia is not a place to find all the ancestors of John Doe or all the descendants of John and Mary Smith. The World Wide Web already has many online message boards that perform that function well. Instead, the Encyclopedia of Genealogy serves as a clearinghouse of genealogy techniques: where to find records, how to organize the data found, what the terminology means, and how to plan your next research effort.
The Encyclopedia of Genealogy will grow through the addition of articles written by genealogists such as yourself. In fact, YOU can help by adding content: your own knowledge and expertise can help others. If you see anything in this encyclopedia that is incorrect, YOU can change it! If you see anything that is incomplete, YOU can add to it! If you note anything that is missing, YOU can add it! This encyclopedia will succeed because people like you contribute nuggets of information. When enough "nuggets" are added, the Encyclopedia of Genealogy will become a goldmine of information, and all genealogists will benefit.
The Encyclopedia of Genealogy is a bit "skeletal" at this time. It only has about 200 articles right now. I can envision it growing to 5,000 or more, if you and each of your friends can contribute just a bit of your expertise.
Future articles that are needed include:
- Information about your local genealogy society (Several societies already have info pages within the Encyclopedia of Genealogy, but there is room for many, many more such pages.)
- Immigration records explained
- The details of each decade's census records explained
- Individual articles on how to research Italian, German, Polish, French-Canadian, Jewish, Black, Indian, and other ancestors
- Any other subject that users feel to be pertinent and useful to other genealogy researchers
To see examples of some of the articles that have already been written, go to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy, and search for any of the following articles:
Board for Certification of Genealogists,
Family History Library
Missouri Birth and Death Records
The above articles are excellent examples of the sorts of information to be found within the Encyclopedia of Genealogy.
This new Encyclopedia is built on wiki software: a collaborative website system where, in general, any person can edit any page. For more information about wiki software, look at Wikipedia at http://www.wikipedia.org and at Wiktionary at http://www.wiktionary.org.
The goal of the Encyclopedia of Genealogy is to create an information source in encyclopedia format that is freely available to all genealogists. The license used grants free access to the content in the same sense as free software is licensed freely. This principle is known as "copyleft." That is to say, Encyclopedia of Genealogy content can be copied, modified, and redistributed, so long as the new version grants the same freedoms to others and acknowledges the authors of the Encyclopedia of Genealogy article used (A direct link back to the article satisfies the author credit requirement.). Encyclopedia of Genealogy articles, therefore, will remain free forever and can be used by anybody, subject to very minor restrictions, most of which serve to ensure that freedom.
Here are a few comments from the people who helped beta test the Encyclopedia of Genealogy:
Congratulations Dick! I believe history is in the making. If I'm correct you have just started what will become the primary on-line genealogical reference.
Richard, I think this is absolutely fantastic. You might add an explanation that if someone deletes information from an article that should be there, the theory is that someone else will put it back in, or if someone adds something wrong or out of date, it can be corrected. So it is something of a "self-correcting" system.
GREAT JOB. The skeleton shows promise. I can't wait for all the flesh to come.
Dick: Just changed your "Contribute to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy" page (it's to its) and can really share your satisfaction of being able to edit some of my pet grammar peeves. This is one powerful piece of work! Thanks so much for carrying through on the wikipedia system to create a site especially for genie people.
First use leaves a very positive experience. Just last night I thought I should order a Civil War Service Record but put it aside because I wasn't sure of which form to use. I used this as a test for the "Encyclopedia" and now have an order placed to send me the required forms.
On the whole a very good concept.
Perhaps you can now understand why I am excited about this concept of an online genealogy encyclopedia, created by many authors. Now I would like to invite you to try it. Again, the Encyclopedia is available to all, free of charge.
To try the Encyclopedia of Genealogy yourself, go to http://www.eogen.com.
You might want to read the FAQ (Frequently-Asked Questions) pages at http://www.eogen.com/FAQ.
Please note that the Encyclopedia of Genealogy's URL at http://www.eogen.com is almost the same as this newsletter's URL at http://www.eogn.com. That is not accidental. The free Encyclopedia of Genealogy is sponsored by this newsletter, and the two are intertwined in several ways.